Full Reversal

This morning I was feeling pretty off center. After I wrote that post in the morning I sat here for a while thinking about my future, and what I wanted to do with myself. I needed a way to express my intentions, and aspirations for the time that I still have left. I resolved to channel that into something tangible, a project proposal I will shop around to the various nonprofits in town, starting with NAMI Sacramento. I spent an hour and a half pouring my intellect, talents and projected hopes into this, and brought a copy up to NAMI today. Both the lead project coordinator and executive director have it now. I honestly don’t know what will come of that, but it should be clear I am serious about grassroots activism and community awareness. My goal is to reduce taxpayer burden on public service and misuse of police resources handling issues that should be handled in the household, or surrounding community. We have to stop ignoring the issue of mental illness and start facing it down. Too many people are dying, lying homeless in the streets because we won’t look this issue straight in the eye. Now, in this time of ever increasing stakes, we need a voice of reason to help bring the focus back to where it belongs, on our home street. We either survive as a community, or we perish alone in our houses, isolated from each other with no one to save us.

I have included the full proposal I wrote below for your review. Just to provide you with some context, one of the larger challenges in this area has been activating minority communities in areas of need in terms of rendering mental illness services. Instead of burdening the system with providing care to indigent populations or others, emphasis should be returned to the individuals living in the community to be aware and mobilize to protect themselves and their environment. The motivation for this is common sense driven. The fact that we expect the police or county medical services to be the fail safe has resulted in many deaths, a huge swath of neglect, and a problem of deteriorating health and homeliness that is not improving but worsening. The status quo is failing, and now we need to really dig into why that is happening, and address a clear area of need. Bringing education to individuals will restore peace to households, change perspectives, eliminate stigma and reverse the trend of the mentally ill being scorned and relegated to the fringes of society. To restore peace to our streets, and safety in our homes, we must realize what we face, and learn about how we can better coexist with it. Opposition only leads to strife and death. The days of mental illness claiming the lives of those who have it are nearing an end, and my program aims to be the start of a new-wave of mental illness comprehension and treatment.

 

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PROPOSAL: NEW COMMUNITY-BASED OUTREACH/AWARENESS CAMPAIGN

PROJECT: Stronger Communities through Awareness, Leadership and Education (SCALE)

 

Westin Eric Bailey

Peer Support Specialist

May 2018

 

Synopsis: In light of the need for ongoing education and awareness of mental illness (and community impacts of) in many minority and disadvantaged communities, I propose to develop a program that will deliver a series of presentations designed to make common-sense arguments for improved mental health awareness at several (initially) communities of need in the Sacramento area. This process is divided into sections in order to properly create an effective outreach tool given the unique requirements of the various constituents of the areas in question. With my background in developing advanced educational materials and my vivacious, effusive and welcoming public speaking persona, I propose a fully-interactive experience that will help to make mental health awareness something a community can become proactive about. The objective would be to inspire individual communities to take charge of activism, assess need internally and begin to understand how the individuals in their community who suffer the symptoms of mental illness can achieve safety and stability through a new comprehension of the illness itself. The project, if implemented, will reduce the workload of police, county facilities and other government provided health care for the indigent.

 

Phase 1 – Assessment: The first stage of the project would be to gather information from new and existing minority community leaders by conducting detailed interviews and asking questions designed to assess the needs of a given local population. Once a sufficient amount of information is gathered, the project would then assess where the program would be most effective, likely given a limited number of opportunities for presentation. The program would then develop presentations designed for each audience in the selected communities across the area, so that each would be able to directly relate to the content being presented (drawing an emphasis to how close mental illness is within their own community, whether or not it is acknowledged openly).

 

Phase 2 – Trials: Program can be developed for 1 target community as a “first draft” implementation of the presentation to assess if the model functions as intended. If the focus of the program is successfully interpreted, information will be gathered from program participants to determine what areas need to be improved in the presentation in order for it to be more effective. Once this stage is completed, the objective would be to begin to promote, and go door-to-door providing information to communities in need. Additional implementations on a single-community basis may be needed to provide additional feedback. This stage must be collectively certified by the leadership in order to proceed with implementation.

