How I Felt Awake Again?

Four years is a while to feel awake again. There were some things that helped on the journey and some things that didn’t. (I suggest reading my post “Finally Awake” if you want to know the deets about what I mean by finally awake! Finally Awake)

Free Apps and Self-Care activities that helped:

  1. Walking my dog, Gibbs. Walking is a great way to release your feelings while getting in the steps you need for a healthy lifestyle. Most of the time I listen to one of my many Spotify playlists. If I had the luxury of being on a trail I would just listen to the nature around me. (The picture was after a walk.)img_3012
  2. Hiking!! I don’t do this as often as I like. Every time I do though I can say my soul feels refreshed. A couple of times a year I go with a family friend/mentor who has almost hiked all the miles in the Smokies. She always knows what she’s doing and the best trials. img_4372
  3. My Fitness Pal. I’ll admit I had a love-hate relationship with this app at first. It was a required part of one of my social work electives in grad school. Newsflash: I wasn’t eating that great in grad school. I maybe had a couple of times a week I would cook. Now, I find it helpful to know how much I am eating and what foods/nutrients I need more of.
  4. RunKeeper. Run keeper is an easy way to keep track of jogs. I’ll admit I don’t always go on a jog for exercise. That’s okay though. Runkeeper lets you add activities like kickboxing, yoga, and even hiking.  (Me 10 years ago. You’re welcome!)img_2584
  5. Spotify. I find listening to music healing. I have no musical talent whatsoever. I do find that lyrics help me express myself when I don’t have the words to do so. If you have the extra cash it is totally worth it to get Spotify premium. Link to one of my playlists:
  6. The YouVerision App. This is a bible app that has helped me tremendously. They have plans for depression, addiction, and gaining confidence. I spent 283 days in the app last year. It’s an easy way to keep track of all your favorite verses too.
  7. Pacifica. So when I lowered a dose of medication I tracked my mood with this app. I was so afraid that something horrid would happen and it would be too late before my health plummeted. Ends up I was fine. The app even offers guided paths meant to help improve your mental health. It has some free meditations as well.
  8. Meetup. I found this app when I lived in Nashville. I found people I could play laser tag with, go climbing with, and other fun activities.img_1279
  9. Cozi. I downloaded this app back in the fall. It has been helpful in reminding me what chores I need to complete. You can make grocery lists, add family members, and it even pairs with your phone’s calendar.
  10. Sweatcoin. If you need the motivation to get moving outside than I highly recommend getting Sweatcoin. Any walking you do outside gets rewarded with Sweatcoin. Building up Sweatcoins can get you cool prizes like a Nike Gift Card, iPhone, or wearable keyboard. Check out this free app 👆 It pays to walk!

What I paid for to help with my mental health:

  1. Therapy: Being taught how to reframe was one of the greatest tools ever taught to me. Seriously, I needed a whole class on that in high school. If therapy isn’t in your budget than talk with your work about the EAP program. While most EAP programs don’t offer nearly enough sessions it can get you headed in the right direction. Your therapist may even suggest books, podcast, etc. to you that can help you with the particular thing(s) you are struggling with even after you stop seeing them.
  2. Medication: I debated saying this, but I’m going to anyways. I have a great doctor who listens to me and who I trust. I have recently lowered the dose that has helped me feel like I am living on this planet again. I am working towards not needing it at all at. It has served its purpose and helped with what therapy couldn’t. img_3044
  3. NingXia Red: Is a juice that is a Young Living product. I found this because my Mom kept asking me about what I wanted for Christmas. I have a dog and live with a roommate who also has a dog in an apartment. I had smelt her essential oils in her diffuser so I decided that is what I wanted for Christmas. I knew it was safe and would make the apartment smell good. Then she told me to come to an oils class with her so I did. Essentials oils are awesome (peppermint for my headaches works better than pain relievers for me). However, Ningxia may be the tool that will help me have the strength to continue to lower my medications to the point that I no longer need them.
  4. screen shot 2019-01-12 at 9.12.12 pm

Thanks for reading! If you are interested in Young Living then Know today through January 14th at 11:59 pm there is a starter kit sale. The starter kit includes 2 NingXia Reds. My Sponsor ID: 17026054 and Enroller ID: 17026054. This video explains any questions you may have about signing up:

Here is the link to sign up:

Remember to click on I was referred by a member and have their ID numbers and use to ID numbers above.


