Caregiver 101 Tips I Missed

Reblogged from 2009 I care for my 92-year-old gramps and have been here five weeks. He had three surgeries in seven days. Without Caregiving 101 training, I learned the hard way. *Ask the doctor what happens if the  procedure does not work. *If a second procedure does not work, is there a third option. *What is the recovery time and type of […]

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I’m Mourning and She’s Still Alive

My grandmother passed away with Dementia from two strokes in 2005. I’m reposting for the caregivers dealing with a loved one with Alzheimer’s or Dementia. For those who have not been a caregiver, these post may help you down the road. For the caregivers who give every ounce of energy, just one piece of advice if I may. Take time to clear your head, 10 or 30 minutes whatever you can for yourself each week. I did not have any one to offer suggestions and had brain drain after both of their deaths. My body was physically broken down. Due to the nature of the illness, it’s hard to take an eye off them, 24/7. I was fortunate we had hospice care for both of my grandparents. My grandfather was healthy enough to help with my grandmother. I don’t know how to turn my brain off. I’m Morning and She’s Still Alive As the caregiver for my grandparents, my hands are full yet my mind runs at a high level by switching to what I call “caregiver mode”. I can manage tons of information about what drugs they take, schedule appointments, discuss test results or anything else needed to take care of two people who are dying and “switch back” when at home. Before the fall and broken hip, my grandmother knew me. Our conversations limited yet sharing memories with her made my day. She really enjoyed a photo book I put […]

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Survivor & So Much More *First Posted 4/21/2014*

I am alive, happy, productive and helping other Survivors. I’m very blessed. My childhood and teenage years were so difficult I truly believed suicide was the only answer. My first attempt was at 9 years old, I took all the pills in my dad’s medicine cabinet. I got a buzz then my stomach pumped. Suicide was always on my mind since the abuse was every day. If it wasn’t physical abuse, it was constant mental abuse by my mother. At the same time, I saw my mother physically and emotionally abused by my alcoholic stepfather. At 13 years old I left my abusive life behind. It sounds great but you are so wounded you don’t want to look anyone in the eye, they may hit you or call you names. My mind stripped down and filled with trash, my mother took every drop of confidence I had. Over time my confidence grew and I started building who I am today. I did get called names and had a couple good fights. Sounds like any teenager trying to spread their wings. I have many unresolved emotions, responses, and fears. Who doesn’t? What I can say for sure, I’m a survivor and so much more. Survivors have to dig really deep after being kicked down. It took years for me to discover what I liked and longer to get over my fear of failure. My mother told me I was stupid all the time. I know better […]

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A Mother’s Guilt

      Daughter My Birthday wish for You I hope that every candle brings a new wish. I hope the Smile that lights your face stays there all year-long. I hope everything  you’ve dreamed it will come true. I hope you know how much I love You and how proud I am of you. Happy Birthday With So Much Love. Card from my Mother You can’t give back what you took from my life. Xx  M

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I want all WP friends to join me for a large celebration, party hats, clowns, kazoos, dancing Queen

I celebrate my 7th year blogging anniversary and turn 53 in four days. Neither occasion are important on their own. What make this year so special is I’m alive. So many of you prayed , sent well wishes yet never treated me different. I started my first blog to help grieve my granny’s death. Flash forward, I’m blessed learning other cultures around the world. Blogging with millions of people at WP there are opportunities to learn, share and clarify the misunderstood. The most important lesson learned is people are generally good. I’m free to write my thoughts, some will not agree, others will not. We need different perspectives to broaden our mind. Thank you for making every year a good one. I appreciate the kind thoughts, asking how I’m doing and treating me normal. I hope to see you in the years to come. Party On!!!!! Pass the milk please! Hugs Melinda

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How to participate once diagnosed with a Mental Illness

