Learn More about Building Hope & Resiliency Through DoD Safe Helpline

The program is overdue and my hope is the word gets out for people to use the services.  M RAINN.ORG Department of Defense Safe Helpline is excited to share that their program, Building Hope & Resiliency: Addressing the Effects of Sexual Assault has been redesigned. Building Hope & Resiliency: Addressing the Effects of Sexual Assault is a self-guided, online, anonymous, […]

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New Resource: Rehabcenter.net

I added this great resource to Organizations Who Can Help, on the right at the top. Please take a look to see if they can help you or someone you know. Rehabcenter.net proudly offers an extensive list of centers, rehab programs and treatment facilities to choose from. It is important to keep in mind there are many different factors that […]

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Michael Phelps Speaks Out About Battling Depression, Anxiety

By David Konow 10/30/18 “I was so down on myself. I didn’t have any self-love and, quite honestly, I just didn’t want to be alive.”  Michael Phelps has won 28 Olympic medals, but despite his incredible history as a swimmer he’s also had serious bouts with depression, anxiety and alcoholism. Since getting help, Phelps has been very open with the public about what he went through, but he recently admitted on Today that he’s “struggling weekly” with his mental health. “From time to time, I’ll have bad days where I do go into a depression state,” Phelps said. “Being an athlete, you’re supposed to be strong and be able to push through anything. My struggles carried on through my career and I hid them well. There are so many people who struggle from very similar things that I go through and still go through… At times, it was a little scary and challenging to go through, but I found a way to get through it and I’m addressing these issues that I have.” Phelps has certainly come a long way since he hit his personal bottom in October 2014. Phelps said he was so engulfed in despair, he couldn’t leave the house for five days and felt suicidal. He admitted that he had “at least half a dozen depression spells” before this one. He recalled, “I was so down on myself. I didn’t have any self-love and quite honestly, I just didn’t want to be alive. It […]

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When Bias Turns Into Bullying

By Lindsey Phillips June 29, 2018 We all have our biases — but just because bias is a universal part of the human experience doesn’t mean it is something we should ever dismiss offhandedly, either in ourselves or others. That’s because bias has serious consequences, and when left unchecked, it can turn into bullying. A 2012 study of California middle […]

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Feel like your workplace is depressing?

Published: May 17, 2018 5:58 p.m. ET Feel like your workplace is especially depressing? Scientists found out why. A stressful job can lead to serious mental health consequences. Some 14% of common mental illnesses could be prevented by reducing job strain, a study published Tuesday in the journal Lancet Psychiatry found. The study, conducted by Australian mental health nonprofit the […]

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Self-Care After Trauma

From our friends at RAINN.org   Self-care is about taking steps to feel healthy and comfortable. Whether it happened recently or years ago, self-care can help you cope with the short and long-term effects of a trauma like sexual assault. Physical self-care After a trauma, it’s important to keep your body healthy and strong. You may be healing from injuries or feeling emotionally drained. Good physical health can support you through this time. Think about a time when you felt physically healthy, and consider asking yourself the following questions: How were you sleeping? Did you have a sleep ritual or nap pattern that made you feel more rested? What types of food were you eating? What meals made you feel healthy and strong? What types of exercise did you enjoy? Were there any particular activities that made you feel more energized? Did you perform certain routines? Were there activities you did to start the day off right or wind down at the end of the day? Emotional self-care  Emotional self-care means different things to different people. The key to emotional self-care is being in tune with yourself. Think about a time when you felt balanced and grounded, and consider asking yourself the following questions: What fun or leisure activities did you enjoy? Were there events or outings that you looked forward to? Did you write down your thoughts in a journal or personal notebook? Were meditation or relaxation activities a part of your regular […]

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18 Years Old, Married, Divorced and Still Resentful 32 Years Later

Original post 7/2014 Looking back on my life there are times when events seem like yesterday and others a lifetime ago. This is a lifetime ago memory one buried in deep resentment and anger. It’s an oxymoron. I’ve had difficult challenges, staying alive was a challenge. I’m at peace in life now. I working thru the bitterness of abuse. I buried this one so deep I forgot about until yesterday. I was barely 18 yrs. old on August 1, 1981, the day of my first marriage. It was very hot in the chapel, my gramps slipped the Priest some money to turn the air up. His parents paid for the champagne, several cases and two of my uncles got drunk. But I’m getting ahead of myself. My father walked me down the isles as I carried three roses for my grandmother, his mother and one for a statue of Mary. His mother didn’t realize her rose would come after the ceremony and she thought I forgot. In the traditional Catholic service you  kneel for a good part of the ceremony. This is where the “it was hot” comes in. I have this long veil over my face, haven’t eaten all day and it was hot. I started to wobble and whispered I’m going to pass out. He said not much longer. He was right, within minutes I passed out. Keep in mind this important occasion is on VHS. The Priest and […]

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What’s Love Got To Do With It?