Finally Awake

It’s been 4 years since 2015. I feel like I am finally awake and can feel life around me. I have battled and will continue to have to work hard on my journey. Many individuals suffer in some sort of way, and I believe suffering is what makes us better as humans. At least it has made me a better person.

I feel like I have been in cruise control for the past 4 years. I was here, but not here. I was alive, my body was moving, but everything is a blur and I finally just woke up in 2019. I think part of my lack of feeling attached to the world around me is because there was so much I needed to work on as a person, a student, and an employee.

Now, here I am with time to actually just enjoy where I am at. Part of my cruise control was set with so much to achieve in little time. Emotionally, my body feels like it can now allow me to function, and not have to protect me from feeling everyday life. Some of you are probably worried thinking about the fact I am a social worker.

Yes, I am. I am not perfect, and like the SW code asks, I do my best to not let life get in the way of clients. My point is have you ever had a teacher who has never been taught before? How about a doctor that has never had some ailment before which required medical attention? Would you really want a social worker who had never had moments in their life where they needed to overcome some sort of challenge?

Your teacher probably doesn’t spend most or any of their classes talking about when they were a student. Your doctor probably doesn’t spend any time talking about their specific medications and ailments they have at the visit. Same goes for me in a session. At the same time, I want to share my story, not to my clients, but on a blog for individuals looking for some hope. I want people who are struggling to know they aren’t alone and it is possible.

Remember that song “Wake Me Up” by Avicii? That was my song at the beginning of 2015. A ton of changes happened in the first 5 months of that year. I feel like I have been living the verses of that song until the beginning of this year. So here’s the lyrics:

Feeling my way through the darkness
Guided by a beating heart
I can’t tell where the journey will end
But I know where to start
They tell me I’m too young to understand
They say I’m caught up in a dream
Well life will pass me by if I don’t open up my eyes
Well that’s fine by me
So wake me up when it’s all over
When I’m wiser and I’m older
All this time I was finding myself
And I didn’t know I was lost
So wake me up when it’s all over
When I’m wiser and I’m older
All this time I was finding myself
And I didn’t know I was lost
I tried carrying the weight of the world
But I only have two hands
I hope I get the chance to travel the world
But I don’t have any plans
I wish that I could stay forever this young
Not afraid to close my eyes
Life’s a game made for everyone
And love is the prize
So wake me up when it’s all over
When I’m wiser and I’m older
All this time I was finding myself
And I didn’t know I was lost
So wake me up when it’s all over
When I’m wiser and I’m older
All this time I was finding myself
And I didn’t know I was lost
I didn’t know I was lost
I didn’t know I was lost
I didn’t know I was lost
I didn’t know I was lost
So wake me up when it’s all over
When I’m wiser and I’m older
All this time I was finding myself
And I didn’t know I was lost


So I have bolded the parts I really relate to.

My mindset was “life will pass me by if I don’t open up my eyes and that’s fine by me.” Boy, was it fine by me? I did not open up my eyes on cruise control for 4 years of my life!  I didn’t want to face reality. Then I left it, unwillingly. Then once I worked through the pain in hibernation of 4 freaking years I can finally feel again. No, it wasn’t fast. It was worth it. I have named those years the searching, learning, and refining period. I am now in the let go of the past, reframe, and feel again period.

My prayer was to “wake me up when it’s all over”. So it must be over because I am awake, right? Yes and no. I am in a new period of life as mentioned above. However, I am on a journey like everyone else. Some people say “life ain’t easy”.  I say there are going to be challenges that need to be overcome in life. I would define life as the opportunity to be alive and happy.

“The Farewell Tour”

Recently I had to give 2 speeches. One was to the members at my internship and the other was to the students at the Wesley Foundation at ETSU. If you know me then you probably know public speaking is not my forte, but I got a lot of practice in this semester during field. Since I had to give speeches I decided to nickname this week and last week “The Farewell Tour.” My good friends could not make it to the Wesley this week, so I decided to blog it for them instead. No worries… We said our goodbyes on Saturday. 😉

To the members:

Thanks for letting me be apart of your recovery journey.

