It's not what you are eating, it's what's eating you…

Archive for the ‘MENTAL HEALTH’ Category

How many MORE people are going to have to DIE , before we can talk about Opioid addiction and other addictions without STIGMA???

(Extremely important disclaimer: I’m NOT  a clinically trained professional. If you or someone you know is in acute medical or mental health crisis, PLEASE seek immediate/acute professional help, in an acute care facility.

Because this blog is about the fact that clinicians are only human and can be in crisis, too, this is WHY I’m pressing for honest dialogue in our society about the Opiate Epidemic and removing the stigma that exists that presents a barrier for so many people being able to get the help they need that hopefully, save their lives)

http://www.cnn.com/2017/5/24/us/drug-counselors-overdose/index.html

Most of my blogs, as of late, have had to do with the opioid epidemic. Some of the blogs, have been out of concern of the war on drugs, having a potential to harm those who use prescription opiates, responsibly, but as a last resort to treating severe chronic pain.

Some of them have included though, the very real crisis that we are in because of opioids both prescription and illegal opiates.

My very last blog (which was extremely wordy, even for me) , had to do with my getting labeled at a an appointment with a pain management specialist, who had labeled me, due to my mental health issues and that I had very temporarily abused opiates, both almost 9 years ago (for 5 days leading up to an intentional overdose with pain meds that had been prescribed for me) and almost 7 years ago for 2 days both situations involved both being in medical AND mental health crisis.

And I’ve discussed those issues ad nauseum, in previous blogs, quite a bit, since I’ve launched this blog, almost 4 years ago.

I also had mentioned in my last blog, that I had done an internet search on that physician, prior to that appointment almost 2 weeks ago and had found that pain management specialist I had seen, in addition to being “pro Butrans”, which I didn’t think was appropriate for me, neither did she, also had nearly had her own medical license suspended due to opioid addiction, less than 2 years ago. And had multiple conditions to be able to continue having her suspsension stayed, by not being able to prescribe controlled substances, let alone be in possession of them.

It was never my intent in my last blog to shame that provider. What I did find offensive, is my history being a barrier in my getting medical care, with bias, because I had been labeled PRIOR to ever being on opiates and as someone who has a very short history that I’m not usually believed by most providers, with temporary drug abuse, just because I have mental health issues and even BEFORE my mental health issues were diagnosed in my late 30’s, just because I was a bariatric surgical patient.

The above link on my blog, that I just came across tonight, was about 2 drug counselors in a addiction facility who overdosed on heroin/fentanyl combination in Pennsylvania on Monday.

I have never not known or acknowledged that the Opioid Epidemic, not only is a VERY real crisis, not just nationally but globally, but that clinically trained medical and mental health professionals, whether they are physicians, drug counselors or any kind of practicing clinician, also can be patients with the propensity to have serious addiction problems that can be fatal, just like to any other human being.

Also, I’ve said as a mental health activist who’s also written multiple blogs about murder/suicide, what I talk about is, NOT the means of how people choose to kill themselves and MURDER others , but the desire to kill to begin with.

It’s not to minimize when I bring up gun control initiatives when talking about that. I say, with being crystal clear, that I’m not a medically or mental health clinically trained professional and/or in public safety or law enforcement professional, that taking away the weapon of choice, isn’t getting to the heart of the matter, when it comes to these tragic deaths.

That if people want to kill, if they can’t get a gun, there are many other ways that they can and WILL find to kill people.

The same applies to drugs, when it comes to addiction. If people even start out honestly because of severe chronic pain or any kind of severe pain, such as surgical or due to an accident  and whether or not,  it becomes their gateway to drug addiction and/or they just go straight to illegal drugs for emotional and or mental health health pain and find a dealer, unfortunately, it’s not always predictable who will find themselves in crisis of life ruining, if not life ending consequences due to that addiction.

Or ANY type of addiction and that’s one of the  the points of this blog. If we can’t talk about the multiple ways and multi-faceted reasons that play into addiction, honestly without stigma, whether it be drugs, alcohol, tobacco, food, social media/internet/phone that present potential for abuse, addiction, the risk to public safety/personal health threats on humans and the fatalities that are occuring , we don’t have a prayer of reducing them.

It’s becoming obvious and it doesn’t take a clinically trained professional to state, that you can’t legistlate away addiction, it can make it only slightly harder to get drug of choice, it doesn’t take away the propensity for addiction, away.

Unfortunately, while it’s a lot easier to identify what barriers we are experiencing as a society when it comes to these threats, it’s a lot harder to find out what it’s going to take to make inroads in reducing addiction and both accidental and intentional overdoses.

But we  can’t just continue to believe it’s the epidemic itself, that’s killing so many people and/or ruining their lives.

Because the truth is, the STIGMA  and reluctance to have an open and honest dialogue is equally to blame.

This can’t continue to be a “don’t do drugs” or “ban all drugs” conversation, as prevention initiatives just aren’t working for so many. I’m in no way discounting them. They have value, it’s just not enough.

It has to become, why we are a globally, humans who can be prone to addictions of different natures that can be life ruining and life ending for almost anyone and everyone, which almost all of us, know someone who’s life has been ended too soon or ruined due to addiction, as well as loved ones who are effected by these crisies.

How many people are going to have to die, until the dialogues start and more initiatives are in place for study of, evaluation and better treatment options of disease of addiction themselves that don’t have the potential to lead to other addictions or other potential serious medical/mental health issues????

Note: I’m hoping this starts an honest dialogue to help. I always appreciate differing opinions if shared respectfully and responsibly.

Any comments that could be potentially triggering or are not constructive, will NOT published.

(Edit Note: Unfortunately, slight edits that were made before publishing didn’t take when blog was posted. It didn’t effect greatly my intention with this blog, just clarifying that I apologize that, it wasn’t as clear as intended it to be, from the start but also with the fact for new readers, I am a disabled blogger who writes about disabilities, in addition to topics like this one, that I feel passionately about)

“MD-PTSD”….When doctors do more harm than help…

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and I hoped that the next blog that I would write, would be in the realm of activism regarding mental health,  not talking about another devastating encounter with a new physician.

I admit that I  not an easy patient to treat. As I’ve said in previous blogs that my disabilities make it hard to express myself in logical sequence of order and in complete thought processes, which can make me difficult to understand.

It’s compounded a bazillion times, between anxiety, due to the fact I do have mental health issues, I have temporarily abused drugs, twice, in my life, that I’m quite forthcoming in this blog about that and the labeling I’ve experienced.

I had seen my long term PCP 2 weeks ago. Because we were at an impasse with my medication management, I had agreed to see a pain management specialist to give insight to the both of us, of what would be the best course of action.

As my physician didn’t feel comfortable increasing my dosages and I metabolize meds or have bad side effects to so many medications.

Or they just don’t work at all.

I was able to get into pain management today. I had anxiety of course, which I explained and it was hard for me to be concise.

While the pain management specialist was forthcoming about that she didn’t necessarily agree with my medication regimen, she didn’t agree or understand that after all the doctor visits I’ve had in my life, in the last 10 years between mental health and my gastric bypass complications, that I at this point didn’t want to see a bunch of doctors again and because of the severity of side effects from so many drugs, I didn’t want to try any new medications.

Nor did I want to be taken off the medications that I was currently on.

It was a long intake appointment with the understanding that while she didn’t agree with my being on opiates, that she’d leave that up to my long term PCP and she said, very clearly, that  she wouldn’t interfere with that.

So I did shoot off my prescribing physician, a few hours after I got home, a message of what transpired in my visit with her, while it was fresh in my mind, as I knew that it wasn’t a stellar visit for either one of us.  I detailed what she agreed with my physician, and of her urging me to be under the care of clinical mental health professionals and follow pain management modalities .

