OKAY ONE MORE I PROMISE

Man, this update sure has taken forever and I apologize. I thought I would update my friends back home about what I am doing at the Hospital!

So this is my 2nd week at the hospital, and I survived the standard hospital orientation, and now I get the lucky privilege to mentor a coworker and spend days alongside her. When I interviewed for this job I was told that I would be working on an adult unit that dealt with acute psychiatric conditions, which means high turnover rates, and quick discharges. This allows for all different kinds of groups to be had and fun that could ensue. But seniority rules and that unit was taken over by another Recreation Therapist. So I received a new unit assignment, and it definitely made me extremely nervous at first.

I now will be working on an adult Forensic unit. This means higher security, different protocols and precautions and different things to address. All good things, not many bad things, and this is a population that needs some serious help in all factors of mental health. I will be working with adults that have committed crimes in Montana that range from repeat common theft all the way up to murder. (are you scared yet? because I am not!) The groups I have observed and interacted in have made me excited to get to work with this population. Sure we have to improvise certain things, and incorporate new ideas, but that’s the fun!

So with this population, many of them are serving sentences rather than coming in for competency restoration, like I have seen before. And with this, there is a lot of depression, grief and stress. All things that can be helped with a lil TLC and some sunshine and smiles (not really, but i’m gonna try!) The depression and grief can come from their past, crimes that they committed and or the realization that they will be here for a while. Stress can come from not understanding their situations, not understanding the court process and from living in close quarters with some difficult individuals. I’m sure it’s not easy, I get to go home and decompress, these individuals do not get that.

THIS IS WHERE I GET TO COME IN AND HELP OUT A LIL BIT!

On top of taking over the Social Skills, Basic Life Skills, and other educational classes that have already been in place, I get to introduce new ones to the unit. This is my forte, I love being creative, I love learning and I love to help others. (SO FRIENDS WHO WORK IN TR AND MENTAL HEALTH IF YOU HAVE IDEAS I WOULD LOVE TO KNOW THEM)

So far I have come up with two class ideas:

  1. EXPRESS YOURSELF!: this class dives into emotions that individuals might be feeling and we get to explore those emotions, thoughts and ideas through different mediums. Each month we will explore a new medium, anything from writing/poetry to music, art, and movement and dance. Does this sound fun to you? Because it does to me! In this class we are able to address feelings and emotions towards the past maybe centered around trauma they’ve experience, or their crimes. We will be able to explore their feelings about the future too, maybe how they are feeling about potential discharging to their respective communities or maybe finishing their sentence. This is also an opportunity for individuals to explore new leisure interests in these art forms, which is always something I enjoy being a part of.
  2. Last but not least: Be Aware- Mindful Meditation: this class we get to explore different life attitudes and thought ideas while relaxing and learning new breathing techniques that can calm the mind, body and soul. I’m not a DBT expert but I do love yoga, breathing and relaxing. In this class we will get to learn breathing techniques that can help reduce stress and anxiety. Essential oils will aid in our journey of mindfulness discovery. And stretching and working the body will give an outlet of physical health and healthy mental spaces. This class will have a lecture and a lab. The lab is the practice of the mindfulness technique, and the lecture we will explore mindfulness techniques like compassion, empathy, etc.

Can you see how excited I am? Maybe just a little bit? Well I am actually bursting at the seams and I am ready to get this show on the road. Just about a week or so more of observations and I get to learn alongside my patients!

all right, last post of the night, last update for a while!

see yall later!

  • Hannah Montana πŸ™‚

Yellowstone

So as some of you may know last Summer I won a trip to backpack the back country of Yellowstone. I fell in love with Wyoming and this park. I even looked into what it would take to become a Park Ranger at this park after that trip. I was so inspired and so in love with everything about that trip.

Well while my mother and sister were in Montana with me, we made a trip to Yellowstone and got to explore some of the things that makes this park so incredible. I fell in love harder and it made me want to backpack the backcountry again!

Gosh darnit my friends, this park is just so dang beautiful. I feel so at peace here, and honestly, it’s my favorite place in the world. If I could get married here, I would. If I could birth a child here, I would smack dab in the middle of the woods (just kidding). If you haven’t been here, I HIGHLY suggest it. The history of the park and these certain attractions (Old Faithful, Grand Prismatic Spring, Grand Canyon of Yellowstone) bring so much life to this park. And of course a lot of tourists. It’s insane how many selfie sticks and peace sign selfies I saw here. But, to each his own.

This trip has also made me excited to explore what Montana has to offer. I went hiking the first weekend after my mother and sister left with a coworker and got to see some trails here in Anaconda, and have been lucky enough to hear about other places around here to explore. I’m excited to hike around, visit new parks and see new things. It helps having someone as a personal tour guide, thanks universe for aligning this match (literally!)