Original post 5/2014 We do things for people we love not for those who do not deserve love. I woke today with a tug, my introspective mood. I save difficult post for days like this. It’s not depression or sadness more logical than emotional. Dissociation is a conversation my therapist and I have talked about for 15 years. When I talk about child abuse at the hands of my mother and stepfather my mood is flat. One of the ways I survived was putting each memory in a box to deal with later. After awhile some memories fade. Other’s are  yearly reminders. My mother still sends Birthday and Christmas cards. About 15 years ago she sent a Birthday card triggering the last blow. She basically said “I’m not the only person with problems get over it.” Nothing ever changes, everything is about her. I had not thought about my mother yet would send thank you notes for Christmas gifts. I didn’t think about it, just on auto pilot. This Birthday card was different, it pissed me off almost to almost losing it which I rarely do. I took the card to my next therapy appointment. I sit down and Diane knew something was very wrong. I handed her the card and the inscription written in the book. Diane was a cool therapist, she knew me well. She could tell the anger was building and ask what was my next step. I […]

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Andy Warhol’s “So Sweet” *Live For Today*

Original post 5/2014 I had to buy this Warhol because it was the complete opposite of my childhood. I saw the happy little girl and thought about me in kindergarten. She’s carrying a bag of candy and a good report card, again not me. What makes it so special is my mother told me I was stupid all the time. I began to believe her. You look in the corner and see “So Smart”, words I love to hear. I wasn’t stupid, just carrying a heavy load. No kindergartener can handle the burden of that secret. Warrior

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Mother leaves 8 year old at county hospital

Original post 6/2014 It’s interesting the events our mind suppresses or forgets. I have no emotion talking about the physical and emotional abuse at the hands of my mother and step father. I have disassociated memories of sexual abuse by my father. I know it. My therapist and I have talked about it, she doesn’t push and knows if the door opens I’ll talk. What I will not do is force my mind and body to endure pain it’s not ready for. I have a good perspective on what I’ve survived and the methods our mind uses to deal with our deepest pain. I’m not sure if this particular memory was forgotten or suppressed. I had no emotion as my therapist was almost brought to tears. I saw a story on the news about a 8-year-old girl tortured by her parents in some way. I don’t recall the circumstances. I always plan what I want to talk about but this day was different. I sat down and the memory of the little girl crossed my mind. I asked her if she had heard the story then adding my thoughts. I started to cry which I do easily for others in pain. As we talked about what type of parent would do that, a childhood memory flooded over me. The tears dried and it was if I was talking about someone else. When I was 8 years old I started having […]

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**URGENT** 10,000 Signatures Needed By Oct. 18th To Improve Veterans Employability and Reduce Suicide Risk

CHANGE.ORG https://www.change.org/p/robert-a-mcdonald-us-dept-of-veterans-affairs-improve-veterans-employability-to-reduce-suicide Improve veterans employability to reduce suicide. Petition by BATTLE-BRO **URGENT. PLEASE SHARE – WE NEED 10,000 SIGNATURES BY OCT 18TH** Every signature sends an email directly to the personal inbox of the Secretary of the VA, Robert A McDonald. There are an average of 22 veteran suicides each day in this country: it’s staggering and a shameful indictment of us as a society. These men and women have risked and lost their lives for the freedoms we enjoy. One of the principal factors in bringing a veteran to this tragic decision is unemployment and the inability to support their family. Though veterans re-enter civilian life amply qualified for a host of jobs, there has been no bridging mechanism that translates their military skills to employer-friendly vernacular. This from the Washington Post is a perfect explanation of the problem: “Today, unemployment for veterans who’ve served since September of 2001 hovers just over 8 percent. For the economy at large: 6.1 percent. The gap between those two numbers speaks to several challenges: The military trains service members in many jobs with close but imperfect civilian corollaries, leaving veterans with the right job skills but the wrong certifications. Military service demands other skills that civilian jobs don’t (managing violence, repairing weapons, defending convoys). But where that unfamiliar experience entails universal qualifications (leadership, judgment, communication), employers don’t always know how to recognize them.” BATTLE-BRO – the Veteran call-a-day network combatting suicide – […]

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Throw Back Thursday**Triple Shot with Country Legends Tanya, Reba,Loretta,Tammy and Dolly** Hang on to your hats!