Unfortunately for me, I took her at her word that she said she would NOT interfere with my doctor continuing on my current medication regimen. That she appreciated as a pain management specialist, that I am concerned between having mental health issues, that I don’t want to have addiction issues and I would rather not be medicated at all for pain then risk addiction and becoming either a prescription drug addict or trying street drugs, something I’ve never done.

I try to treat myself, from a patient perspective, because I have an addictive personality and mental illness, of knowing that could be the case and it’s a mixed blessing that opiates don’t work as well as they should, because if they did, my circumstances could be a whole different story, and I’d have full blown addiction issues, which I don’t, but it’s nothing short of a miracle that I don’t.

Things that I’m completely honest about. Among other humiliating things in my life.

So imagine my surprise, after shooting my long term physician,  a recap of my visit, tonight, then deciding to check out my after visit summary from my appointment this afternoon, that not only did she think I was somewhat a mentally unstable non compliant  hypochondriac but that she was recommending I get taken off my medications.

Which is a complete contradiction and LIE, from with her at the end of my appointment clearly telling me that she would not interfere with my medication management being done by my long term provider.

Unfortunately for me, it’s my word against hers, a physician.

I’ve had doctors tell me, straight out,that they think I’m a drug addict. I’ve had ER docs when I’d be in the ER for my gastric bypass complications, at Fairview University Medical Center,  even bringing my meds and being compliant with controlled substances, having a ton of them, in their bottles, of them thinking I was drug seeking, when I wasn’t looking for drugs, but diagnostics such as with the pesky intractable projecile vomiting blood due to my ulcers both prior to gastric bypass reversal and after it.

Just based upon the fact I was a bariatric patient with my one and only suicide attempt, trying to use controlled substances to intentionally overdose, that’s explained on my 1st blog on here, in greater detail .

As well as being honest about an inability to be compliant on non controlled substances like ibuprofen (which I didn’t take much of prior to my gastric bypass reversal or of meds like Imitrex, PPIs, and meds in other therapy classes, other than controlled subtances, because I metabolize medications so bizarrely).

Which I’ve been quite forthcoming with providers as well on this blog. There are shades of grey, with patients’s prescription drug use. I’m obviously not compliant with most meds, it’s impossible to be, because my tolerance to so many meds, in so many therapy classes, not just with narcotics, is so high. But I by no means habitually abuse controlled substances, something that she said herself and somewhat congratulated me for, towards the end of my appointment.

Both unfortunately for me and HER, the pain management specialist I saw today,  I did do a Google search before my appointment, to get an idea of her medication philosophies (usually pro Butrans, something she thought I should consider, but apprently not, given her recommendation to my long term provider).

I also found that she nearly had her OWN license suspended due to drugs. Almost 2 years ago and the conditions of her “stay of suspension”, so that she could keep practicing medicine. Her conditions of being able to retain her license, which she is now under, is the fact she can’t be in possession or write a script for controlled substances for 5 years, in addition to other requirements for her to retain her  license and/or be eligible to apply for losing those conditions.

I don’t take any satisfaction in that. Both as a patient and as an advocate who’s trying to de-stigmatize and create dialogue about drug addiction amongst both providers and patients.

As well as in doing all the research I had to do past blogs, as a medical activist, as well as make an informed decision about my medication management I’ve thought about discussing physicians who struggle with drug addiction and trying to de-stigmatize that, too.

Because I fully am aware and sensitive to the fact, that physicians are patients, too.

It’s absolutely  NOT  okay, what I was put through today by her. It’s now going into a weekend.  I can’t talk about this to my own provider, until early next week. I did write a scathing message to the pain management specialist about her lie, and I am now  going to  be filing a grievance against her with the hospital system. And also against the hospital system, themselves.

Which I’ve talked about “md-ptsd” and I have filed one grievance before, with that hospital, which is in another blog.

I’m just beyond stunned, of  the hypocrisy that the hospital has, as well as that provider. They have a a more stringent standard of expectations on their patients, that they don’t even have for their OWN physicians. As it’s a travesty that my suicide attempt and being mentally ill, that history is held against me, apparently for the rest of my life by any provider, but her own isn’t?

How is that ethically fair? To not only as me, as a patient but any other patient who is seeing this physician, have any chance to be treated ethically and honestly, as she has bias, in addition to her own mental health issues and addiction issues  that create an inability for her to be effective of in providing fair  care to her patients.

Especially, especially, ESPECIALLY given the specialty she’s treating patients….

Lisa definition of “md-ptsd” (a “Lisaism” you won’t find in DSM V) – extreme psychological and physical distress of seeing clinically trained medical and mental health physicians, due to my being labeled as drug seeking hypochondriac, post epic mental health breakdown and suicide attempt in 2008. But I have also mentioned that I was drug tested prior to being put on opiates, during ER visits, since I had my gastric bypass.

So now, it’s made my “md-ptsd” expotentially  worse. I don’t love when doctors treat me like crap. That’s why I rarely seek medical attention, any longer. What I usually did in the past with unpleasant encounters when I’m being treated clearly with bias, due to having mental health issues, is I leave. I’ve left ER visits, including ones that I needed further attention. I’ve left appointments in the middle of a visit. I can be mean and not mince words, when doctors treat me like an unstable drug seeking hypochondriac, but I only use words and leave, if I’m going to be reactive (which most of the time, I’m NOT) . That’s it.

You want an example of that? Certainly. I’ll say to a doctor when they come off condescencingly and judgemental that I’m a mentally unstable and drug seeking hypochondriac with maybe other bias towards me (such as weight and being a cigarette smoker) that I’ll say “Wow, I didn’t know Walmart had a school of medicine!!!”.

I’m appalled and devastated, though that a pain management specialist with her own drug problems would do that to a patient who admitted everything I’ve said in this and in past blogs, would lack empathy and lie to me.

I’m devastated that I can’t trust most  doctors not to label me for the rest of my life, given my complicated issues with compliance of non controlled substances due to how bizarrely I metabolize most medication or have severe side effects.

I’m incensed as an activist that other patients might have gone through this and they don’t have a voice. I know almost 9 years ago, when I was acutely suicidal and in so much physical pain and had mentally disintergrated, that  I didn’t have a voice and no support. I write this blog, so that other patients don’t nearly lose their lives from being treated this way or have themselves AND their care compromised due to bias.

I’m hoping that if anyone has gone through this, they will message me privately, if they don’t feel comfortable commenting on my blog.

But I am going to fight back, an ethical fight. By filing a grievance and while I said in my very concise message to her that I hope she loses her license, I hope really she learns from this and at least gets reprimanded.

Although if she doesn’t learn from what she did to me today and has done that to other patients, maybe she should NOT be practicing medicine, any longer.

Because no mentally ill and medically disabled patient who’s been as forthcoming with providers, should have to go through what I keep going through with most physicians.

Actually, it’s been my hope as an activist and blogger, for years,  to encourage honest dialogue between patients and providers, whether mental illness is a factor or NOT, that patients aren’t necessarily penalized with non compliance of ANY medication.

Not only does that increase the risk of patients LYING to their doctors, if they are abusing drugs, it puts them at risk of getting involved with street drugs and the risk of safety and or accidental overdose and addiction to them.

And I didn’t fight so hard to stay alive and try to retain what’s left of my sanity, to let a doctor do something so unconscionable like what was done to me, today (It’s still  5-12-2017 in MN), but I’m going to try that some greater good comes out of it.

For both patients AND providers.

Not just for myself, but for many patients who experience bias and compromised medical and mental health care because of bias that physicians carry due to mental illness and other still stigmatized patient disorders.

