IMO – There Are Four Types Of Decision Makers In This World

Maybe it’s the “Super New Moon in Taurus” or maybe it’s just where I’m at in life but I’ve been questioning so many things about who I am, what I believe, where I’m going, what I’m meant for, what I want, how my life experiences have affected me, who I am today, and more.  

It’s no joke when they say “You are not your yesterday” (actually I said that in a 12 step meeting in 2011 or 2012) but the same rings true that who we were 12 months ago is, more than likely NOT who we are today!  I know that there are “those few” who never change, but for the most part life changes people!  But, even with change, I’ve discovered that there are innate personality characteristics that affect the way we see the world, the decisions we make, our outlook on life, and more.  

I’ve talked and written before about an analogy one of my college professors used, “Everyone views what happens in their life through their own perceptions much like they are filming a movie about their life and their eyes are the camera”.  Meaning, we all see things differently, experience things differently, learn differently.  Why? Because, as we are watching the movie called “My Life” playing on our visual screens we are filtering the images, situations, and chains of events through our belief systems, morals, accumulated life experiences, education, and more…..even down to our geographical area in which we live!  And, while you and I may experience the same situation or event none of us have walked the same steps and therefore will not always perceive the situation the same.  Maybe our loyalties lie with different people.  Maybe I came from an abusive marriage while you had a spouse who adored you.  Maybe I had kids young and you waited until you were forty.  Maybe my parents are still alive and yours passed away.  Maybe I was a nerd and you were popular.  Maybe I was poor and you were rich.  Whatever the case, those experiences make us who we are and are prerequisites, if you will, of how we will see  things in the future!  

So, in all of this, I’ve realized there are, at least, four types of people in the world and that these “types” also affect how we perceive things….but more importantly….how we make decisions.

My parents struggled raising me.  I was a good, but strong willed child.  I was told on more than one occasion (by many people, but for the sake of this blog – my Mom and Dad) that I was a Bitch!  Flat out!  I’ve been told I’m a control freak, I’m stubborn, and I don’t listen.  My Dad, more than my Mom has always tried to give me advice and help me make better decisions than what he made in life – and almost always, to his unrelenting frustration, I would do quite the opposite.  He, also, gets mad when I make a decision but it isnt the decision he would have made so it is unacceptable – even if it turns out in my favor!  DADS!!!  If I hadn’t found Jesus I’m sure my life and many of my decisions would have led me down a destructive path but even with Jesus I’m still a Type 1…….

So, Type 1 – “The Experiencer”. Some people just have to do it on their own!  Some people are independent, free spirits and have realized that they don’t learn anything in life by playing it safe or walking the straight and narrow.  They learn things by “experiencing”.  Right decisions.  Wrong decisions.  Rewards.  Consequences.  All of these things are (in essence) valuable to an Experiencer.  They want friends and family who will listen to them but they don’t usually take people’s advice.  They might be told that they don’t “respect authority” because it doesn’t matter what anyone says…once their mind is made up they are just going to do what they want to do; regardless.  Their feelings run very, very deep and most of their decisions are made because they usually follow their heart instead of logical thinking.  These people love fiercely and get hurt easily.  They don’t always lead the easiest lives, but they, inevitably, will be some of the strongest people you’ve ever met with a willpower you’ve never even imagined.  These people don’t stay down!  They ALWAYS get back up when they fall.  They may or may not lean on a higher power and they may or may not be deemed good leaders.  They may be “the glass is half full ” people, “the glass is half empty” people, or they may be “the glass just is” people, but don’t let that fool you.  They hold deep down inside a hope beyond all hopes that the best is yet to come!  Through their experiences and what they’ve learned on their journey they believe that the sum of what life has dealt them (whether good or bad) will eventually lead to happiness; which is their ultimate goal.  They just want to be happy, and this has huge impacts on the decisions they make.  These people can sometimes seem like drifters or like they are incapable of making sound decisions, but in their eyes it’s all part of the Experience! 

Type 2 – “The Spiritualist”.  Whether they are religious or into new age spirituality the Spiritualist ALWAYS believes in things like a higher power (God), fate, karma, the universe, the “Law of Attraction”, and more.  These people will either be super peaceful or they will be a force to be reckoned with.  This group can easily allow their power of attraction, their sensuality, their luring nature, their energy, or their supernatural abilities make way for a monstrous ego and many (ego or not) have a huge following of fans and supporters.  Many of these people believe that everything happens for a reason, they are being guided by something or someone, there is a plan for their life, and/or a purpose.  A very few of these people have the ability to make you want to run for the hills, but still, you will NOT ever find a bunch of people more willing to help and heal the world than Spiritualists!  They believe in the human life and the wonderousness of forces within themselves, nature, the universe, and the Heavens, and these forces empower them to do great things!  These people are usually leaders and other people grasp on to the words they speak, charities they endorse, things they practice, and cool-aid they are serving to have, even just a small piece, of what a Spiritualist has and/or feels.