Years after my diagnoses with Bipolar Disease. I thought it was time to participate in my medical care. To understand layman’s terms, what to expect and when to call doctor. Getting on the same page as you learn doctor speak and how they hear. A proficient Psychiatrist with a background helping Mentally Ill patients. Please save your time and money going to General Doctor. Most are not versed in how drugs work together or not. Psychiatrist understand drugs, spend more time to make diagnoses and discuss the drugs to help. A Therapist, my foundation in healing. The key to healing is understanding yourself. They can help take the weight you’re carrying around. Don’t stop taking your medication. Medications cause side effects, the drugs you buy at CVS have side effects. Every drug has side effects. It may take 6-8 weeks for the medicine to level off. If you want to change a drug in a week, please understand, there are no short cuts. Short cuts not only prolong the treatment and can be dangerous. If you’re determined to stop medicine, Call your doctor first! If you become delusional, psychotic or determined to hurt yourself go to local hospital. Keep a journal to document the changes in mood. Keeping a log helped my doctor see my mood was cycling. A medication change was needed. There are many ideas on how people were helped or not by medicine. I will admit a couple […]

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Dear Mr Fantasy

My fantasy about life with High School boyfriend started the day we met. Our relationship was on and off until my late 30’s. He had to marry me, then go back to wife. The last time we talked, he was moving out, filed for divorce, leased an apartment, later started to move in with me. I should include, I bought the ring $12,500, he would repay. HA! He gave new meaning to word jealous. I went to FL for business, had several presentations to finish. I stayed over a Saturday for the discount. The baby man said “I stayed over Saturday instead of paying more to be with him” I watched the Stars go for second Stanley Cup. One afternoon his wife wanted to talk. Be gone a hour or two. At 11:00PM, I called asking when coming home? Reply, later! I had to restrain from hurling my favorite pissed off words. He laid key on table, said he was going back to wife. After he left, I bursted in tears and threw his stuff on the porch. He emailed me the secret years later. His view, if you accuse someone of cheating, you get free pass. He didn’t go back to wife, the free pass got pregnant. She worked for him at Police Department. He would lie before tell the truth. Fantasy over! My choice last words, fuck off. We fell “love at first sight” in 9th grade, his mask melted many […]

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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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D I V O R C E

Original post 5/2014 It was a normal Sunday like any other. I’m 6 and my brother was 3 1/2 years old, my mother was taking us to the lake. We never went to the lake, I began to get excited about playing in the water. I also grew concerned, what did she have on her mind. Even at 6 years old I knew she always had an agenda.We pulled up to the picnic tables on the far side of lake, nowhere near the water. She tells my brother and me that our parents are getting a divorce. Not understanding what it meant I ask her to spell it for me. I kept repeating the spelling in my head so I could ask my friend. I would find out sooner than later. Gramps truck was overflowing my father’s belongings. They were driving off as we rounded the corner. Their relationship went from bad to hell on earth. My mother took every chance to tell us how much she hated him. She married within six months his name was R known as (Nazi & Lucifer). He was her supervisor at work and could get her the white picket fence. We moved into a new house with a big back yard, things looked so normal on the outside. If people only knew the carnage on the inside. Custody was a nightmare, daddy would bring us home and she would throw things at him. One time […]

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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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Do you know me at all?

Original post 3/2014 It’s been an emotional month with thoughts of my father’s suicide and writing about him for the first time. I never grieved my father, the emotions caught me by surprise. It’s been very confusing because my father was one of my abusers. I am having health issues which is stressful. The Black Dog has come to see […]

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Brother witnessed Child Abuse of only sister * Everybody Hurts*

Original post 3/2014 Everyone suffers in an abusive environment. Our house was always in chaos. An alcoholic stepfather who abused my mother and a mother who abused her daughter. There were three other children in the house who saw the abuse, heard the screams and threats. I used to think the victim was the only person with scars. At 9 years old I survived almost daily beatings by taking drugs, plenty of alcohol and trying to kill myself. It never occurred to me my brother suffered from witnessing the abuse. My brother’s scars are from seeing our stepfather beat our mother. Dragging her down the hall beating her head from side to side. Putting a knife to her throat saying he would kill her. Most of their fights ending in front of our bedrooms. We had front row seats to hell. My mother abused me, the methods escalated as I aged. I heard stories of abuse as early as six months old. I don’t think my mother was trying to kill me. She’s like the women on the news who allow their kids to die. She didn’t push my head under the water but would have crocodile tears if I drowned accidentally. One weekend driving back from Houston we passed the exit to my mother’s house. I had strong emotions about my brother not me. I didn’t understand the emotions. It hit me like a train, my brother was not physically […]