Wish me luck…

Note: I have no problem publishing differences of opinions, if stated respectfully. And unfortunately my normal disclaimer of “seeking professional clinical trained professional guidance when in medical or mental health crisis”  doesn’t apply, because I’m not at that point but I’m seriously distressed that my anxiety is in overdrive and my medical care has been compromised by a doctor that knew fully my history and lied to me that way.

Especially given how vulnerable I was due to my medical health issues at that appointment and my mental health issues, as it was difficult for me to get to that appointment with my barriers, as I was exhausted physically and mentally frazzled due to some scary encounters on 2 crappy local buses and walking part of the way in the sun, which I have photophobia.

Again, I own what’s multiply frustrating by me, for ANY provider, including the most non biased clinical professional, of what it’s like to treat me. I’m not a fun patient to treat and I can get defensive. I’m wordy and all over the place. But I tell new providers that those are my barriers, from the start.

And the truth is, most patients are vulnerable, in some way, when seeing a provider, especially given all the factors that played in my visit.

Also,  I don’t believe all doctors are bad. Largely due to my long term physician, where we have a stance to agree to respectfully disagree, given what I’ve been through with mental health and having weight issues even with my needing a gastric bypass reversal.

And I realize other Fairview medical professionals who I know are excellent and ethical physicians, as well as other physicians from different hospital systems both locally and globally.

But regardless of a terrible experience with a doctor, I’m going to ALWAYS recommend that if a patient-provider relationship is not working for a patient, that they try to get help from another provider, whether in acute crisis or not.

Just please forgive me for being kind of a hypocrite about not being too terribly excited about seeing new doctors, in the short term, given my circumstances.

Also note: Unfortunately, I had to do some major editing, 10 hours after I first published  this, because I was so frazzled between being in a lot of physical pain and heightened anxiety, which was was made so much worse, after her saying one thing to me and a few hours later, she completely saying another, as far as her final recommendation would be, made this not as clear as I would’ve liked.

This still isn’t clear, due to the fact I am a disabled blogger who writes about disability and bias. But I feel like I’ve honestly and better presented a fair description of what I go through as patient, but at the same time, being fair with providers who have to treat me.

Cause if it didn’t happen during the social media era, it didn’t happen, RIGHT?

ats111

http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/video-paris-landmarks-hyperlapse?xid=soc_socialflow_facebook_tl

The above link, just showed up on my newsfeed on Facebook. And wow, Paris has sure changed in the last 19 years, since I’ve been there.

I’ve been kinda quiet on social media, since I’ve come home from Las Vegas, other than my blogs I wrote, last week.

And it was 2 weeks ago, that I left for Las Vegas. And while I put a lot of my trip in check-in, pictures and comments on Facebook, for many reasons, one primary reason, stands out, to most who know me well.

So, that I actually remember my own trip to Las Vegas.

And how my adventures there, made me feel.

Having strange long term and short term memory issues, and knowing that I have that, is a very mixed blessing.

While most people give me credit for adventures that I’m willing to go on, as well as share,  being a complex medically, mentally and cognitively disabled chick, they also know I spend an enormous amount of time, at home, alone.

Most of my time spent, is trying to keep the memories I have, of my life when I had my children, living with me. My son turns 23 on Friday, and I’ve been a mother for over 1/2 my life, now.

WOW!!!

My feeling and loving them as a mother, DID NOT change when our addresses, unfortunately, did, 7 years ago.

I was on the phone, yesterday morning and was speaking to someone about a volunteer opportunity, that I might be eligible to do.

And I was trying to explain the events in my life and sum up my life, in a 40 minute telephone conversation.

And that was hard to do. The person I was on the phone, was nice about it and I understood that the questions that were asked, were necessary.

I was trying to convey of how blindsided I was about how the events in my life, changed in the last 10 years. That while I still tried to live a life with purpose and meaning, and be grateful that I was still alive, that I’m always going to have to refer to my past, as far as the best years of my life, were concerned.

Not my present, not my future, no matter what I do in my life, to try and make it meaningful for myself and for others.

So while I can still smile, when I talk about that time that I went on a business trip to London, and Princess Diana was on my plane (something I reference both on Facebook and my blog on occasion and I also took the Eurostar to Paris) in June of 1996, the fact that Zachary, my eldest,  had a mother who could take time off from work to bring birthday treats, to school, will always be a bigger deal, to me. Volunteered for every holiday party, in his elementary school career, as well as took him on vacations.

But the day to day stuff with my children, when they lived with me, has meant the most.

The fact that I could get my 2 children who were 10 1/2 years apart, that I was raising by myself to 2 different daycares, and worked full time, drove a car, maintained a household, then was still as I was getting sicker, still planning on starting my own business, 10 years ago,  the irony that I can’t do any of that, any longer, when people used to tell me they didn’t know how I did so much, is so far, NOT  lost on me. When I saw my daughter briefly the other day, she was shocked that she didn’t know that she had been out of our state, when she was younger and I was able to tell her about when we went to Florida and Wisconsin Dells, when she was a toddler.

It makes me profoundly sad, that my children had two different mothers, in me. And that she loves me so much, even though she has no expectations of me.

It’s just what is lost on me, and in me, that HAUNTS me. I know how lucky I am to have children, I know how lucky I am that everyone I love the most, is still alive.

I can’t escape the irony, either, that as hard as it is, to try and remember anything significant, that my writing is getting slightly better, even if my memory isn’t.

I go back to my old blogs and it’s “TL:dr” situation for me. With my OWN writing. Nothing has changed though in the last almost 2 1/2 years that I launched my blog, as a disabled writer, other than I try my hardest to be a little more concise.

People ask, on occasion, what would I do, if I could go back and change the past, what I’d do differently. Sometimes they are asking about whether or not, I’d have my gastric bypass, again. Some people will insensitively ask, whether or not I regret having my children (I don’t answer the latter question, I just look at people in HORROR, and it’s enough for them to know that it’s so not appreciated).

I can’t honestly say that there is anything that I would’ve done differently, given my circumstances and skill sets, at the time that I experienced anything from wonderful to horrific.

Not that it matters, I can’t go back and change anything and that’s something I’ve learned to make my peace with.

I have to say, for someone who at the age of 45 1/2, while most of my significant life, is over and was over before a billion people have decided to hang out on Facebook, I’m still not OVER.

So if you wondered why I pick and choose certain things to highlight  in my “social media” life, I hope this makes more sense now. I hope it makes more sense of why I’m pretty much the same, in my “offline” life, as I am online. And why I choose to live such a transparent life, but that I take breaks from social media, often (another blog specific to that, will be written, soon) and need my privacy and being reclusive, too…

For someone who never took anyone or anything for granted, I still will always struggle with my current circumstances, even though I know that life could be and definitely has been, much worse.

And it will be worse again, so I know that the universe doesn’t need to take that, as a challenge.

Just hopefully I’ll retain what I have in memory and skill sets, to get through it.

So, while I can’t say I’ll always have memories of London, Paris, Las Vegas, NYC, Miami and Fort Lauderdale given my memory issues, it’s what happened in my life, in Plymouth, Minnesota, that meant the most  to me(my children and I lived in Plymouth,MN other than 3 years, when Zachary was a toddler that we lived in New Hope, MN).

And I’m grateful to know the difference that the relevance of my life, past, present and future, isn’t based upon the relevance of it to another, especially a stranger or someone who doesn’t have my best interest at heart, on social media.

Happy 2nd Birthday, unstapledlisa!!!! And……..

My blog turns 2, today!!!

The blog that I have to say, I didn’t ever think I’d ever get up the courage to write it, even though I’ve done the activism that’s on here, in various forms, since I started actively participating on social media, since January of 2010.