Type 3 – “The Rule Keeper”.  These are the people that ALWAYS play it by the rules.  They are very logical thinkers.  They are the “Vulcans” of the human race.  Their lives are orderly, structured, and have probably been planned out since they were five.  They have never broken a law or done anything illegal.  They have never skipped school or snuck out of their parents house at night.  They drive the speed limit and they do everything with a perfectionist type of attitude.  They are very detail oriented.  These are usually very educated and successful people.  When they find love it’s usually with another “Rule Keeper” who is just as keen on planning as they are and the relationship normally lasts forever because they don’t say “YES” until their mate meets ALL the criteria on their list.  These people have a four car garage, with 1.5 children or no children, a nice retirement fund, and probably a hefty 401K.  They don’t believe in frivolous behavior because it’s a waste of time.  They carefully plan out ALL of their decisions, are usually early but NEVER late, dress on point and appropriately for every occasion, are every parents dream child, and live life as if it’s something to be achieved rather than experienced.  Life for them is about goals and more goals.  

Type 4 – “The Anything Goeser”.  For these people life is a ride.  They are like leaves blowing in the wind.  These are your party people, your risk takers, and your attention getters.  They may be job hoppers and they may never settle down.  They live for fun and adventure.  They may be completely irresponsible or they may handle their responsibilities but also know how to let loose when the time is right; and boy do they let loose!  They don’t make many goals or plans.  They probably don’t handle money very well and believe that “I can always make more”!  They are either right on time but, more often than not, they are usually late.  They don’t RSVP to anything because they don’t want to commit and if they show up it’s because something better didn’t come along! They are light hearted and hate drama!  They don’t have time for drama because then life isn’t fun anymore so they will quickly call you out or just walk away.  But, truth be told, you will ALWAYS enjoy yourself and have fun in their presence. They live to make people smile and forget about the cares of the world.  These people can usually be found at their favorite bar, hangout, friends couch, sporting event, or night life scene on a Friday night after a long work week.  Their mantra….”YOLO”, right? 

There may be more Personality types and you may identify with more than one.  Realistically speaking, life experiences, having kids, jobs, responsibilities, and such make it hard for anyone to be exactly as I’ve described above.  Most people have to bend a little to the forces of nature and the luck of the draw.  However, these are the things that drive us on a deeper level.  So, while Suzy Q and Marky Mark may make a decision that makes you tilt your head sideways, remember that you’re not watching their movie.  

There is SO much about me that has changed over the last few years, and even more over the last few months that I find myself examining my life, my feelings, my needs, my goals, my decisions, and more.  This realization has helped me understand ME a little more and why I am the way I am; why I do the things I do.  You may not like it, but you’re not watching my movie either! 

What is your type?  If you care to share that is…….

Behind The Life Of A Care Giver.  The Unseen Effects Of Schizophrenia….


Schizophrenia….that mental health illness nobody wants to talk about.  In recent years it has become increasingly easier to talk about depression, anxiety, and even bipolar disorder but people still shy away from the uncomfortableness that comes with discussing schizophrenia.  Why is that?  Maybe because it’s still so misunderstood.  Maybe because it’s scary.  Maybe because it’s considered as bad as a death sentence.  Maybe because it comes with a stigma of being crazy.  In any case, it’s something which only the mental health profession is willing to broach the subject on and even then many are still unqualified to treat it. 

Schizophrenia comes with symptoms such as delusions, auditory and visual hallucinations, depression, anxiety, fatigue, inability to think, focus, and/or concentrate; and more.  You also have to factor in the side effects from medications like sedation, tremors, seizures, weight gain, and others.  It can leave a person feeling pretty miserable, and many people end up becoming disabled physically, mentally, socially, educationally, and professionally.

However, those are just the effects it has on the patient.  What about how schizophrenia affects the family, friends, and loved ones of the individual struck by such a debilitating illness?  For those people life can also be greatly altered as they try to care for and support the inflicted person.  I know from experience.

My son, my firstborn, now eighteen years old has always been super special to me.  Every mom says that, but every mom doesn’t have MY son.  I knew from the time that he was very little that he was different.  We wouldn’t know how different until much later into his teens.  He was always a very smart child; described as “intellectually gifted” by his teachers.  He was, also, a very sensitive child, probably due to his intelligence, but even beyond that it seemed like he was always on a different plain – mentally and spiritually.  I’ve ALWAYS been very proud of him, to this day, before his illness and in the midst of his illness, episodes, and regressions.  

My son still excels academically even though he has been dealing with psychosis all through high school.  He knows four languages and has even attended college foreign language classes.  Self-taught, he walked into an intermediate college German class and knew more than some of the students there.  Because of this, it makes it that much harder to see him at his worst.  This kid has potential upon potential and is being held down by this disturbing, debilitating illness. 

As his caregiver, I’ve had to suspend my life.  In 2014 I had to quit my job to take care of him and find him help.  As a single mom, at the time, it was a very hard decision and I don’t know what I would have done if my parents weren’t so willing to help us.  Obviously, you can imagine the financial struggles we endured, but that was even minor in comparison to the struggles we endured trying to find him a doctor who understood the illness and how to treat it.  Then there was trying to find medications that he could tolerate without anaphylactic reactions.  It gets discouraging when you see a doctor and he only spends fifteen minutes with you just to throw at you a script pad with a psychotic “cocktail” and directions to “try this” and come back in thirty days.  It can get discouraging when your therapist tells you she is just an intern and doesn’t have experience in treating schizophrenia, but she will try her best.  It can get discouraging when the “specialist” your son needs doesn’t take insurance, costs $150 an hour, and has a six month waiting list.  All while your son is having psychotic breakdowns on the regular and you end up having to be his doctor, nurse, therapist, friend, and punching bag.  

