Learning Doctor Talk

Repost from 2014 I started seeing my Psychopharmacologist in 1992 and he intimidated me. He’s not a chipper guy and it took years to see through his shell. I was in a very dark place and spiraling down. I didn’t think he understood how depressed I was. He only provides medication management, 15-minute appointments at most. We had a couple of frustrating meetings. I didn’t know how to reach him, I didn’t know doctor talk. He is one of the best in Texas and finding a Psychopharmacologist is difficult. I wasn’t walking away. During another frustrating meeting, he left the room to talk to a therapist he worked with. He did me the biggest favor and no doubt saved my life by asking me to talk with the therapist. I sat down with her and expressed my frustration in getting thru to him. They had worked together for 13 years, she could provide insight into his personality and how best to communicate with him. Once we were on the same page, he was able to give me the help I needed. Psychopharmacology:  is the scientific study of the effects drugs have on mood, sensation, thinking, and behavior.The field of psychopharmacology studies a wide range of substances with various types of psychoactive properties, focusing primarily on the chemical interactions with the brain.Psychoactive drugs interact with particular target sites or receptors found in the nervous system to induce widespread changes in physiological or psychological […]

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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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Have You Noticed My Twitter Feed Recently?

  I hit the jackpot and can’t wait to share with you.       Have you peaked at my Twitter timeline lately?  My passion has changed from Rock Stars to Support Resources, from Charities, Organizations and OutReach Programs who support the issues closest to my heart. The mix includes resources for PTSD, Sexual Abuse of Men and Women and Mental Health, Child Abuse and Physical Challenges. I follow 40 Charities, Organizations and Survivors. There is a learning curve, I will share thru post once comfortable how support services are delivered.  I hope you will take at look at the retweets, conversations and resources on the Twitter feed, updated daily. Once confident my understanding of the group/mission,  I’ll share via post. When possible, I’ll ask a few questions and ask them to talk about the who, what, when and why. One of the few lessons learned in Journalism class. In sixth grade I set a goal to work as a Photo Journalist for Life magazine. Tossed aside when I turned down a scholarship and passed on college. Men’s Movement has asked me to write for them, my pride bubbles over. At 53 the opportunity is far greater than Life magazine, now defunct.   Everyone I’ve talked with seems genuine, in a few short weeks I have over 100 followers, many of which have visited my site. Taking my Advocacy work to Twitter looks like a good decision. I’m interested in your ideas and […]

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Department of Health & Human Services Grants 17 Colleges $4.9 million

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded $4.9 million in grants to a total of 17 colleges and universities across the United States. The grants, varying in amount from $47,494 to $102,000 annually, will be funded over three years by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) through its Garrett Lee Smith Suicide Prevention Program. The awards support a range of activities for the promotion of mental health, suicide prevention, substance abuse prevention, and more. This includes training faculty, students, and staff to recognize a student at risk for suicide and to intervene. The awardees include community colleges, small and large campuses, and state and private institutions. More… https://www.samhsa.gov/newsroom/press-announcements/201706200200

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Walgreens Plans to Test Three Million People for Mental Health by end of 2017

Time will tell if Walgreens accomplishes the goal and how people are helped by the initiative. Another drug store chain publicity stunt?    M Bruce Japsen ,   CONTRIBUTOR I write about healthcare business and policy Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. About one in five Americans suffer mental health conditions, which is more than those with medical conditions Walgreens and Mental Health America set a goal to screen three million people by the end of 2017 https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.173.0_en.html#goog_1359855531 A year after Walgreens Boots Alliance WBA -0.06% expanded access to behavioral health treatment by adding an established mental health screening, most patients took “active steps for follow-up,” the drugstore giant said. Walgreens and its partner, nonprofit Mental Health America (MHA), say nearly 75% of visitors to the drugstore giant’s mental health site who completed MHA’s free screenings are moving toward follow-up treatment. That’s important because patients with mental health needs are known to not seek treatment or medication even once they know their diagnosis, behavioral health professionals say.   “One of our primary objectives when first launching this program was to help meet the growing need for resources and access to care,” Walgreens chief medical officer Dr. Harry Leider said in a statement. Mental Health America is helping the drugstore giant connect its customers to free community-based screenings for mental health conditions that include depression, anxiety and bipolar disorders. Walgreens is also working with Mental Health America and other experts in […]

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Providing Treatment and Recovery Support in Rural and Frontier Communities

