Why Fight for those with Mental Illnesses?

A friend asked me today why I cared so much.

This was my reply:

Because I went through it, still go through it, and there is a huge stigma around mental illnesses. 1/4-1/5 people suffer from a form of mental illness in their life time (that is a huge number). Many of them do so silently because they are afraid of being judged or misunderstood- and for good reason. I even suffer from that time to time. I’m pretty open about it, but I’ve had people treat me differently after I opened up to them. I just don’t want people to suffer in silence. I want them to be heard, to get the help they need, and feel secure in seeking that help. How many people die/commit suicide because they didn’t feel like they had anywhere to go or people to talk to? How many people do not seek the help they need because they feel like it makes them look weak or “different?” It shouldn’t be that way. It should be treated like any other illness, something that occurs and is manageable. There is no reason why people with mental illnesses shouldn’t live normal lives, or at least as normal as possible. I want to make lives better, educate people to understanding, and love. Just love everyone I can <3. haha

Is that too much?? :-p

Because that is how I really feel baha

I mean we all have problems. I feel like having gone through those things just makes me a better person and more able to connect and understand. Empathy overload :-p But I have always been like that, why I allow myself to get hurt, and over think EVERYTHING. ❤

Why else live this life if you can’t make a difference in the world?

Nothing else will live on except for the imprints you make in the lives of the people around you.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/alisa.rogne.1

Instagram: fightwithfitness

My personal Beachbody website:

http://www.beachbodycoach.com/esuite/home/fightwithfitness

I am here for you as always if you ever need anything. Just message me .

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Check this out ❤ More to come. I will be starting to be more active again starting today! Love you, and hope everyone has been doing well!!!

This is basically a PowerPoint calling for action.

There are millions of people suffering around the world with Mental Illnesses who are posting on social media sites just waiting for people like you and me to notice them. To love them. To give them hope. Please take the time to go through the slides ❤

Mental Health

(click me lol ^^)

Oblivion

i can’t help the tumultuous feelings raging in my head. What have I done with my life other than made a huge mess of it? I trust people without them having earned that trust, and therefore I am made vulnerable and am easily hurt.

Having one of those days where nothing is going right and it had made it all even worse.

It is too cold outside for me to try to fix my headlight and wipers myself. I don’t want to sit outside in negative degree weather and try to figure out something I’ve never done before. Bad idea on my part. I just wanted to be independent and try. I need to get my car inspected though and it won’t pass without those things fixed. I left to go get started on taking care of these things and just kept forgetting one thing after another. Finally at the third trip back to the apartment I just broke down, and here I am, in bed.

I cried today, because i am confused. I don’t understand things. If people won’t talk to me, how are we ever going to resolve anything. Am I that bad of a person that one little thing goes wrong people just turn away from me? What kind of cold human beings am I associating myself with. I thought you were my friend, I thought you cared. I thought we understood one another, and we’re going to figure out how to make it work. I guess not. I guess I was horribly wrong. You seem to be content to leave me in the dark.

I am sensitive to tone and pitch, as I am sure a lot of you are. The way people speak to me is critical to how I will feel. If you raise your voice, snap at me, or just generally say anything impolite it resonates in my would. I am way too empathetic as well.

I need attention, or at least just a simple kiss, hug, hold my hand, cuddle with me. Let me know you are aware that I exist and I am something special to you. I need love. I need you to want to care for me in these ways. You would never know by the way I act, but I am terribly in need of reassurance. I have been beaten down psychologically in my past, and I have such a hard time doing it on my own.

I know when I am depressed, and I can definitely say that this recent bout has thrown me into a mini darkness. But I will come out, I will fight, and the baby steps I take to fix and organize my life will be my greatest reward in the end.

but right now, I just want to pass out into oblivion.

No dreams

nothing

Reticent

Reticent
Sleep defies me.
Regret hangs loose in the air.
Grasping for anything in the darkness
Clinging to hope.
Battling my demons.
Thoughts swirling in my mind.
The visions I see in my dreams.
They aren’t real.
They can’t be real.

Sometimes you feel lost and alone.
You know that isn’t the case.
All the people in the world surrounding you could not banish it.

❤️

For those who dream of better things, hope for a brighter future, and dread the unknown that the days bring.