Here are some pictures I took at Yellowstone, I hope you enjoy them. But seriously, come here, visit, explore and be able to take pictures of your own. It’s so incredibly worth it!

Shalom y’all!

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Updates as of Late

Goodness gracious what a whirlwind this has all been!

So let’s refresh… May 27th I left the great state of Texas for Montana. We made it safely and all in one piece in three days. This was a little bit longer due to the extra weight and the slower speeds we had to take through some rough passes and climbs of elevation. But again, we made it safely and in one piece. Thank the LORT.

I didn’t take many pictures due to the fact that I drove most of the way (yes that’s the control freak in me). But I was able to see the landscape and these beautiful places with my eyes and that’s all that matters!

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So here’s the Rig (Montanans’ like to refer to cars as this, I think it’s cute). My mother, myself, my sister, Guy and Tallulah were in my car, and everything that I own was in the trailer in the back. To be honest, I didn’t think I was going to fit everything in there, but I did all thanks to my sister for her help packing it up with me during the hottest part of the day in Texas.

So like I said, this trip took us three days to do. It took forever to get through Texas, had a lil car hiccup too that wasn’t terrible. New Mexico was a dream, and same with parts of Utah. Holy moly did I fall in love with that landscape.

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My mother was able to capture some amazing shots from the passenger seat including this one. Utah was a dream and Moab was incredible, I will return once I am able to accrue vacation time from work (I have to survive 6 months). Mulberry trees line the streets of Moab, thanks to the McDonalds lady who said we wouldn’t die of poisoning if we ate them, they were a great sweet treat!) Also Memorial Weekend is a horrible time to attempt to visit Arches National Park without much planning. The line to get in was at least an hour wait. Bleggh.

So once we got through Utah it was Idaho’s time to get conquered, and we drove straight through. By this point, I was tired of driving and being in the car. Guy and Tallulah were getting restless and we just wanted to get to Montana. When we finally reached Montana, it was dark and rainy. So we made the executive decision to stop in Dillon, MT and get a hotel for the night. Which was probably the smartest thing for us to do, because moving my bed into my house around a small neighborhood didn’t seem like a quiet or smart job at 2 am. So we rested, and we rested hard. I don’t really think we really exchanged words. Just some huffs and puffs and then snore central.

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Guy and Tallulah totally didn’t want to get up in the morning. But we did, and we drove through Montana. I immediately fell in love. It was flat in some parts, mountainous in others and it was just green. The views of the Rockies were incredible. Snow capped mountains off in the distance is one of my favorite sights to see. Let’s just say, from my house and my commute in the morning, I get to see those sights all the time. And it just makes my day so much better.

Okay, so let’s fast forward…. my house is cute and amazing and totally perfect for me and my animals so that’s awesome. Anaconda, MT is a cute little mountain town.

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Here’s a view of it from Mt. Carmel. My sister and I totally stumbled upon a cute cemetery nestled in the mountains and we were able to see this view. Absolutely breathtaking, and for the record, this picture was taken just after 8pm. So again, awesome.

My commute to the hospital is about 14 minutes, and the drive is just beautiful. So yeah you can say I’m falling in love with Montana. Everyone has been so extremely welcoming, from people at the grocery store I meet and people I meet at work. Even my patients, but we’ll see how quickly that’ll change. I haven’t reached the point of homesickness yet, but at times I do miss the heat. At night here it can get around 40 degrees. Wool socks and my space heater have saved me a couple of times. And the cold makes itΒ hard to get up in the morning for work! But I’ll survive for now, the wintertime is another story.

So here ya go my friends, sorry this update has taken a little longer than I anticipated. I’ll be posting again soon about my Yellowstone trip and my introduction to working as a professional in a psychiatric hospital!

farewell friends,

Hannah πŸ™‚

Five days

Howdy y’all!

How was your weekend? Mine was pretty damn good and unfortunately I don’t remember much of it. I do know I had a lot of fun, barely spent any money and definitely woke up Sunday morning with a SERIOUS hangover. But shout out to my friends and family who came out to celebrate my last weekend in San Marcos, y’all are the best! 

Well in the midst of my serious hangover yesterday, I was able to get off work pretty quickly and I explored the area around my work property. I met some cows and longhorns and explored a flower field that was amazing. 


I made sure to stop and smell the flowers because I know I’m going to miss it. But who’s to say I won’t find a field like this in Montana? I’m getting more and more excited everyday it gets closer, but also more and more terrified. It still doesn’t feel real, it feels like I’m just going to summer camp for a little bit and then I’ll be back shortly. But I know that’s not the case. 