  Enjoy the songs from my childhood, give or take a few years. Tanya Tucker’s Delta Dawn has a place buried in my heart. Many of the songs are simple, no fancy videos or special effects. What they have in common are words that grab your heart and still have meaning today. I bet there are many who aren’t familiar with the artist or words to the songs. Get on your shit kickers and get line dance warmed up!  Enjoy. M

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Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood Jam to Presence of the Lord **Live from Crossroads**

I haven’t gone off the deep edge or forgotten what day it is. This song is the most beautiful rock song about finding God. This is dedicated to my friend/followers. Thank you for the kind words of support, prayers and overall positive thoughts. It would not be right if I didn’t mention EC is the master guitar rocker. The Rock Star in my head plays like my guitar idol. Have a great weekend. 🙂  M

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Lyme Journal Update: Entry Two

I have learned several lessons since the last journal entry.  A word of caution. For those who enjoy the outdoors anywhere in the US, Canada, Germany and  parts of England, please educate yourself on Lyme Disease. If detected early doctors can usually treat with a short round of antibiotics. It is hard to think a tick the size of a […]

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Cigna Denies Cochlear Implant to Disabled Three Year Old Nikki **Speak Up for Justice**

Change.org Cigna: Approve coverage for my daughters cochlear implant My daughter Nicole was born with several health issues. In her first four months of life she had three bowel surgeries, one heart surgery, bacterial meningitis, and we learned that she would need a liver transplant. We also learned that Nikki suffered from undetermined hearing loss, however during that time the doctors and her family was focused on life saving procedures. Nikki is now three years old (almost 4) and she has neuropathy in her left ear and has been pronounced profound deaf in her right ear. We have been fortunate to be able to send Nikki to the Atlanta Speech School, which has worked wonders with her speech ability. However, her speech pathologist, therapist, teachers, and doctor have determined that Nikki has reached a plateau and will not likely improve in her speech or hearing abilities. Based on her doctor recommendation along with the advisors at the speech school, we requested Cigna (my employer provided insurance) to cover the cost of the cochlear implant. Cigna denied to cover the implant based on information provided and we appealed. The initial reason Cigna denied coverage was stated that Nikki’s hearing loss was not significant enough and she had not utilized hearing aids for at least a three-month period. During the appeal Cigna was informed that Nikki had in fact utilized hearing aids in both ears for more than two years, and her […]

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Non-Violent 1st Time Drug Offender Spends *Life in Jail Without Parole*

 Change.org  There’s a new petition taking off on Change.org, and we think you might be interested in signing it: My name is Heather Minor and on February 6, 2001, when I was 7 years old, my life took a horrible turn when my father was sentenced to life in prison for a nonviolent drug offense. Without clemency from President Obama, he will die in prison. When my father, Ricky Minor, was given his sentence I didn’t realize I was about to begin a journey that would become a new “normal” way of life for me – growing up without a father. Even though my dad was a first time nonviolent drug offender, under mandatory minimum sentencing laws he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. On that same day, my mother was also arrested. My whole world as I knew it was completely destroyed. At the age of seven, both of my parents were taken away from me, and from that point forward I was raised by my elderly grandparents. I am now 21 years old, the first in my family to graduate from high school, and taking additional classes to improve my life. However, while I am trying to make the best of my life, the realization that my father will die alone in prison is too much for me to fathom. My father was suffering from a drug addiction and trying to cope with […]

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'Keeping All Students Safe Act' National Call-In Day June 12th

