We have been working with the writing group Project: Write Now for creative writing. They have given us different prompts and ideas to help us write. Here is a sample of one of our writing pieces!
Daddy’s Hedges and Mommy’s Kitchen Door
by Sherone Rogers
I am from the smell of Noxema
and the orange of Mercurochrome that surfaced
when we got a splinter.
I am from outside the bottom half of a Dutch door.
“Bathroom or water?”
“I just want to come in.”
“Not until dinner.”
I am from the small hedges that stood like sentinels
and protected us
from the ghetto.
I’m from a crystal bell summoning us to supper.
On Armory Street.
I’m from Randy-Sandy-Candy and Miss Maggie.
Miss Leola, too.
I’m from the bullies and the you’re-fats and the you’re-too-smarts
From the smell of new vinyl records
and “What a Friend We have in Jesus.”
Sadly, I’m from chitterlings. Once was enough for me.
I am from ice milk at Great-Grandma Harriet’s.
From ice milk and cat hair.
I am from an uncle who died at two,
hit by a Mack truck.
My mother was watching him.
I am from that.
Stuffed under sinking stacks
and bowed shelves
are boxes and albums of old pictures.
Haughty Island people
Whose eyes are mine.
This is your life. The people, the places.
Some make me smile. Some don’t.
That’s where I’m from.
By Kerri Zeblisky
About 3 years ago I had the Gastric Sleeve operation. It was recommended by my primary-care physician, as I gained too much weight and had tried other ways to lose it. While there’s other options like the Lap-Band and Gastric Bypass, I chose the sleeve. The time in surgery is shorter than the Bypass and has better success than the Lap-Band.
When I started out with the surgery I weighted about 330lbs. My highest weight was about 350lbs. The surgeons encourage one to lose some weight pre-surgery, so I lost about 7lbs. The surgery took about 3 hours. I wasn’t allowed to have any food for a day afterwards, as they needed to see if everything was stapled/sewn together correctly. I really didn’t feel hungry afterwards and when allowed, was on liquids and Jell-O with protein.
Immediately after surgery I had to stick with a liquid diet. Mostly protein shakes and water/broth. That was about 6 weeks. Then it was on to pureed foods. That was a bit tough on me as my new, smaller, stomach didn’t tolerate it. I was fine with puree vegetables, so I ate them. For protein I had to cook meat in broth and cut it up really small. I still did my shakes to supplement the protein need. After approval from the surgeons I started on soft solid foods then regular solid food.
While I initially lost a lot of weight my psych medication took its toll on my physical health. That and I was also on Ambien for sleep. The Ambien started to make me sleep eat, it is a side-effect of it. I put back on about 30 of the 60lbs I lost. I had to fight my new psychiatrist to get off my psych medication of Abilify. I was becoming, and still am, pre-diabetic. It took me a year for him to finally to take me off it. I eventually had to ask for a new psychiatrist as I got tired of trying to have the other to understand that my physical health is just as important as my mental health. My new psychiatrist put me on a different mood stabilizer. She also worked with the bariatric population in one of her previous jobs so she understands weight loss issues. I’m happy to say that over the summer I lost 30lbs and need to lose another 20-25lbs to be at the weight I’m supposed to be at.
All in all I’d still endorse weight lose surgery to people who have tried other ways to lose weight on their own. I just had a tougher journey as some of my medication wasn’t helping out to make it easier. I would say that the Gastric Sleeve or Bypass is the best option if one wants to so it. I’ve heard too many issues with the Lap-Band and its complications. Just get educated on the type you want. It is a life saver and well worth it. A good mindset about it helps greatly too, cheers!
What is Shore House?
Shore House is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to the health and welfare of those members of the community who are mentally ill. It is neither a hospital nor a day-program. It follows what is known as the clubhouse model. Generally, members at Shore House are more functional and further along in their recovery than those who continue to need the supervision and psychotherapies that are integral to the day-program model.
Why is Shore House such an important asset in the treatment and recovery of those who struggle with mental illness?
There are very few organizations established that are designed to act as transitional facilities. Often, a day-program leaves one institutionalized to some degree. Some of these programs make no provisions for follow up care, and there is little concern over how someone will support themselves functionally and emotionally. Shore House offers a next step in recovery once someone is discharged from their day program. However, Shore House does not limit its membership to day program attendees only. It is open to anyone in the community who has as a diagnosed mental illness. Regular attendance is, of course, nice but not required. Attendance and participation at Shore House is voluntary but encouraged.
What is the clubhouse model?
The clubhouse model functions as a volunteer program to allow its members to participate in a structured, ordered work day. Shore House is dedicated to the recovery of people with mental illness by providing opportunities for its members to live, work, and learn, while contributing their talents through a community of mutual support. Members perform all activities, including advocacy, administrative support, and food preparation. As a non-profit organization, the funding for Shore House is provided by donations and grants. One of the responsibilities of the members is to work to find sources of financial support in order to keep Shore House operating.
The clubhouse model differs substantially from day programs and partial hospitalization programs. It is not a classic therapeutic milieu in that it does not offer physicians, psychotherapy, or group therapy. Instead, the therapeutic goals of Shore House and other clubhouses are achieved by encouraging its members to participate during the day, but work is voluntary. Through work, education, and mutual support, people learn ways to cope with their illnesses and enhance the quality of their lives. People learn to become more independent and function in their communities in ways that increase their self-esteem and sense of empowerment.
What is the Shore House mission statement?
Shore House is a membership organization dedicated to providing resources and supportive services to people with mental illness so that they may have a fulfilling life, including access to employment, education, housing, healthcare, and the opportunity to be productive, contributing members of their community. Shore House strives to achieve the above by operating under the guidelines stated in the International Standards for Clubhouse Programs as determined by Clubhouse International.
Shore House often functions as a step in the transition from being a patient in a clinical day program to being a productive member of mainstream society. People are helped to discover their talents and interests. Help is provided for locating resources that will enable someone to go to school or find employment. Once becoming a member, the membership is for lifetime, regardless of attendance. The clubhouse is always there for education and support. Shore House acts as a springboard for people to rebuild their lives. Each day offers new beginnings.
Ask for help
If there’s anything you really wanted to do in life but needed help deciding exactly what to do (since most of us have a lot of things we want to do, but don’t know where to start). Perhaps you could seek the help of a psychologist if you know of one, or if you have a psychiatrist they may be able to help you. Theres always the internet- just type in exactly what you are interested in and you may be surprised at what you find.
The Shore House is a special place
I have a place where I can come to meet my daily needs
That I can work at my own speed
To learn the skills I need to grow
To help me find places, resources, where I can go
Sometimes its difficult for me
To work in todays society
I;m just a person with a chemical imbalance
Work for me is quite a challenge
I have some education and experience
The Shore House is a safe environment
Where I feel content
I have some skills I learned along the way
A new hope everyday
I like to keep busy so my thoughts don’t wander
I can work with others just like me
Towork to be the best I can be
I do feel safe and not alone
In a very short time I have grown
The Shore House is a place where Recovery is possible with encouragement
That my goals I can achieve
From all the help I do receive
Blog posts are written by Shore House members and staff.