Sometimes you begin to take matters into your own hands.  Around this time is when I really started to research holistic treatments.  Essential oils, chiropractic care, herbal supplements, gluten free and Paleo diets, and more.  Some of these have helped.  Some have not.  Some have assisted and alleviated his symptoms, but none have been a cure!  

A CURE…….

Ultimately, you have to get honest with yourself and realize that’s what you are searching for and that it’s possible there isn’t one.  That reality is very hard to accept with any loved one, let alone your own child.  My child wasn’t diagnosed with cancer, or leukemia, or any other horrible child disease, but schizophrenia is just as bad; in my opinion.  Regardless of the disease, we all wish there was a cure.  With schizophrenia, you have to have faith and hope that the right medications and the right therapies will, at the very least, allow your loved one to leave the house, but that’s not always the case.

My life is centered, primarily, around this child.  I have 3 other children as well, and my step-son is also disabled.  However, even his disability isn’t as debilitating as my son’s schizophrenia.  My life, for the most part, has become enclosed in the walls of my house as much as my son’s life has.  Not knowing if the aliens will tell him to follow the spaceship (which happened in the middle of one night when I woke up and found he had walked out of the house and down the street), or if the voices are going to tell him to kill himslef, or if his alternate personality will come out and cause trouble. 

My life has become about living crisis to crisis.  My life has become about sleepless nights where I never fully fall asleep but lie on the brink so that I can hear every bump or creak; jumping up to make sure he isn’t trying to leave the house again chasing a nightmare only he can see.  My life has become about endless doctor appointments, dispensing meds because he’s non-compliant on his own, minimizing sensory triggers, and managing his daily life from hygiene, to sleep schedule, to nutrition. 

My life has become lonely.  Sometimes, my only adult contact is my husband when he comes home at night.  Before him, it was my parents.  Sometimes, I miss working a job where I could at least escape my life and (as fake as they were) have “work friendships”.  My real Friends began to include me less and less in functions, events, and girls nights out because of the sheer number of times I’ve cancelled or declined in the past.  Depression sets in and you decide it’s not worth it to leave the house and you’re just too emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically exhausted to go out and have fun anyway.  That, however, is a double edged sword that I almost always regret; especially when crisis strikes and I wished I had layered the endless stress with – at least a little – fun. 

Then there is the fact that I decided to move to another state completely so that my son would be exposed to better programs and doctors.  Unfortunately, mental health care isn’t equivalent across the entire country.  Some states allocate less funding than others, which can lessen the effectiveness of mental health care and also the success rate of treatment.  However, because I love my son, I’d do whatever it takes to ensure some success, hope, or option for a better quality of life.  

In the home, sometimes, I feel just as alone surrounded by my family.  My husband’s responsibilities lie in paying the bills and home repair.  My other kids are too young to, really, understand what’s going on with their big brother and can’t anticipate his needs.  That’s me, I anticipate everyone’s needs down to the tiniest things.  I check on him periodically and can sense and see when he’s close to the edge.  I do things like bring his meals to his room, clean his room, do his laundry, buy his drinks and snacks and deliver them to his room, keep track of his appointments, keep track of his showers and hygiene, sit with him and talk about things that are important to him, plan for his future and make goals for him since he can’t right now, support him and get excited about all he does do for himself, carry enough hope for both of us since he has none (this keeps him from self harming), keep his life as stress free as possible, make sure he is stocked with essential oils since aromatherapy assists and subtly lifts his mood, and so on……..

If I want to go anywhere, I have to make sure he’s either babysat or having a good enough day that I can leave him alone for an hour or so.  God forbid, the days where I have left him alone, have called to check on him, and he doesn’t answer the phone.  I hate those days!!!  

My therapist says I suffer from PTSD because of the situation.  This has been plaguing my son for almost 4 years.  This is why I live crisis to crisis.  This is why my health is failing.  This is why my stress level is through the roof and my patience is thin.  This is why I’m more negative than positive.  Lately, the work that she is doing with me is very uncomfortable.  It causes me to have panic attacks in her office because I dread reliving experiences consciously no matter how often I relive them unconsciously.  I blame myself so much for everything that has happened to him and for some reason it’s easier to feel numb about the whole situation than it is to feel the feelings and deal with the pain, disappointment, anger that his life has been robbed from him, anger that my life has been robbed from me, resentment towards many people for many different reasons, and resentment towards God.  

God…..that’s a bittersweet subject.  While I have resentment and anger towards Him, I also have love, hope, and strength from Him.  I know it’s not His fault but sometimes I blame him anyway. Then I tell Him I’m sorry and thank Him for being my punching bag!  The only one who unconditionally loves me without defending himself, abandoning me, and uncomfortably saying things to me out of sympathy because he doesn’t know what else to say.  I pray every day for a miracle or an end to this suffering we are enduring all the while I hear Christians who are saying things like the Bible says “God will never give you more than you can handle…”.  Well, I hate to break it to you but 1. the Bible doesn’t say that and you are misinterpreting the scripture, and 2. God has “allowed” more than I can handle.  This illness of my son’s is WAY more than I can handle!!!

