417 Liberty St.
Penn Yan, New York 14527
Hours of Operation:
Tuesdays & Fridays 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
George A. Roets, RN, MS
The Yates County Community Services Department with its duly appointed Community Services Board is a planning and policy making entity that monitors and oversees all services in the county in the disability areas of mental health, mental retardation and developmental disabilities and alcoholism and substance abuse. Deficit funding is received from the the New York State Offices of Mental Health, Mental Retardation/Developmental Disabilities and/or Alcoholism and Substance Abuse. According to Section 41 of the Mental Hygiene Law, this department is responsible for the development of local government plans for each disability area. The development of these plans includes the participation of local providers, consumers, families of consumers, law enforcement and members of the community at large.
This department does not provide direct services. All services are provided via contractual arrangements with local agencies
I hope my note finds you well, or at least ok. I'm a writer and mental health advocate who speaks internationally on topics such as quality of care issues, family dynamics and early intervention. I've written numerous books a couple of which I sell. The attached book I wanted to pass out to those in the recovery community to offer some interesting things I found that helped me get better. Kinetics is on a tier model, meaning progressing through the recovery process, from just getting out of bed to leading a rich and meaningful life. I've attached a free PDF for your review and I hope it can help you or anyone you might know who might like some help.
Wish you well,
The devastating effects of the onset of mental illness, when life loses its cohesiveness and progression, often cause an emotional reaction to our minds that draws life to a standstill. We are caught in a break where inaction predominates and the only relief is a bed.
It is a loss to purpose and it is a loss to self worth. It is a loss to the relation between the energy life gives, and the energy we give it. There is little dynamic to our surroundings, and in relation to others. We are caught in disorientation to our environment and ourselves.
Often this dysfunction is treated through tangible goals. We conspire with our treater for ways to treat the devastating effects of a life without action. It is thought that through our unbearable suffering, change can occur; just as unbearable suffering creates the desire to change in everyone, mentally health or not.
We as mentally ill people have great power to change, just the act of emerging from a psychosis or depression, are sometimes a quick transformation into a radically different mind. Could the emergence of the functionality of mind continue with such force outside the ward, or is this change fueled only as a return to a previous state?
There is an arc of improvement in a way, between the ward, discharge, and return to routine and further recovery. Once medicated and brought into a supportive environment, lethargy can set in. We may be recovering but we also may become our mental illness in the way that it impacts our selves for the worse. Everything revolves around being sick; it leads to perhaps another catastrophe, perhaps a depression of our new fixation. It can draw us deeper into despair.
What is the cause of this bottoming out and cycling to the ward? What has depleted the force in which we improved so drastically? It may be a return to a negative environment and people, but more likely a negative return to us. The root of the dysfunction hasn't been ripped away and the outgrowth grows wildly back. We have to confront painful realizations with the problems of living. Of course this isn't always the case, great progress is made and sustained for years with the most joyful motivation for wellness. Recovery follows a lit path and we blossom into a beautiful power, rather than a devastating manifestation of an illness. How can one direction be cultivated and the other corrected? A most recent approach is treatment centered on goals. Goals have been put onto a pedestal of progress, a hallmark of our positive achievement.
This method of treatment is also a confrontation. We may want to change, be so miserable in the current state of our lives, but lack the energy to thrust ourselves out of the condition. An energetic week may pass and then a withering and all that is left is a dead blossom-a depressing reminder of our own feelings of powerlessness and a reinforcement of low self worth.
It is thought that change only occurs out of necessity. This is the rule, but everyone has another force within him or her that responds to another method of treatment. It is the true desire of change. It is not the goal, but how the process of achieving it affects the person. It is not the materialistic success, the tangible before one, but what it represents to the person in terms of them, the different mind the different individual-- the only way it is truly worth anything at all. Different is to make a difference in our lives and others lives. This is the achievement of lasting change for everyone in the world.
So often times we have been exposed to a model of recovery that proclaims change. It is thought of as a "return." to an old state of being either before illness, or of a model of wellness. This is quite understandable and not an unreasonable goal. But we as the mentally ill and as treaters can go further with our thought of what is wellness. Change is a desired goal in terms of functionality, but too often through a negative reason. It is to create a person to be consumed into a collective value. Recovery is lived for finding acceptance and love in things outside oneself, to dictate our progress.
