Addiction, coaching, Giving, Healthcare, Homeless, Love, Mental Health, Motivation, parenting

We’re not alone

I was shocked when an article showed up on my Facebook page today. Sesame Street has created a character whose parents are  addicts. They are talking about actually drug addiction and the opiate crisis on frickin’ Sesame Street. I couldn’t believe it. Since losing my son’s father I have been very vocal about addiction and how it has affected me and my family. I have been very clear that keeping this kind of thing “hush hush” doesn’t do anyone any good and that mental health in general needs to be the topic of more conversations… but I had no idea how many little children are going through the same thing my son did.

According to the article I read of a similar name, “We’re not alone – ‘Sesame Street’ tackles addiction crisis “,  5.7 million children under age 11 live in households with a parent with substance use disorder. That number is disgusting. I’m sorry. I wish I could say it any other way, but it is. It is disgusting to know how many kids out there have parents who are struggling with addiction and mental illness and can’t get the help that they need. How many parents have kids that are struggling with addiction and mental illness and can’t get the help that they need.

I say that they can’t get the help that they need because I tried. I called every long term rehabilitation center that I could find in the tri-state area to get my son’s father into a real treatment program. Not just a 2 week or 30 day dry out, but a real 6 months or a year program. Of course he protested at first saying that it would disrupt his life to be gone for so long, but I finally made him realize that it was much more disruptive to keep having relapses.. to not actually fix the problem and only band-aid the symptoms. It would have been a lot less disruptive on his life to take a year to get healthy then to die alone in a “sober house” with his family 3 cities away and his sober house manager swearing he’s fine… he doesn’t notice anything wrong with him.

I made at least 20 phone calls to every long term facility that I could find all saying the same thing. Sure.. he’s more than welcome.. that’ll be $50,000… right.. how many addicts do you know that have over $100 in their pockets. None of them take insurance.. and none of the ones that take insurance do any real treatment.. they just clean up their puke while they detox and then then send them on their way telling them to find some sort of out patient program like NA/AA to help.. yeah.. stay away from other addicts… but go find meetings where all you do is meet other addicts.. great idea.

I’m not saying that NA/AA are bad programs. They just aren’t for everyone. They have a very strong link to God and surrendering to a higher power and trusting in that higher power to help. Only problem.. not everyone believes in God or a higher power. I know Neil didn’t. I know he stayed clean out of shear will power. He told me repeatedly that everything that he did was for me and our son. That he was living for his family and he knew that he had to stay clean in order to have us in his life.

Now I read this article about Sesame Street talking to millions of kids about their parents. Millions of kids whose mommies and daddies have to stay sober using nothing but will power. My son is not the only kid I know whose parent has died from the crisis.. my son is not the only kid I know that needed a monitor to make sure he was safe when his Da was using. I do not live in an urban city. My child goes to private school. We love in a small town. We go to church every week. To look at us we are not who you would assume would have an addict for a loved one. But that’s the point. None of us are… and we all need to start talking about it if we want to save the mommies and daddies of those 5.7 million children. If we want to save the life of just one.

Addiction, coaching, Health, Healthcare, Love, Mental Health, Motivation, parenting, Wellness

My relationship with an addict

Relationships are complicated. That’s nothing new, Facebook has a prompt for that. Add to it any outside influences and they become dizzying. When my son’s father was alive he was my best friend. He was also my Kryptonite and my biggest antagonist, depending on the day.

He was absolutely the sweetest man that you could ever meet. When we were together we could practically read each other’s mind. We were completely simpatico. When other people were around us they saw us as a great couple and couldn’t understand why we had such issues. He was my rock. The person that I knew that I could depend on forever.

When my father was sick he was there for me on more than one occasion to clean up the mess while I helped my dad. When my car broke down he handed me the keys to his and told me he’d take the bus till mine was fixed. If anything needed moving or repairs I knew that I could call him and he wouldn’t think twice about doing what was best for me and our son. Two weeks before he died he asked me to pull into the local car wash and proceeded to vacuum, scrub, and shine my truck up. He was a Godsend… until he wasn’t.

My son’s father was an addict. When he was clean he was the best person that I knew. When he relapsed he was a danger to himself and others. He assaulted my father. He assaulted his mother. He kicked the dog. He punched holes in the wall. He never laid a hand on my son or me, but that was mostly because I made sure that we stayed out of the way until he was sober enough and then I would tell him that he had to leave.

