I have definitely come a long way since opening up about my mental health challenges in 2013, and PTSD diagnosis which followed in 2014. Could it be just 6 years gone? I have come to realize the best way to liberate yourself of the yoke of stigma and shame, face dem phobias and foes, is to #speakyourmind. When you do that, you without knowing give others the permission to relate and #daretohopetoo.
I run an organisation today which at barely 10 months got a US Embassy grant to principally carry out mental health awareness, advocacy and look at what structures could be put in place to facilitate mental well-being. I know there is more to come and to be done.
I share this tweet from the Global Mental Health Peer Network to which I belong too as the executive representing Cameroon, to encourage and motivate us all on this day.
#WMHD2019. Together we can prevent and reduce #suicide rates through – Raise #awareness; Eliminate #stigma; Create #support structures for those suffering; Provide safe spaces to #speak about struggles; Make sure that no one feels alone; Generate #hope! @global_peer
A special shout out to Ashley Peterson who blogs over at Mentalhealth@Home.
Pre script: Am so grateful to receive another guest post from Eva especially on a topic so close to heart and home. I have seen many addicted and so much pain, I know how challenging it is to make ends meet during recovery. Thank you so much Eva
Monster.com career expert Vicki Salemi states that the job search is “one big emotional roller coaster,” with all the ups and downs. And, let’s face it, fear. The only thing is you can’t hold up your hands as you go down that first big hill. If you’re a recovering addict who has begun your journey, you’re definitely experiencing the same thing. Taken together, the two experiences can be both frightening and elating, filled with both uncertainty and victory.
Regardless of the reason, you are starting your job search after also starting recovery. It’s your first time back in the job market, and your addiction might have caused you to lose a job. You will definitely need to bring in some money in order to keep your bills paid, a roof over your head, and your utilities on. So until you get a job offer, you’ll need a temporary side gig. The question is, though, what can you do?
The late Dick Bolles, author of What Color is Your Parachute, said “Everyone has skills,” and you can think of them as belonging to three categories: verbs (sewing, negotiating, planning, and more), nouns (data, graphics, software, animals, and others), and adjectives (adaptable, creative, flexible, and so on). The key is to identify which of your skills go into which category. This not only helps you determine a side gig, but it also can help you determine which type of full-time job to pursue.
But until you get hired, consider these two broad possibilities for making ends meet.
1. Offer Yourself in a Service Role
In a service role, you essentially perform the tasks some folks don’t have the time for or are incapable of doing. For some senior citizens or disabled people, you can become an errand runner or a shopper. There are even some people who will pay you to wait in a line for them for new technology gadgets, concert tickets, and more. You can also hire yourself out as a pet sitter or dog walker. The best part about those kinds of opportunities is that you can set your own schedule, including nights and weekends.
When you offer yourself in a service role, you become an extra pair of legs for someone who is unable to tend to some essential life tasks. Plus, one additional benefit is that you might be able to increase your job-hunting network by telling your clients that you’re looking for full-time work.
2. Make Money With a Hobby or Skill
Can you make jewelry or seasonal wreaths? Can you paint or take photographs? Can you knit or do flower arranging? If so, you can turn your hobby into something profitable by selling your items on at Etsy shop or to family and friends. The best part about this side-gig is that you actually get to make your hobby profitable. And, of course, having a hobby is beneficial when you’re in recovery. If you play a musical instrument or even sing, consider offering music lessons. And once you get a full-time position, you can keep teaching your students for as long as you like.
A job search can be one of the most stressful events in someone’s life, and it can be especially difficult for those who are newly sober. So since you are in recovery, you must keep in mind that any additional stress you feel from your job search might trigger a relapse. Having a side gig might help you avoid stress, prevent a relapse, and keep you on your path.
Photo Credit: Pixabay.com
About 6 years ago, Eva Benoit left her job as an office manager to pursue being a life, career, and overall wellness coach. She specializes in helping professionals with stress and anxiety, but welcomes working with people from all walks of life. She works with her clients to discover and explore avenues that will bring them balance, peace, and improved overall well-being that can last a lifetime. Her website is evabenoit.com and she is author of the upcoming book, The 30-Day Plan for Ending Bad Habits and Improving Overall Health.