Often times we have been excluded from achieving collective value through work discrimination, personal bias, humiliations, and functional impairment. The reality of things has been stacked against us, yet we continue to live in a world of accomplishment despite its effects on us. This dependence can cause a language to develop in the mind; one with such words as success and failure, strength and weakness-all coming from the value this world of success projects. We have transferred our feelings of worth and purpose to a system that has no place for us, and one that just ends up making us feel miserable.
Recovery is not about a return to this system of success. It is about creating another dimension to one, an asset that many others, even those that are mentally healthy, may lack. The mentally ill have the most complex minds and this can be an asset in the development of the person. It can create a drastic valuable difference rather than a common assimilation that rules the world.
Where we have come from must be cultivated as a nourishment of the individual. We are individuals of the mind so often times existing in a lonely alone, aware of our differences, but unaccepted in society. We are made to feel bad about our differences, or worse, made to have a desire to eliminate them altogether. Ultimately, it is our comfort that is paramount, whether it is to accept differences or abandon them. The assimilation of individuals often times leads to a wonderful alone without apparent loneliness. This is one reason we all conform. Differences are alienating to a group mentality, but they are also the hallmarks of being a leader of life. Patients can be leaders of their own lives.
To be the leader of life is a fundamental concept that must be brought forth in the recovery movement. The concept that we are different as mentally ill people and different is great. It is the catalyst of great things. Too often we see a life before a break, as something we were that we no longer are, without taking into consideration that life is a progression without an immediate time. Themes may return years later, ways of life we had been on that didn't fit the plot of our stories at the moment of our despair. We have a change of character; we have a new twist of tragedy or triumph. Recovery is not about a return to who we were, or even an accomplishment. It is not about going backward into a previous state of mind and a direction before mental illness-rather it is a continuation in life. It is not a return to the common, rather something that makes us different, makes us better.
Sometimes the world is a rude awaking. A raw sorrow confronts us as we open our eyes and it seems like there is no going forward in a reality that demands action. Sleep is a welcome relief, our bed a refuge to all our problems.
After my first hospitalization for schizophrenia I would awake and hear voices, whispers that may or may not have been real. I heard whispers of those in my house. I thought they whispered not to disturb me, as though I were a fearful king of madness that may deliver punishment at any time. I felt special but in a bad way, a lonely exception like something to avoid.
It is a break from the bonds of those around us, some know how we acted or are afraid we will act that way again. It creates a separate mind, one that upon waking we actually confront in all its reality--in all the time, people, and occurrences that made us mentally unhealthy. We must exist in a world that is alienating. There are philosophical reasons, there are psychiatric reasons, but a larger issue is we, how we are able to function, even get out of bed.
I cried when I woke up in the morning for months. I felt a wet shame in my body and could hardly face another person, meekly passing by others to sneak a cup of coffee and return to my room.
The feeling subsided as the morning passed, and soon I could confront the day. I realize now not getting out of bed was even worse. I knew I would stay this way if I fell prey to the illness. I was depressed that I had to live in a world that would judge me for my lack of will, that would judge me for my weight and somber looks.
I knew people would be judging me, but that was my illness. I could see the judgment not the love. I had lost my faith that people were genuinely good, after so many times others much younger had humiliated me in school. But I began not to cower in the face of my mistakes, but blush and smile and laugh with a mistake in the face of everyone's love. I gave the faith that people were good, and realized how bad it is to judge them too.
In a way not being able to get out of bed is a loss of faith in life as well as people. It is a loss of the embracing promise that we will feel good, that things can change. Feeling good is a sloppy comfort warm, but like a wet blanket to lasting change.
It is like suckling in a way. I found myself feeling like a little piglet curled in my blanket. Even the blanket was pink. A pig in a blanket, I thought. I had eaten a huge meal and lay there somewhat content, but feeling despair at my weight and inaction.
There certainly are little comforts we can have, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, food-the unhealthy relations to society that make us feel good, just for a while. It is like asking for pleasure all at once, rather than making something you can reflect on and enjoy completely. It is just a little bit of a greater comfort than can be obtained with a little effort-with Kinetics.