When I talk about my son’s father people can’t understand that he was both people. 20161119_193651.jpgThey can’t understand how that sweet man that they met could do such horrific things and they can’t understand why I would ever let him back. the problem was that he was both people. He was like Jekyll and Hyde. His illness.. and yes, it was an illness.. caused him to lose himself. Once he relapsed he became the drug. Sometimes this was convenient. When he overtook his suboxine he became a fun, playful, cleaning machine. My house was spotless. He’d run around and play chase games with our son.. things weren’t actually that bad. At times I would overlook it. I knew that he wasn’t capable of  making good choices in that state and never left our son alone with him, but it was like a buzzed parent at a family cookout.. it was fine once in a while.. until it wasn’t.

Unfortunately with addicts once they got the taste the use changed from once in a while to get a buzz.. to constantly booming and zooming. I would always have the conversation with him after the first relapse, after a while I learned his mindset. If he admitted to the lapse there was a good chance he’d hop back on the wagon and we could continue as planned. If he denied it, then I knew we were headed for trouble. Regrettably it took way too long for me to figure this out. We had years of back and forth. Years of him promising to stay sober. Years of him being amazing only to bottom out eventually.

The more conversations that we had the more I realized that he had no real intention of changing his ways. I have been studying, learning about, and working in the field of behavior therapy for years now. I started to help understand myself, then to help others. I understand that we are who we believe ourselves to be. We are our thoughts. We are who we surround ourselves with. If we believe that we are screw ups.. we will be screw ups. My son’s father was a drug user. He believed himself to be a drug user. He surrounded himself with other drug users. His thoughts, humor, and beliefs revolved around using drugs. He often told me that he didn’t believe in the AA reasoning that once an addict you could never use again. He believed that he just had to figure out a way to control his use.

Two years ago I finally said enough was enough. He was out of my house for the third 20160824_1621336336102776872690226.jpgtime, and back in jail for assaulting his mom when I told him that he had to go to re rehab. Not a 2 week or 30 day dry out, but a real program that really worked on the heart of his issues. He refused. His mother agreed that as long as he had dried out and promised to stay sober that was all that mattered. I knew that one of these days things were going to go to far and I didn’t want my son or me anywhere near it.

I talked to a friend of mine who handled family law and asked him to start the process of setting up monitored visitations. I told him that as much as I loved him and wanted our son to know the good parts of him I couldn’t risk him harming us as he had other. At first he agreed.. then he didn’t. It was a long battle with many court sessions. I did my best to work with him and he did his best to keep his drug screening information out of my hands.

During that time I had to concentrate on every bad thing he ever did. It was the only way that I could keep from caving. I knew that he was living in a sober house. I knew that he was doing well at school and at work. I knew that he was acting like the man that I loved, but I also knew that it was temporary. It was always temporary.

Two weeks after we signed the final court papers my son’s father overdosed. People don’t know how to talk to me about his death. They don’t know if I’m relieved or if I’m sad, and to be honest I’m both. It sounds horrible, but I know that he was never going to be clean. After he died his father cleaned out his car and found a bottle of supplements people use to get high that don’t show up in a drug screen. No one knows how long he was using them, but the bottle was almost empty so it wasn’t something new.

I never wanted my son’s father to die. I loved him with everything that I am, and my son worshiped him.  Losing him has cut a piece of our heart out that will never be repaired. But he overdosed twice in two days. The first time he crashed his car putting not only his life in danger but everyone on the street with him as well. The next night he overdosed in his room in the sober house all by himself. Had I let him back in. Had I given in to our love for him and his love for us our son could have been in that car.. or could have been the one that found him overdosed.. dead…

I was the one who found my father when he died. He was 65, and died from complications from diabetes, and I was 39.. but that’s a visual I will never get out of my head. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.. especially a small child.

I loved my son’s father and I will miss him forever. A huge part of my life is over now. But I am so grateful that my son is safe from the damage that he unleashed with every bad decision that he made. Relationships are complicated, but when you love an addict, if you’re not careful.. they could be deadly.

Addiction, bullying, coaching, Health, Healthcare, Homeless, Love, Mental Health, Motivation, parenting, Wellness

Why is mental health so taboo?

My mother was schizophrenic. I have been dealing with mental health illnesses my entire life. I can remember people asking me why my mother wasn’t around when I was little and I always told them. “Oh, she’s schizophrenic, she couldn’t take care of us so our father did. But she did the best she could for as long as she could.”. I would get all kinds of responses. I would get the shock and awkward, “oh… I’m sorry… I didn’t know” or the “oh wow, that must have been so hard for you” or just the blank stare of not knowing how to respond.