You can read Eva’s last guest article on Executive Addiction here
Have a great weekend everyone and know you are not alone in any struggles
My body+brain break last Nov 30th led me to hole up in a library with an awesome book titled: “A Woman after God’s Own Heart” by Elizabeth George.
I needed a brain+body break and yes, what I had been planning to do over two weeks ago, that’s spend an entire day in conclave at B4Kids library, reading a good book, was seemingly the ideal thing to do to relax this brain+body.
I was there as early as 8:15 am after an early start at home and some meh workout. I had slept visualizing this day.
And yes, it was simply relaxing and blissful. Like I was with God all day in a special place ie, next to His Heart found in this soulful but thought provoking and action challenging book.
He knew I needed to read this book, this day, and to be assured and reassured of He having my back as I kept on in His Vineyard after 3+decades of grooming just for that.
I mean you will need to read the book too to get a feel…that is if you are ready.
The book is divided into 4 parts worth the read and I mean every letter of each sentence… grateful for the reading maniac I seem to be lol
P1: The Pursuit of God. How do you pursue God with your Heart, your words, your actions, your obedience to His own Word?
P2: The Pursuit of God’s priorities. How do you discover them as laid out for your life, and serve God with your heart and all your love in whichever corner of his vineyard He’s assigned you to?
P3: The Practice of God’s priorities: Do you seek God’s Heart and Grace to do the work you got according to His own priority?
P4: In praise of God’s priorities. What’s your praise if you got all the above going? What’s your legacy, and soul and commitment to keep being after God’s own Heart?
The author Elizabeth George makes no claims of sainthood in her own journey of being a woman after God’s Own Heart. Maybe this is what endeared me to the book so much and made me determined to finish it in one sitting? I read that she and her husband have been active in ministry for more than 30 years…which should actually be over 40 years of we consider that version was updated and expanded in 2006.
I am forever grateful to my new sister and friend Etonde NBA who has this beautiful kids’ library called B4Kids, and graciously told me I was welcome anytime. I don’t know what this book is doing in a kids’ library, maybe so that mothers read some while their kids are reading/doing their own stuffs?
To God be the Glory…
Hello world, well I knew I was going to have a hectic week, but I couldn’t tell how hectic it was going to really end up being. Fortunately I had a great weekend with my hood even if that equally left my feet crying fowl hahaha.
I left for Yaounde the city where the event was to take place on Monday by noon, and the trip this time around lasted 6 not 8 hours…thank you Lord. The next day Tuesday, the event started off only an hour late, a good sign if you ask me. Below was my Facebook summary about the morning session:
Day 1: Morning session 2nd National days for Mental Health under the theme “State of the art and perspectives in the wake of skills transfer in mental health”. (Translated by me so bear with me – our country may be bilingual in theory but not always in practice sadly so). Even though the event started an hour late, they got to cover all which had been marked for the morning session. There were speeches (4 to be precise) by the Director for health at the Ministry of Public Health, by the UNFPA Representative, by the WHO Representative, and lastly by the Minister of Public Health himself.
Rhetoric aside, I was very impressed with the testimony of two persons living with a mental illness, the Man lives with Schizophrenia and the lady, an IDP whose husband was kidnapped since 8 months today, lives with C-PTSD. A humourist also used his skills to drill us on basic notions of mental health, stressing the difference with mental illness and encouraging us all not to be ashamed of talking about mental health. There was also a 7 mins clip of some real life scenarios expect in the various conflict regions of the country, and some different causes of mental health challenges were looked at which led to more destructive behaviour like illicit drugs consumption leading to more distress and nervous breakdown.
The afternoon program promises to be more thematic with statistics on the current state of the art from the perspective of different stakeholders.
