Rapid Resolution Therapy​.

Make it stop, does it ever take a break, that little voice that never shut-up in my head. Replaying and becoming stuck on every real, and futuristic situation you have ever faced. RRT which is a form of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy. This therapy is so awesome for that you do not have to relive, or even recall details of the traumatic event.  It is called a bottom-up process and just focuses on relocating and detaching the physical pain from the mental pain.
 I was introduced to Rapid Resolution Therapy during my stay in a local rehab felicity. During this time all of the horrible events came rushing back, with having nothing to quiet them down. The counselors were not interested in my past, or what even lead up to alcohol abuse, they just wanted to make my life drug free.  Being drug-free was just a holding place for me, I knew that if these trauma’s and anxieties were not treated, my life would be full of alcohol abuse, destruction and no real relationships or future.
 The room was silent, filled with patients and concerned loved ones. A tall, nicely dressed gentleman walked into the room and introduced himself. “ Hi, I’m Dr. Q, A trauma therapist, and I am here today to talk about trauma’s and anxieties related to drug addiction.”  I was hooked and latched onto every word he said. After the lecture was over, I promptly went up to him and introduced myself as his newest patient. I am sure he gets this all the time, but there was a look of seriousness and desperation in my eyes.  He talked with me briefly and handed me his card, which I put in a safe place, so I could call my mom later, and tell her all about this treatment I really wanted to look into.
 That evening when everything has settled down from that day, I made a call to my mom, and she called and made me an appointment. Patients in rehab get top priority, so I was able to get in that following week.  The week leading up to that day was torturous, with many restless nights, sleepy days with panic and fear just pouring out of me.  My fellow rehabbers helped me through each situation the best they could, mainly just listening.
Appointment day arrived, filled with joy, anxieties, and curiosity my mom pulled up to the treatment center, and signed me out for the day. In the first session with Dr. Q all  I knew was that it was video taped, and it lasted up to 5 hours, but no shorter than 2.5.
 The tape started, Dr. Q started asking me questions.
“ So Bree, what pleasure do I have of treating with you?
   “ I can not get my mind to shut-up, I am having, and have had these vivid flashbacks.I am unable to fully put my head underwater, whether it is in a pool, or shower, in fear it brings back such hard emotions, and physical pain.”
“ My sleep is anything but restless, although I do not know what is going on, I thrash, kick, yell,  and scream, most of the time it is for help, and or fear, of what is going on within my subconscious mind.”
“ I always feel somebody is trying to harm me, I have kept a huge secret my whole life, “ That I was a victim of a sexual assault at the age of 13 and again at 23.”
“ I also want to understand why I choose alcohol as my go to, and that when I do drink, 9 out of 10 times it would trigger horrible, vivid and real flash backs, to the point where I am unable to move from fear.”
“ I shower at least 4 times a day, but never felt clean, and or even relaxed.” This started in early childhood, I would say around age 4.”
“ I worry and stress about literally everything, in my control and not in my control, but should be. Control gives me the power that was taken away from me at such a young age.” There becomes a point in which I want control so bad, that I start to gain control in other ways, such a not eating, working out, art, and the worst but most often drinking.”
“ I have no cried actual tears since childhood, crying was embedded in me that it was a sign of weakness, and not allowed.”  NOTE My parents have never told me crying was bad, or a sign of weakness, we think one of my babysitters might of.”
 After expressing all of this he said to me “ What would a life without all this pain look like to me”.
  This was something so unimaginable to me, I just teared up, bit my lip hard and said wonderful!  He then asked me to pick an object that represents something meaningful and strong to me. My choice  The Lotus Flower, so from this point on I am to imagine the Lotus Flower, as my end result. To be unharmed by all that is around me, and to flourish beautifully even though I have been to the depths of darkness and back.
 As the season contained I grew more and more skeptical about RRT, It did not feel like anything was going on expect a series of the same questions asked different ways. Then once my guard was completely down he asked me to close my eyes and imagine myself in a body of water. “ I imminently opened my eyes, and said no way!”  He told me he would be here the whole time, and he just needed that panic, and fear to happen so he could get my brain back on track.
So I closed my eyes once again, gripping the pillow tight I imagined myself in a body of water.” I felt my heart starting to beat uncontrollably, my hands became shaky and sweating, and my breathing became labored. He had me right where he needed me.  Just as I was about to freak out he had me think of the lotus flower, take a deep breath and open my eyes.
 I looked around the room with blurred vision,  I did not know what just happened. It took all of few moments to get a panic, terrified and real emotion out of me. The worst part is over. Having and showing these raw emotions was a golden opportunity for both myself and Dr.Q. He now broke down the event, making me close my eyes again at each stressful moment and to focus on my Lotus Flower, and his voice. As the hours passed by I became more and more tired.
  The Break
We took a nice lunch break and went out to get food. As conversation started, doing our best to not talk about the session but more about my family, how they took to me being a lesbian, my girlfriend who I see as my wife one day.  It felt so great to talk with a professional, as an adult and for them not to just jump to labeling me this or that. He wanted to make sure that coming out wasn’t a traumatizing or troubling situation, which he discovered that it had been. Setting that aside for our next visit, we already had so much to cover, and we both knew it couldn’t be completed by today. As lunch finished up we headed back to his office, and into the room, turning on the camera as we walked in.
 It took Dr. Q a little bit to get me back into the mind frame where he needed me. In this part of the session, he wanted to focus on detaching my physical response to the troubling event, so that when  I think of the event, those physiological responses won’t happen.  Than as he was talking to me, the response happened tears started to fill my eyes, and my body started to shake a little, the moment he saw this he asked me what was going through my mind, and for me to shut my eyes and think of that Lotus flower, I dug my nails deep into my thighs, He imminently  asked me to open my eyes, and to stop. Something deeper was going on, he wanted to know what.  He kept asking me “ What just happened.”, “ What made you grip so tightly to,” I told him I was too scared to move forward, and that I really wanted to be done for the day. As we closed the session, he told me that he was looking forward to helping me more, and to call him if I am having any problems.
 Back to rehab
As I make my way back to the rehab felicity I notice that my body is so weak, and my mind can’t even form a sentence.  I see a group of my friends waiting to greet me by a door, all asking questions about my sessions. Seeing Dr.Q was a luxury, one that many rehabbers didn’t have, my heart breaks for them, but this is my time to just focus on me, and because I am privileged I am able to seek the best care possible.  The advice I gave everybody, who would be attending a  Dr. Q session, is to be open, and expect to be talked raw by the end of it, and have really no idea of what or how you all of a sudden feel lighter but mentally drained. Dr. Q is still in my treatment plan today, we meet every 2-3 weeks after I graduated rehab. Today I only see him every other month, unless a crisis strikes me. He says my progress is outstanding, but he wants me in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy two to three times a week.
  Out of rehab and to this day
 I have been out of rehab for over two years now,  and see great improvement even with setbacks. Today I am able to put my whole face underwater, and shower without any triggers for flashbacks, or self-harm.  My alcohol abuse is limited to a few days to a week at a time. I know that sounds like a lot, but when this happens we know it is time for me to go for RRT again.  It is so important for me always stay in check with my mind, body, and to listen to that noise in my head, whether it is conscious or sub conscious.  My sleep’s are still restless, and many nights are spent awake and or waking up in a complete panic, and can not go back to sleep for hours, but I am happy to say that my last session got my drinking under control, and we had a break through with me opening up and talking about what was really hurting me even if it was so painful to face, I would come out stronger overall.  Getting help in any form of therapy is a great idea, there is help within every budget, and or insurance plan. Wellness does not happen over night, but with one foot forward and just the hint of willingness you can be on the path to peace and recovery.
Dr. Quintal’s Website

