More on ECT – TV Episode happened upon

Hello Friends.  I don’t know if you’re interested or not, but we’ve opened discussion on ECT (electroconvulsive therapy) in the past and because it remains open, I wanted you to know that I just ran across this TV episode online that is done surprisingly well.  Check it out and let us know what your thoughts are.  Keep on.

Do you like yourself? Come Join Our Workshop.

Please join us!

Do you want to be empowered?

aware of your freedom?

have more to offer others?

and do you want to like yourself while you do it?  Do you like yourself?

A series of Thursday-Night Workshops

  • Thursday, February 9
  • Thursday, February 16
  • Thursday, February 23

Workshop and Q&A:  6:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Workshop Address:
River Springs Charter School, Murrieta Campus
Recreation Room
41862 Kalmia Street
Murrieta CA 92562-8825

Registration

Remember, You Are Free, Even When You Accept Help.

Schep

In becoming a friend to yourself, we all use tools; a hoe, a shovel, a bottle of medications, friends and lots of floss.  Not all in the same moment or we might get hurt.  None of the tools we use are meant to been seen, when looked at, alone as a weapon to box us up.  They are each in turn just a tool to be used to improve our ability to be friendly with ourselves.  Don’t get paranoid.

This is important to remember, the more effective the tool becomes.  We build suspicions when things work that well, like ladders in case we need them.  But if we find ourselves miming walls that no one else can see, it really is just about Me.  The walls, the box, the perception of being defined too easily are coming from Me.

If you’ve ever heard about the biopsychosocial model, you may have experienced this sensation.  Each paradigm introduced looks more and more like brick and mortar, and you find yourself acting out the runaway-bride gig.  You are not that special, nor Me.  We are a construction of unique complexity, each of us individual and undefinable.  However, none of us are so special that we can’t use the tools.  None of us are so special that we can be captured; an exotic bird never before seen.  We are in fact too commonplace in our inability to be boxed, shut up and drawn in.    Let that twist your thoughts.

In the biopsychosocial model we use the paradigms as given to us through biology, psychology and sociology to improve our insight and what ever we hope to accomplish thereafter.  It’s a collection of tools.

When a patient comes to see me, looking for help, sometimes they apperceive the tools.  They become distorted towering constructs.  The biopsychosocial model looks like mechanisms designed to take away freedom rather than improve access to freedom.  It is a lot of unknown to be dosed with and it is a natural response.  But the biopsychosocial model is rather a collection of highly effective, (even suspiciously effective,) ways to improve brain disease.

Self-Care Tip:  Remember, you are free, even when you accept help.

Questions:  When have you perceived that you were being boxed in by the “help” coming your way?  How did you reclaim your sense freedom?  How did you manage to still get help?  Please tell us your story. 

The First Premise of Being A Friend To Yourself. Me.

What is being a friend to yourself?  As long as we have been talking about this, we still wonder.  Although a dynamic concept, we have a premise that doesn’t change.  Everything starts and ends with Me.

Seated in any test, laid aside any stressor, blocked by a wall of most threatening construct, being a friend to yourself begins here.  We have that to guide us and will never ever have to ask again, “Where do I start?”  We never will lose ourselves to the confusions around us of looking for our home; our point of reference and direction.  There is immense usefulness in this.

Question:  How has this starting point helped to reorient you, to decrease negative climax and increase presence in your life?  How has starting with Me been friendly and/or how is/will be starting with Me be friendly?  Please break it down and tell us your story.

The Vanishing Point

Image by Roger's Wife via Flickr

Self-Care Tip:  Start with Me to start being a friend to yourself.

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just gorgeous. took my breath away. original thought though familiar. what would u do w this kind of power?

6thSymphony

If only for a day

I had a woman’s beauty,

Not wisdom, love or courage

But a spellbinding face

/

Long limbs, thin frame,

And an entitlement to silence,

Which one is only given

By beauty’s tender hands;

/

I wonder what it’s like

To be admired

Not for a timely joke

Or for a kind embrace

/

But simply for one’s presence –

The presence of a candle

In a world lit

By pale glow of plain lamps

/

If only for a day

I knew this power

Which all the elements

Are willing to obey

/

Next day, I know

I’d have to be devoured

By the monstrosity

My mirror’s used to showing

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Why Am I Worth Keeping Alive? A Tool To Fight Suicide.