I always found this to be strange. I mean, they knew that my mother wasn’t around. They knew there must have been a reason for this. It’s like they would have been ok if I had said, “oh she died of cancer” or “she was in a car accident” or something along that line. My mother was mentally ill. This wasn’t her fault. This wasn’t something that could have been controlled any more than had she had cancer, but for some reason people treat it like it’s something to be ashamed or afraid of.

My son’s father was an addict. He was clean when we got together and we had many good years together before his demons caught up with him and he relapsed. His problem was also that he was mentally ill. He was almost 30 when he was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and Generalized Anxiety. He had some serious issues. He could never get out of his own head. No matter how much people tried to help he couldn’t overcome his horrific thoughts.

I have spent most of my life studying and learning about how the brain works and how to help create a better life in your own mind by strengthening certain neuropathways. He had many therapists who tried to encourage the same behaviors, the problem was that by the time he was diagnosed his neuropaths were pretty damaged. He had been self medicating for so long he didn’t have a healthy arrangement left.

I am a believer in medication when needed, but I also believe that it’s a band-aid to help take the edge off so that you can do the real work with thoughts and actions. We are our brains. Our emotions come from chemicals released in our brains.. our thoughts activate those chemicals being released. He had an overwhelming amount of “stress” (cortisol) hormones and low amounts of “happy” (dopamine) chemicals in his brain. He would try to fix that with drugs, and for the short term they would help, but he had no one to help him through the rest of the process when he was younger and still forming.

Three weeks ago he took a drug to help him feel better. He never woke up from that. I had to explain to our 6 year old that Da “took a drug to make him feel better, but it was the wrong thing to do” and now he’s gone. I have since had to tell others, family, friends, co-workers, teachers at school…. and I’m always honest. My son’s father overdosed. Most people are very supportive. Some are shocked. They had no idea that he was struggling with addiction. He didn’t “seem the type”.

That’s the problem with mental illness. It’s so taboo that people assume that it’s only the homeless people living on the streets, eating out of trash cans, and yelling at the sky who are mentally ill. No one can accept that it’s the mothers, the fathers, the teachers, the comedians… and whomever else.. the everyday people that fight the good fight everyday to appear “normal”. No one wants to be labeled “crazy”. No one wants to admit their short comings.

My father had diabetes… his body was unable to produce a specific chemical needed to keep him alive. He went to a doctor. He got help. He could talk to people about it and there were therapies and a whole industry of products to help. My son’s father’s body didn’t produce the correct chemicals needed to keep his brain in balance and it was a shameful “problem”. We need to stop treating mental and physical illnesses as different things. We need to stop shaming the “crazy” and the “junkies”. My father had insurance and went to the diabetic clinic constantly for treatment. My son’s father had insurance that no one would take for his “rehab treatments”. Believe me.. I looked.

Maybe if people looked at my son’s father as a person instead of his disease he could have received the help that he deserved. Instead my son sat quietly at the service as everyone around him talked about what a “great guy” his Da was and what a “shame” it was that he died… but still.. no one wants to help the addict. They just want to SHAME.

 

 

Addiction, coaching, Health, Healthcare, Love, Mental Health, Motivation, parenting, Wellness

I am an opiate widow

I was not actually married to my son’s father. We were planning to get married. Before our son was born we talked about it. We were saving for a wedding, but we decided that at my age (36 at the time) having a baby was more of a priority than a ceremony.

Neil and I had been together for 3 years when our son was born and we had been happy. I mean we had issues as every other couple did.. some more some less, but we had been through it all together and we were in it for the long haul. God, I was so in love with that man. He was absolutely the sweetest guy you could ever meet, and it’s not just me. Everyone who knew him agreed.

He was, however, an addict. I knew this about him. He had been very upfront about his past. I had met him through friends and had even dated him briefly a few years earlier when his drug use was very prevalent, but that life wasn’t for me. When we reconnected we were both very clear that the drugs had to stay in his past.

After I got pregnant his anxiety started to go haywire. He had real trouble adjusting to the idea of being a father. It’s not that he didn’t want to be. He was also very excited about the “idea” of it. It was just the reality of it that scared the crap out of him. He had never really had a great role model as a parent in general and had no idea how he was going to manage the responsibility of being a dad, work, school.. all of it.

He started to have slip ups when I was pregnant. They weren’t often and he always promised that it wouldn’t happen again. He wasn’t using opiates, but he would mismanage his anxiety medication which gave him a different kind of high. When our son was born via c-section I made it clear to the nurses that I did not want any pain killers and that I was perfectly content with Motrin. They were not.