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Nine years old living in Hell

Original post 4/2014 My brother and I called our stepfather a Nazi because he was mostly German and he would beat our mother unmercifully. Her crimes as we knew were not having dinner ready or not warm enough. The kids were to loud, noise was not allowed in the house, he was an alcoholic with major control issues. I was 9 years old, my brother six & half years old and our two-step brothers where much younger. They came to live with us after Houston Social Services found my stepfather the better parent. Of the choices, he was. Their mother was a drug addict. He never saw the boys after the divorce. By the time they were in the court system, they had been left at home for up to two weeks with no food, nothing. The youngest in the same diaper. The youngest experienced trauma so severely he regressed to a baby. Her addiction took over her life for that matter she may have forgotten she had kids until she came down enough. I hated my stepfather from the beginning, he didn’t wait to start controlling everything. He rarely talked to my mother it was always yelling. It was very complicated for me. I hated my mother for abusing me but it still hurt when he beat her. We had a long hallway that passed our bedrooms. When he was out of control he would walk my mother down […]

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Running to Stand Still

Original post from 3/2014 The song “Running to Stand Still” by U2 pierced my soul. I can’t explain the feeling. It describes my life in four simple words. I have fought most of my life to stay alive, many from my own bad choices. In the early sixties my parents met at a party. I don’t know if they dated […]

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The import from previous Blog is completed *Adding close to 500 additional post*

Time to celebrate!!!! Bring your kazoo, streamers, silly string and lots of cupcakes. I can finally say Looking for the Light has merged with Looking for the Light Blog. The conversion took longer than expected. Now Looking for the Light (previous) blog completes the transition to http:lookingforthelightblog.wordpress.com. The conversion added almost 500 new post dating back to 2005. I have learned a valuable lesson, starting a new site and importing post from previous blog will give you grey hair. The confusion during the holidays was crazy for me and many followers. I appreciate those who stayed with me. Many people didn’t know where my blog would be the next day. Neither did I, every morning was a guessing game. A special thanks to friends and followers, we completed the journey from hell. Xx  M  

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Kevin Breel: Confessions of a Depressed Comic

I was Kevin’s age when diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. A lack of understanding and feelings of shame, I kept a lid on my problems, until boiling over. I did not accept my mental illness until my father committed suicide in 1992. His death sent me down a path of research and learning how to take charge of my medical care. I accept Bipolar Disorder is not curable at this time yet confident in the future. TED Talk Playlist Presents Presentation #3 ted.com/playlists/296/let_s_end_the_silence_around_s

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When Does RAPE Become RAPE? *You Might Be Surprised*

At nine years old my brother was my buddy. If someone was my brothers friend, they were mine. I was a tomboy and all my girlfriends lived to far away to play after school. Our gang of misfits would walk the creek nearby, play football, ride bikes, the normal kid activities. Walking home from school I noticed a couple of friends. One invited me in to the house, he had  something to show me. Several other guys were in foyer. I didn’t think anything about the numbers of people there, I just wanted to see what he had. He already owned a crocodile, I was thinking what can top that. Before I could blink, guys were holding me down, ripping my clothes off,  being choked. Every one violated me. I was crying and screaming for help as they choked and hit me. I cried as they touched and hurt me. Begging to let me go, when I was let go my mind was whirling, confused and body in pain. At nine years old I didn’t know about rape. I knew what they did was wrong. I had no one to tell. I aged a couple of years and realized that was gang rape. I was not a willing participant and not allowed to leave. I was held down, clothes ripping off, touching and kissing me. Each one put their fingers inside me, forced their penis down my throat. Every violation […]