To the Wesley:

Celina and I had a lot of classes together, so she keep asking me to come to the Wesley. I had previously been to other ministries on campus, but could not really find one where I felt totally secure. I was over it, and I was ready to give up.

Ends up I kept coming to the Wesley after the first night. It gave me a place to worship for about a year, and I always felt welcomed. I met my closest buds here. They’ve always had great advice, and helped me in so many ways. Shout out to Olivia who listened to my panic attacks about school. Also, Shauna you are the best friend a person could ask for. You can make me laugh no matter the situation, and you have a loving heart. Yes, I am outing you. Shana will do whatever is needed for her friends, and is a caring person. She has said “I only do one nice thing a year.” That is not the case at all. She helped take care of Gibbs when I was busy at my internship, and she did it for free. Now that is a bud.

I wouldn’t have these relationships without the Wesley foundation, and I truly am thankful for these relationships.

To the Wesley and the Members:

“Recovery is a Journey”

Recovery is a journey that I have been on too. At one time in my life I failed algebra, I missed graduating by honors in high school by a point, and I thought I was a failure. My senior year of high school I thought it would be silly to apply to college, because I was sure that “I would just fail out.” It was suggested to me in high school by staff that I just graduate with a certificate of completion instead of a high school diploma, because they weren’t sure if I could pass my foreign language classes since I was dyslexic.

Also, I remember being called out of class one day to come take a skills assessment and job assessment test. This random person giving the test was determined to get me out of the computer room having a path set before me. I took the test. It gave a list of things I could possibly get a certificate in or a trade in. I flatly told the guy that “I didn’t want to do a trade”. I stated I didn’t want to do any of this but thanks. He, being passionate job, asked me what I wanted to do. I responded that maybe I wanted to be a nurse and go to ETSU. He said, “Great, what about a being a nurses aid.” I said, “No, I don’t want to do that.” “Well it’s just maybe a university isn’t the right path of you”, He said. Then he proceeded to go through a list and name every trade he could think of (including roofing). None of those trades were strengths or skills that I had. After I wore him out with my stubbornness I left that day feeling defeated, and that poor guy who was “helping” probably did too.

My support system outside of the school encouraged me to go to a university if that is what I wanted to do. My mom was always my advocate. She always helped since she had her masters and Ed.S. in education. She printed out my application to apply to ETSU, and basically tied me to the chair next to her and made me fill it out. A couple of months later I got accepted, and like many things in my life I was the last one to know. At this point I was still sacred with the idea of attending ETSU. I still needed to get my ACT score up in order to test out of some developmental classes. I took my ACT again on the Saturday morning of my senior prom, and was still jet lagged from a spring break trip to China. I basically remember opening the booklet, and saying screw it. I tested out of developmental English at ETSU, because my score was high enough. However, math is another story.

My freshman year at ETSU was an emotional roller coaster. I had no earthly idea what I really wanted to major in deep inside. I remember thinking nursing, OT, and what the heck was a social work major? The only thing I excelled at my freshman year was my history classes. Also, I felt the need to overcompensate in every English class I took because of being diagnosed with dyslexia. I visited the tutoring center often, and I am pretty sure they dreaded seeing my face every time I walked in. It was hard to get my syntax and thoughts to flow, so the tutors didn’t even know what I was trying to write half the time. Obviously, this got better with time.

I cried a lot too during my time in college. My anxiety and depression were uncontrollable compared to now. It was often something I didn’t want to admit I had, because I though another diagnosis of something wasn’t going to help me but stigmatize me even more. One summer during college I worked at a pharmacy as a tech, and I took an online A&P course. I gave up! The anxiety and depression were too much. I finally got medication and a therapist, and that help tremendously.

When I went back to school after that summer I found myself wondering to Lyle House (social work building) on campus. I had an appointment with the dean to talk about social work and my possible future in it. She set me up so I could graduate on time. I declared my major in social work and a minor in psychology. I took intro to social work the following semester, and I never looked back. A couple semesters later I was officially accepted into the program, and finally declared a BSW student in the program.