The past six months I have been dealing with the fallout from a relationship that shoulve ended years ago. That is why I have been so inactive. Plus he holidays etc. I hope you are are safe and happy and enjoyed your holidays.

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I have been keeping up with my workouts beginning again this week. Between th stress and the holidays and working 60 hours a week it has been hard. But it feels so good to be getting back at it again.

i just have to ask for prayers and support. I am locked into a lease I desperately need to get rid of. I have a place waiting for me that is going to charge me $400 flat, and it is a gorgeous home. I currently cannot afford the place I am in right now and I am far behind on everything. Please pray, or send positive vibes my way that someone will take this apartment away from me. I am even offering some of my furniture.

Love You all.

Here are some photos of what I have bee up to lately ❤️💋

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NAMI Recognition Dinner

So I was lucky enough to have off last Friday night so I could make it to the first NAMI Rensselaer County Recognition Dinner and Art Show. It is always great to meet with people who accept you and understand you, and to see them get rewarded/recognized for all the great work they have put into the organization. Specifically touching was Gail Moore who spoke about her life and childhood, and who was recognized for her many years of dedication to helping people with mental illnesses. I also got to meet the Dean of Public Health at the college I attended: SUNY Albany. He was sitting at my table! What a small world! If you want to help support your local NAMI group, get involved, or reach out you can find them at the following website:

http://www.nami.org/

It is such a great organization filled with compassionate and skilled people waiting to reach out and do whatever they can to help you get through the tough times. I hope that I can make the time to get involved, sometime in the next few years.

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They also featured art from some of the members which you can see below:

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Why Hello There, My World: Good and Bad

 

Apologize for any mistakes, I do not feel up to rereading all of this and correcting anything!

Beware: Unedited and probably full of errors- if you are a proponent of proper English, and errors send you into crazed madness do not read!

You probably know what I mean when I say I feel like my entire world is crashing at my feet. I haven’t been posting much, and I do apologize, I have just been extremely busy. Because of the debt I am in, and my future goals, I have been working 50+ hours a week. I have not had much time for the gym :/ which I am really upset about (I probably have lost a lot of muscle mass, and set myself back significantly). Let me go through what is happening right now in my life.

The Good

  • I have been promoted to manager at the Saratoga Juice Bar. It is a small accomplishment, but something to be happy for. I am just glad I get to put it on my resume now! I really love working there. I enjoy the nutritional aspect, and the people I work with are very amiable. It truly is a blessing to be able to work for this establishment. Check them out at: http://saratogajuicebar.com/ if you want to take a peek!
  • I got a job at my Vent Fitness!!! (Clifton Park). It is only part time, but this is really what I want to start doing more and I figured what better way to start off my quest in mental and fitness health than working at the gym I really love.
  • I have a lot of bills, but I am finally able to pay them all myself. I am also able to spend a little money on myself as well on the side now, which I don’t even know how to explain how good that feels (girls know what I mean, shopping therapy really worksss).

The Bad

  • My relationship of 5 years is possibly at an end. I cannot and will not point fingers at him or myself saying it is either of our faults. There were many issues, we tried out best, and in the end I don’t know if we can get past them. Either way, it is life shattering. I only remember feeling like this once before, and I hate it. I have been having to take more of my anxiety pills because I just keep thinking about it over and over and it is completely stressing me out. That heavy feeling in my chest won’t go away. I don’t know if I should respect his request for space or if he really wants me to reach out and fight for him. Either way, I always feel so confused also because I feel like my illness always gets in the way in my relationships. I feel that most likely it has affected 50% or more, and I hate it. Looking back now I can see the patterns, and I had some really wonderful kind people, but I would get into this strange period where I was just done. I was cold, unfeeling, emotionless, for almost no reason. That is not what happened here, but there was another factor. Basically I am sad, tired, lonely, and utterly unhappy. (If you know me and you are reading this, please don’t feel the need to do anything, I am not writing this as a call for help from you or for any pity. It is just for those out there who are struggling too.)
  • My bills are really high. I need to figure out if there is any federal exemptions for people with mental illnesses. I have to start paying back some of my loans next month because I failed last semester (had another episode). So I really need to do some research, and if any of you know anything about things like this please share!
  • I am having a lot of trouble sleeping. I don’t want to take my anxiety medicine to sleep, but  have consistently been unable to sleep through the night. This just adds to my fatigue, and when I am not working usually you can find me in my bed. I am currently struggling to get up and finish cleaning like I want to.
  • Having trouble eating, not hungry. I actually could consider this good, because maybe I’ll finally lose some weight, but no. Its either I am not hungry, or I am binge eating on bad things. I need to get this under control, but I am pretty sure I am battling a slight case of depression right now, so oh wells. Nothing new lol :-p