Vulcan (Star Trek)

Lately I’ve enjoyed a variety of novels cast in some future in which the government uses statistics and the higher good of the masses to govern.  Each book maintains that catastrophes brought these supportive measures on, resources are few and self-accountability is through the roof.  We get to experience with the protagonist her blooming sense of self and human rights which fuel and protect her as she leads and achieves needed changes.

Some of the novels are better than others but I am finding they all have in common an expectation for their characters and readers.

We must know why we are worth preserving.

Why am I deserving of sharing space, air, water, life-sustaining resources and free-choice?  Why not keep those for my betters; for people with fewer diseases, more to offer and less to take.  Ouch.

In Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Spock famously poisons himself while saving his ship and friends.

Spock: Don’t grieve, Admiral. It is logical. The needs of the many outweigh…
Kirk: …the needs of the few…
Spock: …Or the one.

We can’t help but ask ourselves, “Why am I worth keeping alive?

Isn’t that question an interesting irony for those of us who suffer with morbid thoughts?  Those of us, who struggle with diseases that cause us to want death, might use this as a tool to hijack that suicidal thought into fighting to live because…

Even if we are not in that group of people who have or do or will fantasize about the “what ifs,” I can still think of a few good reasons to spend some time in the space of what is worth preserving about us.

Spock: I have been and always shall be your friend.

Question:  Why are you worth keeping alive?  Please tell us your story.

Self-Care Tip – Do not go gently into death.

Dylan Thomas wrote:

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right, 
Because their words had forked no lightning they 
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright 
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay, 
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight, 
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way, 
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight 
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay, 
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Be as Good To Yourself As You Want Your Loved Ones to Be to Themselves

English: Danboard holding a Christmas gift.

So what brought you here today?  What are you looking for?

Want to parent better?   Kids don’t take care of themselves?  They aren’t responsible?  Accountable for their actions?  They are disobedient?

They don’t realize our loving motives?  If they do, they will be able to find more pleasure in life.  If they …they will have more freedoms, they will have spending power, they will have decision making ability, they will be present in their life, able to connect with others and with their own personal journey, they will.  You name it.  They will find the shortest, most direct route to their brilliance and resources to achieve what they were designed to do – service in any form.  Is this so much to ask?  Wink.

How can we help them see?  By starting with Me.  Do this generosity for ourselves.  How many times do we point outside of Me to find a place of control for Me?  Even to the small about packing lunch – as if forced to pack our children’s lunch, we point out.

Drifting down, how many times does our child complain of what we put in their lunch?  What would happen if they packed it for themselves?  What would happen if they ate what they packed?  Oh, just junk.  …Who purchased the junk food?  Where did it come from?  It swirls on. This reminds me of the musical, “Into the Woods.” “It’s her fault! It’s your fault.!”…

But here’s the anchor.  We are free.  We are free caregivers.

Freedom is like a lovely package wrapped in the most exquisite paper, tied with a bow so lovely that we know it came from God.  It is sitting in front of us.  Like all real gifts, the gift of freedom is free.  It has nothing to do with my bank.  It came because of the Giver, not because of the merit of the recipient – Me.

Me, that is to say any one of us, cannot unearn the gift either.  Freedom is like that gift that keeps reappearing no matter how we try to get away from it.  Does it become a curse?  We are free to make it one because even if we don’t claim it, even if we don’t choose to be accountable to our decisions, it doesn’t change that we are.  And when we are finally able to look in, with insight, and have knowledge – we are accountable to what we see.

Paul said,

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.  

Job said,

“therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not.  …but now mine eye seeth thee.”

Does the gift, freedom, turn into a curse?

 Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.

Every person who grows in knowledge and understanding at some point hopefully says that they grow also in understanding how little they know and have yet to learn.  This is what comfort we have in knowing that in the eternity of forever that comes ahead after this life, we won’t run out of things to do.