The blog that while I don’t get paid for it and it doesn’t have a high readership, somehow though, makes its way to people who need it and who it helps them. So everything that my children and I went through 7+ years ago, as far as the bad and the heartbreaking, wasn’t all in vain.

I’ve made mention that I actually did join Facebook, after not being online for a year, in August of 2009. I also have made mention, that I had NO IDEA, of what Facebook was, as I was still in the mental health system, after my suicide attempt. And I was quite medicated at that time.

Which today is the 7th anniversary of my suicide attempt. And I didn’t wake up with a great amount of trepidation, as I have on this date, like I have in the past.

Even if there is a recurrent theme, that I haven’t made peace with my past, I’ve still decided to move forward. I may not decide to move forward as far as my children are concerned, meaning, that I’m ALWAYS going to be stuck in the past, and heartbroken, that I couldn’t raise them, to adulthood or be what they needed the last few years they were with me. But I constantly dwell on my past life with my children, just so I don’t lose any more memories of them.

But, I don’t live in my past, anymore. Nor do I let it define me. Or limit me.  Other than what naturally my own disabilities limit me, and I only let them limit me, to an extent.

And  on this 7th anniversary of my suicide attempt, that I survived, as I still was quite sick, medically, certain things bear mentioning, of where I was 7 years ago,  as well as since then, as I can’t even edit my early blogs or even some of my recent ones.

So I’ll recap it for you, in case you missed it.

7 years ago, I woke up in the afternoon, not thinking I’d survive my attempt to overdose on narcotics. I ended up on a psych ward for 34 days (I was on a medical floor the first night under a suicide watch and had an aide who watched me until they moved me to the psych ward). I ended up during that period of time, when on the psych ward, of nearly being committed to a long term mental health hospital.  Instead I ended up in group homes for an additional 15 1/2 months. But I had to go through commitment hearings, which in the end, they “stayed” the commitment but made me a legal ward of the State for 6 months.

But I lost my freedom for 508 days. Which comes out to as 1 year, 4 months and 20 days.

It NEVER gets old, as much in ability that I lost, of what in the most basic of freedoms, that I have now, that I didn’t have in that period of time, even though I was quite medically sick due to gastric bypass complications and spent time in the hospital for ulcers, while still in the group home, that I was in, for the last year  I was in the MH system.

I had nothing, though, in that period of time. Literally some clothes, a few knicknacks that  I was able to grab from my apartment, when I first got out of the psych ward and was in the 1st group home, which was a 90 day intensive behavior treatment group home. I had some clothes and my father gave me an old little tv with a built in VCR..

Which would be all of the possessions I’d have, during the duration of my stay in the mental health system.

I remember in August of 2009, my hearing for my SSDI. That it helped to hear the judge be outraged of what I was put through, as well as what my children were so unnecessarily put through HELL  and was deciding in my favor. I do remember joining Facebook, as I said above, also in August of 2009, but not having any idea of what it was, from my local library, which is the current library I now use. But I still had very little hope, and it seemed to take  forever from the judge ruling in my favor, to get my SSDI and to get my backpay, that would allow me to move out on my own.

It NEVER gets old though, the freedoms I got back. Even with all the abilities that I lost. I woke up this morning, didn’t have to worry about waking up in time to make breakfast, at the group home, which was served early in the morning. And their food was crappy. Or getting woken up by a certain time, to take meds, that it would be proved later on, that had very little therapeutic benefit but that I had serious physical consequences, such as my ulcers getting worse.

It NEVER gets old that I choose what I want to eat. That I have medications that I’m allowed to take, for pain and anxiety and I choose when to take them, no one makes that choice for me. That I can come and go as I please. No one can say where I can go and how long I can be gone for. Which is something I had to deal with, until I moved out on my own.

It NEVER shocks to fail me, the irony, that 2 years after my suicide attempt, that I’d be fighting to stay alive, in August of 2010, trying not to die of a g.i. bleed. That I’d get back my freedom after being in the system so long, to spend most of that time on campus or inpatient due to my complications from my gastric bypass getting worse. That I was waiting 5 years ago, trying to hold on, until my gastric bypass reversal. That while my gastric bypass reversal saved me from acutely dying, I didn’t know 5 years ago, as I hoped I’d get my children back, after I healed from it. However it took me a long time internally to heal. And I was still quite sick, 4 years later, in August of 2011. With projectile vomiting blood and still having abdominal pain, which I had, both after my reversal and for the following year. As well as other medical health issues.

I didn’t know that getting the Mirena IUD, in November of 2011, would be another potential fatal health issue for me. But one I wouldn’t recognize for another 15 months, which I at that point was on the verge of having a stroke, in March of 2013,  still haven’t ruled out a TIA and because I have the issues I do, of when seeing new doctors. Whether they be acute care or specialists.

I NEVER made mention though, in this blog or to very many people , of the nervous breakdown, that I had again, in Winter of 2013. Not knowing what Mirena was playing into that, as well as personal circumstances, getting really bad for me, where I’m choosing not to go into detail of the specifics, but I found myself technically homeless in late 2012 and losing friends closest to me, that was not within the realm of my control. And right  after moving to my current apartment, the enormous amount of physical pain and emotional pain I was in, led me to self isolate, for self protection. Because I knew that if I couldn’t rein it in, that I even if I’d survive physically what I was going through, I’d be mentally in a place, where not only would it be worse, then it was in 2007/2008, but that I wouldn’t recover from it, and I had fought too hard to stay alive, to lose anymore of my abilities and my freedom.

I can’t go into every minute detail, of my life, in the last 7 years. Where the above has major relevance is that being medically complex like I am, certain things, like pregnancy, a perfectly performed gastric bypass, an IUD, things that women go through well, if not thrive afterwards, nearly kills me.

But the relevance, psychologically is even greater. Because what I will do or say as an activist and what I’m willing to do personally, is conflicting. In someways it makes me a hypocrite, but understandably so. I didn’t psychiatric help when I had my nervous breakdown in Winter of 2013. I did everything I could, for the few people who were still in my life, to hide it.

Because I was terrified of ending back in the mental health system. Keep in mind, that I had no prior psychiatric history before 7 years ago. I had my 1st psychiatric hospitalization,  about 2 weeks before my suicide attempt, exactly 7 years ago. But because I honestly didn’t expect to survive my suicide attempt, let alone have to suffer the repercussions of it, with  losing my freedom for so long, I understand better than anyone, who may have multiple reasons of NOT seeking mental health treatment, when in personal mental health crisis.

And while as an activist, I try to push for those to get help. I understand better than anyone, the fears they have of getting help. Because it’s not impossible for me or a few like me, where they ended up in the mental health system, and they could NOT get out of it.

And there’s NO way that I’m EVER going to lose my freedom like that, EVER AGAIN. But I can say as an activist, if your depression is going to possibly be fatal to you, you don’t have any freedom, when you are a prisoner of your mental health issues and have NO peace of mind. The last thing I’d want to do as an activist and advocate, is for someone in fear of losing their freedom of choice, lose their lives, because their mental health issues ended up being fatal for them.

With that being said, what am I going to do today, to celebrate, if anything? Not sure, yet.  But I celebrate my freedom and what the little my life is, everyday. I never take it for granted. And it never fails to delight me, as sad as I am that the best part of my life is over, as far as being a proactive mother who could work and drive and I have NO guarantee that I’m not going to get sicker mentally or physically, I take each day as it comes.