I realized, and I hope you do too, that sleeping is just a little bit of comfort to a greater one that can be had. A comfort that comes from faith in a life that can feel good. It feels bad to get out of bed sometimes, but just think. I mine as well feel miserable doing something if I'm going to feel miserable anyway. I'm getting out of bed to make pleasure, not have it handed to me on a plate, or with a pill. So how do we make something of pleasure then?
EXCERCISES FOR MORNING
First we need to get out of bed. How? It is like the sheets are drapes of white molasses warm and consuming. We must then follow our slightest impulses. There may be just a second where in the mind or body, perhaps at the opening of the eyelids--and you just do it. You jump, jump out of bed like leaping from a building and jump into life. Tear the covers off!
PICK YOURSELF UP
No one said you landed on your feet. It feels like you just fell, on your face, on your legs, maybe you even skinned your head in the shock. But lift, step, continue. KNOW you are going to wake up. KNOW this feeling will pass. KNOW you will feel well!
Run from the thought, the possibility of going back to bed. Don't tell yourself otherwise. PRETEND YOU ARE IGNORING WHAT YOUR HEAD IS SAYING TO YOU. Get to the coffee maker. Run to the next level.
Act like the fast water of the shower. Step in and take the soap and run it all over in a rush, but leave your face and head for a soothing run of warm water. Leave the shower and notice your body full of energy and your head in calm.
RUN TO GET DRESSED
Feel the temperature of the air outside the bathroom. It feels like the shock of waking up. You want to get warm like you want the covers, but use the cold to get dressed. Its energy! -It's Kinetics!!
Despite strategies to wake up and confront the day, sometimes our illness takes over. We may be bombarded with psychotic features or depression that makes getting out of bed unbearable. An aspect of mental illness is feeling that there is nothing ahead, or too much, both are overwhelming thoughts that can lead to inaction. It is an alienation from the tasks that would normally embrace us and lead to the embrace of those around us who are functioning.
One may feel they are owned by what is before them and nothing offers emotional support to continue on. But those with out mental illnesses too struggle to achieve tasks and goals they lay before them and one must realize they are not alone in their tired feelings. We as mentally ill people suffer more difficulty. We often live as an internal feeling of shame for not achieving what other have, but that is not ill-that may be confronting a difficult life. So we must have something we can confront life with beside others. Some say it is a higher power, but it can also be a simple comfort. Another day could pass consumed by the pillows, with no future to give us hope. How can we eventually get up with something of ourselves to guide us then?
I found that even going to the bathroom was difficult and so at one point I reminded myself of what I needed to eventually function. It may sound strange, but I brought an item from the house, one that reminded me of life, into my bed. I took a tube of toothpaste and put it with my pillow. It was a strange sense that something was there waiting for me. It felt like I had left it for myself. Another way to stimulate action is to have fun while lying there. I named my pillow and talked to it. I used it as a therapist telling it how I felt and at times cried. It comforted me to think my pillow was there for me. It let me rest my head on it. My bed became the bed we have in illness to comfort us and heal, but now it was imbued with thought and energy, a pillow that wants me to wake up.
I also left my bed to move around the room. I stretched out on a less comfortable floor and tried to sleep there, intentionally making it uncomfortable so I wanted to go somewhere else. Another trick is to go through mental images of what is outside the room and what is within it. Sit in your room and feel its space envision the kitchen the living room and then return your thoughts to your room. You may find yourself bored or energized to leave the bedroom.
REVIEW/ THE DAY:
Bring an object into bed with you that symbolize something you have to do. Leave it for yourself when you have energy and put it back in the house when you are through.
Have fun in bed, create action there. Name your pillow, talk to the bed.
Stretch out somewhere uncomfortable to make yourself move.
Create a mental picture of what is outside the room. Realize you are not there an could be
It's the horrific realization that after a day in bed we find ourselves unable to sleep. It is a nightmare of now being forced to be awake when nature and other people have found solace from the day we also endured. The bed now takes on a nightmarish quality, a symbol of what we no longer can find refuge in. The house may be dark, yet we are now active but there remain no comforts but food and some other escape. Time and nature pass-- the healing of the night and sleep eludes us. We are left more insane than ever, and with a promise that tomorrow we will have to recover from tonight-all day again in bed.