 

Don’t worry I am still fighting, and I see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I believe God has a plan for me, that I am on this earth for a purpose, and I will get there one day.

Stephen Piorkowsk: Running from the Past to Run to a Brighter Future

I had the privilege of living near Stephen’s wife, Pam a few years back and I am so glad I met them. They were the ones to introduce me to NAMI, and it is really nice/refreshing to talk to other people who really truly understand your struggles.

I can personally attest to how helpful it is to read about others struggles, strategies, and recovery etc.. We need to get mental illnesses out in the open, and eliminate the stigma that makes people feel like they have to hide. I just found out from a friend that her college professor recently committed suicide. Who knows if such a heartbreaking tragedy could have been prevented if maybe she felt she could be more open, that it was okay to seek help, that she wouldn’t be judged.

Being depressed is an illness that needs to be treated, just like the flu or cancer.

I hope I can make a difference in this fight, even if it is just a small one.

I asked Stephen if he would be willing to share his story and here it is 🙂


If you would like to share your own story, please feel free to e-mail it to me and I would be more than happy to share it!

Fightwithfitness@outlook.com


 

Stephen Piorkowski                                                                                        July 2, 2014

Running from the Past to Run to a Brighter Future

 

 

Years go by and your memories of the past are shaded by what seemed to be great, and memories that were bad. I was around 17 when I was caught in a whirlwind of events that changed my life forever. My brother was in the army and stationed around Boston. Our family received a call that he was A.W.O.L. I thought that going up to find him would help and get him to safety. Little did I know that my safety was in jeopardy. I found my brother and convinced him to return to his base. I was still up in Boston and staying with people who offered me a place. One night, I came back home without any knowledge of a curfew. I left the subway train and, as soon as I left the station I was caught in the middle of a riot between the Boston police and the Black Panthers and the Weathermen Underground. I was surrounded by police and was battered with clubs on my head that resulted in me receiving a traumatic brain injury (T.B.I.) I could only see blood around me and was taken to a hospital. I could not get out of bed and I could not speak, no words left my mouth. I could not remember things. My parents brought me home from Boston in mid-August and my Senior Year in High School was going to start. I could not bring myself to even thinking of going to school in the shape I was in. My parents argued with me about this, they found out by going my doctor I could get home nurse care. The nurse that I had, helped me by getting me out and found me a job with the County. It was a job that I shared with others and it was not challenging for me and motivated me to move on to better places to work. I still was suffering from the Brain Injury:I started having Grand Mal seizures, and on top of that I became depressed. I just existed by working different jobs and going out with friends. I had no plans and was just caught in a whirlwind of depression and epilepsy .

I started to see my life and independence was declining. I wanted to find a way to become healthy and change my life. I went to the library and researched epilepsy. No internet at that time every piece of information was found in libraries. I found that there were people who saw improvement by running. I started to run and I was a smoker at the time. I stopped because my breathing was so affected. I remember running a 5 mile race and I saw black and stars. I decided to stop. I also changed my friends. I could not be around people who used drugs. I stopped taking drugs and I started running about 5 miles a day and running races on weekends by 3 to 4 months I was running 50 miles a week and I decided to run my first marathon. It was the 1982 Jersey Shore Marathon and I finished under 4 hours. That was a great time for a first time marathon. I worked and trained for the New Your Marathon in 1983 and I ran 10 consecutive New York Marathons and did not miss a running workout for years. The decision to change my friends and choose a healthy lifestyle was my decision based on research that I discovered. I also found that my depression was not an issue. My seizures were controlled. I had a couple in those 10 years but I believe running gave me strength to handle stress by me controlling stress (long distance running) and going to great distances to become strong.