Sometimes that means, I still stay at home, because I’m too physically sick and in too much pain to go outside. My choice. I still have the choice, as I’ve said before, to do that. As well as choose what I eat, medications I take. I don’t share a television with 50 people, anymore. I have my own smart tv. I have this laptop that I can blog from as well as stay as connected or not as connected as I like, with some amazing people I’ve met due to social media, in over the last 5 years. I can read a book or a magazine from a tablet. I can take pictures with a smartphone, that I didn’t even know they existed 7 years ago, just like I didn’t know Facebook did.

I can choose to go out and while I’m not rolling in money, I’m not living on $100 a month, either. I can go out to lunch, see a movie. Go shopping for cute clothes. I can do that on my own,  while even though it’s challenging with my cognitive disabilities, I am up for the challenge and embrace it.

I know now that even if I’m not the same fitness freak I was, 10 years ago, that I can go for an 8 mile walk. I can walk by the old group home I used to live at, which is only 2 miles away and know that I’ll fight for what my best mental and medical health looks like. And that NOBODY will ever have that kind of power over me again like they did between August of 2008 to the end of December of 2009.

I’ll fight the good fight, for what I believe is wrong that happens to other people who don’t have a voice. I’ll fight the good fight that needs to happen, so that people who are shamed for their disabilities, for how they look like, for being bullied for any reason, have a voice and realize that they aren’t alone, and other people not just me, cares. And that while all this advocacy and activism I do now, wasn’t something I planned on doing, 10 years ago, it’s something I’m MEANT to do, now. And I do it, extremely well.

I know now, that I am no longer a victim. And I am doing more than just surviving. But at the same time, I’ve also been hurtful to others.  And while I’m still not an angel, I try not to think too much about those who don’t have my best interest at heart. And I will try in my unconventional relationship with my children, that they always know I love them more than anything, and that I try to support them, as best as I can, currently.

And what was amazing about our lives together as small bonded loving family, is always honored. That what was bad when things were at the worst for me, didn’t happen in vain. That by talking about it, as an activist, helped other families not only get help that they need, but that they didn’t lose their beloved parent due to medical or mental health crisis. Or parents of adult children, who have adult children in medical and/or mental health crisis,  that I’ve helped support and help them gain a better understanding, that this wasn’t anything within the realm of their control, let alone their children.

I’m NEVER going to say that I was grateful for all these unneeded learning lessons. But I am choosing to the best of my ability, to not only survive them, when near fatal, but live my life. And celebrate everyday of what’s good about my life, the people and my circumstances, which aren’t a nightmare anymore, while allowing myself to be sad, of what’s still bad about it. And be proud of myself that I’m not bitter. Just at times, really remorseful.

Happy 2nd birthday, unstapledlisa!!! And a big thank you to whoever or whatever was looking out for me, that I didn’t die exactly 7 years ago. Or 5 years ago. Or 2 1/2 years ago.

Life ain’t grand but it’s good. And I’m eternally grateful for what it is, what it isn’t and who I have that I love the most…

The CONSEQUENCES of NOT letting go of “The One That Got Away”…………..

Yoda

” Yes, the heart will want what it wants. And who it wants.  Even if it’s someone in the distant past. But not only will that continue to cause one pain, longing for someone they can’t have. However it’s NOTHING to the pain that YOU will cause, if you’ve decided to use another to distract yourself from the pain of not having the person that you truly want to be with, but in the meantime have secured someone who absolutely adores you, but doesn’t have a prayer of being anything but a pleasant distraction and/or diversion. No one can promise “forever”. But don’t go into a relationship by not forewarning another, if  one’s heart is NOT completely free, to love another,from the very start ” …. AJK/UnstapledLisa  7-14-2015


Katy Perry-“The One Who Got Away”

http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/when-the-one-who-got-away-found-me-on-facebook-wcz/

I have insomnia and so I’m Facebook binging, in the wee hours of this morning, when above blog link shows up in my newsfeed. And at first I was reluctant to read it. While I don’t blog much about romantic relationships, given the fact I am in one, with someone who’s pretty private, doesn’t mean I don’t have opinions and/or it’s a topic that I don’t want to discuss. Especially when it comes to the topic of ” the one who got away” or exes who end up reuniting via Facebook, even though they had long committed themselves to another.

It’s also actually not a topic that I’m the most rational about. For multiple reasons.  A lot of them are justifiable. And I’ll do my best to explain, for those who don’t have a voice, of what it’s like to be with someone, when this is of an issue.

For the longest time, I blamed my inability to be in a serious relationship with a quality person, based upon my weight. I however found out, shockingly, that when I was thin, after my gastric bypass, that I had NO better luck with dating and being treated right in romantic relationships.

If you’ve read my past blogs, it doesn’t take someone with a doctorate in Psychology to know that I have self esteem issues. While I’ve dated a variety of men and sometimes in great quantity, most of them had something in common.

They got involved with me, as a distraction to get over someone else. Something that I was NEVER told about, in the beginning of a relationship and if I was lucky, for closure purposes, would find out, at the end. Or maybe years later.

I have had men, who I did truly care about, that I did seriously date, both fat and thin,  before the era of Facebook, come back and apologize, during  the era of Facebook, saying that they were sorry that they never told me that their heart had been given away by them, to someone else, that they couldn’t have, before me and that I didn’t have a prayer, when I was dating them.

I had more than one man, say that, as well as thank me, for unknowingly being able to find good things about them, tell them that, as well as show them that I cared,  that helped them heal (I, of course can’t take all the credit, they had to be ready to let go)  and were able to freely love the next woman who came along. That happened to me several times.

While I thanked those men, who had the courtesy to do that. It  just was  way too little and  WAY too late. But ultimately, I had to find my own closure, and I’ll explain that as I go along, in this blog.

Because the truth is, no one can give you closure, it’s something you have to give yourself.

And in my case,  for someone who’s nearly died multiple times in their lives, the only relationship failure that I refuse to let go of, is that as a mother of my children. Who will ALWAYS be the love of my life.  While I wasn’t looking for a serious relationship when I met my boyfriend, he was appropriately warned that love was hard for me, given my past  history with relationships, but mostly because of what happened with my children and I. I, however warn most people about this, so I don’t hurt them, as far as my medical and mental health issues being a barrier for me to be there for anyone, all the time.

Not just in romantic relationships.

That given the fact, I didn’t think I’d live to see the consequences of my suicide attempt OR my near death experiences with my gastric bypass complications (I also nearly died 2 1/2 years ago due to the IUD, Mirena. That’s a topic for another blog, though) , that life post suicide attempt and in 2010 with my gastric bypass reversal, made me keep people at arms length. That I NEVER wanted to ever hurt anyone, like I hurt my children, or the heartache I have, of loving them, but not having day to day with relationship with them, that I used to have.

He however was informed of that major tidbit about me,  by our 2nd date. When I originally wasn’t even looking for a serious relationship,for that reason, to begin with.

I’m not saying I’ve been an angel. But this is the problem when people are hurt by falling for people they don’t have a prayer with. Then add that some people don’t know they have mental health issues. Actually the majority of people will have some kind of mental health issue, at one time or another in their life.  And in my case, add in self esteem issues from lifelong bullying, that I have at times, both in romantic and platonic contexts (as well as obviously maternally and familial) have hurt innocent people.  And luckily due to social media, I was able to apologize, if they were in my past. As well as apologize, in person,  to those I love the most.

While all my circumstances as a whole aren’t relatable to the masses of people who have love issues, some of them, actually MOST of them, are.

So back to the above blog link. Which is excellent and not as triggering as I thought it would be, as it helps people see that sometimes the past needs to stay in the past and how one views it, can be skewed and how to heal from it.

