In a funk

In a funk


Overall, since the last time I wrote, life has been good. I still enjoy working as a therapist at the jail. Yet, I noticed a few weeks ago, I didn’t feel like myself.

It started with me getting back on a dating site and I heard from a guy but I didn’t pursue it. I told him I was going out of town (which was true) and I’d contact him when I got back. I went to a music festival and had one of the BEST times of my life. I went by myself but met someone new each day so I had no worries about being alone.

I got back and had NO desire to contact the guy…he was decent looking. I think maybe why I didn’t pursue it was because he didn’t “wow” me with anything…it was a basic “how are ya” message.

Then, on Facebook, a couple of friends hung out without inviting me. I feel so middle schooler saying this but it hurt a little to see I didn’t get an invite. So I deleted my facebook profile and I am just trying to focus on me and the blessings I do have in life.

But see, here’s the craziest thing about depression: no matter how much someone has, a dark cloud can still follow him/her everywhere. It feels like just breathing can be difficult. Smiling seems fake and forced. With the suicide of Linkin Park’s lead singer (a band I never listened to but just spent the last couple of hours listening to them), it’s just SO sad…

I have had to do A LOT of POSITIVE self talk these past couple of weeks and remind myself there are still MANY good times ahead to have…Hopefully, I will find that someone I can spend my evenings with so I’m not alone most nights….And until then, what am I going to do??? Breathe….one moment at a time.


Meaning of Life

Meaning of Life


I was just trying to read and my mind kept going back to the patients I had this past week so I know I need to write. Writing is so therapeutic for me.

A patient who is still waiting to see how much prison time she is going to serve said if she has to spend more than 10 years in prison, she is going to commit suicide. I asked if she had family and she said her sister is her best friend. I said she could still love her sister while in prison. I asked why would she want to end her life because I bet it would devastate her family.  She shrugged and said “I’d just be taking up space.” I’m scared she is determined to end her life depending on her sentencing. And you know what’s really sad, I could hear some republicans say: “good for her…we don’t need to be wasting our tax dollars on her.”  I just bought Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning and I hope this will help give me some direction on where I can take my next therapy session with this patient.

Another patient I had knows she is going to serve 10 years in prison. She had children and her parental rights were terminated last year.  She talked about not knowing what to do now in life. We first talked about rather or not her children will come find her once they are 18. I believe most children have a curiosity on who their birth parents are and do go looking for them. This patient said: “Well if they did, what purpose would I have in their life?” I talked about how in our 20s it is all about discovering  the world and she could help guide them and let them learn from her mistakes. She then talked about if she succeeded in making changes to improve her life and became stable, wouldn’t her children be angry with her and ask why she couldn’t do it for them. Of if she stayed on the same path and continued to use drugs, would her children say: “You STILL haven’t changed?!?!?” I said it is important to change and allow your children to know that at any given time, we do have the capability to change.

The last patient I wanted to mention is someone I didn’t sit down and talk to but I was asked to check in with him. He was a 20 something year old male and had only spent a couple days in jail and was getting released. I asked what his plan was and he said he didn’t know. He said he would rather stay in jail because he would have a bed to sleep on and food to eat. This just broke my heart to hear…can you imagine being so hopeless you would rather stay in a jail?!?! I asked if he had tried the homeless shelters out and he said no because his goal is to not have to stay in one. I said there is nothing wrong in staying in a homeless shelter and it sounds like that is what you need to do for now. A Deputy said he talked to him earlier and the patient said he never had a mom and his dad was in prison.  As I was leaving, I saw the same Deputy talking to him and I bet you anything the Deputy was giving him some advice. I wish I was a fly on the wall and could have heard that conversation.

Hopes and dreams

Hopes and dreams

I am finally working full time at the jail and I am actually liking it more and more. The diversity of the patients I see every day is unbelievable. I think I’m getting better at figuring out who is not telling me the truth and who I can truly help.

I have to tell you the story of this patient because well, it’s a story worth telling.

This patient is pissed that he has a new therapist (I drive about an hour one day a week to see patients in a small town jail). He said he didn’t want to have to repeat his life story again.

Me: “You don’t have to, let’s focus on yesterday.”

Patient: “It sucked. I want to shoot my head off and that’s the first thing I’m gonna do when I’m released. You don’t need to worry about me cause I’m not going to do anything now!! I don’t want my soul to be tapped here.”

Me: “If that’s what you want to do then we should consider having you go to a psych hospital.”

Patient: “I’m not going to any fucking psych hospital!! I’ve been to the state hospital for 6 months before. They had me taking so much Seroquel I couldn’t even wipe my ass. You know why I’m at jail now? Because my fucking ankle bracelet malfunctioned! You talking about me needing to go to the psych hospital is gonna make me flip out! I don’t need meds. I’m now gonna stop taking Prozac which I agreed to take with the previous therapist.”

He finally stops talking. I know I need to refocus our conversation on something else…so I say: “Want to learn a little about me?”

I go on to tell him I used to be a librarian…and his face immediately softens…he breathes…we have a chance.