I was married in New York and I lived in Brooklyn. I worked at Columbia University as a Production coordinator for the College. I also worked for the New York Road Runners Club as a race event coordinator. I received money from people who ran races but as soon as that was finished I was able to run all races for free. I became the Prospect Track Club runner of the year by finishing over 400 miles of races and I am not even saying how many training miles that I ran.

Eventually after being married we decided to have children. We tried to have children but miscarriages happened and we decided to adopt. We traveled to Hungary to adopt our twins and we came back home after 5 weeks. We had plans to have a nanny to take care of our children but that fell apart. With not many options we decided that I would take care of the children. Twins from an orphanage was very challenging but I did well. I found programs that they could belong to that would address the issues children from orphanages face. Physical therapy, speech therapy and head start programs to give them extra care. After 6 months of taking care of my twins I decided it was time to return to work. I decided to change my career from a production coordinator of printing to a chef. I was hired to work for the prestigious Whitney family of Saratoga. I worked from 7 in the morning to about 7 at night and loved the job and did well. I wanted to continue but my former wife had no interest in taking care of the children and decided that I should not work those hours. Well I was hired to work those hours and even more because they wanted me to travel to Saratoga, Georgia , England to cook for the Whitney’s and their staff. Eventually I left not felling happy and depressed. I also did not mention that I was not supported by my former wife to even get a break. I stopped running when we adopted the children. I also stopped taking my epilepsy medication because during the time that I ran. Running and exercise made me strong both mentally and physically. I took care of my twin sons at home and participated in school events and activities. My former wife did not but after 8 years of taking great care of our sons she decided that she wanted me to leave. I searched for work but it was hard because over those years I was a stay home dad. No one wanted to hire me and I became depressed. Suicidal thoughts started to emerge I felt lost and without support more than ever my former wife threatened to throw me out and the more I heard that the more depressed I became. I felt trapped and I had to think quickly. I was weakened by my former wife by her way of making me feel useless. My moral sunk, my confidence was gone and the only thoughts I had were how I was going to survive. We had a home in Brooklyn and a home in Ocean Grove NJ. I took my sons to the Jersey Shore home in Ocean Grove all summer long and on holidays and weekends. My former wife argued with me about moving out and one weekend she said she was going to her mothers with the boys. I decided that this was the time for me to leave I packed everything I could in a van. Moved to Ocean Grove and that was my freedom returning. But at a cost I moved in with hardly any money and had to find work. I turned manic and started losing sleep maybe lucky if I could get a couple hours in. I wasn’t eating well and started to feel freedom from my depression that held me captive when I was abused by my former wife. I did so much but did not have a stable concrete foundation and never felt any comfort.

I started having seizures during my depression just before I left my former wife I just did not know what were the causes. Then I found out because during the years that I ran I was not depressed or having seizures. I was healthy because I trained and worked out. I ate well and slept well.

I left the Jersey Shore and my former wife in Brooklyn and moved up to Albany eventually settling in Delmar NY. I had started my routine again running every day and training for races. I became strong and seizures stopped. I started to work at RPI after working as a customer service representative. The hours in the kitchen were sometimes 60 hours and even when they were 40 hour weeks I was too tired to run. I worked hard to become a good baker and chef but had a supervisor who just was terrible to me and other staff members. I had my hours reduced and was in such bad shape because of the worry of my finances. This set me in another depression. I was not sleeping worrying about work and money. I was worried because of my lack of sleep that I was going to have a seizure. I was getting better because I was prescribe medication that helped after going through some trial and error. I asked Pam to marry me and we set the date for June 9th 2012 and got married in Providence RI and left to Iceland on our honeymoon. Well everything caught up to me and when we landed in Iceland I had two seizures, one out on the street and then when I was sent to our hotel, I had one in the room. After 30 hours on intravenous valium and resting we were able to go on. We came home back to Delmar and I had two more. One at home with my wife Pam calling the first aid and the ambulance taking me to Albany Med. When in Albany Med I had another and it was a severe one. One that had the doctors hospitalize me. I was released and was told to not drive and I was noticing some mania. I was so upset that I was unable to drive that I biked over 40 miles every day to Troy NY from Delmar. I also wanted to be independent, so I walked biked everywhere. When I was out sick from the seizures and had a lot of time so I set a room up in my house that connected a complete stereo system, TV, computer, tape player, record player CD player, DVD player and desk with art work in one night. I did not sleep again. I seems the seizures that I have and the bipolar symptoms are related. I sometimes are fearful of their return.

