Seven Weeks of Weird: The Prison

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Welcome back for another round of “Seven Weeks of Weird,” a challenge put on by Mental Mama.  With only this week’s and next week’s to go, I’d say I’m a little relieved this challenge is almost over.  Sometimes it’s hard to come up with weird things about yourself!

This week asks:  “What’s the weirdest way you’ve every earned money?”

Ahhh, ummm…by working, doing the Rosa thing,  helping out all those mentally ill people do everything from find a job to manage their meds to apply for disability and Medicaid to get a second pillow from the prison laundry.

Although I don’t personally think it’s weird, I spent three years working as a mental health case manager in a women’s prison.  I get asked all sorts of questions about that, and it really was an interesting job.  I was mostly tasked with coordinating all medical and mental health care, sometimes including housing, always including SSI applications for the women in the facility who met criteria for my program.

It was a stressful job and I don’t like to think about it a lot because it was the last job I crashed and burned on before I went on SSDI.  I can say for the most part that the staff I worked with were burnt out, uncaring, and rude at best, but the inmates were overall very thankful and caring.  Now THAT’S kind of weird, huh?

 

Building Mastery Decreases Stress

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It’s that Weird Wednesday challenge again, coordinated and directed by Mental Mama.  I know that last week, I had a hard time coming up with weird things about myself, but I just thought of one.  I sometimes don’t know the day of the week, and I certainly never know the date.  I guess it’s not that important in my little sphere (other than to know when “Under the Dome” or “Extant” are on), because every day is so much the same.  Maybe that’s a little weird in and of itself, like I am Bill Murray in the “GroundHog Day” movie.

Moving on, this week’s topic is:

What weirdest thing you do to relax?

Well, I do things like this.  I learn a tiny bit of something new from a friend, and then, even though I don’t quite understand it, or what I’m doing, I make the text of my entire post purple.  I would have made the font size bigger, but I couldn’t remember how.  Maybe in an upcoming edit.

One of the best things for me for stress relief is to try and do something new, something I have to concentrate really hard on.  This is called “building mastery” for all you DBT folks out there!  For example, when I was having my little mental health breakdown earlier this past month, I tried to teach myself to crochet.  It was a wicked failure, but it felt good to try and it definitely kept my mind off things.

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And because I still have the supplies and the links MM sent me, I can whip out this project at any time.  I have a few needlepoints, too, that I should work on but it gets too complicated for me when the color of thread changes every fourth stitch.  Unrelated note, QoB is the ultimate needle-pointer.  Her hands are too bad to do it now (not sure she’d be able to find time, either), but back in the day, she rocked it.

Another thing I like to do when stressed is put lotion on my hands and then enjoy the smell.  Yes, that’s me over there, sniffing my hands.  It’s actually a combination of several DBT skills — distract, TIP/Chemistry, self-soothe.  My therapist could probably list off several more.

When I need to relax of calm down in a hurry, the best thing I can do is talk to someone.  Be it my mom, my dad, my sister, one of my online friends — I’ve really got to talk things out sometimes.  I think that’s pretty ordinary, though — venting about things.

My final answer to stress reduction is to clean my kitchen and dining room area.  These are the two areas where I spend the most time, so they get trashed out the most easily.  It usually only takes about ten minutes, just throwing some trash away and then unloading and reloading the dishwasher.  Those ten minutes, though, can save me from an entire day of antsy-pantsying.

Eating Seven Weird Things

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Welcome to Mental Mama’s brainchild, wherein we discuss weird things about ourselves for seven weeks, starting today.  This week’s topic is about the weird food you like.  I think this is made for discussing one food, but how much can you say about just one?  Because I love food (and a nice, list blog post), I’m sticking with the number seven.

1) Putting plain potato chips inside a sandwich.  Let me tell ya, don’t knock it ’till you try it.  I will (but don’t always) do this with any sandwich, from a turkey on wheat to a PB&J.

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Makes me want sandwiches for dinner!

2) Spam salad.  Ok, now I’m off on a sandwich kick, but I really like Spam salad on crackers.  Take your Spam, mush it up, add sweet relish and mayo.  Easy AND cheap.

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3) Sardines or mackerel on crackers.  Crunch, crunch baby!  That’s a bunch of extra calcium for you and I!

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4) Fried and then chocolatized crickets.  Now I don’t obviously get around to this often, but we made them (more than once) science class in middle school.  Pretty tasty and high in protein!

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5)  Fried crappie eggs.  They take some getting used to, but it’s the caviar of the midwest!

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6) Mountain oysters.  Picture a big party with these after they pick and “select” which bulls will be breeders and which won’t.

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7) Kimchi, basically pickled cabbage.  Of Asian origin.  Stinks to high heaven, but is  pretty tasty, if you consider it an acquired taste.  My brother-in-law eats this stuff by the jar.

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