Fast-forward and it is spring semester of my senior year. I’m an intern at a psychosocial recovery center, I am graduating cum laude, and got invited to the university’s Honors Convocation. Also, I got initiated into Phi Alpha and Phi Gamma Mu (two honors societies). As I write this it is weird to think and truly accept that I am graduating from ETSU this Saturday, but it is true and not just a dream. I’m currently finding myself applying for BSW jobs, and I can’t wait to finally have the title. I am finally happy and secure in what I doing in my life, and that has truly been a journey. In recovery I have found things I love like my dog Gibbs who I jog with, social work, and myself. I found out that failure isn’t fatal when you are on a journey of growth and recovery.

To the Wesley:

Philippians 4:8-9

Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.

2 Corinthians 12:7-10

Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn’t get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,

My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.
Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.

1 Corinthians 13:1-7

If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.

2 If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.

3-7 If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

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Social Media and Drawing the Line

How am I feeling? Social Media

         In June 2015 I decided to delete all my social media. Here’s the shocker: I don’t miss it. I don’t even want to log back in to my Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter accounts. To be honest, I don’t even know the passwords to log back in. I’d have to create new accounts if I even wanted to get back on social media.

Last fall I had to log in after one of my accounts was hacked by the one of those fake ads. Someone had to text me to tell me. I logged in to fix it, and I changed the password. I don’t even know what the password is. It was late one night, and I was annoyed that it had even happened.

When I went back in to change the password, I scrolled through a bit. I thought it was weird in a way. It seems I was pretty dedicated to my SM (social media).

My Experience with Deleting my Social Media

         Some people tell me that they would fear they would miss out if they did not have social media of some sort. I can understand this statement. Businesses, churches, and sports updates all use social media, and it is a convenient way to stay current.

Also, I admit sometimes I have no idea what my friends are talking about because it all goes back to what someone posted on social media. Leaving social media has caused me to make some gains though. What I am actually missing out on is probably just gossip, opinions, or drama anyway. If I want news about what’s going on in the world I actually go to reputable news websites. I have to text people and we plan things to do in person. That way we can catch up. I actually have to use Google and call businesses if I have a question.

Deleting your Social Media is a way to get attention.

It could be. However, like many things in life, it depends on the person. I have heard that some people choose to delete their page just to see how many people will actually miss them. Then they create a fake account and follow the same people. That’s not why I deleted mine. I’m in daily or weekly contact with people who matter most to me. Get this: I actually see them in person. #hipster

A friend told me she deleted her social media because it made her feel too self-important. I agree with that statement because I can relate to that. Also, I compared myself to others in an unhealthy manner and have noticed that I am less judgmental without social media. I am not perfect, but less judgmental.

I need to delete my social media because I use it to procrastinate. I hear this from members at my internship and my friends who still have social media all the time. It is actually the reason I choose to write this post. The question I get asked most often is what do you do with your time?

Honestly, different things. For a while I watched NCIS all the time on Netflix right after I deleted it. Then I returned to school in the fall and spring, so I had homework and school responsibilities. Over winter break I read four books, and I’m still working on number five. I plan on finishing it this summer. Also, I journal, color, and draw to help me relax. I play with my dog, Gibbs. I go to the Wesley. I play the mandolin and go to lessons. Over spring break I read “Go Set a Watchman” by Harper Lee. When the weather is warmer, I hike, kayak, and spend time outside meditating. These are all self-caring activities for me to help reduce stress in my life.

Today is a prime example of accomplishing something productive. My mom texted me and asked me to do some chores since I was home on spring break. I would have been distracted my social media until two in the afternoon if I still had my accounts. Instead I read the news, cleaned, and got ready for my day.

I believe it is important to not be too hard on yourself. If you do choose to delete social media, you’ll probably find another guilty pleasure to fill in the time. For me that was binge watching Netflix. Now, not so much. Some things just take time. So relax and slowly build up toward your goal.

WHY and HOW?

