My name is Aravis. Except, of course, that it isn’t. It’ll do, though.
I’m 47. Sometimes I’m 80. Sometimes I’m 2. But chronologically I’m 46. That’s what my mother tells me at any rate, and she has the birth certificate to back it up. As I have no reason to doubt her, I guess I’ll believe her.
I’m married to a loving and patient man. If you’ve read this far, you’ll understand why patience is a necessary quality for anyone who knows me. We don’t- and won’t- have children; we adopt animals instead. We currently have 2 kittens, a.k.a. Demon Spawn. Formally known as Paxton Jack (the Ripper) and Pacey (Picante, Panther). We also have two dogs, Chauncey (Bear WiggleButt Bubs) and Scout (Cubs, Cubbers, or Floppy-Eared Menace).
I”m a licensed professional counselor (LPC) and currently work at a well-known and -loved rehab as a clinician.
I earned an M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at the University of Saint Joseph. If you read my blog you’ll no doubt find out more about that process than you really want to know. My ultimate goal was a Ph.D. or Psy.D., but I’m sick of school and becoming increasingly poor. I’ll decide later whether or not I want to go further.
In my free time I love to go play with my Canon Rebel XT. Which explains why I don’t have a lot of photos to post anymore: no free time. For those of you new to my blog, you might be wondering what I mean by not having photos to post “anymore.” The truth is that I’ve been blogging since ’01 or ’02, though I deleted the first 2 years because I felt that I needed a fresh start. Beginning in ’04, I have years’ worth of entries, photos and paintings tucked away. The links to them were broken during an upgrade, and I haven’t had time (there’s that word again!) to fix the links. If you look in the archives provided, you’ll probably see some messy pages and missing images. Yeah, I’ve gotta fix that.
On Being and Alcoholic and Having Bipolar Disorder
I’m a recovering alcoholic (20 years sober) and I have bipolar disorder. I take care of myself, though. Most people have no idea unless I say something. I share about this part of my life because a) it’s part of who I am and b) when people hear of these conditions, they get a mental image of what an alcoholic or a person with mental illness is like. We’re stigmatized. I share as honestly as I know how because I want others to see the person behind the stereotypes, to have a better understanding of what it means to be the person who lives with these things. We’re seldom like the characters you see on TV or in the movies. I refuse to feel shame for my alcoholism or mental illness. These things are part of who I am, but they do not define who I am.
That should be more than enough to get you started with. If you want more, I’m afraid you’ll have to start reading the blog.
That’s what it’s here for.