May 2017: Providing Treatment and Recovery Support in Rural and Frontier Communities Find the latest episodes of the Road to Recovery media series. Aired: Wednesday, May 3, 2017 About 46.2 million people in the United States (14 percent of the population) lived in non-metropolitan (rural) communities in 2015. The nation’s rural and frontier communities face some challenges when addressing behavioral health conditions and gaining access to treatment and recovery services—including an insufficient number of specialist providers and models of care that may not consider rural-specific issues (e.g., geographical distance or the need for transportation). However, these communities have developed and applied creative approaches—especially telehealth technologies and innovative methods of service delivery—to provide access to treatment and recovery supports for residents of rural and frontier communities. Panelists will discuss the particular issues in addressing the behavioral health needs that are relevant for these communities, share innovative approaches to addressing them in remote areas, and review the challenges faced when attempting to reduce the treatment gap for rural and frontier residents. They will also address the special considerations of Native American/American Indian communities living in rural areas. Read the discussion guide (PDF | 665 KB) Download the transcript (PDF | 216 KB) Listen to the radio episode

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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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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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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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Good Times Gone Bad

I started Looking for the Light on 2-22-2014, exactly 22 years after my father’s suicide. Every year on the date, my emotions/logic are so conflicted. I stopped drinking years ago but every year I get drunk, my coping mechanism. I thought my dad was cool as a child and we had lots of fun. My father had no clue how to parent, it was scream or give in. My brother and I where seeing my father every two weeks. My father (married) had a girlfriend and liked to party, 8:00 p.m. on Saturday nights he would head out. We were left with our step mother and step brother. It was boring for me. I remember the weekend well. I got dressed, put on my stepmother’s make up and said I’m going with you. He said no at first but it was the well ask me again type of no. I said I had to get out of the house. I’m 9 years old but I looked older, not that much older. I received a lot of attention from the guys and it made me feel good. It made me feel pretty, when I got older the memories screwed up my view of relationships. Being the life of the party was great. I know there were several men who would have slept with me if I’d let them. My dad had one club he liked, I became a regular. He would find a couple of […]

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY DADDY 1940-1992 **A Daughters Elvis Tribute**

Original post 8/2014 Elvis Presley had a lifetime fan in my father. I remember playing his Elvis records at 4 yrs. old. Jumping on my friends pink canopy bed with hair brushes belting out Jailhouse Rock. After the divorce Daddy would visit driving to a mom & pop store, we’d get bottles of RC Cola, sitting in-car belting out to the radio. We had to drink  in the parking lot because the bottles required a deposit, after finished daddy would  take back for the deposit. I think it was a dime. My father was one of my abusers, I have few good memories, they’re cherished. I forgave my father, choose to focus on this nugget. My father was mentally ill, committing suicide in 1992. Abuse complicates grieving,  warm tears roll down as I write. Tears for my grandmothers pain and the years I didn’t have a father. He was reading the Book of Job during his last struggle, the last moments between him and God. To daddy

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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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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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I almost Killed my Father

Original post 4/2014 I’m writing the post with the outcome first. It made sense to me when reliving it. The tides turn It’s beyond comprehension why my probation officer saw hope in me. I gave her no reason, I had lost hope in myself, in life for that matter. I didn’t speak one word to her for seven months. I attended weekly meetings for possession of a handgun. I was a bad ass in my mind. I had to see a psychiatrist several times. I was smarter than my age at 12 years old. The psychiatrist asked me how many children I wanted. Without blinking I said none. “I wouldn’t take a chance on beating my children”. She said statics show abused people are less likely to abuse their children. I’d been sexually abused and beaten all my life. Stats meant nothing to me. The State wanted me in a boot camp type facility. My probation officer fought hard to find a less destructive facility. She felt a boot camp style would make me worse. She was right, I was wound very tight. If I can plan my father’s death what stops you from hurting a stranger. My grandmother knew about a convent that was for bad girls when she was younger. My probation officer Ruth Barrier agreed it was a better environment. I might reform in this setting. The down side, it cost $2,000 a month back in 1975 and my grandparents […]

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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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Throw Back Thursday *Wild Child Days*

Reading a post earlier brought back memories of my drug addicted wild child days. My boyfriend was a dealer so I did everything but a needle. Many scary times living with my father. I ran away, he pointing a 357 magnum at the friends he could find. Threatening to kill them if lying. Good thing he didn’t know I was crouched in the front passenger floorboard. I never forgot the music we were getting stoned to. LET’S ROCK AND ROLL   Xx  M