However, I would not be where I am today without God!  While, it’s true, that on this earth is darkness and sometimes that darkness is a destroyer, God has never left my side.  In every battle He has given me armor.  In every crisis He has given me strength.  On every morning after a sleepless night He has given me energy to face the day in some capacity.  At the end of every hard week He has given me rest and hope that next week will be better.  In difficult times He has given me healers, listening ears, therapists, and love!  You’d be surprised at the power of one hug, one text or instant message, one kiss from your favorite furry friend, or the power in one “Thanks Mom” or “I love you Mom” or “Let me make your coffee today Mom”, and how those little things can humble you.  

So, life as a caregiver isn’t a dream come true.  It isn’t what I always thought my life would be like or what I wanted for my child/ren.  However, it has taught me so much more than what I would have known before this.  It has taught me that life is life.  Shit happens, but it also happens on monumental scales and the beauty of it all lies not in the before and after, but, in the midst…in the tears…in the prayers…in the strength you didn’t know you had…and, in the humbling moments when humanity redeems itself. I would never wish this on any one, but, I would wish that everyone, in one way or another, find this beauty in life and take it for whatever it’s worth…and let it change you.  

Let it change your perspectives of life, other people, and most importantly….yourself!  

Let it be a catalyst for goals, renewal, hope, and most importantly…your life’s purpose! 

Let it teach you about beauty, sadness, anger, redemption, and most importantly…love!  

No matter what you’ve been entrusted to do, or who you’ve been entrusted to take care of, or what your cross is to bear – do it with no regrets!  For life’s greatest of lessons come when we follow the yellow brick road and conquer the fields of poppies, the flying monkeys, and the wicked witch so that we can click our ruby red slippers in the end and soar – lessons in hand – into our future! 

Who Says I Have A Cinderella Complex?

e4a7d3cdae887e8fa06ec3e74d6a9c0cYa know, I have to disagree that the kids of today will develop “The Cinderella Complex”.  It isn’t Generation Z or Generation Alpha who will be messed up by Disney’s fairytale representations of what life “should” look like.  Millennials are affected, but only indirectly.  There may have been a little bit of a complex before Gen X but from my perspective (and that’s all that it is) previous generations, and their plans for their futures were more tied to obligation, duty, their place in society, their families expectations; and the like.

Generation X, however, was born at the height of “Disney Movies”.  Color TV and musicals enhanced our viewing pleasure in the home and on the big screen.  Technicolor had been around for a few years, but films such as Star Wars, Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and more, were filling up seats upon seats at the local theatre and drive-ins.  Before Gen X the theatre was reserved for musicals, black and whites, and simple cartoons like the first Mickey Mouse films.  Then, all of a sudden, Disney got creative and started taking old fairy tales and turning them into full feature films like Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White.  They transformed them into something we could experience two dimensionally.  If you were lucky enough to visit Disney World or the Magic Kingdom as a child that two dimensional experience was then transformed into a life like experience when you got to actually meet Cinderella in person, take pictures with her, and walk through her castle.  Generation X didn’t just read about fairy tales.  For us, fairy tales came to life and this was the first time in history that had ever happened, at least on such a large scale.

I don’t know about you but as a little girl my dream was to grow up, meet Prince Charming, have a beautiful wedding, find a beautiful house complete with a white picket fence, and raise a family.  To drive my dreams home were people who said things to me like “You can be anything you want to be”, “You can make your dreams come true”, “Fairy tales can come true”.  Or how about songs like “When you wish upon a star……..”.  I believed those people and I believed those songs.  I didn’t want to remember that Cinderella was a slave to her step-mother and her step-sisters hated her. I didn’t want to remember that Sleeping Beauty was sent away with a curse on her as a child, or that dreams didn’t always come true.

My life as a kid wasn’t great.  I know many Gen Xers who suffered the Post Baby Boom Traumatic Stress Syndrome.  It should be a mental health diagnosis.  hehe  You know to what I refer.  Your mom left the home to work because it was the age of women’s rights and independence.  You were left to your own devices to cook dinner and take care of your siblings because regardless of what time your parents got home from work, you still had to go to school tomorrow.  It was the era that began the rise in divorce.  No longer did women have to put up with the bull honkey of a submissive household under a husband who ran the show and called all the shots for the whole family.  Drugs became more common place in the home.  Alcohol became the drink of choice for many unhappy, financially frustrated single parents and (Like my parents) Mom’s and Dad’s who were unhappy in their marriages and with their ever increasing responsibilities.  We needed something to believe in and Disney fed it right to us.  We needed to believe that “Happily Ever After” was possible, or at least I needed to believe it.

However, life really isn’t like that.  There is no such thing as “Happily Ever After” because that implies that life is perfect, nothing bad ever happens, and you will always walk around with a smile on your face…….and maybe you do walk around with a smile on your face.  Chances are, it isn’t because you found “Happily Ever After”.  It’s more often than not just to hide your pain.