We all talk as if we know more than we know, with pride and forgotten humility.  I want to turn this over, but repentance in this case cannot be as implied – once and for all.  It is recurrent at best and I surrender the frequency and my degrees of insight to God and you.  Feel free to take Me gently along with you on our travels.  I hope our kids will be that good to Me when given the opportunity.  I have no doubt, they hope the same of us.  But you can see, it starts with Me.

What is a true friend?  It is one who loves.  Starting with Me.  What is parenting better?  It is giving to yourself what you want your kids to have.

The Stoic, Seneca the Elder, wrote,

“What progress, you ask, have I made?  I have begun to be a friend to myself.” That was indeed a great benefit; such a person can never be alone.  You may be sure that such a man is a friend to all mankind.

(And here I thought I was the one who came up with, “Friend to Yourself!!!!”  Oh nasty tumble.)

This is what it is; hard, easy, soft and difficult.  Having each other to help Me be friendlier to myself is a big advantage.  You are so valuable to Me.  Knock Me down and catch Me – whatever pride and forgotten humility leave Me needing.  Thank you.

Question?  How does being a friend to yourself improve your parenting or caregiving of others?  Please tell us your story.

Self-Care Tip:  Be as good to yourself as you want your loved ones to be to themselves.  Be a friend to yourself.

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Self-Care Workshop for Parents

A Series of Thursday Night Workshops

Thursday, February 9
Thursday, February 16
Thursday, February 23
Only $10 per session for 3 sessions.  $30 total.
Workshop and Q&A: 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Workshop Address:
River Springs Charter School, Murrieta Campus – Recreation Room
41862 Kalmia Street
Murrieta, CA 92562-8825
We will work to define and teach self-care, attack guilt, stand up to shame, live as we choose despite stigma and work harder than we ever have on perhaps the hardest job of our lives. Self-care is not weak but rather courageous. It brings us to humble accountability for our lives, not seeking to erase our history but still reminding us that we are free to start over any time.
These workshop lectures are informal and sensitive. Dr. Q believes in a self-care approach to personal mental health.
Please join us for an informative lecture on personal and family mental health issues.

(Private sessions are available by calling (951) 514-1234 for an appointment either in person or by telemedicine via Skype (www.PrimeTelemedicine.com).)

Oxygen Masks and the Big Easy

Guest Post, by Wendy Young, LMSW, BCD

In the unlikely event of an emergency, put on your own oxygen mask first.  It’s a saying that’s standard for air-travel and has become a common cliché for life in general.

Taking care of ourselves is often associated with getting more sleep, eating less of the wrong kinds of foods and more of the right ones, moving our bodies to our personal limit, finding the right work/leisure balance, considering our kids’ needs as well as our ownmanaging our reactions to things, and sometimes doing things that are not so fun.  Not so fun at all.

Or maybe it’s just that they aren’t so “easy”.  We like “easy” much better.  “Easy” is quicker.  “Easy” is familiar.  And “easy” keeps us stuck.  I suppose as long as we are comfortable, we’ll keep choosing “easy”.  Don’t be fooled into thinking that “easy” doesn’t give us results, though.  It always does.   Not usually the ones we say or believe we want, but “easy” always bears fruit.

Do you like what “easy” has done for you?  Or, is it time to give “easy” the boot?

A Fond Farewell

Sometimes our better judgment starts to crowd “easy” out.  Those of us that are lucky get wake-up calls that help us bid a fond farewell to “easy” as we usher in a new relationship with the real work of self-care.  Cultivating this new relationship can be difficult or not.  It’s entirely up to us.

Bidding adieu to our habits, even though we know they are counterproductive, is often difficult.  Our brain craves consistency.  It wants us to do what we’ve always done.  Change requires that we desire a different result, one that can only be had by doing something different than we are used to doing.  It has been said that when the pain of doing what we have always done starts to become great enough, then we will change.  Sometimes, we can withstand a lot of pain.  And then some.