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I am thrilled to accept the Respect Award from Robert at Robert Goldstein

I am thrilled Robert chose me for The Respect Award. If we don’t have respect what do we have? Robert works hard advocating for mental illness services. He also fights hard for complete access for mental illness services. He is an amazing artist, Robert writes informative and beautiful stories. I love when his post include artwork. Pull up a chair and dig in, you may find a new friend and someone to follow. Robert has Dissociative Identity Disorder. I’m proud he is completely open about his mental illness and how he’s open to helping others. Robert describes what his site is about. “I’m a writer and amateur photographer who lives in San Francisco. I enjoy good conversation, history, technology and learning new skills. I have strong political views, a lifelong interest in literature, poetry, and social justice. I think I’ve finally found a format for this blog that I can live with. It evolves as I learn. Thank you Robert  🙂 You’ve made my day. Rules for award Recipients don’t have to do anything for this award. They can choose to copy the award art created by Robert and pass it on to people who have earned their respect — or they can do nothing. The only requirement has already been met when the award is given: Being someone worthy of respect. I have tremendous respect for so many, you’re not forgotten in this award. I pass the award along to Coffee […]

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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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Randstein nominated me for Once a Victim Now a Survivor Award

Thank you my friend Randstein A special thank you to Randstein for nominating me the Once A Victim Now A Survivor Award.  Randstein is a good friend, always happy to help, writes the most fantastic stories. His short stories give you plenty to think about. Randstien’s blog is hyperionsturm.wp.com. He’s a founding member of survivorsbloghere.wp.com I’m glad to have met him, my life has expanded. This award is for those who have gone through mental illness of any kind, abuse, trauma, and especially PTSD. The Rules: 1. Thank the blogger that nominated you 2. Nominate 5 – 10 bloggers to pass the award to 3. Post 5 questions for your nominees to answer (you may use the same as these below) 4. Inform your nominees and post a comment in their blog to let them know they’ve been nominated Questions: 1. In what ways do you feel that blogging can help people with psychological trauma or mental illness? I think writing can help in many ways. It’s perfect outlet to share, work thru pain and trauma. Blogging provides support from people who are a few steps ahead. The experience of putting your pain in a post can give a feeling of success. Writing thoughts down can help you see what needs more work. Posting takes a load off, no matter how small. We gain confidence one step at a time.   2. How has blogging helped you with your healing, or your personal journey? I started […]

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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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National Alliance of Mental Illness * Advocacy Update *

NAMI Advocacy Update  NAMI Advocates works tirelessly to educate, their website is a great resource, most important is they are always working for us and injustices.   XO Warrior 21st Century Cures Bill Passes House Committee The House Energy & Commerce Committee passed 21st Century Cures on May 21st— a bipartisan bill designed to push for the development of new therapies for diseases that are not being treated successfully. This bill includes new dollars for the National Institutes of Health Opportunity Fund totalling $10 billion over five years. The bill does not target specific diseases or illnesses, but it does leave open the possibility of investments in new clinical trials or therapeutic interventions for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression, and other mental health conditions. The 21st Century Cures bill is expected to come to a vote in the full House of Representatives in June. View NAMI’s letter of support for this important bill. 17 U.S. Senators Write Letter To HHS Citing NAMI Parity Report In a first step to addressing some vital concerns in Affordable Care Act health plans, a group of U.S. Senators sent a letter to Secretary Sylvia Burwell (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) calling for action to ensure transparency and mental health parity. The letter cites NAMI’s report “A Long Road Ahead” noting, among other issues, that consumers cannot get the detailed information they need to make informed decisions when buying a health plan. Read the […]

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Survivors Blog Here is thrilled to announce Robert Goldstein has joined our team.

“As far as your eyes can see, the universe can see farther”  Oprah Survivors Blog Here http://survivorsbloghere.wp.com is breaking out the happy dance. We’re excited to announce Robert Goldstein has joined our team. Stop by, pull up a chair, his site http://artbyrobertmgoldstein engulfs you then pulls you back looking for another gem. Robert is a strong advocate for mental illness, he […]

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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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Tell Congress to help New Veterans Keep The Mental Health Medications They Need!