Without my knowledge they slipped my son’s father a script for Vicodin “just in case she needs it”. Well, I didn’t need it. I never saw that script, until I found the empty bottle in the trash. He filled it without my knowledge, and ran through the bottle like candy.

We spent years going back and forth about his drug use. He was mostly sober more than he was actively using, but he just wasn’t capable of ever really staying away. He was in and out of the house depending on his use and it really hurt and confused our son. It was about 2 years ago when I had to put my foot down. Up until this point I’d only ever seen him use pills. I didn’t know how far it had gone and how bad he had gotten. He dropped a needle out of his pocket in front of our son and when I pointed it out he acted as if it were no big deal.

I had to tell him that he was no longer welcome in my house, not even for a visit. I couldn’t risk him bringing that garbage into my house, and I definitely couldn’t risk my son being the one who found him ODed in the bathroom. I ended up taking him to court over visitation and telling him that if he wasn’t going to go to rehab… I mean a real rehab, not a 2 week or 30 day dry out.. that he needed to have a monitor assigned to make sure that our son was safe around him. That I just couldn’t do it anymore. He was pissed.. and devastated.. and heart broken. We all were, but I had to do what was best for our son.

We went back and forth about lawyers. He wasn’t willing to do anything. He moved into a sober house and would occasionally call our son to check in, but for the most part he told me that anything more was none of my business and he wasn’t going to pay to see his kid. After 6 months his lawyer finally got him to agree to the monitoring and was able to see our son, now 5, again every other week for an hour. It wasn’t much but I was happy he was willing to work with me and our kid was thrilled to have his Da back.

It would be almost another 6 months, so a year in total, before we made it into court. I agreed to let him do an  outside court appointed monitor instead of the monitoring building and he agreed to do 2 hours a week. We proceeded to go back every 3 months to renegotiate the terms and as he proved he was sober longer I agreed to allowing more and more privileges.

In December of last year we finally had a conversation. A real conversation about what was happening.  No lawyers just us. He blamed me for fighting him on everything, and I reminded him that the only thing that I had asked was for him to prove his sobriety. That he and his lawyer were the ones that wouldn’t even sit down and have a talk with me and my lawyer. That I just wanted us to get to a place where we could be amicable, and have visits go back to how they were, but I needed to know that we were actually safe. He wouldn’t give us that.

He was shocked. He had no idea that my lawyer and I were trying to set up actual conversations.. his lawyer kept all that from him so we would keep going to court and she would keep getting paid. He told me that everything he had done. The sober house. The drug tests. The therapy. It was all for me and our son, and that he just wanted his family back. I knew he was telling the truth. I knew that he loved us as much as we loved him. I also knew that I didn’t believe that he had really cleaned up. I knew that he was still hiding things and not understanding my point of view.

He always told me that he didn’t believe in the AA theory that an addict could never use again, and that he just had to figure out a way to use recreationally. When we first got together I didn’t understand what it meant to be an addict. After 10 years I’ve come to realize that there is no middle ground. I told him that he couldn’t come back to us the way that he wanted to. I told him that we love him, but that he wasn’t safe the way he was, and I wasn’t going to risk our child on his promises. He didn’t like it, but he respected it.

We both moved on.. for the most part.. we both started seeing other people, but we were both clear with the other people that we saw that we already had a family. That we were each other’s life, love.. and everything. I think we both hoped someday we could make it work. After a year and a half I finally agreed to letting go of the court appointed monitoring as long as I was there to make sure he was ok at the start of the visit. He was now allowed to drive him, and take him on certain activities on his own. He didn’t. He wanted me there. He wanted his family together. Our son wanted his parents back together and would often ask when Da was moving home… and bring our hands together in an effort to make us hold hands. It was very sweet, and very innocent.. and no one fought it, but no one encouraged it. He and I both knew we were a long way off, if ever.

I don’t know what would have happened if he’d stayed sober. No one will ever know. His demons won out in the end. On August 14, 2019, 2 weeks after we signed the final custody papers I got the call that he ODed in his bed overnight. One of his roommates at the sober house found him the next day. He was gone.

I was never married to Neil. I wasn’t even with him at the time of his death, but I was his family. I was his person.. and I was his widow long before the last hit killed him. Opiates stole his life. They stole him from us. I am an opiate widow, because opiates killed my family.

 

Addiction, coaching, Health, Healthcare, Love, Mental Health, Motivation, parenting, Prayer, religion

I have the bravest little boy ever

I have the bravest little boy ever. He has been through so much in his little life, and he keeps on smiling the best he can. People think that because he’s 6 he doesn’t understand death.. but he does. He understands all too well. It’s only been a few years since I had to tell him that Papa died in his sleep (complications from his diabetes) and then less than a year later our dog got out and was ran over by a car on a rainy dark night.. right before Christmas. This boy knows death.

