Since 2009

8/13/13     3:18pm

What’s different now than in ’09 with Marc? I’m embracing the fact that I’m alone. Dr. N taught me that not all people leave and that I can be safe. Jim taught me how to face my fears through ERP instead of cognitive reasoning. DBT gave me a set of skills to use when I’m freaking out that work. I became closer to God and reassessed my priorities and relationships when I thought I was going to die. I started developing a sense of self. Now I am not so desperate and needy. I started developing systems to get me through the day and track my progress. I faithfully attended DBSA both sharing and learning new tools. I surrendered the pain and defined acceptance. I started doing things for me, in particular attending jazz gigs and making friends with non-crazy (or at least non-diagnosed) people. I gave up and found life. My mom is nicer to me now. I rarely scream or freak out or run away. I use assertiveness daily. I don’t take bullshit anymore. My need for an intense attachment to one person has diminished greatly. I feel more safe, supported. I’ve learned and practiced more boundaries. I’ve moved away from the cognitive approach. I stopped going to school. I found a doctor and therapist who meet my needs. I need the hospital less. My HD phase has passed. I am free.

I forgot to tell Dr. N today that I’ve been thinking about school. I want my degree. I think I’m ready. I think I’d like to major in social work. I should try WRAP and PET first both as prerequisites and to see if I could handle it. I think I might. I don’t think I’m ready for full or part-time. Maybe one class at a time. I have scholarship money I need to use…

(walk around)

I stood up for myself when threatened at Scripps. I walked away stronger, determined. I took care of me.

I learned to say no and to say yes. I’m doing much better with change – if you can imagine. I’ve dealt with health issues bigger than me. I’ve been broken and risen up again, not through ashes but rules. I learned how to observe and listen, to practice empathy. I catch myself earlier in the process so I don’t blow. I’m learning to stand on my own.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2013 


Recipe for a Day List

8/18/13     5pm

This is my day list. I use it every day. Today I updated and prettified it. If you’re trying to make one and want customized bullets, use Word instead of Publisher.

Day List 8-18-13

My day list has been so helpful for me. I have memory problems and things an average person would have no problem remembering slip my mind and run away. Like somehow it’s a trap and they finally escape. So awhile back I decided to make myself a list of things I need to do every day to remind me. I put it in a page protector (clear plastic cover) and mark off each thing with a dry erase marker as I do it. I made a space on my wall to hang it last night because I keep losing it. My day list gets me through the day. 

The day list has helped me keep up with self-care when I’m really depressed and make sure I come back to basics when I’m manic or agitated. I find that when I’m doing better I don’t need it as much and when I’m doing exceedingly bad I don’t even remember I have one. Thankfully, my psychiatrist reminds me. 

I feel accomplished when I do everything, which is pretty rare. I am grateful it reminds me what to take with me. I made it. I love it. I’m proud of myself. 

Recipe for making your own day list:

Ingredients – 1 sheet protector, 1 sheet of paper, pencil or pen, 1+ dry erase markers

  1. Think about what you NEED to do every day (not what you think you SHOULD do or what someone else thinks you SHOULD do).
  2. Write those things down in an order you are most likely to do them.
  3. Place the paper in the sheet protector.
  4. Put the list in a place you’ll see it every morning, next to a dry erase marker.
  5. Use. (Do a task, mark it off, erase marks at the end of the day.)
  6. Revise as needed.
  7. Celebrate your accomplishments!

Just a note – some people think my list is stupid. My mom doesn’t get it. She hassled me about it at first. Why do I need a list? Can’t I just remember that? Honestly, no. I’m glad I kept using it. If it works for you, do it. Let me know how it goes. :)

© Michelle Routhieaux 2013

To New Beginnings

7-10-13     1:45pm


It’s official. I got my driver’s license. What a trip. Exhausting. I’m sitting now in the quiet of our mechanic’s waiting room, letting myself settle to the ticks of a clock. (Eyes closed…) In here it is cool. I can begin to relax.

I believe that I failed my driving test. God passed for me. Praise God I had a nice examiner. I almost hit a truck and had to try backing up 3 times. I was terrified, fighting to stay in the moment and ignore or combat the automatic negative thoughts and keep driving through the flashbacks.

When we pulled in I was shaking, fighting off tears. I didn’t believe her when she said I passed. All she said was, “Ok.” Odd. I held it together long enough to get through the line and to the bathroom to cry. These voices were screaming in my head, “You FAILED. AGAIN. You are NOTHING. I hate you! I hate you! I hate you! You’re right back where you started. DIE!” I pulled myself together enough to go out to Mom and then lost it again. I was crying so hard. All the stress from this month all came out in tears and sobs. She held me, pouring out reassurance about driving, which had nothing to do with my crying. It was nice just me and her. I finally calmed down after some Jamba Juice. Now I’m exhausted.

I didn’t expect that reaction. I couldn’t forsee, nor would I want to. It helped a lot that I went to the gym this morning and wore my new outfit. I had a pep talk with God, felt empowered. I met my goal today – to take the drive test. I faced one of my demons. I didn’t back down. I did it. I just happen to have gotten a license in the process.

(deep quiet breaths…)

To new beginnings.
To spiral journals.
To taking back ME.
Life. Me.
To new beginnings.
To starting over.
To cleaning house.
To owning my behavior.
To God.
To love.
To faith.
To life transparency.
To me.

To new beginnings.
Cheerio. ~

© Michelle Routhieaux 2013

Sparkle Fun Toothpaste

4-25-12     1:34pm

Can I just say I love Crest Sparkle Fun toothpaste? Alongside the adventure of trying to learn to cook, I have also embarked on trying to take care of my teeth.

Many of you know that me and oral hygiene don’t exactly mix. And by don’t exactly I mean almost never. I always avoided brushing my teeth growing up. I’d lie to my mom that I did. Aside from a dental “check-up” before kindergarten I never saw a dentist either. When I was 18 I got all my cavities taken care of and got braces. They were helpful not only in straightening my teeth but reminding me to take care of them. But when they came off I stopped working at it. For a long while brushing my teeth made me throw up so I just didn’t do it. Then I got sicker and for the past few years I’ve been afraid to brush my teeth. I’m not sure why.

Anyway, I saw a new dentist this week and got a plan for how to fix up my teeth. Not sure where I’ll get the money but I want to do it. I do genuinely care about my food crunchers. I do love food ya know. Yesterday my doctor was like, “Once you get all this work done, start brushing your teeth.” It would be so much easier if they had pot roast flavored toothpaste.

So when I was at Walmart yesterday buying the skillet I don’t know how to use I stopped in the sample-size aisle and picked up a few mini-toothpastes to see if I could find one I was willing to endure every day. I hate toothpaste, I hate brushing my teeth, and I hate the taste of mint and strong cinnamon. I happened to pick up a kids travel pack with a tiny Sparkle Fun toothpaste and a small monkey toothbrush that could only be more awesome if it shook like a rattle when I brushed. I LOVE it. It has glitter in it and tastes like bubble gum. I’m sure I’ve used it before but it wasn’t called Sparkle Fun, although it is quite sparkly and fun.

I’m proud of myself and really grateful for this thing that is fun and does not taste like mint and makes me not scared of brushing my teeth. You should try it. Might change your life. ;)

© Michelle Routhieaux 2012