Help NAMI Tell Congress to Help New Veterans Keep the Mental Health Medications They Need! When someone is in treatment for a mental illness, it is common to go through several different trials of medication until they find the one that helps them feel better. It can take time to find a medicine that works for you. The slightest change could set someone back or even cause further illness. Now imagine if you are a service member who has found that right combination. You are feeling better and your medication is working. The way things stand now, if you decide to transition out of service and into veteran status, your medication might not transfer with you. This is unacceptable. With an alarmingly high suicide rate of 22 veterans dying each day and countless others struggling, we simply cannot allow for delays in treatment, endless appeals or the risk of being switched away from a proven effective medication for serious conditions such as depression, anxiety or psychosis. Our veterans deserve better. Write a letter to your congressman, ask them to co-sponsor H.R. 2123 the Enhancing Veterans Access to Treatment Act. Tell them it is not ok to take away a medication that works for a service member simply because they transitioned out of service. Take Action Thank you for advocating for passage of this important bill!

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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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I talk about Mental Health because my family deserves a voice…Glenn Close

BRING CHANGE 2 MIND Dear Friend, I talk about mental health because stigma prevents too many people from seeking the help or support that they may need. At BC2M, we talk about this 365 days a year. And, each May, we talk about it with a wider audience reached through the increased media attention generated by Mental Health Awareness Month. Are you talking about mental health? What are you saying? We want to know! On May 1st, we are launching a new campaign, #ITalk, as a way to start and continue these conversations around the world. Throughout the month, we will be sharing stories, images, and reasons why members of the BC2M community are talking about mental health, and we hope that you will choose to join us. To share your #ITalk motivation, please send or post your photo with 5 to 7 words on why you talk about mental health. Additionally, please continue to send us photos and messages when you see our latest PSA, #StrongerThanStigma. We love hearing from you about where this powerful piece is raising awareness around the unique challenges that men face when discussing mental health. During May, it will be in heavy rotation on television, in theaters, print, and outdoor placements, including on the big digital screens in New York City’s Times Square. This month, and every month, we thank you for your incredible support, and for your continued efforts to help BC2M start […]

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Psychiatrist Dr. John Kane Discusses Treating First Episode Psychosis

Published on Apr 16, 2015 Psychiatrist John Kane, M.D., discusses treating first episode psychosis using coördinated specialty care. Dr. Kane, of The Zucker Hillside Hospital and Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine, is one of two lead investigators on the Recovery After Initial Schizophrenia Episode (RAISE) research project. Designed to reduce the likelihood of long-term disability that people with schizophrenia often experience, RAISE is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).        XO  Warrior For more information about RAISE see: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/raise    

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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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One huge step for mental health care and suicide prevention programs *WP WE DID IT*

CRITICAL UPDATE FROM NATIONAL ALLIANCE ON MENTAL ILLNESS (NAMI) The Clay Hunt SAV Act Passed! Thank Your Members of Congress! Thank you for your mental health advocacy! Thank you for contacting your Senators and Congressmen to make your voice heard. Thank you for your support of suicide prevention for our military and veterans community. Your phone calls, emails and tweets helped to pass the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans (SAV) Act unanimously through both the Senate and the House. The bill is now on its way to be signed by President Obama. Among other things the Clay Hunt SAV Act requires an annual assessment of mental health care and suicide prevention programs at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and implements a pilot loan forgiveness program for psychiatrists that agree to serve in the VA. Please pass the thanks along to your Senators and Congressmen.

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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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Happy Birthday To The Best Mom…I Love You

My granny did everything to help with my emotional pain. She had one child by birth but she had two children. There is no question she was my mother. I talk a lot about my gramps, granny stood at his side keeping him in line. She was shy, her father died when she was nine years old, they lost everything and truly lived day-to-day. Granny went cross-eyed at three years old. I believe this made her self-conscious. One cherished memory is the havoc we created while she was in a wheel chair. For unknown reasons she could not walk for around two years. She was so depressed it was heartbreaking to see her fade. Granny was so straight and never the life of party. I changed a small part of her timid nature. The best way to cheer her up was a trip to the mall. I had a Corvette and her wheel chair was worst than a boat anchor. Getting the chair in the back of Corvette was not an easy job but I made it look like piece of cake. We would go to the usual stores she liked to shop. To liven things up and really throw her off, I started acting like her wheel chair was a race car. I would make racing sounds and turn corners in the clothes racks real close. When we reached the main walk ways I would start pushing her really […]

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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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Throw Back Thursday **Pink Floyd, The Allman Brothers and American Indians** A Strong Message of Survival