I told one of my close friends that I was going to research social media and dependence. She encouraged me to do it, and asked a question along the lines of how can I not to be addicted to SM. I told her I wanted to be more confident and find some research first to support the action steps I developed. Of course, I knew the easiest way to display what I found would be WordPress, so I am expecting to be dinged for posting an article about social media on social media. Considering how long this post took to do, I don’t find this becoming a problem area for me. This post is not here to make anyone feel guilty. It’s here to help you consider if you are using SM in a positive manner.

The Research

I searched for Social Media and Addiction and peer reviewed scholarly articles. I got 1,073 results. I used articles from the last ten years that were most relevant to questions people were asking me to research. Here is what I found:

  1. Left to Their Own Devices: College Students’ “Guilty Pleasure” Media Use and Time Management

(This was the first of 5 articles I chose and each will be discussed with the main points.)

This article discusses the concern of college students having more free time than they did before they came to college. Also, it points out that most of this new free time is unsupervised by adults. The article is held to the question are college age students neglecting their academic endeavors due to leisure media use.

-“Research shows that leisure media can affect students’ scholastic performance”(Panek, 2014).

-Key terms and ideas in this article are delayed gratification, self -control, and environment.

– The article defines guilty pleasures as “activities that one consciously values more than school work”

-The article states that guilty pleasure is linked to “immediate pleasure over long-term benefits.” This means that the person is seeking the “smaller instant rewards.”

-The article defines willpower. Willpower is “to not give into media use.”

-Hoch & Loewenstein Findings: 1. Reducing desire by using willpower 2. The environment can be seen as temping and increasing desire (i.e. Alone in dorm room with laptop)

-“Constant presence of tempting media options make it difficult for individuals who are in low self control to resist these options” (Panek, 2014).

– College students (especially freshmen) can be seen as a more at risk population due to the more flexible, less rigid, and more free time schedule college can offer. Ex. They aren’t going to school from 8-3 then on to sports or band practice, etc.

– “Internet addiction is regarded as a behavioral-impulse control disorder in which to alleviate feelings of emotional tension” (Panek, 2014).

-Media addiction prevents achievement of long-term goals.

-A survey was given online to university students, and they answered 13 statements. The scale was 1=Not at all like me to 5=Just like me. The results found that “College students self-control is negatively associated with amounts of leisure media use” (Panek, 2014). Also, “college students guilt about media use is positively associated with amounts of leisure media use” (Panek, 2014). The study did not find that “the amount of time college students spent on school work had a negative association with amounts of leisure media use” (Panek, 2014).

– “The study provides support for the claim that students who are low in self-control are apt to spend more time using leisure media and feel guilty about it” (Panek, 2014).



Compared to the other study this study’s participants were also college age students. The results were found through three scales. The Facebook addiction scale, subjective happiness scale, and subjective vitality scale were the methods used to find the results.

– “Problematic use of internet-based social networking sites like FB may be a significant factor influencing subjective happiness” (Uysal et al., 2013).

– “FB addiction can be described as unable to control and limit the amount of time one spends on activities on FB” (Uysal et al., 2013).

– “Severe depression, social dysfunction, anxiety, and insomnia were predictors of FB addiction” (Uysal et al., 2013).

– Uysal et al., 2013, hypothesis was “ The relationship between subjective happiness and subjective vitality is mediated by FB addiction.”

– “The results indicated the FB addiction could partly explain the relationship between subjective vitality and subjective happiness” (Uysal et al., 2013).


  1. Association between Facebook Dependence and Poor Sleep Quality: A Study in a Sample of Undergraduate Students in Peru

– Like the other studies previously stated the participants in this study are also undergraduate college students. The results will most likely not be a huge shock. The study concluded, “that there is a relationship between FB dependence and poor quality of sleep” (Alonso et al., 2013). “More than half the students reported poor sleep quality, and the study found that strategies to moderate the use of social network and to improve sleep quality in this population are needed” (Alonso et al., 2013).


– The behavioral results of this study found that “women presented stronger addiction-like symptoms then men” (Tunel, et al., 2014).