Day 2 was sort of my day and here is my recap as shared of Facebook once more lol:
Day 2: Morning session 2 national days of Mental Health Cameroon. Wow, what a morning. So much learned and I was called up to do a presentation of the organizations I represented, ie Gbm Foundation and GMHPN. So I had no camera man and below is the brief clip (sadly it seems clip failed to upload here and am damn tired to try via u-tube and etc) a friend of mine did as I was leaving the podium. You can all imagine what I share on, some personal experiences and the work of both the Gbm foundation and the GMHPN whom I represent in Cameroon. Charlene Sunkel I think we will get there, I made some great contacts. Thank you for the appointment and opportunity. Hopefully see you soon. Didier De Masso who did the facilitation, also did a great presentation in his capacity as HIFA representative in Cameroon, on the importance of making mental health information easily accessible to all. His recommendations on the need for more research grants for mental health, the creation of a national database of organisations and stakeholders in the sector and more, were highly appreciated. Care and Plan International also made presentations on their work on the field especially in the different conflict zones of the country. A lot is left to be done but the efforts so far are honestly commendable.
All in all, I had a great time both at the event and in the city of Yaounde itself. I made some very valuable contacts and am so proud of myself for the headway. I did stand my grounds to get an official invitation or nothing, and although I got that sort of last minute like on Friday, I went in somewhat hasty conditions and survived hahaha
Happy weekend everyone
Hi everyone, I am a little ‘laggy’ doing this mini fundraiser raiser here to attend a VIP summit in London next month.
I was recommended by the coordinator of the Global Mental Health Peer Network (am a recently appointed executive representing Cameroon), to the organizers of the summit sometimes last month and I forgot about it. Three weeks ago, I received a formal invitation, filled the form and boom in 4 days I got an approval as a delegate.
Well, I couldn’t fund that and didn’t know I could go to the delegates’ area of the website and download a form to fill. Last Monday, at 11.30 am, I pay attention to an email from the organizers saying the last day to apply for funding was that same 11th at 12pm. I had probably been overlooking updates and co from them thinking it wasn’t a lead worth following (why I didn’t just as usual apply for funding I don’t know). Here I zoomed quick to delegate area using the PW I had been provided but never even bothered changing, downloaded the form filled same and sent it back at exactly 11:50am.
Can you believe my joy when last Friday I received a funding approval for transportation and accommodation for the two nights of the summit?
Issue now is visa fees which stand at 200usd with my appointment set for Wednesday like in 12 hours I hav to pay that amount.
Two reasons am doing this mini fundraiser therefore:
1) I need to raise the fees before 12 noon tomorrow or lose the appointment slot (the dates are already too close and I don’t wish to lose that slot);
2) I would love to see the tribe support me attend this very important summit. I will consider it a big blessing to have even 1£ or 1euro or 1usd from any of my gentle readers or followers for this.
So, if you are moved to donate, I will appreciate you send any amount you have to my PayPal. This is so abrupt I know, I really didn’t want to throw it out here until I realized I really needed help.
Thank you very much in advance to all who will donate, be sure I’ll acknowledge each of you personally.
God bless us all
And to think I almost gave up on the application procedure. Ah Determination, Discipline and Dedication pay big time. I am up to the task because I also have these 3 Ps to fly with.
I know this is yet another springboard for me and all the work I do for mental health awareness and my own self care; I equally know as a psychotherapist it is important to be in your ‘client’s shoes’ too as much as you can – and so I am super excited about this appointment and really know without a doubt this year is indeed my year of Grace.
Thank you all who have been here and there with me in my mental health journey, thank you all who have trusted me to help them help themselves in their own mental health journey. My appointment to the highly awaited GMHPN, is for Cameroon and I can’t hesitate to mention the HIFA Representative for Cameroon, my friend Didier Demassosso who passed on the call for applicants to me in the first place.
And while I brace myself emotionally to receive all the likes and congratulatory messages, may I encourage you to take a look at the GMHPN’s Newsletter for June right here, or for July right here; like our facebook page, and join our ever growing global community of mental health peers. If you would like to also join the Mental Health 237 facebook page I created, contact me here or if on facebook, inbox me…thank you very much.
Have a great week everybody and be inspired
To God be the Glory
When I created a page for addictions and recovery, I didn’t know I was going to be receiving many guest articles and resources.
When I did a 2 months internship at the lone public psychiatric ward in Douala the economic capital of Cameroon, 90% of the youths I received had an addiction to something – call it sex, drugs, opiods with the choice one being Tramadol. The youngest I saw was 13 years old and already looked like he could beat me up. Actually tried to fight with the bouncer oh my.