When I first told him that “Da died” he cried for a moment; then looked up and asked how. That’s a hard conversation. That’s something I had to be very careful with. I had spoken to his therapist and we decided lying of any form would only be harmful. I had to explain to a 6 year old that his father ODed. A 6 year old that didn’t even understand what “drugs” were.

I hope no one ever has to have this conversation with their child, but if  you do I just want to let you know how I explained it.. the best way I could think. Over the years we had many conversations about “Da making bad choices” or “Da is sick and needs to get help with his moods”. When “Da” finally moved into a sober house my little boy couldn’t understand why he couldn’t visit Da at his house. I had to explain that Da was living with other people who had the same sickness as Da, that made some of the same bad choices as Da, and who had some of the same anger and sadness issues as Da and that they lived together in order to help each other, but that it wasn’t a place for kids.. and since Mama and Da wanted to keep him safe Da was just to come to us for visits. I don’t know how much he understood, but he stopped asking questions.

Another time, we were listening to “Fast Car” by Tracy Chapman and he randomly asked what “drunk” was. Again, I was left a little taken-a-back, but tried to explain as best I could in childlike terms. I asked him, “you know when people drink grown up drinks sometimes they get a little silly… well, sometimes if they drink too much grown up drinks they can get sick”. He seemed to get it. He didn’t really know what “grownup” drinks did.. but he knew what sick was.

So there I was, my 6 year old with tears in his eyes trying to understand why his Da was gone from this world forever I said, “you know how Da sometimes took those “drugs” to feel better…. and you know how I said that grownup drinks can make you sick…. well, sometimes with those drugs, or drinks if you take too too much, instead of sick.. you can die”. Then I waited for more questions, but he didn’t have any. He just turned away and asked if he could watch TV.

I left him with his “FGTeeV” and his thoughts and went to tell a friend what happened. When I came back a few minutes later I asked him how he was feeling.

“I don’t know how to feel. I’m sad, but I’m mad at him… but then I was happy”

I told him that he was allowed to feel all of those things, and that his feelings were going to change depending on what he was thinking about, and that’s OK. It’s been 3 weeks to the day since we had that conversation and he still doesn’t know how he feels. Most of the time he doesn’t even want to talk or think about Da. Then other times he sneaks out a phrase or two of remembrance and the tears well. He won’t say it aloud though. The words, “Da is dead” can not leave his lips. He won’t even say his name. He just points to the sky whenever he talks about him.

He started his first week of 1st grade last week, and, to be honest, I don’t know where he gets the strength. He told me last night that he doesn’t like to sleep anymore because he has nightmares. I told him that I have them too and we could just hold onto each other for comfort. I hope that helped. I hope anything can help. My little boy is the bravest boy ever… but he shouldn’t have to be.

Addiction, coaching, Health, Healthcare, Love, Mental Health, Motivation, parenting, Politics

The phone call I always dreaded

Wednesday August 14, 2019, it was a day like any other. I had taken my 6 year old little boy to work with me, because Summer vacation was still in full swing. We went to a friends’ house after to play in their pool. We were having a lovely time. Except the fact that I was starting to get worried about his father.

FB_IMG_1566082913929.jpg     I was sitting pool side with my friend as we watched our kids splash about. My son was so proud to be in the deep end. He had just learned to swim without his floaties this year and he could finally keep up with the big kids. One of his favourite things was retrieving the rings from the bottom of the pool. We were all laughing as they were doing cannonballs and chasing each other about.

Then my text message came through. It was my lawyer. My son’s father and I had just finished a pretty lengthy custody… I don’t want to say battle, because we never really fought.. I’ll just say agreement session. I looked down to see. “Katrina!” confused I just responded with “yes?”. The next text struck me hard, “I just heard about Neil”….. “What about him?!?!?!”. Then he told me that he’d call me.

I asked my friend to watch the kids and apparently the look on my face was enoughFB_IMG_1537914287913.jpg for her to not even question me. I’m not sure that I took a breath between that text and answering the phone call that came through. “I got a call from his lawyer. The people at Neil’s house found him in his room at about 3pm… I’m so sorry. He passed away.”.

I couldn’t grasp it. My eyes welled with tears. I was in shock. Disbelief. Angry. Heartbroken.. all of it. I knew something was wrong.. I didn’t know it was this.