As what to do when confronted by a  long lost love that finds you on social media or anywhere else? I can’t be the one to tell you that. I can only caution you, to act in a manner where, if your heart was on the line, you’d want to be treated with the same amount of consideration by everyone who’s involved or at stake.

In an ideal world, no one would get involved with another, without getting over past romantic heartaches, before getting into another relationship.

And for this reason, I hate the below song, even though I realize musically, what a treasure Crosby, Stills and Nash, are. While I don’t love the above Katy Perry song (as explained in this blog), it’s relatable to a lot of people. And the video, is visually stunning. Even if the video doesn’t match the lyrics of the song. Because I’m not talking about heartbreak, closure and no second chances, due to death.


“If you can’t be with the one you love, honey, love the one you are with” Crosby, Stills and Nash-“Love The One You’re With”

“If you can’t be with the one you love, deal and heal, before involving an innocent heart that you will break, because you can’t love them  best, when your head and your heart,  still yearns for another”- AJK/UnstapledLisa 7-14-2015

But it isn’t a perfect world. And people are fallible. That’s why this blog is being written as a matter of discussion, not to shame another.  But to learn from mistakes, to perhaps maybe prevent them from happening again. So other innocent people don’t get hurt from circumstances like this. Over and over again.  Or to give them a venue to talk about heartache of this kind, as most people will blame themselves, when this happens. And it’s not their fault.

Because hurt people, hurt people. And I know that better than almost anyone.

If you are the one who can’t get over “the one that got away”, at least own it. You can’t heal from something or learn from something, especially when it comes to something serious, such as matters of love, if you can’t identify it. While most people will bring in some baggage into a romantic relationship, this is a ticking time bomb. It doesn’t go away if someone is incapable of not getting over a love that they can’t have. Because the truth is,  they won’t let themselves, heal. Not only does one keep breaking their own heart, over and over again, in situations like this, but they break hearts, if they refuse to get over it and/or see other people and cause unnecessary hurt and emotional harm, in someone innocent, should they date or get involved in a serious relationship, for distraction.

NO one should EVER have to feel shame and humiliation from innocently and honestly loving another person. Doing this to another, makes someone at best, a coward, who can’t face being alone in life. At worst, depending on intention, it makes one, an emotional terrorist.

So what to do, if you’re involved with one, and someone you still love , in the past or present, contacts you? Get professional help. Ideally before you act, in a manner that could break another’s heart. There’s good reason why I’m a blogger and not a professional therapist.  Sincerely apologize to those you’ve hurt by acting in this manner, if they find out that this is your issue. And respecting the other person who’ve you’ve hurt, that you don’t really love, by letting them dictate what they need from you, to heal (that’s obviously reasonable, as no one has a right to vengeful retaliation). And it won’t be in actual words that heal another, it will be in action (reasonable and rationale, hence where a clinical professional comes in handy) . Whether both choose to try and save the relationship they currently are in, end it and/or decide to give it another try with their long lost love.

What to do if you are the current partner and find out that a long lost love, is an issue and/or are involved with someone who’s admitted to still being love with someone they can’t have, but you still  love them???……….

You could wait it out. I, personally from experience (not my own, but witnessing friends’s experiences), wouldn’t advise that. And again, I advise getting professional help. Again, there is a reason why I’m a blogger and not a professional therapist. Because if you choose to wait it out, you could be waiting for the rest of your life. But if you are in a serious relationship and/or married to someone (and/or have children), and find out, about this being an issue, get professional help. A good professional therapist will be able to truthfully help a couple sort this out, or end it, with the best possible outcome, given how crappy these circumstances are.

I’m not wise about many things . But sometimes I do give relationship advice that’s very helpful to others.And like most people, it’s much easier to be wise when it comes to others’s life issues, than our own issues. The problem with loving someone who’s heart belongs to someone in their past, that this is one of the rare relationship issues, where the relationship WAS real, but the love between one another, was NOT true love. Because it was one sided.  But one can’t say where it would be anywhere helpful, “you can’t lose something you never had”. Because you weren’t told the ground rules, when starting this particular relationship. I’m not saying in the realm of relationship heartaches that this is the absolute hardest one to get over, but it’s right up there, because the person you fell in love with, you NEVER had a prayer of being their first choice.Even if they actually did care about you deeply.  I’ve had relationships with men that I cared about, not only to find out that I wasn’t their first choice, I didn’t even come in their top 10. (And this isn’t gender specific behavior. Women can do this, too)

That’s devastating. And as much as I’d like to tell you, initially AND ongoing, that’s on them, NOT on you, it’s still can break your heart. But to have any prayer of healing, you have to realize, you weren’t told something essential about that person you fell in love with, that you were owed, from the very start.

One can heal from going through this, though. I made up my mind a long time ago, as I got sicker, but while I still had my children, that I wouldn’t love someone who wasn’t free emotionally and circumstantially, to love me back. And that I wouldn’t dwell too long on romantic hurts (I’d be lying if I said it didn’t bother me, I do hurt for a bit, but move on). Then with having medical and mental health barriers, now, I know I can’t do romantically, a full time relationship, at this point in my life. That while my love has flaws, those who I love, do know that I love them to the best of my ability and that they aren’t second best.

And that if I’m in a serious relationship, after everything I’ve been through, what’s best for me, when people hurt me, intentionally, is to not let it effect the way I choose to live the rest of my life. For as many times, I’ve nearly died, life is too precious, to dwell on the heartache of people who don’t have my best interest at heart.  That I don’t want to invest energy and emotion in someone who would treat me in a way that I wouldn’t want my children to be treated, whether it’s my daughter when she’s old enough to be involved in romantic relationships. Or my son, who’s almost 23, and is finding out that casual dating, can be right up there with getting dental work done, as far as being really unpleasant.

We should have the same criteria for those who we love, for ourselves, like what we want for those who we love and care about, when it comes to how we deserve to be loved back.

You don’t have to nearly die, multiple times, to live life by this philosophy. And realize that no one is guaranteed an infinite amount of time on Earth. I’ve found also for relationship and self healing, the work by motivational speaker Trent Shelton, to be very helpful (www.trentshelton.com).

Below, is one of the wisest memes, that I’ve ever seen….. When it comes to heartbreak over any type of relationship that’s hurtful, if not harmful and heartbreaking.
ts4

I hope that people can find healing, when we acknowledge that this is a problem.And talk about it, more.  People get stuck on what and who they can’t have, instead of  what and who they have. No one can guarantee forever, in either life or love. And there is an exception to every rule/story, that’s why I know better than to speak in absolutes. Sometimes the “happily ever after”, is when one remains single, when one falls out of love with another, even if there is no 3rd party invovled. The most perfect song, ever to me, that defines that, came from the series finale of Sex and the City, in the last 5 minutes of it. I won’t use the video that I have saved (on YouTube of the episode/song), because it has nudity (but if you want the link, privately, let me know), I will post the song by gospel singer Candi Staton, as it’s about faith. Whether in a higher power or in one’s self. Or familial and platonic nurturing relationships.


Candi Staton-“You’ve Got The Love”

Sometimes the “happily ever after”, actually does comes from a long lost love, found on Facebook. Sometimes in situations, those who break someone’s heart, get the help they need and their relationships (and their psyches) heal, and not only are couples able to stay together, they thrive.

The problem is, with most stories on the internet, they talk about a past problem and the resolution, which sometimes is a “fantasy” happy ending. Or at least a rare one.  While it can be helpful for many, to know that their awful circumstances can have a happy ending for them, it’s NOT enough. People need support and to be able to talk about their romantic heartaches, while going through them.

Hopefully, this blog will lead to helpful or healing dialogue and/or discussion…..