What I’ve had to learn over the last 25 years is that life just happens.  Sometimes, we have to make up for what our parents didn’t do for us or teach us.   Sometimes, we have to heal from what our parents DID do to us or from things they shouldn’t have taught us.  Sometimes, we have to find our own way and break free from our parents expectations.  Sometimes, we have to fail 100 times before we find exactly what it is we want out of life.  Sometimes, we choose the frog instead of Prince Charming.  Sometimes, the frog is great, but we just don’t love them.  Sometimes, we choose a career over love.  Sometimes, we have to battle our demons before we can find happiness.  Sometimes, we have to walk away from God before we understand how much we actually need Him.  No matter what, though, even after you find what you are looking for in life, happiness isn’t forever.  People get sick, money still gets tight, feelings get hurt, dreams get shattered, friends move away, children grow up and move out, and so on.

Gen Xers have had to decide that they want better for their kids, than what they were given as kids.  We’ve had to become rooted in reality, strong in trials, putting one foot in front of the other day after day, taking the good with the bad, and making the best of every situation.  This has taken most of us a long time to learn.  Many of us repeated the mistakes of our parents.  Many of us looked for love in the wrong places to fill the void that we weren’t given as children, and so, Generation X is still – kind of – in their continued search for “Maybe, this time around, I’ll find Happily Ever After.”  If it’s one thing I can say about my generation – WE AREN’T QUITTERS!!!!

The neat thing however, is that I haven’t really seen that handed down to many of our children.  Millennials – no matter what we think of them – are free thinkers, and while we handed down Disney movies and they were babysat by the Disney Channel, most of them never bought into the lie.  Maybe it’s because of the direction Disney movies have taken.  Mulan disguised herself as a guy and fought in battle.  Ariel was a dreamer and a collector and wanted to become human; so she did.  Merida defied tradition and refused to marry anyone from the clans.  Hiccup befriended a dragon and made it his best friend.  Austin and Ally ran their own music store and became famous.  Casey is a secret agent, and Girl Meets World presents a real “front” while talking about issues teens are battling and going through today.   Ok, maybe these aren’t all Disney movies, but you get my point!  Times they have changed!

I don’t blame Disney, in any way, for “The Cinderella Complex”.  Maybe Disney knew and maybe he didn’t. However, I’d like to see my fellow Gen Xers get back to who they really are inside.  I’d like to see them figure out what makes them happy and reach for it.  I’d like them to forget about the pain of the past, the mistakes, the judgement, what has been lost, who they’ve been hurt by, and move on to the promise of the future, what we’ve learned from those mistakes, letting go, taking chances, not caring what other people think, surrounding ourselves with people who support and believe in us, and most importantly, not being who people want us to be, but finding ourselves and being who we are – UNAPPOLOGETICALLY – flaws, mistakes, imperfections, pain, talents, goodness, worthiness, beauty, and all!

So, Climb out of your tower, like Rapunzel, and go see the lanterns fly!  Heal from your mistakes, like Elsa, and embrace your unique gifts!  Find your tribe, like Dory, and have fun doing life together!  Because “Happily Ever After” is born out of  – not just the good times, but the bad times too.  You might say it lies just beyond the River Bend so get in that canoe and paddle!!!!

 

Finding Grace In The Airport

Ya know, I never expected to be here!  


But, here I am, sitting at gate 53 at the airport, waiting for my 15 yr old daughter to arrive back from her mini vacation to Florida.  

After spending our whole lives in Florida we moved – to the PA mountains no less – to seek better healthcare for our family.  No offense Florida, but your mental health care sucks!  Your beaches are nice, though, so I guess you have that going for you, and that’s one of the reasons why my daughter was jonesing to get back to you; as well as the fact that she missed her dad and her friends.  

I can totally understand how she feels.  I’m siting her feeling very disconnected and like I’ve lost all of my friends.  Life does that to you sometimes, for various reasons, out of your control, and regardless of your feelings and social needs. 

When I look back I can remember a few times when I felt cut off and isolated from people I loved.  In my abusive marriage, in my divorce, in my years as a single mom, when I felt I had to leave my church, and now with my move to another state.  During those times I wasn’t cut off from every single person in my life but in one way or another I was, and felt, isolated. 

What I’ve learned is that there are different kinds of isolation you can experience.  For example, when I was married I felt isolated from my single friends, and eventually those friendships faded into the sunset.  After I got divorced I felt isolated from some family members on my ex’s side.  On my side of the family I was also isolated from people because of financial issues.  When you go from two incomes to one income it makes it hard to travel.  Another crappy thing about divorce is that, most of the time, you lose friends.  Regardless if it’s right or wrong, people do choose sides and the friends you started with aren’t always the friends you leave with.  Mutual friends can’t always be shared because of drama and blame and so divorce doesn’t just become about losing your spouse, but all the people who support them as well.  

When I got remarried it seemed like the single friends I had made since my divorce, that I had spent several years hanging out with, partying with, even helping each other raise kids together with started gravitating away from me.  For whatever reason, who knows, things just weren’t the same anymore. 