I considered therapies to become healthy again and I decided that it was time to go to a outpatient treatment center at Four Winds at Saratoga. . I went for 8 weeks and I believe it improved my mental health but I had to make things better. It took me time to find a Psychologist and a Psychiatrist. The Psychologist helped Pam and me work out our problems and the Psychiatrist eventually prescribe Lithium that was so vital for my recovery. I started going to Schenectady College last September and since then I have been on the Presidents List for the Fall and Spring Terms. I also was awarded a scholarship. I have been seizure free for over a year and my doctor said I can drive again. I started running again and I feel better than ever.

Healthy Minds and healthy bodies are both as important to enjoy life. I will go on sharing my stories and look forward to brighter days.

My wife Pam

She has been through a lot . Having to witness and help me when I had a seizure on our honeymoon I shared the trauma that she experienced. I feel that it’s just as hard for a person to see as it is a person having a seizure. I wanted to get help for her and the epilepsy foundation gave her counseling. I received counseling also. I started putting my life together and Pams thanks to them. Pam worked extra hard to go to workshops at NAMI and get support for caregivers of people with mental illness. I still struggle with the stigma of mental illness and epilepsy and hope education and awareness will free those of us mislabeled.

 

Thank you Stephen

 

**Warning** I’ve Relasped. Please, Help Me.

Click on the link below!


**Warning** I’ve Relasped. Please, Help Me..


If you have time to read this and lend support to this beautiful person please do! 

There is nothing worse than getting to your lowest point and just wanting it all to end.

To feel hopeless and tired of fighting.

Just remember reach each out and love everyone you meet. Smile, wave, call your friends…every little action can make a day, be the turning point in someone’s life, or even save a life.

You are beautiful..

You are meaningful

It is not you.

It is all in your head.

Your brain malfunctioning.

Your neurons unable to connect properly.

Signals diverted, halted, lost.

It is not your fault.

You have an illness.

Just like a cold or cancer.

You can only try to control the symptoms.

There are people waiting to help,

Waiting to wrap their arms around you

To listen without judgment.

To love unconditionally.

Fight.

Fight with fitness.

Fight with love.

Fight with anything and everything.

Just fight. 

Live.

Workout: Tuesday 6/11/14

So already I am behind on my schedule! *grrr* I was SUPPOSED to do leg day on Monday…but hey I guess everything doesn’t always go as planned and we just have to improvise ;). This workout was particularly hard for me, possibly because it was my first time at the gym since I got sick. I didn’t get to get everything in, but what I missed I will add in later on today after work!

  • 15 minute warm up on the elliptical
  • Leg extension machine x12 (3 sets)
  • I WAS going to do the leg curl machine afterwards, but you know…some ladies need their social time and thus decide that they need to do it while they are “working out”…. Makes me so angry. DO NOT DO THIS!!! There are people who go to the gym to actually accomplish something rather than exercising their jaw muscles… Have a little respect and consideration for others <3.

Sorry about the rant, might feel a little strongly about this :-p.

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Ok :-p I think I got that off my chest ❤

back to my workout…

  • Smith machine squats (narrow, wide, sumo)
    • 20lbs x12, 12, 12
    • 40lbs x12, 12, 12
    • 60lbw x12, 12, 12
    • 80lbs x7, 7, 7
    • 100lbs x3, 2, 3
  • Romanian deadlifts (60lbs) and lunges
    • x20 (deadlifts), 20 (lunges on each leg, so total of 40)
    • x15, 20
    • x16, 29
    • x9, 15
  • Seated calf raise (in, middle, out)
    • 70lbs x12, 12, 12
    • 75lbs x12, 12, 12
    • 80lbs x12, 12, 12
  • Dumbbell squat 25lbs for the duration of the song : Wiggle by Jason Derulo (yes I know…I just can’t help myself…)
  • Side lunges for the duration of the songs: Stay with My by Sam Smith, and Wild Love by Pitbull

 

I then had to haul a** out of the gym to make to do dinner with Nate and Paige!