My son’s father was an addict.

We had been through 10 years together. The first 3 were amazing. The next 4 were challenging.. and the last 2 were mostly through the courts. He had been sober for 22 months. We had just signed the final court papers 2 weeks before. We were friends again. We were looking forward to working on our family together. We had the brightest future that we had in years.. and now he was gone.

My friend saw that my face had gone white and he asked what had happened. I looked at her and mouthed, “He’s gone”. She mouthed back, “dead?”. I nodded. We both looked over at my 6 year old. He was laughing and playing and completely unaware that his whole life was about to change.

68275438_10157512695321602_5199530495649513472_n     I spent the next 2 hours making phone calls. I called Neil’s parents. My son’s therapist. My brother.. my aunt.. anyone.. everyone. I kept saying it out loud. “Neil is dead”. I kept waiting for someone to say, “no.. there was a mistake.. they found him in time. He’s in the hospital, but fine.”. That message never came in.. that call was never made. Neil was dead. Neil is dead. After almost 2 years of sobriety my biggest fear came true, and I had to be the one to tell our sweet little boy that his father was gone forever.

 

bullying, coaching, Healthcare, Motivation, parenting, Politics, school shootings

No one wants to talk.. they just want to win.

th (1)It amazes me the lengths people will go just to be right. A “friend” on Facebook just published a video about how the Left is so hypocritical that they are up in arms about illegal children but don’t try to do anything to stop children being killed here by guns and drugs… when I pointed out that the left has tried to put through policies for gun control and mental health he stated that no one was upset when Obama took the kids from their illegal parents.. when I cited articles that stated that Obama, though he held families and unaccompanied minors in detention centers, he didn’t actually separate babies from their moms. He then spent the next hour defending the policy to anyone willing to comment.

He said that the illegals shouldn’t be breaking the law, that, “How bad can their countries really be that they’d have to risk getting their kids taken away?”. When it was pointed out that some of the countries they are fleeing are violent, and that little girls are being raped and boys are being forced to join armies or drug cartels.. he said that we, as Americans, should just invade their “shithole” countries and take them over.

When it was pointed out that we could easily save the money that would be spent on wars and just aid those who wanted to leave he argued back that it’s not our job to save other people and that they just needed to stop breaking the law.. that just because he wants a new Escalade doesn’t mean he can just take one. He apparently didn’t understand the difference between protecting the lives of their children from rape and murder and getting a new expensive toy.

He went on and on about how if he breaks the law that he would have his children taken away.. even though it was explained that this is just a misdemeanor and no one would have their kids taken away for that.. and even if the kids were taken away in the case of a felony.. they wouldn’t be placed in a detention center. He argued in favor of this policy over and over and spoke of it’s praises and why it should be supported and how it’s all the illegals’ faults for being criminals… then he threw a curve ball and said that Trump had tried to change the policy but that Congress wouldn’t let him.

Obviously this confused me, so is the policy fabulous and right and deserves to be in place.. or is it horrible and bad and Trump is trying to change it? He told me that I was just trying to start an argument. I explained that while I enjoy a fact filled discussion this “argument” just took a turn.. he was no longer supporting his point. He was just going against “the Left” for the sake of it.

The original post was about the Left didn’t care about American children.. when it was pointed out that they did and were blocked in making changes.. he spent his time trying to prove why the Left was wrong for being disgusted by this policy.. then, in a sudden switch, said that this BAD policy wasn’t even Trump’s fault…. uuummm what?

I have noticed this is a growing trend. People don’t want to talk about facts or come up with a resolution.. they just want to be right. They will flop subjects or sides mid conversation just to save face. They make the most inflammatory comments just to confuse and befuddle their “opponent”. No one wants to help, no one wants to resolve.. people only want to win… even if by winning everyone loses.

coaching, Health, Healthcare, Love, Motivation, Wellness

Why are we still not talking about suicide?

I don’t get the whole taboo way of thought about mental health. I grew up with a mother who was schizophrenic. I had no problem telling people this, and people always are shocked by my openness. My son’s father has mental health and addiction issues and when I mention this people hush me. I have an aunt who is actually educated as a therapist and the thought of me telling anyone that my ex is a drug addict makes her cringe.

I don’t get it. These are illnesses. If my son’s father had cancer should I keep that hushed? My father had diabetes, and there was no problem with me talking about that. Most mental illness can be, at least helped, by medication and or different cognitive therapies… don’t we want this?