For a year I lived a nocturnal life with perpetual insomnia. After a day doing nothing I found myself revved up, yet also with nothing to do but make negative choices for health and sanity. I might fall asleep at 3 am and wake at 2 the next day followed by sleeping at 12am and waking up at six. It was living torture, and sometimes I thought a force must have been working against me.
The right medicines helped a little. I took a powerful pill that would put me asleep, but the following day remained exhausted and in a deep sleepy haze. So I began to take less medicine and stay up for a purpose. I realized during one sleepless night that the world was asleep and it was my advantage. I felt the master of dreams and dreamt waking that I was in people's dreams. I made myself feel like I was a ruler of the night and that I walked alone in power to do everything I couldn't by day. This process began by making a secret meal. It was a diner for myself besides the one I ate in the evening. It was an elaborate feast, complete with a set table and napkins. I raised my glass and toasted the hour and myself as the ruler of night.
So what do we do when not sleeping leads to sleeping too much? The most effective method I learned was a simple one: look ahead to tomorrow. Sit with a piece of paper and write out tasks that you want to accomplish the next day. Buy a pocket notebook. This is taking recovery seriously, this is the key-- own a neat little package, a book of blank pages to fill your life awake.
REVIEW/ THE NIGHT:
*Buy a notebook-sit and plan tomorrow. This is the most important thing to do.
Toast yourself as the ruler of night. The world is asleep and it is an advantage. Feel like you walk alone in power to do everything you can't by day.
Make an elaborate meal for yourself when you can't sleep
TIER 2-- OUT OF BED
One of the first losses of mental illness is a structure to the day. A wall of time confronts us with little to punctuate the moments but the terrible occurrences in our minds. We ruminate about ourselves, our worries, how we may not measure up to our expectations, and worry about the problems of others beyond our control. It is an obsessive pattern of thoughts we may or may not know we have. The mind turns and turns with gears that grind. Our heads feel tight and the motion of thinking is clenched. Our time, the fluidity is blocked. The dishes in the sink look like an end. We see ends rather than obstacles. We don't see that by spending energy we can make energy. Spending energy to make energy is the principle of Kinetics. It is rolling a rock up a hill and letting it speed down the other side.
I didn't realize this theory of energy when I was first diagnosed. I was jostled through the day according to my illness. I would have a bad thought become depressed. I would hear something, see something, smell something g awful and become afraid. I didn't own my illness, it owned me. But how do we own our illnesses?
We may not be able to control our mind and moods at first, but we can control our actions. We can choose where our bodies and actions will land in response to the thoughts and feelings we have. I can choose or the illness can choose. Seeing this choice allows you to put up your own dam. It is creating your own obstacle that you can overcome. I can choose.
I found, once I could get out of bed, little obstacles that, once broken through, had a reward. Energy was waiting to be released. I began to see difficult things as dams waiting to break. I could break something. I could break the dishes in a metaphorical sense. So, once out of bed, how do we confront these obstacles and continue on?
REVIEW TIER 2/ EXCERCISES FOR THE MORNING
Add one extraordinary thing to your routine. One extraordinary thing to start your day.
Take extra care with your look. Treat yourself.
Break things. See obstacles not ends.
REALIZE that we make energy by spending energy
Own your illness. Create your own obstacle that you can overcome.
BUILD THROUGHWAYS. Patterns of action channel energy, just like a wire conducts a current. Do the same thing at the same at the same time. Patterns create a throughway fro energy to go.-if you have the wrong channels the energy is going to go to the wrong place. This is why the concept of routine is important.
FOLLOW THE SAME WAY - new ways create new obstacles. It is like a tributary after a rainfall. Established paths guide the water. It takes more water to cross the threshold and make way for more current. Do the same thing in the same way.
Mental illness often creates a catastrophe not only of our minds and selves, but what surrounds us. Our environment becomes a reflection of what we are going through. In short, there may be a big mess in us and around us.