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Lyme Journal Entry 12 *Summer Refresher, NO ONE Is Immune To Lyme*

I’ve been sick for years without a correct diagnoses. I took a wild guess and found a Lyme doctor. A reckless one. He gave me a lab report saying I had three times the level of lead than normal. We spent three days looking for LEAD. I called the office, while on hold I realized this wasn’t my labs. Chronic Lyme Disease is a long battle. I wanted the best Doctor possible, off to D.C. for my first visit with Dr. Jemsek. I learned the Lyme Disease has progressed. My cognitive ability is 50-60%, I have Adrenal Fatigue, it can take five years of treatment to get well, or well as I’ll get. The tests were positive and will allow for IV Infusion Treatment. The next step is how much insurance will cover. Without insurance coverage the cost of IV Infusion Treatment for six months is $40-60K. I also have to fly to D.C. every month for checkup.  FUN! FUN!  I sincerely thank my friends, you’ve lifted my spirit with every comment of well wishes.   I’ve included videos showing people who have Chronic Lyme. One video is my doctor, Dr. Jemsek. The crowd is mainly patients he’s treated over the years. Celebrating the premier of his movie Under Our Skin.  XO  Melinda Jemsek speaks out Avril Lavigne **Everyone who spends time outside or has children playing near wooded areas. The video is an hour-long homemade video made by her husband. […]

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Robert Goldstein Honors Me with The Creative Blogger Award

  I’m thrilled, Robert Goldstein nominated me for The Creative Blogger Award. Robert advocates  for Mental Illness. He is a passionate artist, photographer, articulate and honest. Sharing his struggle with Mental Illness while providing support. If you haven’t visited his blog, I know you’ll enjoy his site.  Art by Robert Goldstein, http://www.robertmgoldstein.com. The Rules: * Display the Creative Blogger Award logo on your blog * Nominate 15-20 blogs and let know all nominees via their social media/blogs * Thank and post the link of the blog that nominated you (very important) * Share 5 random facts about yourself to your readers * Pass these rules on to them Five Facts:  You will see I was born looking for trouble. At 12 years, old I drove a friend of my fathers hot rod. He left the car at our house. I ask my dad first, hell no at top of lungs. Once he got on phone he would talk forever. I didn’t know how to drive. I grabbed the keys, drove the car around our street, came home and parked. I thought it was to far out in street, in my effort to correct, I jumped curb and hit fire hydrant. My dad did hear the bang, he ran out of house saying things I won’t repeat here. My first motorcycle ride was at 9 years old. I was a biker from that day forward. The only problem was stepping off bike […]

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We Must Partner With Doctor's In Managing Our Illness & Prescriptions

Face to Face time with doctors is shrinking as payments from insurance companies are further reduced. No longer are the Patient Consumer Information pamphlets included with prescriptions from manufactures, they cost money. The medication information we receive from pharmacies is a cover your ass view of a few possible side effects. Doctors work on reduced rates leaving no choice but see more patients. I believe we are due the information to manage out health properly. What do I mean by managing our health properly? We have to take responsibility to gather information the doctor doesn’t have time to give. If lucky doctors allow 15 minutes per patient. How much information can you get in that amount of time. Especially if its a new or complex illness. We are our best advocates, we have to hold doctors accountable for the information we need. It is our responsibility to understand our illnesses and medications. Doctors do not have all the answers. You have to clarify communication, don’t get caught up in “it’s the doctor’s responsibility”, wrong. Two people are in the equation and you’re the sick one. These steps may help the journey to survival and beyond. Critical to getting well is seeing the right type of doctor. A medical doctor is not a mental health specialist, has no business dispensing  RX’s. Get a referral , if not you’re a trail and error for what they think will work. Not always in you best interest. […]

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Randstien Honors Me With No Strings Attached Award