Healthcare is a huge topic of discussion right now. Gun violence is a huge topic of discussion right now… two rich celebrities within a week of one another lost their battles with mental illness and killed themselves, and yet, no one actually wants to talk about mental illness. I mean, people will wear colors or post memes and pictures to commemorate the fallen, but no one wants to actually talk about what’s going on in this world… with themselves or their loved ones.

thNo one wants to understand how someone can loose all hope. No one wants to acknowledge the reality that is illness. They want to point fingers. They want to call the fallen weak and selfish and pathetic. They want to pretend that they are just so much stronger and would never be that desperate, but the truth is mental illness is everywhere and can affect anyone. The only way we can do anything to prevent any suicides and mass killings is to talk about mental health and to make it a safe and open environment for everyone to seek help.

If I break my leg I’m considered an idiot if I don’t go to a doctor.. but if something in me is broken. If I’m feeling just too sad, or too angry, or too fearful then I’m just a miserable person that needs to get over it and it’s my problem. If I try to seek help for my health them I’m labeled crazy. If I reach my breaking point and I do something desperate I’m the villain, even in the case of self hurting (suicide and/or drugs).. I’m not a victim… I’m out to hurt my loved ones.

I’m on social media a lot. There are all kinds of jokes, and memes about being miserable, hating other people, and feeling overly insecure, anxious, or stressed. This is completely normal and laughable. It’s become a staple in our society to be miserable. Relationships are designed to break our hearts, jobs are designed to break our spirits, and friends are only there to commiserate with. Anyone who talks about good things in life or wanting more are laughed at as if they’re delusional.

We have become a society of miserable, overly self medicated, unhealthy carbon sacks… and when anyone among us expresses that we have a real problem we are told that it’s all “in our heads” and that everyone is hopeless and not to feel special. WHAT?!?!?!?

Why would anyone want to be despondent? Maybe if we all had to get evaluated regularly with our mental health like we do with our physical health.. maybe just maybe… we wouldn’t be as sick, on all ends.

Health, Healthcare, parenting, Politics, school shootings, Uncategorized

If we can’t take your guns can you at least give us health-care.

I have spoken before about the misinformation about the right to bear arms and how it’s been skewed to fit certain individuals and/or groups needs, but the misinformation of healthcare absolutely takes the cake. “Why should I have to pay for other people’s healthcare?” is the biggest argument made. Well, guess what? You already are… and more.

The way private healthcare is set up one pays a premium to have health insurance download (13)whether they use it or not. All of the money goes to the health insurance company which puts it into a fund and pays out everyone’s healthcare bills… OK, so at least your money is only paying for those who have also paid into healthcare, so that’s OK. Guess again. Hospitals know that the chances of them being paid by individuals that don’t have insurance is extremely low so they jack up the prices of everything they do so that those who have insurance will pay a high enough bill that it will cover those that aren’t covered. That’s how hospitals stay open. Ever wonder about that $15 Tylenol tablet you took?

So that’s just the costs that actually go to the hospital, doctors, Ambulances, and so forth. Now.. here’s a big secret that I know most people haven’t discovered. Insurance companies are NOT non-profit. In fact they make huge profits. The CEO’s make millions for their salaries, never mind the bonuses they get for “saving” the company money… in other words comes up with reasons they shouldn’t give their customers the coverage that they pay for.

Then there are all of the other people who work for these giant companies. The executives, the marketing, advertising, financial services, sales… customer service…. even down to the buildings they are housed in and those paid to clean them are all paid.. with your policies. Now obviously with universal healthcare there would still be people in charge of making sure that bills are paid, and taking care of customers, but there wouldn’t be billions going to executives and sales.

Then there is the fact that, yes, there are some poor people who, because they don’t make enough money, would get free healthcare. That’s kind of a given, but as we established earlier, they’re not paying those bills anyway, and the price gauging is covering that. Then there are all those who are just choosing to not pay. All those who make a decent wage, but feel that they’re healthy enough to not have to worry about it. They don’t think about the accidents that can cripple them, or the unexpected flu that can put them in the hospital. They just expected to be taken care of, and maybe they pay, maybe they don’t. Maybe, even after all the doctor’s do they can’t be saved.. or they are left disabled and unable to work anymore. Guess who eats their bills. With Universal Healthcare everyone making enough money will be paying their fair share.

Finally there’s all the things that most Private Insurance carriers aren’t guaranteed to even cover. Dental, nope, mental health, nope, specialists, nope. So you pay 100s and 1000s on health insurance only to have deductibles, co-pays.. and denials.