Now, that I’ve moved to another state, it feels like I’ve become “Out of sight, out of mind”.  There are really only two people from my past that actually make an effort to check in on me.  Everyone else just follows me on Facebook, if they even do that.  Sometimes you think people pay attention to your Facebook posts and then you talk to someone and they say “I had no clue about……..”, and you think to yourself “didn’t you see my post?”  Haha but alas, it is only social media and honestly, how important is it? Unfortunately, to someone like me, who has had to uproot her whole life, feels really lonely in a new town, and is disconnected from her tribe Facebook can be pretty important. 

Sometimes there is a tennis match going on in my head…..

“Now serving from the south end of the court is “Misses her friends Katie” and on the North end of the court today is “Screw you, I don’t need anyone Katie”.

And, then there is the voice of the narrator…..”Katie, really? Grow up!” 

And, that’s where Grace comes in!  Grace saves the day every single time!  Grace says “You are not alone, Katie”.  Grace says “Life is about change, Katie, and things (or people) are never meant to stay the same.”  I’m not even the same anymore!!!  Grace, also, says “You are worthy of friendships and eventually you will find new friends”, and Grace says “Don’t forget about who you still have”. 

Who I still have…….those are the people we take for granted.  The ones who are there every day and love you unconditionally…..like this beautiful, young lady right here who is getting off this plane and can’t wait to see me! 

My daughter who will always know that home is wherever her Mom is, brother is, and sister is!  This girl who will always find her way back to me no matter how far she goes and how long she stays away!  Grace says “you have your kids, your husband, your in-laws, your parents, and a few others who will always be in your corner.”  Grace says “You have a friend in Jesus Christ!”  Then Grace screams “YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!!!”  When Grace screams at me I have to step back and ask myself “What is it, Katie, that you think you are missing?”  If I’m truly honest with myself, many of the friends I think I miss were not even “real” friends!   Many of my “friends” hurt me.  Many of my friends have gone their own separate ways.  Many of my friends have made new friends; and so on.  So, I guess what I’m missing is companionship, lunch dates, shopping days, girls night out, double dating with another couple, and stuff like that.  Yes there are people back home who are tied to those kinds of memories but, there are people – who I’ve yet to meet here – that I can make those kinds of memories with too! 

Sitting here at the airport Grace has stepped in and changed my perspective, given me peace, helped me have acceptance, helped me sort out my feelings, but most importantly Grace has showed me the truth!  

So, I’m going hug and kiss my little girl and then buy her some lunch.  I’m going to listen to her vacation details all the way home and I’m going to cherish this person who sees “Home” when she sees me! 

 John 1:14 “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” 

When Western Medicine Fails……….

via Daily Prompt: Champion

Careless-Doctor

You’d think that if I grew up in the 80’s my parents would have been more into natural or alternative medicine.  What, with the “Flower Child” era in the very near past and still not completely fazed out by the time the “Pop” era started.  You’d think that my parents would have had more experience with home remedies; and the like.  Go back a little further to my grandparents youth, and you’d a thought that, at least, a few home remedies would have been handed down in my family.  Alas, but, there was only one……Hydrogen Peroxide!

My mom believes Hydrogen Peroxide cures everything!  I’ve written about this before describing how often my mom tells me to “Use Hydrogen Peroxide” going so far as to liken her to the dad in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”.  Windex is his go to cure all.  Hydrogen Peroxide is my moms.

My parents pretty much believed only three things as I was growing up…..either, 1. Time will heal whatever it is you’ve contracted; whether it’s the flu, stomach flu, infected cut (these required Hydrogen Peroxide), ear infection, or sore throat, just give it time.  2. If you’re uncomfortable take Advil.  Or, 3.  If time doesn’t heal go to the doctor (which usually ended up in us taking an antibiotic because back then they didn’t regulate them as much as they do now).  However, we rarely ever made it to #3.  This made for a whole lot of suffering and extended periods of illness for my brother and I.

As I aged into my early 20’s I started to adopt my parents ideas; especially when I had kids.  If you’re a mom, you know the routine.  You find out you’re pregnant, you interview prospective pediatricians, and after your baby is born they start to scare you docs-are-godsinto believing that some kind of rogue childhood disease will either kill or cripple your child so that, by the end of their first year of life, you think the pediatrician is a God because of the number of times you’ve had to see them before your child turned one.  Especially, if your child is in day-care or pre-school.  You no longer wait to see if “time” will heal your baby, you call the pediatrician’s office the minute they open so that you can, at least, get a same day appointment.  Much of this is due to the fact that, one income households were, and still kind-of are a “thing of the past” in the late 90’s and early Millennium, and the sad truth was that you were out of sick days and had to get back to work.  Antibiotics to the rescue!!!  PLEASE!!