There are stories almost weekly of schools using restraint or isolation on children deemed unruly. No federal law regulates these actions. I see both sides of the issue however another approach is urgent. As a person with mental illness, I can not imagine the long-term scars on children who receive this type of treatment. Please mark your calendars, it’s just around the corner.  Warrior Keeping All Students Safe Act (S. 2036 and H.R. 1893) National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is working with a coalition to end restraint and seclusion in schools. The coalition has organized a national call-in day on June 12th so advocates all over the country can call their Senators and Representatives and ask them to co-sponsor the Keeping All Students Safe Act (S. 2036 and H.R. 1893). These bills greatly restrict the use of restraint and seclusion in our nation’s schools to protect children from harm. There are no federal laws regulating the use of restraint and seclusion in schools. Numerous media stories and various reports have documented the harm, trauma and even death that have occurred from the use of restraint and seclusion in schools. Restraint is being used in alarmingly high numbers on students with disabilities, including those living with mental illness. Effective alternatives exist to reduce and eliminate the unnecessary use of restraints and seclusions and protect students and staff. These bills support alternatives that provide students with a safe and positive learning environment. Call June 12th! Please […]

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Get the Media out of the Trenches!

Post written 2/7/06 It’s relevant today as the day written. Time to dust it off. Let’s hear what you think. This week several journalist, American and Iraqi soldiers died in an attack while outside their vehicle doing an interview. Journalist Bob Woodruf isn’t even back to work from his brush with death and now a competing station loses several employees. Media giants will do anything to boost ratings and bottom line. If employees and soldiers have to die, it’s the cost of doing business. One of the top female journalist was gang raped in Egypt, being pulled by each limb. She later said thoughts of being pulled apart crossed her mind. Then put on a happy face and went right back to Egypt. How can we set back and accept this? How can the CEO of these corporations live with blood on their hands? How can shareholders not hold them accountable? It is a shame profits drive them to allow journalist to make a decision to put their life in danger. The military shares responsibility, now is time to review policy on the sheer number of journalist on the ground, embedded with troops and reporting from hot zones. Journalist have chronicled wars from behind the lens for years. It is important to have the current news today and for history.You’re not casting the next Reality Show. It’s war or hot zone, journalist are endangering the lives of soldiers, locals and […]

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Take Action for Children's Mental Health

National Alliance of Mental Illness Advocacy Update on National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week 2014 TAKE ACTION for Children’s Mental Health National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week, May 4-10, helps raise awareness around children’s mental health. This week NAMI joins communities around the country in raising awareness about the mental health needs of America’s youngest citizens. It is a week to focus on children and youth living with mental illness and to come together to advocate for a full array of effective services and supports for children affected by mental illness. View activities you can do to support Children’s Mental Health Awareness. TAKE ACTION for Children’s Mental Health Below are bills that you can take action on to tell your members of congress to prioritize children’s mental health. The Mental Health In Schools Act (S. 195 and H.R. 628) The Mental Health in Schools Act is critically important legislation that provides federal funding to increase the availability of comprehensive school-based mental health services and supports and builds effective links between schools and the community mental health system. This legislation will improve the early identification of mental illness by funding school and community-based mental health services and linking students with effective services and supports so they have the chance to thrive and reach their full potential. TAKE ACTION The Keeping All Students Safe Act (S. 2036 and H.R. 1893) This bill greatly restricts the use of restraint and seclusion in our nation’s […]

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About Looking For The Light Blog

My mother, stepfather and father abused me until I was a teenager. All the scars hurt particularly of my father who sexually abused me. It’s hard to wrap your head around sexual abuse. My father committed suicide in 1992. It was an extremely difficult time, my grandmother never recovered he was her only child. In my father’s suicide note he wanted me to take care of all the details. Estranged for years but the heart still breaks. Because of the manner in which he killed himself we had to have a closed casket funeral. It’s very hard to reconcile death when you can’t see them. I gave the eulogy however I don’t remember. I struggle with Treatment Resistant Bipolar Disorder and the anxiety it brings. I was diagnosed  at 19 years old struggling for years without medication or over medicated. In 2005 I had the Vagus Nerve Stimulator implanted. The device sends electrical signals to the brain to increase Serotonin. I have taken over 40 prescriptions or cocktails. Some worked for a while then you have to try another mix. I thought the VNS device would keep me on the rails. Naïve thinking on my part. I was not as lucky as many in the FDA clinical trial. I realized the device was like any other prescription and it was another that didn’t work. I’m 50 years old now and the Black Dog drags me down deeper as I age. I’m alive with […]

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