But this is huge for me, and I’m excited for this change. I have to make sure to pump myself up about this move because it’s past the point of no return. BUT I’m ready for it. I’m more nervous about becoming a recluse up there and how it could be hard to meet people since I’m no longer in college and I’m technically an adult now. But everyone tells me that it’ll be easy for me to meet people and that I’m a friendly person. I’ll be with friends in no time. So we’ll see! 

I’ll be posting again soon!

– adios, 

Hannah Montana πŸ™‚ 

Happy Mother’s Day to all my mother friends out there!Β 

This is my strong mother Renee. 

She is a powerhouse of a woman, she’s my back bone and my favorite Therapist. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to her throughout this planning stage of this move. She’s told me from the beginning to go for it, and don’t regret anything. And that’s exactly what I am doing. She’s my best friend and my biggest fan. 

One of my biggest fears is being so far from her. She’s the person that knows me so well. She knows what to say to appease my heart and racing mind and she knows how to get underneath my skin. She’s always there for me to call her when I’ve had a rough day, or there for me to celebrate a good day. 

My mother is my best friend. 

19 days and counting

So it’s finally under 20 days! And my nerves are so real!

My house is a mess, my room is in shambles and my to do list is HUGE! After my big hiccup with my car, and many days without a vehicle and Huck being stuck at the Doctor’s, I finally have my car back and he’s running smoothly. Today I stopped by a UHAUL place to double check my tow package to see if my light hookup works, and my car will be able to tow a 5X8 trailer! All is good, and all is possible! This is a big victory because everything next is easy!

We have also finalized our trip up there plans! We will be leaving Texas on the 27th and driving straight through to Blanding, UT. I will have my sister, and my mother driving with us so we are confident in our drive straight to UT. Sunday, we will be an hour from Moab and we plan on visiting the Arches National Park. This is something I am super excited to do because I was planning on a trip there this summer anyways! This National Park has been on my must see list for some time now. So my adventure bones are pumped! Then after our escapades in UT, we will be headed to Idaho Falls. I’m not sure we will be able to see what I want to see there because we do need to continue to Anaconda, Mt. But that doesn’t mean I can’t visit there once I am settled into my new life up in Montana! My adventure bones are so excited to be where I am going to be because I am so close to so many National Parks. And the plans of buying a year National Park pass will allow many trips to these many parks! Are you excited? Because i’m stoked!

So now, with just being 19 days away from the big move, there’s more cleaning and packing to be done and tying up loose ends here in Texas. Not to mention saying goodbye to the many people I have surrounded myself here in Texas!

I did mention my nerves being out of whack recently because of this move, and I feel like I should mention those fears because a move like this will awaken some fears and i’m not necessarily ready for this move as much as I think I am or as much as others may think. I am terrified of being so far from my family. Everyday I think, oh hey I’ve been away from my family before but that’s only to places like summer camp or moving out of my mother’s house when I was 18 to a place 25 minutes away. Now, I will be a 25 hour drive, 1,700 miles away and a roundtrip plane ticket. That’s insanely far to me. And not to mention that I know NO ONE up in MT. I am going completely blind, and unattached. I won’t have those comfort friends to call up when I want to go grab a beer. I wont have someone to vent with when I get home from work on a rough day. This is going to be hard for me because I am so close with the people I surround myself with and I have never lived alone before. BUT I know I will meet friends, and new people to surround myself with. And I know my friends and family are a phone call or a skype video chat away. I know I can make this move work because i’m excited to start a entirely new life up there.

This move doesn’t feel real to me yet, but I know as the days get closer and the number left dwindles, I will start to feel it. And as nervous as I am, I am still extremely excited!

TA TA FOR NOW!

Sincerely,

Hannah Montana πŸ™‚

The first big hiccup

Well… things cant always go right! 

No matter how easy this trip planning and big move has gone, Huck, my 2002 Nissan Xterra went to the doctors yesterday and he is sick. Huck needed new rear brakes, an oil change and now transmission work. 

I have such bad luck with vehicles and I wish I could ride a horse everywhere but that’s not a reality in this real world. So, after a panic attack over the phone with my mother and father separately, Huck got the okay to get fixed. I’m not happy about this, because of how expensive vehicles are but now I know that I’ll have a safe vehicle while up in MT. Hopefully we’ll survive the pending winter tundra together. (For those in warmer weather like myself right now, it’s still snowing in MT: they’re called snow showers. Which means, it snows throughout the night, and as the day goes on the snow melts until it’s not there anymore! It’s crazy!)

And now we can continue counting down the days, May 26th can’t come faster! 

With love,

Hannah Montana πŸ™‚