Over the last few days I have been deciding how I plan to deal with my brother’s suicide and how I would like to be involved in a large community near where I live. I met with a woman on Tuesday at the open house for a new mental health facility that opened in Redding, Ca. Here is a link to the article: http://anewscafe.com/2017/05/25/county-officials-mental-health-professionals-and-public-attend-open-house-of-new-mental-health-facility-in-redding/
It was exciting for me to hear about all of the many services this group of people is going to offer to Shasta County. I knew then that God was showing me how my life is going to change real soon. I signed up to be a volunteer. I will start out doing simple things at first such as answering phones or e-mails or helping with mailings. I also plan to begin attending meetings facilitated by the woman I met with. She facilitates meetings for friends and family members of people who completed suicide. It has been many years since I went to any kind of open recovery meetings such as this, but I am looking forward to it. I remember back in 1988 when I went to my first recovery meetings after I stopped drinking and using drugs. I felt very nervous and afraid. However, I am not that person anymore; I know what I need to deal with, I have good boundaries, and there is no pressure to share. I think just meeting new people and hearing other people’s stories will help me begin to deal with the unfortunate choice my brother made. I will have no problem sharing or talking, though, so I am sure I will. The next meeting isn’t until June 5th so I have some time to process all of it some more before then.
I have my first counseling meeting set up for June 2nd with a therapist I met a couple of months ago. I am also looking forward to talking with her. It has been a very long time since I went to a woman counselor which will be different. When I first went to counseling in 1988, I went to a woman. However, after several months, I felt really uncomfortable with her for some reason. So I stopped. I kept going to the ACA meetings, and then found a male counselor at the church I was attending at the time. I went to him for several years, and he was encouraging, safe, and the first man I ever felt connected with emotionally whom I knew I could trust. I grew a lot in those years, and he helped me through the transition of entering a second marriage which has been healthy and loving. My husband and I have been together since December of 1994. It has been quite a journey! And now we are looking toward the future when our nest is empty and he retires someday.
So as far as working with Hill Country Care Center, I am planning to take some time to get to know people, get a good feel of all of their services to the community, then possibly go through their Shasta Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) Academy which is a “FREE 65-hour certificate training program…designed to help people prepare for entry-level positions within the public mental health field and/or prepare them to become Peer Mentors.” (That is a quote from their brochure.)
It has been many years since I have taken any kind of classes, but I had already been thinking about something along these lines for the last year or so. I just had no idea I would find out about this wonderful care facility this way. So hopefully, as I said in my last post about my brother, something good will come from his death. It is possible that I may eventually get to use my writing and art to contribute to the creating of flyers, etc. So that is exciting for me, too.
Thank you to all of you who read my last post about the suicide of my brother. I appreciate all of your support, prayers, and comments more than you know. I am planning on keeping you updated on what I will be doing and learning as a volunteer in the mental health community.
I am still doing art and still plan to keep working on the picture books I’d like to write and illustrate, but for now it is just for fun. I am feeling like this other work is going to become more important to me for the time being, but the facility does also have a program where they train people to go into elementary schools and talk about suicide. Who knows? Maybe somehow, all of this will meld together into something beautiful. I sure hope so.
Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug! 🙂