– Also, the study questions if addiction is the best term that can be used for this presenting problem. The results showed that the “amygdala-striatal (impulsive) brain system was positively related to ones FB “addiction” scale score” (Tunel, et al., 2014). “However, the prefrontal cortex (inhibitor) brain system showed no association” (Tunel, et al., 2014). According to the article this shows that it is similar to other addictions since the amygdala-striatal is hyper active, but the prefrontal cortex is not found to be hypo active. “Since FB “addiction” does not have a hypo active prefrontal cortex it also differs from other addictions, such as using illicit substances” (Tunel, et al., 2014).

– “The findings imply that individuals who present low-medium levels of addiction like symptoms in relation to FB have an imbalance between their amygdala- striatal and prefrontal cortex” (Tunel, et al., 2014).

– The imbalance can be managed by restoring homeostasis between the two systems, and the article states can be achieved through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) (Tunel, et al., 2014).

  1. A Unique Problem or the Manifestation of a Preexisting Disorder? The Mediating Role of Problematic Internet Use in the Relationships Between Psychosocial Problems and Functional Impairment

– PIU=Problematic Internet Use

– “The finding reveal that psychosocial problems, such as social anxiety, and depression, can initiate cognitive preoccupation too and uncontrolled uses of the internet” (Tokunaga, 2014).

– “PIU is an important pathway to the development of vocational and socially anxious, lonely, or depressed individuals” (Tokunaga, 2014). In other words PIU is not a sole cause to the development of vocational and socially anxious, lonely, or depressed individuals.

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Panek, E. (2013). Left to their own devices: College students’ ‘guilty pleasure’ media use and time management. Communication Research, 44(4), 383-400. Retrieved March 2, 2016.


Tokunaga, R. S. (2012). A Unique Problem or the Manifestation of a Preexisting Disorder? The Mediating Role of Problematic Internet Use in the Relationships Between Psychosocial Problems and Functional Impairment. Communication Research, 41(4), 531-560.


Turel, O., He, Q., Xue, G., Xiao, L., & Bechara, A. (2014). Examination Of Neural Systems Sub-Serving Facebook “Addiction”. Psychological Reports, 115(3), 675-695. Retrieved March 2, 2016.


Uysal, R., Satici, S. A., & Akin, A. (2013). Mediating Effect Of Facebook ® Addiction On The Relationship Between Subjective Vitality And Subjective Happiness. Psychological Reports, 113(3), 948-953. Retrieved March 2, 2016.


Wolniczak, Isabella ; Cáceres-Delaguila, José Alonso ; Palma-Ardiles, Gabriela ; Arroyo, Karen J ; Solís-Visscher, Rodrigo ; Paredes-Yauri, Stephania ; Mego-Aquije, Karina ; Bernabe-Ortiz, Antonio ; Schuelke, Markus [2013]. Association between Facebook Dependence and Poor Sleep Quality: A Study in a Sample of Undergraduate Students in Peru. PLoS ONE,8(3), n.p. Retrieved March 2, 2016.


A Week in Review

A Week in Review

Things I prayed for:

-My thoughts and prayers go out to the people harmed at the airport and station in Brussels

-My thoughts and prayers go out to President Obama since he is in Cuba working on US and Cuban relations

-I pray that the Cuban and American baseball players stay safe during there game on Tuesday

Things I am thankful for:

  • I’m thankful that the Lady Vols made it to the sweet 16 and the elite 8. I never would have thought it.
  • I am thankful for hearing back from a company who is interested in interviewing me for a social work position (please, let me be in your thoughts and prayers)
  • I’m thankful for this past weekend and Easter celebrations.

Things to aid in recovery:

  • My mom sent me this email on Friday. It is about a sister who wants the world to know that suicide and depression is a real thing that people struggle with. Many people and families suffer from battles with depression and mental health challenges that leads to suicide. The article/video noted that major depression is one of the top reasons people draw disability.
    • Link:
  • I found this link today! What a great recovery story and an amazing woman!
    • Link:



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-I took this picture in 2009 at Pat’s 1,000 win game.

Recovery and Why Should I Volunteer?