This is honest in a way. We are authentically representing our state, but it is an unhealthy and sometimes unhygienic way to present the turmoil within. It perpetuates an unclean mind. The dirt outside us gets inside. Our minds cannot be organized when our surrounding are chaotic. Our mind goes outward and inward like a wild power line after a devastating storm.
The months after my diagnosis I lived in a small apartment on Beacon Hill in Boston Massachusetts. It was tiny, but my own place and I spent my days there in bed or curled in the tub with hot water from the shower running on me. I was in a writhing agony. My head felt stripped. It felt like I had been scalped. In psychosis I actually saw in my minds eye my skinned scalp. I touched it and it hurt. It felt like a pain of a sound or current. I spent my days in bed trying to find confront. I moved around all the time trying any position that could bring comfort, but never did. I lay there bombarded by silence. I hadn't heard voices yet. My hurt manifested itself as a chaotic environment of half eaten food on tables, clothing strewn in rooms, at the time I smoked and cigarettes and butts floated on half filled coffee cups. The place smelled of trash.
After 5 years I had a turn around through the steps in the previous section of this workbook. Once I had the channel of energy down and the form I increased the voltage, so to speak. I had more and more energy as I overcame more and more obstacles as I broke things. I broke more and more things. Expending energy can make energy like allow something to roll down. It's kinetic. So once the dishes were done and the clothing hung I put on some flourishes-I began to decorate. I created a space that was my own through the use of color and light. I arranged objects that had positive emotional meaning around me. I made an alter where I could rest my mind. The goal is to bring oneself to oneself, as something to do alone. It is a place in the midst of chaos whether in disturbed surroundings, or within oneself. No matter what environment is around us, we must have a private space, one we can go to while the most troublesome events manifest. Decorating or creating a sacred space celebrates what we value in life, the objects and vibe of what we desire and what we believe in. It is an offering to oneself and one that is given back to your mind in energy, in its channeling and form of energy-it is kinetic.
Creating little projects to do is also a valuable way to get energy and sense that the day was worth something. Actually sit down and brainstorm little things that need to get done. Use a pen and some paper and actually name your project with a list of everything that makes it up. You can even make multiple projects and tape them to your wall.
TIER 2/ EXCERCISES FOR THE DAY
DECORATE YOUR SPACE. Make an alter for you mind. Use color and light and objects that have positive emotional meaning. Go there to rest your mind away from the other environment.
CREATE LITTELE PROJECTS AND NAME THEM. Think of things that need to get done. Collect all these things and title your project. Put the project on your wall and cross off what is getting done.
BREAK THINGS. See obstacles not ends. Break through tasks and feel the energy released.
TIER 2/ NIGHT
Sometimes the day has just begun for us when night begins. As the recovery process continues however, at this second tier, we may find we feel an actual end to the day. We may feel the energy we made, and the energy we spent. We may finally feel a satisfied relaxation like we did our best and life had been led. This calmness that sets in is the beginning of great things. It is a state of being in which we are connected not only to the time of day, but also of others who have lived and done tasks as well.
I didn't feel that connection when I was first diagnosed. The day was my day but in a bad way, in an unhealthy preoccupied way. I had lost sight of others, dwelling on my illness. I couldn't do something unless my illness said it was ok. I couldn't do anything for anyone else either. Day and night became mine, but in a selfish way.
I began to sense a change about seven years after my diagnosis, when I kept a regular sleep pattern and practiced some of the techniques outlined so far. I realized, it is important to realize for everyone in recovery, to seek out positive realizations. Be aware of your accomplishments during the day and congratulate yourself for them. One realization is actually to put an end to the day. So, with this in mind, at this tier of recovery we are going to focus on putting an end to the day.
One trick I learned is to change moods. This still may not be possible, swayed by the emotions and thoughts of our illness, yet we can change how we see ourselves. I began to just change my cloths. It's amazing how a new comfortable shirt can set you straight for the evening. Try this trick and you will be amazed at the results. A hot shower is another technique. There must also be some pleasure involved, pleasure that causes a continuation of energy and perhaps even helps set the stage for the following day. One thing to do is to perhaps change your look. Experiment in matching outfits differently with new color combinations and different textures. Plan what you will wear tomorrow. You may find a whole new wardrobe in just the way it can be arranged. Style your hair differently, have fun, even laugh at the experiments. You will see that once you start having fun with yourself you may want to go out and have fun with others. At this tier remember to experiment with everything you do. The stage of recovery has been set and now it is your life to design.