  Randstein at  hyperiumstrum.wp.com  honored me with The No Strings Attached Award. If you have not spent time admiring his art work or short stories, you are depriving yourself of sheer joy or confusion. He writes about Mythology with great knowledge. I particularly enjoy The Dragons story. Randstein has a wicked sense of humor. Head over, walk around and see where you would like to start.  The bustling award season has kicked off in the blogosphere. Many great blogs pass on awards because the time involved. I’m thrilled to have an award to honor blogs in the midst.    Blog Awarded: bipolarforlife.wp.com    Laura P. Schulman MD,MA Laura and I have so much fun talking travel, her predicaments, and life on the road in a Home with wheels. Laura is as intelligent, she is slap in the back funny. I love to hear from her. XO  W

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Throw Back Thursday *Memories…Good Times…Regrets*

When introspective, I fall in to music. Music defines a time and space. The memories are not all good, many are from rough times in life. No one knows what each song means to me or why, the answers locked away. A  favorite U2 song is ” Running to Stand Still”. Etched in my soul, reflecting on my life.  Pull up a chair or lounge with a lover, Enjoy the beverage. I would pick a Merlot to relax and take in the moment.    XO  Warrior 

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Senate Committee Approves Historic Measure to Increase Veterans' Access to Medical Marijuana

FREEDOM FOR VETERANS’ ACCESS TO MEDICAL MARIJUANA Why are Veterans’ not allowed to discuss Medical Marijuana with VA doctor? How the next round of votes go, I can’t predict. If validation proves to help,Veterans/Supporters speak louder while momentum is growing. Freedom of Speech is the right to speak my mind.     XO Warrior  HUFFINGTONPOST.COM Matt Ferner Become a fan Matt.Ferner@huffingtonpost.com Email Senate Committee Approves Historic Measure To Increase Veterans’ Access To Medical Marijuana Posted: 05/21/2015 3:48 pm EDT Updated: 05/21/2015 3:59 pm EDT The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a historic bipartisan amendment Thursday that aims to increase veterans’ access to medical marijuana. The Veterans Equal Access Amendment, added to the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill, passed the committee 18-12. The measure allows Department of Veterans Affairs doctors to recommend medical marijuana to their veteran patients. Currently, the VA bans medical providers working with the agency from completing any forms brought by patients that seek marijuana recommendations or opinions in states where the drug’s medical use is legal. The amendment, sponsored by Sens. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) blocks the VA from using funds to enforce the ban on doctors. “Veterans in medical marijuana states should be treated the same as any other resident, and should be able to discuss marijuana with their doctor and use it if it’s medically necessary,” said Michael Collins, policy manager for the Drug Policy Alliance, in a statement. “They have served this country valiantly, […]

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Bring Change 2 Mind *End the stigma of Mental Illness*

BRING CHANGE 2 MIND-END THE STIGMA Dear Friend, Every story shared brings change and helps to end stigma. Here’s mine: I never aspired to be a mental health advocate. I’m an entrepreneur, a business guy, a creative type with an appreciation for the bottom line. If things don’t work, you fix them. When one of my three beautiful children became sick with a mental illness, our family faced tremendous pain and confusion. Stigma kept our struggle private, fear kept us on heightened alert, and treatment options were hard to navigate. We were now on the front lines of mental illness, and experiencing stigma first hand. My daughter, Emily, lost her courageous battle with a borderline personality disorder and depression on March 17, 2013. She is forever in our hearts. In her honor, our family has vowed to end the terrible stigma that surrounds mental health challenges and to promote wellness. Our hope is that other families never confront such pain and loss. As the Chairman of the Board of BC2M, I am humbled to see the number of people that we have touched through our website, PSAs, social media sites, and programs. We are creating change, and starting conversations where there once was silence. To keep the conversation going, I am compelled to help raise funds to support BC2M. This month, my company, mybody Advanced Probiotic Skincare, will partner to support Bring Change 2 Mind by donating 20% of the […]

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NAMI reports finds there's a long way to go on Mental Health Parity