Recovery and Why Should I Volunteer?
Every month I have decided to go to the Veterans Affairs Community Living Center to Volunteer (VA-CLC). Last semester I was there almost every week for the service hours I had to complete for my Social Work Practice I class. Currently I am in my last semester as an undergrad at ETSU, so I am in my Field Placement every day of the week. This makes it difficult to go to the VA-CLC every week. However, I planned “miss you” Sunday.

One weekend each month I plan to visit on Sunday when I don’t go home to Morristown. Basically, I don’t go to church on this Sunday and instead I dedicate the same amount of time I would be in worship to volunteering at the CLC.

After winter break I was depressed to find that most of the men I had spent a lot of time with had passed away. They all lived long happy lives. I just hate that I didn’t get to tell them goodbye. With that being said, it was hard for me to go this weekend. I was dreading it because I didn’t want to find out that anyone else had passed away.

The previous “miss you” Sunday was on February 14th. I made valentines and had a small treat to give five men with whom I had formed relationships. It turns out that I only gave two of those out. The rest I left as freebies for whomever didn’t get a valentine. One man was sleeping and the other was across the street in the hospital. Sadly, the others had passed away.

The man who was in the hospital was in a pretty bad condition. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting to see him after Valentine’s Day. This Sunday as I was roaming the halls, M.G. had a new room in the CLC. I was glad to see some small steps of improvement. Even though he isn’t in the hospital, he still isn’t (and probably never will be) in the condition he was when I first met him.

He isn’t social like he used to be, and he is still pretty sick. In fact, sadly, he was hard to recognize due to his illness. He smiled at me to the best of his ability when he recognized me. He grabbed my hand. I said, “I’m so glad to see you! Are you feeling better?” To this question I received no answer. “Are you still feeling pretty awful?” To this he responded with a nonverbal yes.

I told him that my plan was to come monthly and that I was happy to see him. I told him I saw him on Valentine’s Day in the hospital, but he probably didn’t remember that. He still had hold of my hand with his eyes closed. I pulled up a chair and sat beside him for 40 minutes like that. As I looked around the room, I was happy to see that his daughter and granddaughter had been there. They live out of state, so he doesn’t often see them. This time he had pictures of them. This was new and thrilled my soul.

The rest of the time I spent with L.V. He talks a lot. He also says would marry me if he were younger and not so old. We both had a Coca-Cola and watched CNN. He was sleeping last time I visited. He said that he often wondered where I had been and what I had been up to. We talked for about 30 minutes, and I told him I would see him next month.


Volunteering gives you something to write/journal about.
-It will test the way you think.
-It will be a learning experience.
-It puts faith into action.
-It will increase faith and hope.
-It will increase your ability to love.
-It can help in your recovery journey. (i.e. Substance abuse, mental health)
-It gives you something to do/practice.
-It helps you with learning how to work with others.
-It shows you care about your community.
-It enhances your social skills.
-It looks good on a resume.

How Do I Volunteer?

So maybe you aren’t in a club, church, or organization/major that gives you (and helps you) with the opportunity of volunteering. So how do you do it?

-Ask yourself what you want to do: Do I want to work with animals, children, or elderly populations?
-How far do I want to go (ex. no more than 30 miles) On what days do I want to go? What time do I want to go?
-Google places with the certain population and the radius you have chosen.
-Write down the results, key phrases from each result, and the volunteer contact for each result.
-Pick your top five results
-Pick a day to contact your top five results
– Contact your top five results on the day you picked
-Wait to hear back (Be patient but contact again if you don’t hear back)
-You will want to hear back in about a week and a half
-By 2 and 1/2 weeks you will want to be at your first day on site even if it’s just training and orientation for volunteering
-Write down the info they tell you to do in order to volunteer

-After you hear back choose the one you want to do
How will I know what to pick?
What do you want out of your volunteer experience?
Challenge? A job? Bettering yourself? Passion? Love? Giving back?
-Go do what your contact person has instructed you to do in order to volunteer.
My first day at the VA consisted of training and a TB test. The next week was finally            when I got to be with the patients in the VA-CLC.
-Once you go through volunteering follow through on the days you have planned to volunteer
-Reap the Benefits and enjoy the Adventure

Having trouble?

If you need a resource other than Google or don’t have anything in mind, a valuable resource is the website Volunteer Match.