Coming out

Coming out  is one of hardest, but most self-rewarding acts when done, for better or for worse.
So the ice finally breaks, I’m a lesbian I say to  aunt Linda, whom I am very close with,
So I do not remember the date, but I clearly remember the story about how I dropped the huge hint to my parents about possibly being a lesbian.  It was so unplanned and just slipped out of my mouth.  It was after a long night spent at my best friend’s house celebrating our upcoming graduation from high school with tons of beer, loud music and absolutely no sleep until daylight. The next morning my parents and I had a planned breakfast that required me to slug myself into moving.  Still drunk from a few hours before, I turned on the light, walked over my sleeping floor mates (waking up almost everyone),to get to the shower to pull myself together before breakfast.
During breakfast, conversation was light asking me how the party was, who showed up, who stayed, and how many drinking games did I loose because I looked a “reck”.  I couldn’t even tell you the sentence that led up to what I said next, but I blurted out “ I like women; It’s who I am”.  Forks dropped, and my Mom and Dad just looked at me.  I just said as they blankly stared at me “ Yep, so there it is.”  We finished breakfast in silence with awkward glances.
The rest of the day was filled with tension, and lots of questions from my mother, who was in shock, and denial.  I do not know whose heart broke more, mine for being dismissed and shut-down by my Mom, who I loved and trusted, or her’s for giving her this “huge shock.” Actually, it wasn’t huge to anybody else in the family because before I knew about me, my mom was the last to find out and accept.
As the days and weeks passed the tension between my Mom and I continued.  I was still dating this girl from my high school, who had not come out either. Life was a crazy, dramatic and joyful mess.  Our relationship peeked and slowly ended,  and so did my resentment toward not being believed about my sexuality and knowing deep down i was a lesbian, and always was.
I thought that after graduating high school and entering college life would be the time I would explore my new outed sexuality.  Instead, I formed a new plan.  I dove right into my studies and focused on one thing, graduating and getting myself to New York City where I could live and be openly gay.
 As my time in New York City had come and gone, I was ready to come home but I had to break the news to them again that I was still and definitely gay.  Accept me please,  I am still their daughter.