The following week we meet again. FYI, I looked to see if he did indeed stop taking his Prozac and he didn’t, he continued to take it daily. During the second session, he tells me about his abusive father. How one night his father found him in bed with a girl and grabbed him and kicked him down the stairs. Then kicked him off the porch. He goes on to talk about more abuse. No mention of his mom.

Here is a guy who probably has never known what it is to be loved. And so I asked my clinical supervisor this week if someone is never loved, how do they learn to have self love? My supervisor said if someone can talk about a dream, a hope, or something they want to accomplish, that shows self love. It shows that someone has  enough love to know that there is more to life than the life that they have experienced.

Does this patient have any dreams or hopes?? I didn’t get into that with him but I definitely plan to do so if we ever meet again.





I had a patient the other day that I continue to think about every so often.

He said he was adopted and never felt like he belonged. He tried to find his birth parents but found out they live in two different countries and they do not want to be contacted. He said he received a Bachelors and was a Chef but most recently was doing some other work. He said he has seen many therapists in his life and does not like therapy. He said one of his good friends had just committed suicide at the mental health agency in our town. He briefly touched on him being in jail and said he believes he was going to be released later that day or tomorrow so his charge was not serious. Yet, he said he is on probation for another three years and can’t wait to get out of Colorado and go back home to New Jersey.

And he looked sad…very sad and this is why I think of him now. That old saying how the eyes are the window to the soul I believe is totally true. I can tell by looking in someone’s eyes if I need to worry about them. And I worry about him.

What did I say? I talked about how depression lies; how sometimes people have to create their own family; self love is important; and there is always another option.  BUT see, even with me knowing all of this, I still get depressed. So, if this happens for me WITH all of my support and all of my knowledge; I just can’t imagine how shitty depression can be for some people and why I worry about them.

Our mind can be a brilliant gift or a horrible nightmare and if it’s the latter, life becomes so hard.

I didn’t know how to end this post until today…a friend posted the following quote that I want to share: “Sometimes the only way to let go of the darkness is to express it. Write it out. Paint or draw. Take photos. Do something when you feel the darkness. Make the darkness something that gives light. Real, bright, pure light.” -Teryn O’Brien. I also like the Zacharia quote…owning one’s sadness and then letting go I think is healthy and possible for most anyone.





Single life

Single life

It’s Saturday night and it’s just me and my furry kiddos. The norm for me which I’m totally OK with…I have had no interest in dating for the past year and it’s definitely a combination of interactions.

One is that a past client contacted me on an internet dating site. This probably happened about a year ago and I’m still a little scared to go back on any sites…lol.  I just went to see if I kept the messages he sent me but I didn’t so this is going to be a little vague since it happened so long ago.  He started his message writing about his unhappiness with another staff person at my agency. His complaint totally seemed legit so I told him that and that’s when he responded back suggesting we could hang out sometime.  I answered back saying that would not be professional of me to do so and I was now going to block him. Which I did and haven’t gone back to that site until tonight.

Then, I had my worst date ever which I did write about and you can find here: Worst Date Ever

And now while at the jail, I have patients/inmates wanting to write me when they either go to prison or are getting released from jail…Yep, lucky me.

I know having no interest in dating is not healthy.  I should get out there and start dating again. I do get on Tinder every few weeks (which I’ve done the last 6 months) but nothing has come from this site.

So this is my plan: it looks like I’m going to have to move soon…like in the next month or two. I have an interview on Tuesday in a town that would be fun to live in and which would be WAY bigger than the town I’m in now. I’ll move to a bigger town so the likelihood of me meeting a past client will be slim. I know this and because of this, it will get me out there looking again.

Good plan, right?!?! =)


What do you choose NOW?

What do you choose NOW?


Liz grew up with both parents drug addicts. They would spend their nights shooting up while Liz would watch. Hardly ever going to school, Liz talks about how she would be lucky if there was mayo and bread to eat. Liz’s mom gets AIDS and her dad goes to a homeless shelter when Liz is in junior high (Liz is still really not going to school). When 17, Liz realizes “If life could change for the worst, i thought, than maybe life could change for the better…it was possible I could change everything.” Liz went on to graduate from an alternative high school and then was accepted into Harvard and graduated from Harvard.

This is the story I’ve been telling my patients the last few days because this is the book I finished last week. It’s called Breaking Night by Liz Murray and it’s an amazing story.

And then I came across this quote the other day which I immediately saved and will share with patients: “A lot of people feel like they’re victims in life, and they’ll often point to past events, perhaps growing up with an abusive parent or in a dysfunctional family. Most psychologists believe that about 85 percent of families are dysfunctional, so all of a sudden you’re not so unique. My parents were alcoholics. My dad abused me. My mother divorced him when I was six…I mean, that’s almost everybody’s story in some form or not. The real question is, what are you going to do now? What do you choose now? Because you can either keep focusing on that, or you can focus on what you want. And when people start focusing on what they want, what they don’t want falls away, and what they want expands, and the other part disappears.” ― Rhonda Byrne