Editor’s Note: I will be presenting a workshops entitled: Addiction and Post Traumatic Stress: Avoiding Crisis in Your Home, Workplace and Community. Open to everyone, but target audience is firefighters/EMS/Corrections/law enforcement/dispatchers. Peggy Sweeney
Recovery is possible and that people recover. Whether you are an individual in recovery, a family member, a friend, a professional in the field, a co-worker or an employer of a person in recovery , we need YOU there. Our message is simple: Recovery Works!
September 2014 marks the 25th Anniversary of the observance of National Recovery Month—a time to reflect on the impact of disease of addiction and mental health, the lessons learned, the lives saved, lives lost and that RECOVERY is possible. Each day of the year is a call to action to continue to build upon our efforts to teach, educate, support and encourage RECOVERY. We are energized because we truly feel that someday we will change how society sees the illness of addiction and the beautiful gift of recovery, so the time is NOW! TOGETHER, we can and must do whatever it takes to ignite the NEW RECOVERY MOVEMENT!
by Maurice Turmel, PhD
1) You will feel better knowing you are not alone with this experience of grief as a result of losing a loved one. Many individuals have traveled this path successfully and, those of us who study these processes, have been hard at work creating the tools and strategies necessary to help you safely negotiate the recovery experience.
2) You will feel better as you become aware of how manageable the healing experience can be while you grow accustomed to using tools that will help you get in touch with your feelings. Once aware of what you are feeling, you will be encouraged you to express those feelings and see for yourself how your stress level will begin to recede. Strategies of denial, anger, withdrawal and repression will be abandoned as they should because you are now aware of what’s necessary to safely manage your recovery experience. (more…)
Addiction and Post Traumatic Stress: Avoiding a Crisis in Your Home, Workplace and Community
Presenter: Peggy Sweeney, The Sweeney Alliance
Depression, addiction, and post traumatic stress are today’s hot topics. National, state and local leaders scramble to find a “fix” for these problems, but are coming up short on results. Budgets are being stretched, medical costs are increasing, and family cohesiveness is being strained. The numbers of those most in need are growing at an astounding rate. Sadly, too many waiting for help are turning to suicide to cope. This workshop addresses these issues and provides valuable resources available to every person, including our community first responders – law enforcement officers, 911 dispatchers, firefighters, and emergency medical service personnel.
by Thom Dennis
#1 Some things are beyond our control
We would all prefer to live with the illusion that we are in control of our own lives, but a sudden change in the weather, an unwelcome diagnosis or a random act of violence reminds us that no one is the master of their fate. The truth is: In this life there is very little of real consequence that we can control. The challenge is to accept this reality and refocus attention on what is within our power to change. We can acknowledge our feelings and choose how we will respond to whatever life has thrown in our direction.
#2 There are consequences to being mortal
In our office there is a beautifully illustrated book called, Lifelines, by Bryan Mellonie and Robert Ingpen. We use it to explain death to children. When it comes to grief, we are all little children needing comfort, reassurance, and gentle age-appropriate explanations. The sad truth is that people die. In fact, everything dies. Death is a natural part of life. As much as we would like to believe our parent, spouse, sibling, child, fried or loved one will live forever, they will eventually die. In the end, even you and I will die. It’s not fair, but it’s part of being mortal.
by Angela Beaty 911 Dispatcher Marshall County, Iowa Communications
My journey learning about PTSD begins with my marriage. This is where the initial trauma happened. My marriage was a nightmare for the most part. I called my ex-husband the AAA asshole. Alcoholic. Addicted. Abuser. He over drank almost every night and was addicted to many things, but mostly alcohol. He abused me physically, verbally and emotionally for years. I kept it hidden. Or so I thought. Funny, but what you don’t realize is that people know. They wont ask you or talk to you about it, but they know. I moved on with my life, and took my children with me to safety. Became ferociously independent. Felt wonderful. New life, new home, new job. My new job was as a 911 operator. I knew that the job would be stressful, but I was an old pro at stress. Or so I thought. I had no idea the extent of stress that was heading my way. (more…)
by Jenny Rainone
Hello! My name is Jenny Rainone. I am 36 years old. About three years ago, I found myself at an all-time low. I had a failing 2-year marriage to someone I’d dated for 7 years, compounded by fertility challenges. I had lost a job that I’d seemingly invested much effort, time, and heart into. I had a brother, whom I’d been very close to growing up, that I hadn’t spoken to, heard from, or seen in over a year. About 6 months later, during a routine doctor’s visit, I was told that I could be put on medication for high blood pressure, plus I was borderline diabetic. I was also 50 lbs heavier than average. I’d never thought of myself as being depressed. I’d always been athletic in high school, and was a casual exerciser throughout college, so during the drive home, I reflected on how I’d gotten to this point.
Grief is interesting, because there’s no definite beginning or end. It can appear, go away, and re-visit without warning or reason. I was grieving for a failing marriage, for children I’d always wanted and hadn’t had, for a job I’d lost, and for a brother that was, for all practical purposes, gone. When we don’t address large looming life stresses, they have a way of reminding you that they’re still present. (more…)
by Sasha J. Mudlaff, M.A.
“I know just how you feel.”
If you have had a similar loss, you can give tremendous support to the grieving person, but don’t suggest that you know exactly what they’re going through.
“Time will heal.”
Moldy oldie! To the bereaved, each day can seem like an eternity. Besides, how do you know that “time will heal” them? Time alone doesn’t heal, but what one does with their time can help the healing process.
Alternative – “You must feel as if this pain will never end…”
“Life goes on.”
“Life has dealt you a terrible blow. I know it will be hard for you in the months to come to live with this pain.” (more…)
by Mary Cuchna
T’ai Chi (or Taiji) is a mind-body practice that originated in China with a philosophical basis……The words “T’ai Chi” are literally translated as “Supreme Ultimate”, or in other words, to become the best that we can be – reaching our full potential as human beings by balancing the positive and negative aspects in our lives. Tai Chi is characterized by slow, fluid movements in a choreographed pattern called a “form.” It is considered a martial art, but daily practice of this beautiful exercise art reaps many benefits.
One of the major benefits T’ai Chi is noted for is stress reduction. Most of us live fast-pace, overworked, stress-filled lives. But when something radically changes in our lives, such as the loss of a child, spouse, parent, or a close friend, normal stress is magnified as we are left to deal with such immense changes in our world; we can easily become overwhelmed.