 

Phase 3 – Outreach and Awareness: This stage would provide, in advance of scheduling presentations beyond the series of trials, a campaign on social media, TV, Radio and physically taking place in the communities where it is hoped a presentation would be held. The information provided to the populations across the city would specify that the objective is to provide real concrete resources for emergency situations, answer individual questions and provide a tailored product for their community and its unique needs. Outreach will proceed the opportunity to present, and should begin to alert the community well in advance to the presentation and associated resources that will be given out.

 

Phase 4 – Continuation: Program’s ongoing success will be dependent on constant adaptation, revision, and improvement through a long-term creative process over the period of time in which funding is available. A team of individuals can (permitting resources) eventually be developed to do the community assessments, interviews and design educational materials themselves, helping to spread the program farther out across the counties in the area, to any community in need. A leadership structure can then be developed to help maintain oversight and spread the effectiveness of the educational outreach to any community that requests it.

 

Conclusion: With a captivating personality and presentation style, I intend to forward my enthusiasm for mental health awareness and take a common sense approach to living beside people who are mentally ill, and how they all can thrive together. Making the poorest, most disadvantaged populations aware of this internal-crisis of neglect is essential. We intend to provide them with logical, easily comprehensible solutions and resources at all junctures, which will have a huge impact on all individuals in surrounding communities (if not by word-of-mouth but also by improved conditions). If communities can begin to take individual responsibility for their mentally ill, there will be fewer times a not properly trained police officer is called to deal with someone in a mental health crisis. There will be less need for people to be dependent on county resources if individuals are being assisted by their communities and families. The only thing this program can do, is help people understand what mental illness is, and how to handle it when it is a local  issue. We are going to take fear and stigma out of the myriad cultural misconceptions and reduce the issue of community mental illness down to the simple practicalities: Taking care of it themselves means fewer people will accidentally be hurt, die, or be forgotten; otherwise diminishing the integrity/perception of the surrounding community. I do believe that once the program is developed, the effects will be wide-reaching. This program, if funded, can save the city and surrounding county governments lost time and resources that will no longer need to be dedicated to addressing mentally ill individuals who have no place else to go.

 

Details (Long Ass Post)

I felt a bit disjointed earlier when I posted my score. I also didn’t explain the downgrade was physical energy and not mental health. I wasn’t ready to be introspective. I was all beered up and unwinding from a long day of detail oriented work. So now I’m going to dive right in:

I really wish NAMI Sacramento would hire me. I thought if all this cool shit I could bring to the table. New programs, multicultural outreach (locally relevant), language and cultural education. I will have a chance to make a difference like that someday, I believe. I, despite my impatience, must learn to grow a reputation as a contributor first and present consistency to advance beyond. That has always been the way of trust, even as the chihuahua of my enthusiasm nips at the heels.

I’ve been foolish lately. ***** got a lot of past memories pheasants flushed out of the thicket for my consciousness to see. I was hurt by how I was disregarded, again, and that pushed me further into longing. Then I pestered Amanda and, unsurprisingly, found her empty of interest. Frustrating myself intentionally trying to cross bridges that were burned up long ago is not the best use of my time, I think. It tells me a lot about how deeply I love. Even though nothing remains, I still would run to love them again if they wanted me to. None of them do, however.

Inside me, there are these missing areas. Several of them. It’s a part of me that grew and became vibrant, thick, vital… like an organ designated to secreting love juice (um, ew?). Then, they died. I feel them now, dead inside me. Like a houseplant that no matter how you prune it creatively or sprinkle magic dust on it, the carcass of a once living thing is all that remains for all your guests to see. The hurt is constant, because energy still goes into it, but it never becomes any less dead. I wish so badly to bring it to life again by going back to the person who made it grow, but even then “where there is death, there will always be death.” -The Last Arcanan

I’ve held on for 15 years Blog. I’ve never forgotten, never given up hope that one of these empty places in me would come to life again. I can’t bear the shame of so much love lying in ruinous rot within me. Because of me. Because they stopped loving me. It is a pain I don’t think I will ever be free of, because I am responsible for putting it there.