EXCERCISES FOR THE NIGHT
REALIZE THE DAY THAT HAS PASSED Be aware of your accomplishments during the day and congratulate yourself for them.
PUT AND END TO THE DAY YOURSELF
Change your cloths. Experiment in different styles or color combinations with your cloths. Style your hair differently and remember to
PLAN YOUR WARDROBE FOR THE FOLLOWING DAY
TIER 3/ AFTERWORD:
Despite all our efforts at well ness sometimes the illness doesn't get better. There is no magic pill. It can be a horrible realization to have made all the right choices, but to not have had a good outcome. But recovery isn't always a linear process. Sometimes what seems linear isn't going forward at all, rather a superficial definition of progress. Our illness may drag us seemingly backward into a state of mind where everything is meaningless and madness rages.
Negative choices of health, drugs and alcohol, tobacco, food, all substitute a feeling that everything is ok. Our minds also wander back to the old dialogues ruminations and hopelessness. It is a scary decent from recovery and one that in the beginning may be without our control. As the tricks of recovery are mastered though, we can at least cushion the blow. The terrible physical feelings, thoughts and emotions can eventually, at least, be ok. The reason for this is because we find a separation of our illness from ourselves. Our souls are not mentally ill. It is similar to someone with a physical pain that flares up today. Imagine you are visiting this old state of mind. It is a place you have traveled to, part of our journey, and have to visit for a while.
So on these days feeling a terrible return to illness what should we do? I think it is to remember that recovery isn't always about goals-not even to always feel well, but to experience the process of life, which has intrinsically bad unexplainable days. Sometimes everyone just feels tired, or a little sad, angry or elevated. In mental illness we are so often on the look out for our psyches that we forget the organic process, which is completely natural. It shouldn't be something to fear, and in a way it can enlighten part of a story of living we all share. We are not alone in these struggles. They are not necessarily ill. What determines health or unwellness is how these experiences are processed-how we respond to them. Do we interpret having an illness as leading a meaningless life, feeling like we are destitute? -- Or do we create a language in ourselves that interprets life in a mentally healthy way.
Recovery is about a process, not a destination. There are place we get stuck but we, as mentally ill people are travelers of the mind. You have gone where no one else has. It wouldn't be valuable if we suddenly came to our goals the same way as everyone else after what we have been through. It would be an empty success, an abandonment that ultimately wouldn't give us reward. We would have no orientation then that we went anywhere at all, like we never arrived. We must not forget the depth that our suffering has given us. It is a dimension to our joys that make us wise beyond our years. It is an experience where we realize that through being alone, we appreciate others. If we stop for a moment we can realize and appreciate ourselves, to feel pride- and to endure. We owe it to be there for others now, we deserve to love. We've been through a lot to together, so let us continue on.
25 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF
8. Realize you've been through hell and how you can help bring your experience for the good.
Imagine a world without people. Who would you be? What would you do?
10. How can you be a leader? Is it getting help while helping others?
11. Find a place to vent everything you don't like about yourself
12.Name a project to work on
13. List five things others with mental illness go through.
14. What is one thing you have gone through that could help others?
15. Do one thing kind, even if it is hold a door. Do one thing for every year you have been alive.
16. Reward or celebrate each little accomplishment
17. Look at tasks as obstacles that release energy
18. List things, even bad ones that bring you comfort-schedule times to do them through the day.
19. Ask others to tell you how they are doing-ask others who suffer as well, what is it like?
20. What are struggles we all go through, mentally healthy or not/
21. Make a lies of problems in your control and things that are not. How can you change the problems you can control? How can you cope with the problems you can't
22. What are the positive ways you handle problems in life. What are negative ways?
23. What is meaningful to you? What is meaningful to others? Make a list. See the similarities.
24. When and what situations have you handled in a positive way?
25. Know we are in this together.
Community Services Board and Subcommittees
NYS Office of Mental Health
NYS Office for People with Developmental Disabilities
NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse
Coordinated Children’s Services Initiative /SPOA/SPOE