ADVOCACY REPORT UPDATE NAMI Report Finds There’s A Long Road To Go On Mental Health Parity So, you have health insurance. What mental health and substance use care can you get? From which providers? At what cost? Do your benefits compare to coverage for other types of medical conditions? To answer these questions NAMI surveyed over 2,700 people nationwide given new protections under the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act and the Affordable Care Act. Read all about it in NAMI’s new report: A Long Road Ahead: Achieving True Parity in Mental Health and Substance Use Care. Our survey found that people with mental illness and substance use disorders have trouble getting mental health care even when they have health insurance coverage. Specific problems found include: Significant difficulties in finding mental health providers in health plan networks; Denials for mental health care at rates far higher than for other types of medical care; Inadequate coverage of psychiatric medications in health insurance plans; High out of pocket costs in health insurance plans that sometimes cause people with mental illness or substance use disorders to forego needed care; Lack of transparency and information about health insurance plans that make it very difficult for consumers and families to make informed decisions about the plans that are best for them. Read more.  http://www.nami.org/parityreport NY Attorney General Scores Fifth Mental Health Parity Victory In a mental health parity victory in New York, Attorney General […]

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Dr. Christoph Correll on Antipsychotics and How to Keep Kids Healthy

I was excited to find a doctor talk about the treatment medications for mental illness and side effects including weight gain. His approach is working with the lowest amount medication and stay very aware of the metabolic issues. I’m a firm believer mental illness effects everyone in family and their peers. He shares ideas on how to work with/off set the weight gain. After thirty plus years with Bipolar Disorder, taking over 40 medications, weight gain is a given with certain types of drugs. If you have a child,spouse or family member with mental illness please watch the video together to open dialog. Young girls have many pressures with weight already. Open dialogue may help down the road. He provides a short overview of types of drugs with high risk of weight gain or metabolic problem.

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Guilt is the Shadow in the Mirror

All he said is your daddy has done away with himself. I screamed then said on the way. Calling right back to ask were they sure he’s dead? Yes. I think years of abuse left a permanent hole in my heart. I go there to do actions requiring no emotions. It’s like auto pilot, it has served me well. I started to think about work, who I needed to call. I’m driving with emergency lights on going 100 mph calling my work team. I stayed in auto pilot until I pulled up to my grandparents. Estranged since a teen, I thought it odd when he started calling. He sounded delusional and extremely paranoid. Nothing made sense, he was not talking in sentences. I pieced together he didn’t have any money and couldn’t work. Why he could not work must have come from the madness. I would do anything to avoid my granny being hurt. I paid his bills. Over the next several months the phone calls were my hell on earth. He would threaten to kill himself then go off on what didn’t sound like words. I couldn’t make out anything he was saying as he yelled in the phone. I would keep trying to redirect him back to our conversation. I did not tell anyone what daddy said. He was mentally ill. It had been years since we talked, maybe this was his norm. I didn’t know. Everyone sitting in […]

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Mother leaves 8 year old at county hospital *Reposted from June 2014*

It’s interesting the events our mind suppresses or forgets. I have no problem or 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 terrible […]

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New PSA #StrongerThanStigma in partnership with Brandon Marshall's Foundation

http://bringchange2mind.org Start the conversation. Change the stigma. We are incredibly excited to share our new PSA, #StrongerThanStigma, with you! Produced in partnership with Brandon Marshall’s foundation, Project 375, this campaign features four men who have each made mental health advocacy a part of his platform. These headliners are Brandon Marshall, NFL All-Pro wide receiver for the Chicago Bears; Michael Angelakos, lead singer of indietronica band Passion Pit; Wayne Brady, comedian and actor; and Ben Scrivens, NHL goalie for the Edmonton Oilers. Each shares his story, and encourages men to start the conversation and end the stigma. For the past thirty years, the rate of suicide among men has been three to four times that of women. Traditionally, however, men have shied away from talking about their feelings because it is viewed as weak. In addition to a reluctance to seek help, men have higher levels of isolation, higher rates of drug and alcohol misuse, are at a greater risk for homelessness, display more externalized and destructive behaviors, and are more involved with the criminal justice system. Underlying many of these experiences are complex psychological problems, but we rarely empathize with their causes. We want to erase stereotypes, create a new narrative by raising awareness of the mental health problems that men face, encourage dialogue, and promote help seeking behavior. We hope that you will be a part of this significant opportunity to talk about the harmful and pervasive discrimination that […]