The Pink Floyd video brings thoughts, dreams and surviving to mind. I fly in my dreams and have for as long as I can remember. Watching the guy get the courage to fly is like our internal struggle to survive. Survivors continue to battle the struggle, the difference is they have learned to fly. The other message not lost on me is the American Indian appearing, building his confidence to fly. I am Cherokee and would have liked to fight their battles. Everyone has a story. If you are lacking confidence to jump the last hurdle, you’re in good company. Survivors dedicate themselves to helping you fly. There’s a line in Seven Turns on the Highway, Love Is All That Remains The Same. It reminds me the journey never ends, we have to keep living. By living we are going to hit unexpected turns. When we have the right people in our life, they take the journey with us. Surviving is a life long learning experience. Personally I love watching the American Indians dance, wondering what the dance means.   XO Warrior  

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Psychiatric Prisoner Dies After Being LOCKED IN SHOWER FOR TWO HOURS AT WHAT TEMPERATURE? **Graphic**

Important Change.org Petition It’s not unusual for me to get jacked up reading the news or having a few choice words on the subject. Blowing a F@#&* gasket with my stomach rolling in disgust is unusual. It’s unacceptable no one was held accountable in this horrific crime. Two men responsible for Psychiatric prisoners killed man by locking him in the shower for two hours. The water temperature was 180 degrees. How does someone decide to torture a Mentally Ill man to death? Two people ignored his screams of pain, ignored as he begged for his life. After he was dead another prisoner had to clean the shower. The details to graphic for me to write. The inmate cleaning the shower will have horrific images to scar him for life. Their actions are deplorable. I can’t stop thinking of the family’s grief and anger. I hope you’re mad as hell, disgusted and ready to hold the prison and two workers accountable for their actions. Please sign the petition asking for justice and pass to everyone you know. We can’t accept abuse on any level Mentally Ill or not. If we do nothing, we lose civility. Thank you.   M Petitioning Attorney General Eric Holder Investigate the 2012 death of Mr. Darren Rainey, a mentally ill Florida prisoner who died after prison guards locked him into a 180-degree shower. https://www.change.org/p/attorney-general-eric-holder-investigate-the-2012-death-of-mr-darren-rainey-a-mentally-ill-florida-prisoner-who-died-after-prison-guards-locked-him-into-a-180-degree-shower On June 23, 2012 Darren Rainey, a 50-year-old mentally ill state prison inmate in Miami-Dade County, […]

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Children Restrained or Secluded 267,000 Times School Year*Most Have Disabilities or Mental Illness*

My Two Cents This a brief update from NAMI, National Alliance Mental Illness. I can’t wrap my head around 267,000 students restrained or secluded, the majority with Disabilities or Mental Illness. It’s not a punishment I can get on board with. The parents are accountable for their children and how they act in school. Do parents have alternative schools? My mind is over flowing with questions. Do schools have a process, is the process monitored, by who, documented, are there defined actions, limitations? Are teachers and principals discussing the process of punishment with parents face to face? Are parents notified before school starts? Is the child involved in meetings to give input and ask questions? What grades are included or all?  How many offences allowed before the child needs to transfer to school capable of meeting their needs. Is a detailed report required for each incident and discussed with parent? Do the disabled students understand why their being punished? Are the disabled students from a different learning environment? Which organization determined this punishment was Best Practices? Are investigations performed by governing organization? I strongly believe parents are accountable for their children which includes providing an appropriate learning environment. The other students deserve a healthy learning environment. I feel like all students lose with this policy and abusive.   Warrior  ********** NPR just wrote an article that highlights the need for immediate action to regulate restraint and seclusion in our nation’s schools. Data from […]

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Speak Your Mind! Call Congressional Members 6/12/14 Urging to Co-Sponsor "KEEP ALL STUDENTS SAFE ACT"

Please remember there are no Federal Laws in place to limit the use of restraints and seclusion in Schools nationwide. Many times children with disabilities and mental illness have to deal with the trauma, trauma they don’t understand. We have to set standards to protect our children.  Warrior Tomorrow is our national call-in day 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 seclusion and protect students and staff. These bills support alternatives that provide students with a safe and positive learning environment. Call Today! Please call your Congressional members and urge them to co-sponsor the Keeping All Students Safe Act. Thank you for your dedication to mental health advocacy!  