Note: I’m not a clinically trained professional of any kind. If in medical or mental health crisis, please seek acute treatment in an acute facility and/or evaluation and treatment from a trained credentialed clinical professional. Also note, any comments that can be triggering, will NOT be approved.  Like always, I welcome respectful disagreements.

Celebrating Independence day, EVERYDAY…..

” I’d like to thank my lucky stars, to be living here today, cause the flag stands for freedom and they can’t take that away” Lee Greenwood “God Bless the USA”…..

Well in some cases, freedom CAN be taken away…. I will elaborate…

So while the 4th of July, means celebration for so many Americans of when we celebrate our freedoms, that and January 1st, 2010, as well as EVERY day, I celebrate of what it means to be free, but I also personal ruminate, of freedoms lost in the past.

One of the reason’s why I stopped blogging this year, is because when I reread some of my blogs, when I talk about the time I spent in the mental health system, there was inconsistencies. As I would say either 15 to 16 months.

Thanks to a website called http://www.converterunits.com, I plugged in the date of my suicide attempt which was 8-12-2008, and the date I moved out of the last group home I was in (I was in 2 group homes, post suicide attempt. Was in psych ward for 35 days, then from 9-15-2008 til early December 2008, was in a 90 day intensive behavior treatment program. Then I was in a group home for severely mentally ill people from 12-2008 to January 1st, 2010, when I moved out on my own after getting my back pay). I also plugged in how long I’ve not been raising my children now.

I spent almost 508 days in the system, exactly 1 year, 4 months and 20 days, to move out on my own, only to spend an enormous amount of time, in 2010, in the hospital or on campus of it due to my rapidly deteriorating with still having major gastric bypass complications.

5 years ago, in 2010, I spent 4th of July, by myself, as I was still quite sick (and trying not to die from those pesky g.i. bleeds) at home, quietly. My gastric bypass was reversed a little over 2 months later on 9-7-2010.

While I’m missing a lot of holidays as of late, with my boyfriend, in the last year, due to not feeling well (I have seen my children, recently and I’m happy to say it’s gone awesome. Especially with my youngest, who realizes I have complex disabilities and doesn’t take it personally). While I started this 4th of July, at his house, I am now home, as I wasn’t feeling well.

This 4th of July, in 2015, is the 7th one, not being with my kids. Well I was with my children on July 4th, 2008, and have very little memory of it. I remember because we could see fireworks from our deck, in the last apartment we lived together. As I how drove by then, was also, nothing short of frightening, I didn’t them to unnecessary places, as I was a public safety hazard, the last 2 years that I drove, due to my medical health issues.

While I always miss my children horribly, they are doing great. I am happy about that. I am happy that I’m not near death like I was 5 years ago, or in the system like I was for Independence Day 2009.

I am grateful to those who fought for our freedoms and to protect them, such as our military and police officers. I’m grateful to those who I love the most, by taking care of my children, while I had to fight for my own freedoms and then my life, 5 years ago. And I was quite sick, still, from gastric bypass complications AND my reversal, July 4th, 2011. And I’m grateful for my boyfriend and his family, who I spend most holidays with.

For as much as I complain about not feeling well, and I really am in severe chronic pain, most of the time, any crappy day on my own, is much better, than a great day, in the mental health system. Or nearly dying several times and being in a medical facility so much. It never gets old, even the most basic things, after losing basic freedoms of choice, such as what and when I can eat, what medications I can take, where I can go, I don’t have to account to ANYONE other than myself, on a daily basis, let alone, an hourly one.

I still believe after what happened to me, with my mental health issues in 2008, that while I paid dearly, I still think we live in the greatest country in the world.

Happy 239th Birthday, United States of America, and to all and kind of selfishly, to me, let freedom ring.

Wishing everyone a safe and fun, 4th of July weekend……….

Cheap or free resources: internet, books, magazines, movies, phones, music, dining out, food etc…..

Okay….I thought it would be worth writing a blog that will help those on a limited income or those who are looking to live best as possible, by writing about services that I use or that I know my friends use, that are free or low cost. This blog is wordier and more disjointed, then more of my recent blogs, I just felt that it was worth the read, for how much it could help others, whether they are low income or just want to save money. There is a lot of good tips, if you’ll patiently bear with me, with this blog.

For  my friends and or fellow internet peers, who love to read books and magazines electronically, I will give you a heads up about some apps, which either work on tablets, some may work also on computers. Some have a monthly fee such as Next Issue, but some of these apps for magazines and books are actually free, that I will discuss in this post.

I’m honestly not trying to be a spammer as it applies to my love for the app of Next Issue​. While I’d be less than honest, that if I refer you and after you 60 day FREE trial, you decide to keep it, that I get a referral bonus. I’m finding because I love magazines, that I’m probably going to keep the app, which I have the premium version which is $14.99 a month, for weekly magazines such as People, Us and Star magazine. If you just use the monthly magazine membership it is $9.99 a month.

There’s a ton of magazines of all genres, on Next Issue (if I’m not Facebook friends with you, feel free to message me at angelsbare@aol.com or send a Facebook friend request as I’m Lisa Kasen on Facebook) . If you would rather not go with me, you can do what I did, as I found it because of sponsored advertising on Facebook, which got me a 30 free trial day membership. Because 2 weeks into my 1st month free, I got as a Klout bonus (if you haven’t tried Klout​ , and you are a blogger or you have a lot of FB buds who you interact with, it’s worth checking Klout out, it’s an app that rewards those who have social media influence, whether you are a blogger or not) where I would get the one month free, and 2 months 1/2 priced.

Next Issue did NOT have to honor the fact that I got that Klout perk, in the middle of my free trial, but they did, anyways, once I contacted their Customer Service dept which was awesome.

I won’t take it personal, it’s just to your benefit, if you let me refer you to Next Issue, as it increases your free trial period from one month to two months. Regardless, if you want more info and then to decide if you want to try the app on your computer or tablet, check out the website http://www.nextissue.com for more information about the app as well as the catalog of magazines that are available.

I also found out about the app called Zinio for Libraries. That is FREE. It works with your library card. And you can use it on both a computer, tablet or phone. I only know how it works with computers and android devices. For Ipad/Apple peeps, you will have to do some research as I know nothing about Apple products and when I tried to find the Ipad version of Google Play store on my daughter’s Ipad, last  Saturday, I had a lot of trouble figuring it out .

What I like about Zinio for Libraries, is that it has Reader’s Digest available (I still may get a printed subscription to RD, because it’s right now on sale for $7) and it’s not available on Next Issue. However magazines like People and Coastal Living aren’t available through Zinio for Libraries. And because my space is at a premium, it’s nice to have reduce the amount of clutter, as well as I love that in a 7 inch tablet, I have an enormous amount of things to read, on the go.

If you love to read books and whether or not you have a Kindle or Kindle app, there’s also OverDrive for Libraries​. This works great for people who are on a limited budget and can’t afford to buy any or a lot of books electronically.

Also there is 3M Cloud Library​ which works similarily as OverDrive. I found many free online resources, also available through my county library and I have access both with my library card and my boyfriend’s, as he’s in a different county than I am. But there’s a lot of free digital resources with different libraries, across the United States. Some can be used for both entertainment and educational purposes so check with your own local library.

For music, I have access to Freegal. While there is a Freegal app for movies, both Hennepin County (where I live) and Dakota County (where bf lives ) here in Minnesota, doesn’t have access to that.

For music that I pay for, I LOVE my Google Play music account. For under $11 a month, I have access to a ton of music (as I can’t afford to pay for music per song). It also not just lets me watch You Tube with no ads, but allows me to download music videos to listen/watch offline, so I don’t use up, precious data when I’m not at home or don’t have a secure internet connection.

