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, 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, Health, Motivation, Wellness, women

Nike wants to help everyone get healthy

For those who may have missed it. Nike is supporting getting people healthy. I know that seems like something that should be applauded. It also seems like the kind of thing that they’ve always done. “Just Do It” was not about binge watching your favorite show. But now they have expanded their advertising and work out wear to include plus sizes.. and apparently this is just going too far for some people.

I’m not going to discuss the negative comments surrounding this launch. There is enough negativity to go around. What I do want to talk about is the importance that people who are not healthy feel that it is also their right to get healthy. As someone who has jumped up and down the scale over my lifetime I know that it is not easy to get out there and “just exercise”. I know that when I don’t feel comfortable in my own skin it makes it very difficult to let others see it giggle at the gym.

I have seen other posts about people (usually women) who do their best to make a change to their bodies only to be mocked and insulted for actually trying. The world is extremely hypocritical in this respect. Everyone is supposed to be strong and healthy and beautiful, but they aren’t supposed to work for it. I spend a lot of time on social media and there is so much shame out there it’s amazing anyone leaves their houses anymore. I am very thankful to have a support system around me that doesn’t ridicule me at my attempts at gaining health, and also doesn’t ridicule me if I fail, but not everyone is so lucky.

What I find most interesting about the negative feedback from the new Nike wear is that it’s actually active wear. It’s actually designed for people who intend to work out. People who are fit prefer to wear such clothes because it’s more comfortable and therefore easier to keep up with an exercise routine if wearing, and yet, there are people out there who are talking about how obesity should be fought… but in the same breath say that obese people shouldn’t be encouraged to exercise. How exactly is the obesity battle supposed to be won? Diet pills?

If there are people out there who are looking to get healthy, but don’t know where to start, or feel like they’ll be shamed, I hope that they see the mannequins of people who look like them and realize that they are not alone. There’s an entire market of people just like you wanting the same thing.

All I have to add is good on you Nike! And if you’re a person who feels like you may be “too big” to exercise or “too fat” to get healthy.. Just Do It!

 

bullying, coaching, Health, Law of Attraction, Love, Motivation, parenting, Wellness, women

Sometimes those closest to us are not always the best support.

I know people can get a little turned off when I mention the word “church”, but I was in church last week and we had a visiting priest from Africa. The Central African Republic to be precise.. anyway, he said that he was very interested to do the homily that week, because it was about Jesus’s (trigger word… bare with you) speech about being judged by those you know.

There is a part of the Bible in which Jesus speaks and everyone questions his authority, as he was just the son of a carpenter… and they knew of his humble beginnings.. and how could HE possibly be important. The Father went on to say how he knows how it feels. He came to this new church on the other side of the world and he was welcomed and respected, and though he loved his home there were always those that would never take him seriously because he was the kid that did…. what have you, 20 years ago.

When starting something new in life this is often a problem that people have. We are already set in our ways and it is difficult enough to start a new course and reprogram our own minds, but it is all the more difficult with the naysayers in our ears. I can remember when I was starting my health journey and I was cutting bad foods and trying to exercise more, and the hardest people to be around were the ones that were closest to me. The ones who were like, “oh… another diet” or “yeah, we can go out next week when you’re over your kick” or “it’s just a piece of cake” .. or pizza or what have you.. “It’s not a big deal. You’ve always eaten it before.”

There is something about human nature that people almost take it as a personal insult if you decide to change.. as if you’re trying to be better than the other person or that your change means that they should change as well.

As I have mentioned before people are very determined to stay the image that they have assigned for themselves. They like their habits. They know their identity. Anything outside of that makes them very uncomfortable. So if identity is permanent than you shouldn’t be able to change yours either. This is an extremely hard battle to wage when  you’re already fighting your own mind.

A lot of people will tell you not to share your process or your plans with others. I’m not sure that I agree with that or not. I think it depends on your own resilience at that time (which can change from day to day and minute to minute), and also your opinion of the other person.. as well as a million other things. I do think that it is important to have a support system.. and that there are always those in your life that you KNOW you can’t depend on for support. Them, you avoid like the plague.