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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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Brave Heart Award

The Brave Heart Mission Statement To encourage all those (men & women) who have been abused (all abuse) to share their hope with others so that they will no longer be a victim but a survivor that knows they are loved.   A Victims Journal nominated me for the Brave Heart Award. There are not enough words to express how helpful, positive and inspiring she is to me. I admire her raw and honest post. The feedback she gives is no less raw. Her sixth sense of knowing when you need a boost or a little prodding helps keep me on track. I feel like she reads all of my post and always has a hug and positive affirmation.  Rules of Acceptance: Thank the person who nominated you. Answer 12 questions put before you. Nominate/award 12 bloggers. Notify nominees/awardees with a link to their blogs on yours. 12 Questions Asked 1.Tell us a bit about your blog. Who designed it The blog is an avenue to tell my story of physical, emotional and sexual abuse. I believe it also serves as a resource for men & women alike. I used a Word Press template and designed myself. 2. What is the title and description of your blog? Looking for the Light is my blog which focuses on my story of abuse  and Mental Illness. 3. Who is your intended audience? Anyone who has suffered trauma. I believe we can all help […]

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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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Sunshine Award for Looking for the Light

Sunshine Award and why I’m Crab Grass Avalanche of the Soul nominated me for the Sunshine Award. Being a new, I didn’t understand being nominated means you have the award. Please forgive me for taking so long to share my excitement. I was the kid picked last playing Red Rover. I’m not used to getting awards but I’m a quick learner. In addition to her Blog, she contributes to The Cut Throat Club Online where our connection started. She is raw, no sugar-coating, highly knowledgable, open and honest. I’ve received the most touching comments from her. Receiving the award from her is special because she encourages me daily. Her wall of awards is impressive. After reading her Blog you will understand why she is so decorated. Thank you my fellow SURVIVOR. Check out her Blog at http://avalancheofthesoul.wordpress.com Ten Things about me 🙂 1.  I started drinking coffee from my baby bottle. 2. I jumped out of an airplane from 12,500 feet. 3.  I have a soft spot for Seniors Citizens and animals. 4.  Love Technology, bring on the gadgets! 5.  If I were a plant I would be crab grass, it’s impossible to kill. 6.  I love travel, my bucket list is long. 7.  No one is to touch anything in my office. 8.  I’m a perfectionist, 50/50 good trait. 9. Wish for one more day with my grandparents, my Angels. 10. I’m deathly afraid of spiders, snakes and sharks. Sharks […]

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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 George R.R. Martin

NO MORE EXCUSES MEANS NO MORE EXCUSES.  It doesn’t mean Television & Cable Networks get a pass. George R.R. Martin of Game of Thorns doesn’t agree. The cliffhanger last week named Breaker of Chains was an INCESTUOUS RAPE SCENE. One viewer said “it was the most disturbing scene ever”. At first George gave lip service saying it wasn’t RAPE which quickly turned to an apology when the Network was inundated with negative feedback. Every news/magazine outlet hit the story hard. One viewer did a rewrite of how the sence should have played out and printed by a major media outlet. This is an opportunity to educate the media on what we do and don’t want to see. If we believe RAPE and other VIOLENCE is wrong, we have to stand up. Until we make our voices heard the cycle continues. Warrior

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Where I Surf and Blog

This is where I start my day, you can see I’m on the organized side. My office would be perfect if I didn’t have three animals in there. They are like children either fighting or having a melt down. Life could be so much worse. Truly I know how blessed I am. I like to buy all kinds of cool things for the office, that way I don’t get bored. This is very close to the office of my dreams. I like it that way because I have to dream. Maybe someday I’ll get that expansive office with built-in wall to wall bookcases. You know a little more about me and a person’s desk says it all. Have an awesome day. 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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Daddy was 52 on 2/22/1992

My father suffered from Mental Illness his entire life. When he was a teen, Doctor’s told my grandmother he was hyperactive and gave her tranquilizers. I doubt he took one pill. Estranged since I was thirteen years old, I could not look my abuser in the eye. Daddy started calling when I was 28 years old. He was delusional, talking in sentences that made no sense. I picked up he needed money, I started paying his bills. He said he was going to kill himself and kept rambling. I could not get through to him. I did not tell anyone in my family either.  He was so far gone, he could not process what I was saying. February 22, 1992 my father took his life. I felt overwhelming guilt. Unsure how my grandmother would react for me not telling her. It’s a guilt I’ll carry to my grave. At 28 years old it was hard to feel pain and remember the past. In the note he asked me to handle arrangements. I did what I’d done for years, stuff my emotions down, act strong and get it done. There are many who inherit Mental Illness, have a relative who suffers or experienced suicide in the family who suffer in silence. Healing from child abuse is difficult, it can feel impossible when the abuser is a parent. I never told my grandparents about my father sexually abusing me. Everyday is one step […]

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