Admission of Help

Asking for help can be one of the bravest and best things we can do to save our lives. The disease of addiction is not a solo problem, nor does it happen overnight. My unknown addiction started at a very young age when I was diagnosed with ADHD and put on Ritalin medication at age five.  Even at that young age, I realized how different the medication made me feel.  I liked this feeling better, it made me less sensitive to the world around me and I was able to make friends and be in social situations for a much longer time.  As I grew older, I started to understand how the medication actually worked.  By reducing sensory overload it allowed me to focus on just one or two tasks through to completion.  I fell in love with the feeling of not feeling in addition to being able to keep my weight under 100lbs and knowing I could achieve anything without being tired. This went on through my college years from 2009-2012.

 

THE CHANGE
The darkest memories I have of coming home were the many night’s iv spent in my room, with a bottle or two and some stimulants. These nights were dark, and long, filled with shame and frustration. it was just a few months after I came out to my family, that I was a lesbian, life was awkward, I needed mental peace, and out of this strong addition. So I got up the courage, to make a friend online and ask for help. I know asking a stranger, but it was the only way to get help, without being judged, or questioned. She was a guardian angel, I felt. So we arranged to meet at my house so she could get me these detox and withdrawal medication. The day she showed up at my house, I got so nervous, i had to tell my mom, about my addiction, and why I was getting medication from a stranger.  Fear and sadness were the only emotions in the room, I was looking down at the floor as tears flowed down my face. I was excited to kill this demon inside me. It took me about 4months to be completely okay without the drugs, but I was drinking massive amounts of red bull, just to feel ok, since the drugs were gone, and I was so happy to start to be free from the demon.

Telling my parents about my addiction, took more courage than coming out. I knew they would blame themselves, especially my mom. None of this was their fault, nor mine really. It got to the point where the only time I used the bathroom, was to do my drug of choice. I started to grow more ashamed with myself,  and was so broken, and confused on how to get unaddicted.  I was never told about the N/A program and kept it a secret that I had a problem, to this day I am 3+ years clean of perscription stimulants. I am ok with being over 100lbs,  but also it is my first time in my life that I am weighted every month, so my weight is closely monitored and each time I am not completely stressed out.

The Puppy who saves me Every day!

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   We all know dogs are man’s best friend, and they have done some heroic acts, and on a daily show us how much they love us, and need us. Yes,  I am a dog mom, and my little girl has earned her Emotional Support Animal Certificate. so here is our story,
   A bond severely damaged, from a long time ago, to being fostered and mistreated, to meeting
 me. Bailey’s life will never to be the same, and little did I know either would mine.  I have had a dog growing up, but I spent so much time out of the house, and state, I was not able to bond with little Quincy, so this little man is my moms. Iv always envied this bond, and really wanted this bond, so from this point forward in the blog, keep in mind that I believe everything happens for a reason.
    It was the summer of 2015, I just met my girlfriend, Rachel. We were taking a trip up north to visit her family, and while we were at her house, this tiny, buff colored little puppy bounces through the front door; My heart instantly melts!  She ran right up to me, sniffing, walking all over me, making sure I was okay! Throughout the day I played with her, watched her interaction with our other dogs, and nieces, ages ranging from 14 months-8 years old.
    From the moment my eyes laid eyes on this little girl, my heart was filled. I was going through the hardest time with my addiction and relationship, my erratic moods and behavior did not affect Bailey’s bond with me, with time she allowed me to gain her trust, and quite often I’d break it, and she is so forgiving. As time went on, I got my drinking under control and  spent all my days tending to this little girl, taking her on tons of walks, playing fetch, and tug of war. She kept my clouded mind focused on one thing; her!  Today Bailey is one of the happiest pups, she saves me every day, showing me how to be patient, and love unconditionally.  Bailey understands my moods, and when I’m down, and just need to sleep, she cuddles right up next to, and never complains once.
     This month Bailey will receive her Emotional Support Animal ID, Allowing her to always be by my side. My anxiety is so high most of the days, I can’t see myself leaving the house, or seeing any friends, but when Bailey is with me my heart isn’t racing, and I’m not panicking and wanting to be home.
 If you or a loved one suffer from PTSD, Anxiety, and other mood disorders, you could be eligible to get your dog certified as your emotional support.
 Add emotional support dog link