The Voice is a Choice

That voice in your head can tell you “I hate exercise!” or, “My body enjoys each new move that brings it toward health!” Likewise, that same voice in your head can drone, “This is never going to work!” or, “I’m sticking with this because I’m worth it.”   This is where the rubber meets the road.   Are you ready to do the real work of self-care, or do you just like the idea of it?

That voice in your head is a choice.  It is your own and you direct it.

Proverbial oxygen masks are easy.  Doing the real work of self-care is not necessarily so easy at all.

Have you been holding out on yourself?  Is it time to come “un-stuck” and be more intentional with the voice inside your head?  What do you need to change-up?

Self-Care Tip:  Be intentional about getting what you want from yourself.  You can start anytime!

Wendy Young, LMSW, BCD, is a mom of three school-aged children, a Child & Family Therapist (practicing in Michigan), and the founder of Kidlutions: Solutions for Kids, because kids have problems, too.  She blogs at Spin-Doctor Parenting {and teaching} and is the behavioral health expert for momtourage.com.  She monitors the voice in her own head and works to get herself “un-stuck” just as sure as everyone else does. She smiles through it all, because she can, and because it’s her favorite thing to do! 

Surrender To Help

GrassesWhen I was a just a bit, dirty feet and pig-tails, spending the summer on my grandparents farm with my three similarly dirty big brothers, we took grandpa’s two green John Deer out for a drive. We all delighted in the enormous strength in those beasts. The tires were taller than me, which meant nothing but fun at the time. I never thought about falling out, but I could have.

I rode with one brother and the other two were up ahead. We were toward pasture and hoped for a long run of it. The boys were yelling at each other, provoking and jocular. I was, as usual, amazed at my luck to have them for my own.

Somewhere before we lost interest and after we lost sense, the boys ahead hit mud. My goodness, but we, coming up from behind hollered laughter. Jeering, we watched them whiz those monster tires deeper and deeper. Oh the tears! right up until we followed them into our own mud-sink. Humiliating.

My grandpa farmed corn and hay and some other grains but all I remember about that field is that the ground was really wet beneath tall grass. The green came up almost to the middle of the tractors and the blades were wide and thick. We got to business pulling grass out and feeding it to the muddy tires, thinking to build traction. About an hour later and after the grass had taught our hands a lesson, we tramped back to the barn-house. Nothing to do but tell Grandpa.

That was the last day of our vacation and we heard later that he had pulled them out with his truck, gracious as ever. Grandpa Jack was such a kind and gentle man.

I remember the grass when I’m with Eilene. She is my patient with moderately treated mood and anxiety disease. The rest of her though is not well. Eilene is pulling grass to help her move. The best I can do is stand beside her.

wonder what I’m missing in my life now. Where am I stuck? When will I get over to the barn house to surrender?

And you? Please tell us your story.

Self-Care Tip – Surrender to help. Be a friend to yourself.

If You Love Me, Give Me Less But Give To Me Bigger and Better

Repost

Good news.  Marcy was better.  She was feeling better emotionally, less triggered by simple stressors, and parenting better.  Marcy didn’t think it was anywhere near easy, but it was better.

It had started for her about six months ago, when she realized her children were on edge around her, when she realized she didn’t want to be around her children and when she didn’t like much else either.  Was she a “crabby woman?”  Ouch.  It hurt her to think that.  Were some people just mean?  And she was one of them?  Marcy said no.  She couldn’t make anyone believe her these days but she knew she was designed for something better than that.

When this happened, Marcy hit self-care boot camp.  She cut her time with her kids, husband, any extras.  She didn’t cut them out, but she did cut back.  With that time, she went back to the starting point – herself.  She gave less to them, and more to herself so she could give bigger and better to them whom she loved, not excluding herself.

Good news.  Marcy is better.

Self-Care Tip – Give more to yourself.

Question:  What has your self-care taken from those you love?  What has it done with what you still give to those you love?  Please tell me your story.

In Gratitude. Commenting is good self-care.