Back then, nobody ever told you that there were alternatives (at least not where I lived and not the people I knew).  Nobody told you that you had a choice to use healthier, all-natural products.  It’s not like this anymore, thank God.  Those days are over!  Alternative medicine is making a come-back.  I say “come-back” because many of these remedies and treatments have been around for hundreds or thousands of years (are still used in other countries), and we had just moved away from them with the rise of the industrial revolution.

alternative medicine 1

As myself, and my kids, have gotten older there have been times when Western Medicine has failed us.  I’m not talking about the fact that doctors have learned to prescribe antibiotics less.  I’m talking about the age of Insurance capitalism, kickbacks, presenting problems, and timed office visits.  I’m talking about physicians who don’t have time to connect the symptomatic dots.  I’m talking about misdiagnoses, keeping you sick and medicated so that you keep coming back and paying your copay, lack of education or lack of time to read the latest medical journals on the latest research and new treatments.  YES, this is a problem!

Example – When I was pregnant with my second child I was hyper-thyroid.  I started having panic attacks and other symptoms.  After my baby was born my TSH normalized, however I was still having symptoms.  Instead of doing further testing, they diagnosed me with generalized anxiety disorder, gave me Xanax, and told me to see a therapist.  A year later, a goiter the size of a soft ball had grown in my neck.  I had five huge cysts on my right thyroid.  A year later they removed my right thyroid.  All this time I had a normal TSH (I talk about this in a previous blog).  Still extremely symptomatic I was told that everything was normal and my symptoms got pushed off for twelve years before I was finally diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, only to be told “There is nothing I can do for you”.  Now, I know that many Hashimoto’s patients are on thyroid meds, but they would not give them to me no matter how bad my symptoms were because I had a normal TSH – FAIL!!!!!!!

Obviously, I have other examples, however, through all of this, the one thing I have learned is that YOU have to fight for your health.  YOU have to be your own CHAMPION!

The days of MD’s being demi-Gods are over.  More and more people are sick and tired of being sick and tired.  The fraud in the health insurance industry, high costs of premiums, copays, and deductibles has left many without  health insurance.  And, don’t even get me started on Obama Care’s fine for not being insured.  So where else are people supposed to turn for help and symptom relief?

YOU HAVE TO BE YOUR OWN CHAMPION!

You have to trust your gut; your instincts.  You have to arm yourself with knowledge and educate yourself.  You have to make a list of questions you want to ask your doctor and, no matter how fast he tries to shoo you out of his office, you refuse to leave until he’s answered them all.  You have to read the medical journals on the latest research, treatments, and medications because he doesn’t have time.  And, when all else fails, if he still says “I can’t help you”.  You have to open to alternative healthcare.

YOU HAVE TO BE YOUR OWN CHAMPION!

You have to know that you have a choice.  Just because the FDA doesn’t regulate natural medicine treatments, holistic doctors, supplements, herbs, and essential oils doesn’t mean they are bad for you.  Believe me, the government and the FDA know whether or not they work.  How you ask?  Because, they are the ones doing the testing.  Don’t think that they don’t have their high paid scientists testing herbs, essential oils, plants, and vitamins.  Don’t, for one minute, think that they don’t test these natural remedies on things like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, dementia, and more.  Don’t believe me?  Visit http://www.pubmed.gov and type in Frankincense.  Or, type in Oregano, Aloe Vera, Vitamin D, or whatever else you want, and it will pull up a list of all of the tests the government has performed with that substance.  It will also tell you what the results of the tests were.

1206-docs

So, then, if the FDA knows that some of them work, why don’t they regulate them?  That’s another story for another time……….

YOU HAVE TO BE YOUR OWN CHAMPION!

742e54_2314fd26b04e44fe83cb44ffbc1b383c~mv2.jpg_srz_600_236_85_22_0.50_1.20_0You can also follow the scientific research of Top wellness companies.  doTERRA Essential Oils, for example, has a team of scientists made up of doctors and other researchers who rigorously test their products and then publish their findings.  This is a very good thing.  doTERRA has done so must scientific research, has made a name for themselves all over the world, and has consistently proven that their products work that they are, now, being used in hospitals in the US.  Furthermore, the physicians that are using them to treat their patients are writing “peer reviewed” articles on the positive outcomes and findings.  If you don’t know how important “peer reviewed” medical journals and articles are, I’ll just say…..IMPORTANT!

YOU HAVE TO BE YOUR OWN CHAMPION!

Sometimes you have to be the one to educate your physician.  You have to advocate for yourself.  You know your body better than anyone else.  Just because a doctor doesn’t endorse a holistic treatment doesn’t mean you can’t still try it.  It’s a free country!  They aren’t your boss!  You can do whatever you want, right?  You’re a smart, educated adult, right?  So, try it!  You may just be surprised how much better you feel, and like many people I know, you may be able to reverse your illness on your own with alternative forms of healthcare.

The fact is, things like herbs and essential oils work on a cellular level.  Many of them can pass the blood/brain barrier and most of them (like essential oils) can penetrate the cell wall.  This is how and why they work, and work quickly.  You can’t say that about most synthetic drugs.  Wouldn’t it be better to know that your medicine is working on a cellular level to fix the problem instead of just covering up the symptoms and masking the problem?

YOU HAVE TO BE YOUR OWN CHAMPION!