People and politicians complain about it not being their problem to take care of others… yet it kind of is. The population at large is definitely the politicians problem. It’s their job to keep us alive. It’s their job to keep the economy running. Part of keeping us alive, aside from making bigger and bigger guns, is making sure that we have access to doctors and medicine and.. even better.. preventative care. Part of keeping the economy running is making sure that people are healthy enough to work, and not losing their jobs over long term illnesses or injuries or losing their houses to overwhelming dept due to both.

Their most important job is making sure that the future generations are alive, or the US stops here. Two of the biggest concerns to youth today are being killed in school and the opioid epidemic (but that’s for another day) both of which could truly be helped by a good mental health system. The first thing politicians that oppose gun control say is that it’s not guns that kill people, it’s the people that kill people. And since they’ve made it very clear that they’re not willing to keep guns away from those people, why not create a health reform that gets ALL individuals the mental health support that they need. I know many people who are unable to see therapists or psychiatrists because, even with the private insurance that they have it’s either not covered or the deductible is so high they can’t afford to start treatment.. especially paying it every year.

I agree, the people who commit these horrendous crimes are mentally unstable. I c72bcc58-0abb-49e8-a915-354153bc942fpersonally thinks that means they shouldn’t be allowed access to guns, but aside from that, why can no one in power now see that means that they do require help BEFORE they shoot up 17 people in a school?

The last shooter was a classic case. He bounced from home to home. Lost 2 sets of parents. He had a really crappy life and many people could see that he was a threat to himself and others, yet nothing stopped him. No one helped him. People who shoot babies, and church goers, and movie theater attendees aren’t right in the head. That’s an absolute fact that everyone seems to agree on. These shootings occur way too often, another fact that no one questions. So why is there a debate about making sure every American has the right to stay alive? Why can’t these people get the help they need so they don’t kill 100s of people a year? This is the whole country’s problem, and only one of when it comes to the health of this nation.

coaching, Healthcare, Homeless, Motivation, parenting, Politics, Uncategorized, Veterans, Women's movement

We need to stop fighting against and start fighting for!

When I look at my news feed all that I see are stories about the horrible things that the GOP and especially Trump are doing, and it’s not that I disagree, but it has been over a year and his true supporters are not wavering. Maybe they’re racists, maybe they’re elites, maybe they’re just supportive of his causes… who knows? The point is no one is changing anyone’s minds by complaining.

Mueller is doing his thing, and that’s great. I hope he finds all kinds of evidence and puts everyone away, but complaining one-way or another on social media is not going to change that outcome. The fact that we all sign a petition to impeach him won’t matter until there is enough evidence to do so.

download (8)We are all spinning our wheels. The US Presidency primary is 2 years away, and Trump knows this. Trump knows that if we spend all of our time talking about him and fighting about Hilary then there will be no one to run against him. There will be no one to rally around to take him down. That’s what happened last time. It’s not that Trump won. It’s not that the country chose him.. the country chose “not Hillary”.

The republicans, and racists, and anti-women brigade chose Trump.. and many liberals either bowed out, went with a 3rd party, or voted for Trump out of spite. Unless we want to see this happen again we have to banned together. It’s not enough to hate the same person.. we have to support each other. We have to find people that we can put forward. We have to concentrate on who is doing good. We have to demonstrate a difference.

Right now all that we are showing is that we are just as hateful as the other side. I don’t think that’s the message that we want to put forward. No one wants to be told that they’re stupid, that they’re wrong, or that they made a crappy choice. People are going to defend their choice till their last breath to save face. Instead of pointing out all the reasons we hate Trump. Instead of pointing out all the reasons that his supporters are evil and stupid, let’s concentrate on finding people who represent the things that we want. Let’s show ourselves and Trump supporters another way.

Three years from now Trump will more than likely be on that ticket… who do you want opposite him? If we all faction off.. if we all fight among ourselves then he will win. If we just keep him as the enemy, if we keep his supporters our enemy no one will even be open to listening to another side.

I don’t want another 4 years of Trump. I don’t want more slashes to medicare, more cuts1oo9rw to food programs that hurt children and the elderly. I don’t want more cuts to public schools.. even if my son is in private. I don’t want healthcare to be a thing for only the wealthy and the healthy. He talks about how great countries like Norway and Australia are… use that. Talk about people who support the same policies as they do. Use his words against him. Talk about the DACA kids making a difference. Talk about the soldiers fighting for our rights to be healthy, safe, and educated. Talk about the inner city programs that are working. Talk about your grandma with meals on wheels. Talk about how well the free college programs help the next generation of doctors and engineers. Talk about the good things happening in this country and around the world. He talks enough about the bad.