I believe this is why support groups like AA and weight watchers and the like are so important. Humans are, at our core, social beings. We need to connect with others. We need support, whether we like to admit it or not, but we can’t always get that at home with the people who are happy in the status quo or feel more comfortable holding our pasts against us. When it’s time for a change.. sometimes we have to make bold sweeping changes. We need to turn away from getting comfort in what’s familiar and move on to a new tribe if you like. The most important thing is not letting other’s define your identity.

coaching, Health, Law of Attraction, Love, Motivation, Wellness, women

Create the life you love.. don’t dwell on the life you hate

Imagine if people put as much energy into creating the life that they want as they did into putting down and destroying others? Everywhere we look today we see posts and videos and commentary about how bad someone else is and about how if not for someone else the world would be great. People spend hours and days and lifetimes finding reasons and people to blame for all that ails them.

th (1)Imagine, though, if instead of concentrating on the things that irritate, or corrode the life that we want we actually spent time and energy on the things that we do want. This can be used in any context. I don’t care if you’re complaining about our president, your ex, or the latest diet that didn’t work for you. Wasting our energy on things that we don’t want in our world only keeps us for using that same energy on the things that we do.

Take politics for example. The news and in turn everyday people spend so much time complaining and arguing about the horrible things that Trump and or his people are doing and how to get him out…but I have yet to see anyone put energy into a viable person or persons who they can put up next year to oust him.

I see post upon post.. meme upon meme, about the ex who didn’t respect me and how I deserve respect and how you’re going to regret losing me because I’m so good and your so great and how could anyone like me ever care about anyone like you and you’re going to see just how amazing I am.. and .. and ..and… time to move on honey. I’m not talking to the ex who’ll see it.. I’m talking to you.. who can’t let it go. Don’t think about the one that screwed up, think about who you want next. Think about the person that you want to become to attract the person that you deserve.

We hate our jobs, we hate our bodies, we hate people… and all we do is talk about these things…. BITCH about these things. If we put half of our energy into creating things that we adore instead of complaining about the things we abhor we may actually have a happy thoughts, that may lead to happy moods, that lead to happy lives.

I get that things can be bad. I get that there is a lot to fight in this world, but the point is to fight for, not fight against. I don’t want to spend my life fighting against one man. I want to spend my life fighting for ideas, and causes, and people. I want to spend my life talking about things that I love and why they are so wonderful and why they deserve to be respected and cherished.

I think about my son. He is 4 years old. He hates bedtime and broccoli.. you know what he never talks about? Bedtime and broccoli. Even when it’s what I’m trying to make him do these things. He doesn’t cry about how he hates bedtime. He cries and sometimes negotiates something that he does want. When I say that it’s time for bed his response isn’t “I hate bed and I never want to go to bed” his response is, “I want to play a game/watch TV/read a book” and because he concentrates on things that he wants and not what he doesn’t want a lot of times there is compromise. A lot of times I will say, “Ok, if you brush your teeth, potty, and get on your pjs without a fight and you can get one more book” it works. Just yelling “I hate bed!” doesn’t accomplish anything. There is no alternative to getting what he does want.

So you hate Trump, all men cheat, and you don’t want to give up yummy food to be thin.. great… but what do you want instead. Where is the focus? Who are you going to vote FOR in 2020? Do all men really cheat and if so are you wanting to switch teams or are you ok staying single until you meet someone who doesn’t… while letting go of the ones that do? What are you willing to do to reach your health goal? Maybe you want to be able to eat that piece of chocolate but that means extra minutes at the gym or joining a sport or hiking that peak. Don’t tell me what you don’t want.. tell me what you do.

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.

bullying, coaching, Giving, Health, Law of Attraction, Love, Motivation, parenting, Prayer, religion, Uncategorized, Wellness, women

The 7 Deadly Sins are of this life.. not the next.

We have all heard of Dante’s Infernal and the 7 deadly sins, it’s been used in countless movies and TV shows including “Seven”, “Charmed”, and “Supernatural”, just to name a few, but I always used to wonder why they were so horrible in the eyes of the after world (whichever after world you choose is fine). The more that I thought about it the more that I realized they had nothing to do with what happens next. They are all about this world… hence, deadly. These are the things that kill us and our spirit, our drive in this world.

download (27)We are all aware of addiction as a horrible disease. People who suffer from it destroy not only their own lives but cause serious damage to those around them. When a person is so consumed with something outside of them-self they can’t manage to do or think about anything else.. they put other things on the back burner.. they lose them-self to that addiction that is a deadly sin.