 Going Out when anxiety says no! 

One deep breath in, and let it out, and another. I can do this, I can go out with friends, and my family. I can do this. Nope, my heart starts racing, tears would start flowing and my anxiety is screaming at me, telling me all the reasons why I’m better off at home. There are to many times to count, that I have stayed home because my anxiety said it’s to scary out there, to many people, not enough control. You have control at home, and in your neighborhood so why leave.

My first expirence with anxiety and leaving my home, happened about 4 years ago, Everytime I had to leave the house it was this big deal, my heart would start racing, and my anxiety would tell me, stay home, it’s safer and more control here. There had been times where my mom would ask me to go to the store with her, and I’d just panic and start to cry, and run to my room. During this time I or my mom had no idea what was happening, I always use to be up for a car ride, and adventures now I’m scared to leave my house.

As time went on, with the proper medication, and CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), my fears have gone down, and i have discovered some reasons why. Iv been in 4 major accidents, and 3 of which I was driving. I lost my ability to trust myself, and to be able to always keep myself safe. I worry about all the other drivers on the road, who don’t care, and haven’t been through accidents and trauma.

As of today, I can leave my neighborhood 2-3 times a week, it always takes a lot of effort, but the effort is worth it, seeing my friends and family, has helped me a lot with the depression side of bi-polar. This did not happen over night, so take it day by day, and have a close friend or family member know what’s going on, and they can’t leave your while out.

The Therapist

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The room was silent, the only exchanges were nervous glances, and awkward body language, with my feet pulled up to my chest, I hug my knees and stare down at the floor. My therpist starts asking me basic questions,  I answered with hesitation and no trust; her trust had to be earned, we had to see mostly eye to eye. This was the usual routine with my first few therapist appointments. It took five or six tries until I found the right one,  so if you are thinking of giving up, don’t. You will find the one you click. Be persistent!
 For me, life started to change in the 9th grade when my anxiety started to show itself.  It always felt like I had this monster following me around, this heavy feeling on my chest and my brain was on repeat, playing over and over situations that may never ever happen.  I was constantly worried and exhausted from being anxious. My body started to get weaker and day to day life was becoming unmanageable. I was prescribed an anti-anxiety drug that helped but did not control my thoughts, just my physical symptoms.  I needed therapy.
If you are having trouble finding a therapist right for you, and wondering if they will accept your insurance, go to psychologytoday.com. This website has guided me in selecting the right therapist. The website allows you to see their educational background, areas of speciality and insurance they accept.

The start of my Fashion Career 

 

It has finally paid off, with a lot of hard work years of practice; all while studying for a criminal justice degree,and dating a guy, who gets deported to Canada, so naturally I went with, while i was living in Canada, an agency found me, but couldn’t sign me because of work visa issues, So they contacted the NYC office without me knowing, and next day I got an email, saying that they want me to fly to NYC to meet me face to face for possible contract. From that moment on I kicked myself into high gear, moved back to the states and unknowingly opening the doors for addictions to start growing, starting with food, or lack of food, insane exercise routines, and prescription stimulants.
It is two months after my contract signing with a top NYC agency, and I am finally on the plane making my final move to the Big city, but not before I spend a few months living with my aunt on the Island of New York ; which wasn’t bad, since it was only a 30 min train ride each way. I did not yet have any friends, iv only been on handful of casting calls, and a couple photoshoots. This went on for weeks, commuting back fourth before i landed my apartment in the city, a place where they housed all Women, my parents though it would be safest, and the best way to meet new friends. “Only women, this is heaven!!!”. I thought to myself, because I had not fully come out about being a lesbian to my parents, and family. I will be talking about my experience on what it was like to be on my own in the city, and how I came out to my family, friends and current boyfriend, but you will have to wait to find out, how this unfolds, it gets pretty crazy.