Note: Next Issue allows one account to be used on 5 devices, but you can’t personalize account preferences if you share the app) However Google Play, only allows it to be used on one device at a time. For me, I use it enough, both at home and when I’m out and about, exercising, that I’m kind of selfish with, and I don’t share that with anyone.

I also have Netflix, as I can’t personally afford cable and I share my account with my daughter and boyfriend and that allows it to be used on a maximum of 6 devices but only 2 people at a time can stream. Given the fact that boyfriend and my daughter have access to satellite, it’s not much of an issue for me, if not being able to access Netflix when I want to. I’m also lucky though, now that I have a tablet, that I can access both DirectTv (parents have service with them)and Dish Anywhere ( boyfriend has service with them) as well as I have a SmartTv, that I got as a gift, when I moved to the apartment I currently reside at, from my parents. I am also lucky enough to have a 42 inch regular tv, that’s currently at my boyfriend’s house (I have a “girl cave” there and bought the tv when I got my SSDI backpay in 2010 and because it took almost 3 years to get SSDI, I ended up getting quite a bit of money in backpay, so I’m putting out there, even though I’m digressing with this, and I’ve mentioned in past blogs, that if you are in need of SSI/SSDI and need support, please feel free to contact me, it’s a long arduous process and it didn’t help that I had no support even though I had a free resource to fight for SSDI, it made things that much worse for my children and I) and if you’ve read previous blogs of mine, for someone who had absolutely nothing 6 years ago and had to start all over again, I’m pretty grateful for what I have.

But if you have a library card, it’s worth checking into the multitude of applications that are free, that are associated with your local library and if you don’t have a library card, it may be worth getting.

For low income persons and/or families , there are resources for inexpensive internet. Because I live in the metro area of the Twin Cities, I got through Pcs for People (www.pcsforpeople.com) it also serves some of the Greater Minnesota area. For more information about free internet in the United States, try these internet sites: https:// everyoneon.org and http://www.internetforallnow.org/  . I pay $40 every 3 months for internet now, compared to paying that monthly, going through Pcs for People. They also have low cost computers. But my personal advice is, that if at all possible, for how limited warranties are through non profits that offer computers, tablets and netbooks, you are almost better off, if at all possible, of buying these devices, new. Sometimes though you can get through these devices, FREE, from a nonprofit, so do your research. Or you can ask me for help and I’ll try to assist as best as I can.

For free or low cost cellular service: http://www.freegovernmentcellphones.net/states .  I did let my free phone lapse, when I got my smart phone, 17 months ago. I haven’t decided of whether or not to reapply as it might be prudent, if I’d lose my phone, to have a 2nd phone for back up. I can justify having a low cost smartphone, as for $60 a month, I have unlimited minutes for talking and texting (which I don’t use very often, due to my disabilities) and 3 gb of hi speed data, which I utilize in helping me, enjoy working out more, using my Google Play music app.

I also have a Fitbit Zip (which I was able to afford when I got my $25 reward for 6 months of service from Target) . I was able to afford Fitbit Zip (there is also free fitness/health trackers applications such as MapMyWalk, Runkeeper, Sparkpeople, etc and they can usually be synced with fitness devices i.e Fibit, Garmin, etc),  when starting out with Brightspot and they offered a $25 Target gift card, for every 6 months of service. Unfortunately, Target is phasing out Brightspot, as well as the every 6 month $25 reward,  but they do have pay as you go affordable plans for smartphones from T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon, as well as few other carriers. It’s worth doing some research on.

I picked though Brightspot vs. Walmart’s Straight Talk, because at the time I got my phone, Brightspot had a better deal for data. But as I’ve said, a lot is changing with Target, so do research to find what would work best for you, with your particular circumstances.

I happen to use Groupon, Restaurant.com, for when dining out on occasion. I know there are more resources out there for social events. For on rare occasion times, that I like to go out and try a new restaurant, I find “happy hours” to be a good deal vs. eating lunch or dinner, as well as I belong to most Facebook pages and/or e-clubs for my favorite places I like to eat out at. In addition to getting a lot of free stuff for birthdays, for example, because people don’t have the discretionary income they used to, you can save a lot of money, dining out by joining these e-clubs, some also have reward programs, too. Also because of my belonging to local Facebook business pages for hospitality services , I’ve won free nights at a nice casino hotel and free play tickets. I’ve had friends though win lots of things, such as clothing items, beauty products, etc.

Because I’m disabled and can’t drive again, I do have on my Minnesota Identification card, that identifies  I’m permanently  disabled,  that allows me lower cost public transportation. While I have in my disability waiver, to get public transportation for free (there’s been a glitch for that the last 2 months) I’ve been paying 75 cents vs $1.75 to $3.00.  So if you can’t drive again or if you can drive but can’t afford a car, and are of limited income and/or have permanent medical/mental health disabilities, it might worth checking with your local county office or a social service agency and/or non profit, on inexpensive or free ways to travel via public transportation.

Also it’s always worth checking if you belong to AAA, AARP, or you are current or formerly military, as well as if you are a student, for discounts on products and/or services.

Also for those who have permanent medical and/or mental health disabilities, it’s worth checking in for resources for socialization, either with a local non profit social service agency or local community drop in center. While I don’t use them currently, I did when  I was in the system, I was able to get free tickets to local sporting events, as well for those who are of extremely limited means, as well as those who don’t have a lot of friend and/or family support, they have social events, holiday parties, etc. They also usually have social workers to help with finding affordable housing and resources to help those with medical and mental health barriers, for  housing retention, food shelves, medical and dental care. Also in my case, my disability waiver allows me food delivery from either Mom’s Meals or Meals on Wheels. I try not to take advantage of services that I wouldn’t use, as I’m a picky eater, so I don’t use that, but that could help someone else in need who’s disabled but not a senior citizen. And  I do get help with grocery shopping both from my disability waiver and from my boyfriend, because my disabilities can sometimes keep me homebound, for extended periods of time, especially in the Winter months, although my medical health issues do effect my ability to get out all year round. Also my disabilities also make it hard for me to cook anything remotely elaborate, as well as my cute studio is small, and I’m limited in storage for food items. So sometimes it’s cheaper, convenient and easier for me, for how much time I spend alone, with disablilities that I have,  to go out to eat, to get variety in my diet, compared to those with families where it’s cheaper to get variety by cooking and/or eating at home (which I still eat at home, for most of my meals)

I know this was long and VERY disjointed. But it could help a lot of people. And I’m sure I’m missing a ton of resources. Feel free to add resources that you know about, in my comment section and/or feel free to privately message me.

I’m just writing what helps me,live a higher quality of life as for someone who is of limited income, while I live in affordable housing (it’s NOT Section 8, which I’ve had in the past and people need to lose their prejudices about it). In my case living in the State of MN, especially in the Twin Cities, where even where funding has been increased for Section 8, not enough property owners take it). But I don’t get anything for “free”, as far as food stamps, free health insurance, etc. My housing is not necessarily income based, but affordable (i.e. meaning there is income minimums as well as income limitations but someone could make a thousand dollars a month, more than I do, and still pay the same amount of rent)

For anyone in or not in  acute crisis but if you need more resources, you can also try http://www.unitedway.org or https: www. 211.org  ….  Please pass this on though. I realize it wasn’t the easiest of reads, but I’m sure it could help someone you know in need of something, that is low cost or free and life enriching, if low income.

Also note: I know this was a blog that wasn’t the easiest of reads. I felt compelled to write it now, and publish it now, hoping to edit and/or reformat, in the future. I just figured though it was worth writing and publishing now, as it has a lot of valuable information that could help people now. I also have in other blogs, links for those who are actually in acute medical/mental health crisis.

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