Now think about what those 7 deadly sins are:

Gluttony: which could be seen as food, or drink, or drug. The way it was used in Charmed was even shopping.. it’s obsessing over something. Some people use the expression “A glutton for punishment” because they always seem to go back to those that hurt them.

Sloth: The act of giving up on life.. seriously. You have no motivation to do anything. We all have those days, mine are usually on Sunday, when we just want to stay in our pjs and pretend the world away, and occasionally that is fine. But if you become the person who doesn’t want to get the new job, doesn’t want to go out with their friends, doesn’t want the new relationship.. out of fear, or anger, or just laziness, then you can watch years go by without actually doing anything. That’s just a slow death.

Lust: This one is a bit tricky. There of course is the sex addict, but I feel with a glutton definition that kind of falls under that category, but what about those people that will do anything to be in a relationship. It doesn’t matter what. They will change themselves, give up their own rights, their own principles. There are people who just don’t feel complete without the status of relationship on their facebook profile.

Then there’s the flip side. Those who are in perfectly great relationships, but need can’t be satisfied. They need to chase the high of “catching” a new romantic prospect. I have met a few people like this. They are the ones that have the affairs, not because they have fallen out of love with their spouse, but because they have an innate need to be wanted. This is very similar to the person who always needs the relationship. These people always need to prove that they are good enough to get the next one, and more often than not they lose the good thing that they already have.

Envy: This one is just a relationship killer. Any relationship, not just the romantic one. This is the one that makes you fight with your spouse over a smile at the wrong person, we get that, but it’s also the one that makes you shy away from interacting with those that you deem better for some reason. Whether you feel the other is better looking, smarter, or more successful, you either put them in a category of stuck up and therefore not someone that you would want to associate with, or you put them into a category of someone out of your league in which case you couldn’t possibly be someone they would want to know.

On top of personal relationships it’s what stops you from going for the job, the promotion, the bigger and the better, because you feel that there is no way that “I could possibly be the best candidate when there are so many more out there that are… smarter, more educated, have more experience” or whichever “truth” you decide fits your explanation. The only thing this does for us is keep us scared and incapable of moving forward.

Greed: Now this seems like it should go the opposite of envy and sloth and should be a great motivator to help someone be successful, but I guess that depends on your definition of success. Greed is not to be confused with ambition. It is great to have goals and be ready and willing to work and fight for those goals. It is a deadly sin when you start crossing lines and stealing, manipulating, and using others just to get what you want. When you start to realize that you have elevated the money or the prestige to be more important than the people around you you start to realize how much you have really lost.

Pride: This is another one that seems like it should be good, until you see it blown out of proportion. How many times have you heard of a family falling apart over pride. It could be a marriage or parents and children who don’t speak for years or even decades over something.. that half the time they can’t remember, or can’t admit wasn’t a big deal. Pride is a dangerous animal. It keeps you from giving up your principles and makes us all stronger for it, but it can be a huge stumbling block once it’s been damaged. There are many out there that hold so tightly to their pride they can’t even give the next person a chance for fear they may be made a fool again.

Wrath: This one is huge. This one is one that we see crippling nations and destroying civilizations. This is the one that needs an enemy. This is the one that needs to place blame on anyone else. This is the one that creates wars. Usually this one is a combination of the rest. This is the one that comes about when someone who is being greedy, and prideful feels envious and they obsess over who they can blame for their apathy. This is when we look for problems to to criticize others over instead of solutions to bring about peace and resolution. We are too angry to see anyone else’s perspective. We are too angry to see our part. The only thing we can do is accuse, and hurt back… and that’s never solved anything.

So as important as the afterlife is to most of us, the only life we actually have control over right now is the one that we are currently living. How do you want to spend your days? Do you want to do, see, and accomplish as much as you can? Do you want to love, learn, and experience all of the wonders that this life has? Or do you want to blame, ridicule, and waste the little time that you do have to be the person you always dreamed you could be?