So today, I want to share a resource/guide sent my way by Jake Belfry the Addiction Outreach Specialists over at Silvermist in the USA. Silvermist recovery is a Young Adult Addiction Treatment in Pennsylvania, who pride themselves in: “Inspiring Hope Through Empowerment, Fellowship and Recovery from Addiction”.
The guide is a downloadable PDF that can be save and printed for guidance.
Here are a few topics in the guide:
- Why Young People Use Opioids
- How Opioid Addiction and Dependence Develop
- Opioid Addiction is Treatable
My other long term goal, I think this one beats the goal to create an hospice with a kindergarden for inter-generational healing, is to build an addiction and recovery center. Needless to say there are barely a handful to be generous (I know only of 2 in my city) and am happy I can be inspired by what works elsewhere such as at Silvermist.
Recovery is possible, I have been working one on one with someone spent over a month at the hospital and has been sober for 3 months now. This is the longest they have been since the started using over a decade ago. They have been hospitalized 3 times already but we all hope this time was their last time.
If you or someone you know needs help with an addiction, especially our vulnerable youths exposed to just all sort of stuffs today, please reach out to someone or any of the many organizations available on the net.
I am ever grateful for all the submissions I receive especially those with a message of hope in their conclusion.
Keeping Your Head Up In Recovery
There’s no way around it: substance abuse is a terrible thing. Addiction sneaks into people’s lives and steals all they hold dear. Relationships are destroyed, careers are lost, and homes are trashed. Still, once someone makes the decision to start on the road the recovery, it’s important to keep a positive outlook despite all the damage that has been done. Here are a few tips on how to keep your head up when you feel like everything around you is falling down.
Eat, Sleep and Exercise
This tip is first on the list, because it’s so simple but so powerful. If you are eating badly and not getting enough sleep or physical exercise, you will feel worse, you will have less motivation (and more depression), and you will have much less of a chance of reaching your goals. To maximize your potential, you must eat in a healthy manner, get plenty of sleep so you feel well-rested, and develop a steady exercise routine so your body begins to get back in shape. When you feel better, you’ll have a better outlook and better behavior.
An Attitude of Gratitude
Attitude is a powerful tool that we often forget we have. You can’t always control the circumstances around you, but you can control how you respond to them. Staying positive in the midst of recovery will help you avoid relapse, allow you to find your happiness in places other than the substances you abused, and make it easier for others to help you. You can start on your road to positivity by making a list of things you’re grateful for. Focusing on gratitude for even simple things will get your mind in the right place and help you realize how many of your needs are actually met even when life is hard. As long as you’re breathing, you can show gratitude.
Dealing with Guilt and Shame
Guilt and shame are some of the hardest feelings you will have to face during recovery. Guilt and shame arise from your failure to live up to your values and moral standards. They will often become more pronounced as you move through recovery and clarity returns, helping you realize the reality of the mistakes you have made and the damage you have caused. You will have to face these feelings head on. Talk about them, confess them and seek forgiveness, both from yourself and those you have hurt.
As Swift River explains, “Getting to the root of your addiction will be a confusing and emotional experience, but understanding your substance abuse completely is an important step in conquering it. Additionally, marriage and/or family counseling can help facilitate healthy conversations with your loved ones and pave the way for stronger relationships.” Rebuilding these relationships is key to your positive attitude, and once you have begun this productive course of action, your guilt and shame will begin to fade as well.
Another way to stay positive is to get the focus off yourself by giving back to those in need in your community. Volunteering will help you connect with others, give you increased self-confidence and self-worth, and connect you with a bigger purpose. Whether you serve meals at a homeless shelter, help build a Habitat for Humanity house, or volunteer at an animal shelter, giving your time and attention to other causes is a noble endeavor with positive benefits. It will also help others begin to learn to trust you again.
Attitude can play a larger role than we know in substance abuse recovery. Staying positive by following the advice above is a great first step to full recovery from the effects of addiction. Stay grateful, keep your mind off your own circumstances, and focus on larger purposes than your own, and you’ll be well on your way.
Kimberly Hayes enjoys writing about health and wellness and created PublicHealthAlert.info to help keep the public informed about the latest developments in popular health issues and concerns. In addition to studying to become a crisis intervention counselor, Kimberly is hard at work on her new book, which discusses the ins and outs of alternative addiction treatments.
Photo from Pixabay