My journey is a series of lessons. This loneliness is something I must understand and address. My future is far from decided, which opens the door to hope. I know my weaknesses, and I am not going to fall back to my past trying to find something of worth amidst the ashes. If there is ever going to be love in my life again, it will need to be brand new.

I definitely don’t deserve a fucking thing at this point, despite misfortune. Meaning can only be derived from worth of merit. The one who sees me now as the man I am… she will love me in a way that may last. A type of love based on an upward curiosity seems to be a variety of motivation that carries a potentially positive trajectory. Rather than lust, compromise, desperation or lies… interest has a deep well of questions that demand answers. Curiosity is an engine that drives understanding forward. Discovery is a spark that lights up an empty room with a moment of clarity, and yearns for more. These things are far from impossible, I have just never known anyone to have them for me. I, however, believe that when someone really sees who I am, this may yet happen.

As I go forward, I don’t intend anything other than to pursue my career and find meaning in helping others. I won’t close doors that might be closed anyway (Pessimistic Peter), and I will maintain a keen eye for possibility.

I do believe things are moving in the intended direction quite as planned. Since ** lit a fire under me, I’ve really taken charge of my independent future. Now, more than ever, I have the next several steps ahead planned out. I rarely look forward very far, but in this instance, I think having a bit of a glance in the intended direction is helpful in pacing my energy. I might still have a ways to wait before I can begin earning an income. Whatever obstacles there are, I am determined to overcome.

I have a few stories to tell tomorrow, some of which are fucking hilarious. This post has been going on for long enough. Tonight, I rest easy and peacefully. I know what I must do, and I go proudly off to do it.

My name is Westin Eric, and I’m a Peer Support Specialist. I’m an honest man who will dedicate himself to hearing you when you need to be heard. I will effusively demonstrate my vibrant emotions, boisterous dialogue, flamboyant facial expressions and demonstrative arm movements in all aspects of communication. Most importantly though, I will understand and help, not judge or advise, while we deal with the crisis at hand. I will help show how to take those first few steps forward and I will rally behind anyone who strives against mental illness, so that one day, they may know a full life.

Blah blah preachy preachy. This guy is fake news. He probably was the leader of the spy ring in my campaign! Curses!

Zzzzzzeeeeerrrrrrrrrr

Zzzt

-{===|]

Coastafied

Score: +3

Today was a not very productive day that still felt pretty good. I did really walk a ton and kinda burned myself out. I’ve been listening to the news and boy is that frustrating. Some fucking crazy shit going on.

I think I speak for most people when I say: just let the fucking investigation play out and stop poking it! If you are innocent, WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU WORRIED ABOUT? I mean, come on… this guy is not even close to off topic yet, not even in the same ballpark as Ken Starr.

What keeps me entertained is just the SHM value of it. Who do you guys think you’re going to fool with all this tomfoolery? Nunez… really? Come on man, the toadie is the first guy to eat shit when the boss is in trouble. He’s like the weird kid on the street who can be in the club, but only if he doesn’t come inside the treehouse and he can’t be a part of any of the meetings.

It just looks less and less like a good thing. I gave the guy a fresh slate after the election. “prove me wrong” I said. And then that didn’t take particularly long to happen, followed by a series of worsening calamities unfolding daily. Who are these voters who would still vote for this guy? Most successful President in american history? Largest inauguration crowd size ever? I’m so buff (flex) i pick up the whole White House with mah meaty arm, den I’M A BUILD THAT WALL! A wall? What, are the Mongols coming? Sigh. SHM. SEE, right there.

Please, can we have a normal government again? I don’t care who’s in charge, as long as we’re not fucking jumping through flaming hoops and shit or having the Executive as a reality TV show. It shouldn’t be entertaining, it should be doing something useful.

Anyway, things, otherwise, are great. I feel fine, alert, happy and ready for some more good news this week.