1x1-1700x1700-living-magazine-winter-2014-patient-centered-team-approach-us-english-webMany people just prefer all natural healthcare.  Many people turn to chiropractic, acupuncture, Reiki, Integrative Medicine, and Functional Medicine doctors, and the like for all their healthcare needs; and that’s OK.  By and large, if  Western Medicine works and is needed, then by all means, use it.  However, when it fails you, or if you are sick and tired of being sick and tired, remember that there is a choice.  Exercise your right to choose.  You do have a choice in your healthcare options.

BE YOUR OWN CHAMPION!

 

 

Prudence….the unspoken virtue

via Daily Prompt: Prudent

Prudence…..the emotionalists biggest enemy; the unspoken virtue.  When feelings begin to run your actions prudence can fly right out the window instantaneously.  It doesn’t matter the situation.

Recently, my therapist and I have been discussing Freud’s theory if the “id”, “ego”, and the “superego”.  If you don’t know what these are, they are Freud’s theory that the human psyche (personality) is structured into three different parts, and we (at any time) could jump back and forth between the three depending on the situation and maturity level of the individual.  I won’t go deep into the meaning of the three parts but here is a brief description of how my therapist explained it to me:

“id” – the emotion mind – usually ages 0-4 – people in this state of mind are reactive to their environment.  If they are cold they will shiver.  If they are hot they will sweat.  If they have a full belly they feel “blissful” and may get sleepy.  If someone takes their toy away they get angry and may wail or scream.  In this state of mind people are very tuned into the “sensory experience” and are hyper-focused on themselves.

“superego” – the reason mind – usually ages 5/6-11/12 – people in this state of mind have an intellect that is just beginning.  The superego is used to primitively strategize and interpret the world.  Everything is either black or white, innocent or guilty, a success or a failure, loveable or unlovable, and right or wrong.  In this state of mind there are no “gray” areas.  There are only two ways of seeing and experiencing the world.  On one side the world is great, you feel great, you are always great, and you’ve always been great.  On the other side, the world sucks, you feel sucky, you are always sucky, and you’ve always been sucky.  This kind of thinking you will see in adults who are extremely stressed out or who experience long term stress.

“ego” – the wise mind – healthy adult thinking – In this state of mind individuals understand what a “gut feeling” is.  People who are working from the “wise mind” understand unconditional love and have the ability to set limits on themselves and others.  In the wise mind, there are multiple ways of seeing and experiencing the “self”, life, and the world.  This state of thinking comes from a place of calmness and awareness and the mind is working on more than one level.

Now, because it’s Freud, somewhere in there you can insert something about sex and sexuality, but that is of no importance where this blog is concerned.  Not taking into consideration the age groups for the above three descriptions, can you see where (during some situation or circumstance) you may have stepped down from the wise mind into the reason mind or emotional mind?  Most likely, when you have not been the most prudent, you were reacting from either the emotional mind or the reason mind.  This theory of Freud’s gives new meaning behind when someone says to you “You’re acting like a child!!!”.

I can think of several times where my mouth just started spewing forth reactive garbage and toxic waste without thinking about what I was saying, who I was hurting, or what the long term effects would be of my emotional rant.  Most of the time when this has happened I was either very hurt or very angry.  I have lost a few relationships, not necessarily because of what I said, but how I said it.

When an ex cheated on me I instantaneously time warped into emotional mind.  It was like Scotty had beamed me onto planet “CRAZY” for about a year and a half and, to be honest, there are periods of time that I’ve lost and can’t even remember because I was so stuck in revenge mode.  When my best friend betrayed me; the hurt caused me to become defensive to the point where, for attention, I took a knife to my wrist (for dramatic effect because I wasn’t really going to kill myself).  Did it get people’s attention?  Yes, but it almost landed me in a mental hospital for 72 hours.  Not good!  When I found out my ex pastor (who I’d been cultishly devoted to following for many years) was a fraud and doing shady stuff behind the scenes I took to social media and my friends ears complaining, bashing, accusing, and trying to get people not to follow him anymore.  All of these times I was reacting to my environment or to the situation.  All of these times I was jumping back and forth between the emotion mind and the reason mind.

Sometimes it can’t be helped; unless you’ve undergone some serious meditative training and understand how to self-regulate your emotions when disaster strikes.  However, I know some really calm yogi’s who still have their “moments”.  Sometimes it’s personality related.  People with Type A personalities, or with bad tempers, little patience, were abused in the past, have mental health issues, are extremely stressed out or having sleep issues can be more susceptible to quickly falling into the “id” or “superego”.

You don’t have to feel guilty if something just “gets to you”!  After all, we are all human and we were all given emotions for a reason.  Emotions aren’t all bad and they don’t always lie to you.  You just have to weed out the truth from the lies.  Learning to “think before you speak” (which can be easier said than done) can help you to be more prudent in the future.  Life is about experiences.  Nobody has ever been born knowing everything there is to know about the world and understanding how to completely control themselves.  We learn by making mistakes and sometimes we have to make the same mistake more than once.  Case in point……ME!

However, the more we learn how to live life unapologetically, love ourselves, not put too much importance on what other people think of us, accept the good and the bad, and learn how to let go and move on when it’s time, then the less we will fall back into the emotional mind.  Most of the time it’s good to be prudent, but, sometimes you just need the emotion mind to take control.  Sometimes the world just needs to hear you ROAR!!!