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SPEAK UP FOR EQUALITY IN MENTAL ILLNESS HEALTHCARE

CHANGE.ORG PETITION UPDATE Fix Mental Healthcare Theresa Kinley Norcross, GA Jan 6, 2015 — I would like to thank everyone who signed or commented on my petition to Cigna. Unfortunately, Cigna is quite accustomed to people complaining about the level of care they provide–or don’t provide–to their premium paying customers; they simply blocked the petition and signatures. The insurance companies’ behavior has finally received some attention from the media, specifically a 60 Minutes piece about Anthem denying care to the seriously mentally ill. I would like to build on that momentum by launching a website dedicated to the stories of those who, in addition to battling serious mental illness, must also battle their insurance companies to get treatment. To the insurers trying to cut costs these people don’t matter; we know they do matter. I would like to encourage anyone with a story to tell about the their experience in dealing with an insurance company while seeking treatment for a mental illness to visit http://fixmentalhealthcare.wordpress.com  to submit your story. Thank you again and God bless you all. Fix Mental Health Care Fix Mental Health Care Mission Statement: With this website we are seeking to raise awareness of the harm the health insurers do to those… HTTPS://FIXMENTALHEALTHCARE.WORDPRESS.COM

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Lyme Journal Entry Ten ** Lyme-Winning Me-Tugging the Trophy Back **

I want to thank heatherfightslyme.wordpress.com for posting this video. She suffers from Chronic Lyme, check out the wealth of knowledge on her site. While fighting our own battle we can forget children and teens suffer from Lyme Disease. This beautifully sad video shows the struggle to find answers from a teenagers eyes. I feel her pain, want to hug her and make everything okay. We know it’s not that easy, hugs and understanding is always appreciated.  XO Warrior   Challenges this week: Exhausted, waking up exhausted. Not waking up by 9:30AM throws the days pills off schedule, especially the days I take shots. I start the day with multiple probiotics which need at least thirty minutes before starting the meds or eating. It feels like the anti malaria and high-powered antibiotics are eating my stomach. The gastro pain along with existing gastro issues make for an unpleasant experience. I wasn’t eating enough at breakfast. I tried eating a 1 1/2 cups of cereal and my esophagus ulcer was smiling. Slept most of four days and didn’t take any of my medication. I feel better but know my body requires help to fight this virus. The backlash of not taking my everyday medications has repercussions. I’m addicted to stimulate drugs taken for Bipolar Depression. Not taking them properly caused a huge roller coaster ride. If I take the drugs to late in the day, I’m up until 3:00AM, which keeps the cycle going. […]

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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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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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Hundreds of Thousands RAPE KITS UNTESTED

END THE BACKLOG Give closure to Rape victims  Give jail time to Abuser What are we saying to victims? Victims are not important?. Raped at 11 & 12 years old, I didn’t tell a soul. My mother would have beat me silly. Some of you will know this first hand. It takes close to six hours to go through the photos, poking, scraping and prodding of a Rape Kit collection. I hear it’s humiliating and you feel violated again. I don’t have many issues that get under my skin, this is the ONE. How did this happen? Over years the kits collected dust stored at local level without a system to retrieve them. The Rape Kits started crowding out the local precinct storage and shipped to storage facilities and forgotten about. In recent years the money for the DNA testing was expensive and budgets were smaller. END THE BACKLOG has moved mountains in a very short time. Please pass the e-mail around and sign up on website. This is my opinion and not endorsed by End The Backlog. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Dear Friend, We have heard some exciting news and we wanted you to hear it from us first. We also want to ask for your help advocating for change. As you know, Joyful Heart is dedicated to ending the rape kit backlog nationwide. Every year, more than 200,000 individuals report their rape to the police. Almost all are asked to have a rape kit […]

