it’s World Mental Health Day!

Since I work in the mental health field, advocating for the end of stigma and for acceptance, understanding, and proper treatment is part of what I do.  Therefore it seemed natural for me to make a post about it (and yes, I’ll relate it to knitting & crocheting)!

Almost 20% of adults in the United States had a mental illness in 2013 (source), and I feel that that number will get higher as the pressures from society slowly grow and as more people come forward for help.  That’s 1 in 5 adults now, though.  Think about how many adults you know.  Yeah.

Check out this video by John Oliver to learn even more about the mental health situation in the United States (but only if you don’t mind cursing and some dirty jokes).

So what do you do if you think somebody close to you might be having some mental health problems?  Talk to them.  Express your concern, and help them feel accepted and loved by you.  Encourage them to see a clinician (whether it be a counselor, therapist, social worker, psychologist, or psychiatrist).  If there’s ever an immediate danger that someone is posing to themselves or others due to mental illness, call 911, just like you would for other dangers, so that the person can get immediate treatment in a hospital.

But what if it’s not someone else?  What if it’s you?  Well, again I’d encourage you to see a clinician.  Any monetary cost is worth your mental well being, but you can find clinicians with sliding scales who will work with you on fees if you need help.  And again, in an emergency situation, if you feel that you might be harmful to yourself or others, call 911 and go to the hospital for immediate treatment.  If your symptoms are not that severe but you need coping skills to get through each day (and let’s face it, who doesn’t sometimes?), crafting is a really good one.  Knitting, crocheting, or doing other crafts and pleasurable activities can be very beneficial for people, including those suffering from a variety of mental illnesses.  Give it a shot when you’re feeling anxious or depressed or angry (or whatever other negative feelings you might have), and notice if you feel different afterwards.  I bet you will!

If we support each other and try to be understanding of people with different problems than ourselves, we’ll make the world a better place.  Just think about it, and be aware today of those that are suffering.

That’s all for today, thanks for stopping by!

loopy doopy misery and fun

Being sick sucks.  Something came on all of a sudden yesterday and I had a fever during the night.  Now I’m just stuck with a runny nose and clogged sinuses, which usually leads to chronic ear infections.  I’m on a decent number of medications and am feeling a bit loopy.  Kinda like “WHEEE!” and “UGH!” at the same time.

On the bright side, I think I’m going to love my job!  We get free lunches every day, flexible schedules, insurance benefits, paid vacation time and sick days, and my coworkers are great, not to mention the interesting times with clients!  I don’t often do selfies but here’s me at my desk!

first week of workThe lime colored Patagonia vest was from the thrift store that our program operates, but it’s closing so one of my coworkers snagged this for me!  They’re already accepting me and it feels so nice to be liked!  🙂

So do you have things that you specifically like about your job, or are you working in a place that makes you unhappy?   And how many of you are stay-at-home moms or “housewives?”  I’m just curious because it seems to me that ladies who are all about family consumer sciences (that’s what they call home-ec these days) or being at home are the ones who knit and crochet the most (although I have seen a couple of business women knitting in public over the years).

Speaking of knitting in public, I saw a lady knitting in the waiting room of the allergist’s office yesterday.  I kept trying to watch her because I was curious, but I think she noticed and thought I was staring at her in a way that connotates that knitting is stupid (which, as we all know, is not the truth).  Do you feel like people look at you in a snobbish way when you knit/crochet in front of others?

Well I’ve rambled enough — there wasn’t even anything project related in this post!  That will be remedied next time.  Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you again soon!

 

the rest of my life

I really wanted to share some non-crafty things with you that are going on in my life right now.  I hope that’s OK — I’ll be back to crafting in my next post, I promise.

Firstly, I graduate with my masters in clinical counseling this May!  Hooray!  I’m excited to finally be done with school, since I’ve been at it for 5/6 of my life, and I’m excited about “being a grown-up.”  Of course on the flip side, I’m terrified — I don’t feel prepared to counsel anybody, I’m worried about passing my exit and licence exams, I’m worried about finding a job ASAP so that there’s no break between school and a job (I can’t afford to sit around doing nothing when I’ll have loans to start paying off), and I’m worried about going into more debt.  Once I graduate, to get licensed I still have to be supervised for 15oo hours, I believe, and I’ll have to pay someone to supervise me.  So even though I’ll have a job, I’ll be paying off loans and paying whoever is my supervisor.  Can you tell I’m worried?  It runs in the family.

I’ve got some good things going on, too: I’m making a journal for my “loss, grief, and crisis counseling” class!

journal

We have to really reflect on our experiences with loss/grief/crisis, and I’m enjoying it so far.  I’m making it a sort of art journal (hence the markers in the picture) and really putting thought and time into what I write, and it’s helping me realize a lot about myself and how I deal (or haven’t dealt) with grief/loss/crisis.  Of course we’re using what we’re learning in class to help us look at our experiences, so it puts a new light on things.  Have you ever had such a journal, or have you had a similar experience?

And surprise surprise, I’m exercising!  It’s totally unexpected for me — I’ve traditionally been the soft, unfit, unmotivated, and unhealthy type, but Chris and our friend Jamie have convinced me to give it a try.  Jamie studied wing chun (a close-range Chinese martial art) in China for about 2 years, and he’s teaching Chris and me.  He’s a good teacher and is very patient, which is good because Chris and I aren’t very coordinated or athletic.  I want to get to the point where I can easily defend myself against a larger and stronger opponent (our school parking lots are creepy and lots of bad things happen there).  I’m also doing it for the physical benefits of losing a little weight, gaining some muscle, and strengthening my heart.  We have equipment for practicing kicks and punches, and Jamie got us these:

wraps

We need wrist wraps for repeated punching while our wrists are pretty weak.  So yeah, it’s pretty complicated and difficult and painful (my whole body is sore today and I’ve got bruises on my arms), but it’s really fun too, and I think it will definitely be worth all the time, effort, and physical discomfort.  If you have ever tried wing chun or martial arts in general, feel free to let the advice/stories flow!

As far as yarncrafts go, my socks are still in the works and the needles for my sweater haven’t arrived yet, so there’s nothing to really post about at this time.  Hopefully soon!

Thanks for stopping by, and I appreciate you taking the time to read about what’s going on for me.  I’ll be back to crocheting/knitting next time!

 

 

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