Singing

For the last few days, I have been going out of my way to sing in my room to some of my favorite music. The Chapter 2 playlist I made a while ago was just for that purpose, to sing back to back songs and rock out all afternoon in my smelly box/domicile. I’m going from “For Whom The Bell Tolls” to “No One In The World” on the next track (and pulling it off [maybe not in the same octave, mind you]). Needless to say, those two songs are sung pretty differently from the other. I had “All My Loving” come on the random shuffle and that tugged on me a bit. I like that though, even if it hurts a little. Remembering beautiful things will be positive for me, always, because my framing of the future doesn’t carry the burden of old pain. We have a choice, and choosing to remember the aspect of it so I can be happy is my choice.

My arsenal of known lyrics has become pretty extensive too, not only do I have the sound of the voices down, but I’m a full-body performer. My instrument of choice is the air-guitar, but you will catch me behind he air-drums or the air-bass depending on the occasion. I have even been known to do an air flute on certain Jethro Tull tracks. Damn, I’m impressive. Haha.

On the MH side of this, I know when I’m finally in a good place when I’m singing. In the past, it has been one of the ultimate healthy expressions of happiness and confidence. Really since we moved up here I’ve been on the path but it has been increasing lately (especially since I started singing listening to music on my walks). I was singing back when I moved in to my place on Mt. Helix. Man, I was really happy then too. I was singing all afternoon waiting for Will to get off work so we could play HotS together. We used to talk politics all evening too, and man, if we thought it was bad THEN, take a look at the shit-pizza now! Good times.

Move forward with a song either on your lips, or in your heart. Wherever we can make the most beautiful music is where we belong.

 

Sacramento NAMI Walks 2018

What a fantastic two days I’ve had! I already bemoaned my dilapidated state in the previous post, at the interval of pause in my volunteer period. Saturday was the day of the event, and I was down there first thing in the morning at 5, then to work by 5:30. I worked the whole day and was, essentially, the bouncer directing event participants to parking and allowing vendors and pick-up/set-up cars through to load or unload. I stood in the sun and was highly effective and helpful for 4 or so hours. Got a nice sunburn going on too, which stands in stark contrast to my overall pastiness.

At the end of the day, an hour of manual labor taking down those 10×10 canopies and loading the trailer. Thoroughly exhausting and my body is beat like a dead cat against a dirty rug. The part that really got me was all the “thank you” messages I got from people leaving the event. All around, everyone I talked to was thanking me for what I did. Erin the event coordinator knows my work ethic and sees that I’m not just another kid in an orange shirt. I know I made a difference, and I gave my total energy capacity limit for this event. I feel really proud of that.

Monday I’m back on the warmline until about 2:00 pm (my personal stopping point). I’m slowly making myself more relevant to NAMI Sacramento and with two months to incessantly badger them with my helpfulness, there is no resisting embracing me into the fold. I need to be making money at some point, but it is not a dire priority. I hope I can be someone of importance within NAMI Sacramento but we shall see. I have good connections with RI and NAMI in San Diego as well, so maybe there’s a bridge to be built there some day.

Advocacy, outreach and persistence. I will continue to tell my story of lived experience and help affect positive change in the environment I find myself in.

On a totally separate note: the “drip, drip, drip…” of American politics has been more like a very entertaining TV show and less like real life than ever before. The Executive has become a reality show, the Legislative is just as mind-numbingly stupid and or boring as ever, and the Judiciary is showing signs of falling hard to the right in a 6-3 swing by next year. I’ve used terms like: “stepped on his own dick,” “uh-oh,” “oh no” and “oh my gawd, why did you say THAT?” to describe the various things I see happening before my eyes. I have also used the following analogy to describe the presidency of Donald J. Trump: The Administration is a huge meteor beginning its descent into the thickening atmosphere of Earth. Right now, the front exterior of the Administration is starting to liquify and burn away, but as we watch in slow motion, unfolding before us is the ever excruciating moments of impending meteoric destruction, eagerly awaiting a final impact on the surface. When this object finally meets its doom, the Administration will be mostly vaporized and what remains will be splattered across the sky for hundreds of miles around the area of peak destruction. Right? Either way you think about this whole thing, it’s looking more and more like there’s going to be a big fucking hole in the ground and a lot of people going “WTF!!!” Just a prediction. I’d be interested to hear a sound argument that somehow exonerates the President or makes this whole sequence seem less like disaster and more like coherent strategy. Good luck with that.