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Mariel Hemingway presents "Running From Crazy"

Mariel Hemingway is the granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway. Mariel’s documentary explores her famous family’s history with Mental Illness and heartbreaking suicides. Premiering on the OWN network this Sunday at 9:00pm EST. I would double-check the start time. Information about the documentary including start times is probably on OWN’s website. Their family has faced generations of Mental Illness. Mariel is straight […]

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NO MORE EXCUSES

No More Silence. No More Violence. Tune in for the NO MORE Excuses SVU Marathon This Sunday on USA  The link will take you to information about event and how you can help. There’s an extensive list of resources. Mariska Hargitay who plays a cop on SVU, gives a special address. Mariska started the Joyful Heart Foundation in 2004 with the mission to help heal, educate and empower survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse. NO MORE and End the Backlog are featured programs of the Joyful Heart Foundation. KNOW THE FACTS The next time you’re in a room with 6 people, think about this: 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men experience violence from their partners in their lifetimes. 1 in 3 teens experience sexual or physical abuse or threats from a boyfriend or girlfriend in one year. 1 in 5 women are survivors of rape. 1 in 2 women and 1 in 5 men have experienced some form of sexual violence in their lives. 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men were sexually abused before the age of 18. Warrior

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Stations of the Cross

This post does not preach or try to convert anyone of any religion. It’s the story of my intersection with the Catholic Church at 13 years old. In my recent post “I Almost Killed My Father” I told of spending a year at a Convent for bad girls. It is here I became familiar to the Catholic Religion. Growing up we did […]

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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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Meds & Musing

Rosie Perez Oscar Nominated Actress has released a memoir about her road to survival with a Mentally Ill mother. I saw her on a talk show not long ago.  Rosie is open, no glossing over her past. She is a survivor. The book, Handbook for an Unpredictable Life. I found it on Amazon. Many are focusing on Child Abuse Month and possibly making […]

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Free to Fly

My emotions are raw today. It’s 4:45 pm and still in my pajamas. I’m sad and confused. When buried memories bubble up I work hard to lock them back up. I saw the ladybug on the roses, it brought the biggest smile. The excitement was enough to grab the camera. A smile is a great distraction, half a smile is better than none. All I can give is a half-smile today. Guilt took over, guilt tells me I’m lazy and my husband is going to leave me. I know it’s the illness talking but it hit me hard today because I was weak. Melinda

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Caregiver 101 Tips I Missed

Reblogged from 2009 I care for my 92-year-old gramps and have been here five weeks. He had three surgeries in seven days. Without Caregiving 101 training, I learned the hard way. *Ask the doctor what happens if the  procedure does not work. *If a second procedure does not work, is there a third option. *What is the recovery time and type of […]

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I’m Mourning and She’s Still Alive

My grandmother passed away from Dementia from two strokes in 2005. I’m reposting for the caregivers dealing with a loved one with Alzheimer’s or Dementia. For those who have not been a caregiver, these post may help you down the road. For the caregivers who give every ounce of energy, just one piece of advice if I may. Take time to clear your head, 10 or 30 minutes whatever you can for yourself each week. I did not have any one to offer suggestions and had brain drain after both of their deaths. My body was physically broken down. Due to the nature of the illness it’s hard to take an eye off them, 24/7. I was fortunate we had hospice care for both of my grandparents. My grandfather was healthy enough to help with my grandmother. I don’t know how to turn my brain off. I’m Morning and She’s Still Alive As the caregiver for my grandparents my hands are full yet my mind runs at a high level by switching to what I call “caregiver mode”. I can manage tons of information about what drugs they take, schedule appointments, discuss test results or anything else needed to take care of two people who are dying and “switch back” when at home. Before the fall and broken hip my grandmother knew me. Our conversations limited yet sharing memories with her made my day. She really enjoyed a photo book I put […]

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