In gratitude I move between these letters.  My step is often clomping and loud, but is that what we would name a “sure-step?”  Not always.  Even tripping and clipping corners bruising my legs, with my mistakes returning echoes to remind anyone who wants to know what my shifting sounds like.  Even when, I move gratefully.  And it is for you and Me and God.  We have decided confidently once at least.  At least once we have in like-minded strength chosen to dedicate our force to move us to the purpose of becoming a friend to yourself.  Many, more often than once.  Many have decided as often as they deliberately step, like a recovering spinal cord injury remembers just how to lift the leg, tilt the foot and ease it down.  Many find this purpose we have chosen at least as difficult as that.

How bout you?  More?  Less?  Gratitude is an assist for Me, as are the woven combinations of all that make up my process, my presence or we could say personal journey.  Within that weave, there is this thing that runs on the fuel that only kind feed-back can generate.  You people.  In truth, I can not move very far with out you.

I have two specific thank-you’s of this kind.

Some time ago, Beth Parker, gifted the Liebster Award and more recently, Cathy gave the Versatile blogger Award.  These girls are kind.  They are friendly and they are funny.  They give and some of what they give, specifically incredible generous feedback like this, is essential to Me.  I’m pretty sure it’s on the periodic table of elements.  Without it, I’d poop out, like an old jalopy in the desert.  I am grateful.

There’s a bit of an overlap in some spaces of these awards and I’m going to snip it back a little since the day is spent.  The good stuff really is naming off you wonders out there who have voices that must be heard.  I’m going to remake the to-do’s of these awards, because I can and that’s the kind of girl I am ;).

My deep gratitude compels me to name off the folks who comment.  They talk.  They speak and connect and let themselves know and be known.  What an honor.  You, and to all have had the courage to write your vulnerable self into words and engage – Thank you.

This commenting-thing is more than pom-pom action.  When we speak out loud, we open closet doors, shame is aired, fears are invited for tea and then ushered out more easily.  We hook into the self-care tips and make them our own when we breathe out audibly.  We may not know it but we claim them and the people in this community of “Friend to Yourself-ers” or FTY’s.  (How do you like that?  FTY?)  This is awesome and powerful and free.  As we say here, “speak.”

You may or may not be on this “WordPress” generated statistic of commenters, but either way, you are here with us.  You fuel us in our life journey uniquely and importantly.  For those who read but don’t comment, thank you as well for letting us share ourselves with you.  Comment if you will, but keep coming either way.

In gratitude:

Nancy 64
Carl D’Agostino 50
Col 34
Cindy Taylor 26
duckofindeed 21
livingvictoriously 17

Sincerely, 

Me

Medications and Being Chosen by Fear

English: In 1870 he lost an arm, in 1917 he lo...

Many have been hurt by medications.  There are those life ending treatments.  There are accidents.  It doesn’t matter what remote or near number in the chance-line the side effect has to the victim or the survivors.  They happened and they happen.

If you are a survivor of something like this, if your child died or your mother almost did, if you lost your favorite thing in life – lost what you identified yourself by or if you were changed without being asked, you know what I am talking about.

How do you come back after that?  How do you endure opening your pill dispenser on Wednesday, on Thursday, every week, every day, how do you take medications when they are prescribed?

On my end as a physician, each prescription is a choice.  Each prescription carries the bit I am allowed to participate in.  Signing my name, I am saying with the informed patient, that the benefits outweigh the risks.

When you take your medications, know that you are not alone.  Know that you are doing this with numbers of other courageous people taking their medications.  Know that your physician, with the research behind this, with the high numbers of other persons generous enough to enroll themselves in those medication trials before the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approved it.  Know that the FDA is with you and know that the benefits out weigh the risks for you.  That you decided the benefits are greater than the risks means you know what they are and you are choosing to take care of yourself.

Medication isn’t for everyone.  Medication hurts a lot of us.  Taking medication with this knowledge is still something many of us choose.

If we are not taking our medication because the fear precludes it, we can do better than that for ourselves.  We can choose not to take it without being chosen by fear.  On the flip side, we can choose to take medication without being chose by fear.  Being chosen by fear hurts us too.

Self-Care Tip:  Go into the space of where your fears are and let it lose power over you.

Questions:  How do you claim your freedom to choose when it comes to something as complicated and scary as medication?  Please tell us your story.