Between a Rock & A Hard Place

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Between a Rock & A Hard Place

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The other day I was going along and a passed a retaining wall.  On that retaining wall was a dandelion it was growing out of a single crack. It was the only vegetation growing out of that whole retaining wall. (The wall was 30-foot length and it was 5 foot high.) The little dandelion seemed just as happy as it could be sprouting in bloom from the middle of the wall all alone.

It made me think of the scripture where Jesus said “See the lily of the valley? How it does not spin or toil – yet would you see how it is dressed – how beautifully? It is here today and gone tomorrow; but you – are you not worth so much more to your father in heaven? If he pays attention to the little things that are of no concern how much more so will he take care of your needs?”

Often times in life we are between a rock and hard place.  When I seen that dandelion and I thought about that scripture I considered how ironic the picture was before me.  The little flower was so beautiful.  Our attitude sometimes is what makes or breaks the situation that we are in.  A dear friend of mine once said our attitude dictates our latitude.  And that is so true.  No matter what were going through, where we’ve been, or how hard life is – we must always remember that we have a heavenly father who loves us. He gave his son to teach us a better way and die for our mistakes. It is imperative that we exercise faith, perseverance, prayer, and most of all: a meek and loving attitude.  Revelation 21 gives us a wonderful promise he will wipe out sorrow, pain, and death – even wipe every tear from eyes.  He’s going to make all things new.  And all the hardships that we’ve been through will pass away like the wind that blows across the field we will remember them no more.  The sad memories certainly be carried away.  So when you think you’ve had all you can handle and you’re between the rock and a hard place think of the little dandelion growing in the retaining wall and remember your attitude affects your latitude.       MJM

PTSD Medication: Prazosin A Personal Journey

Prazosin is a hypertension medication that is also used for the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Not every individual has the same response to medications, but if each person would take note of their experience then the overall view would be more accurate over time. I began using the medication in 2010. It had to be adjusted from 1mg to 2mg, but the flashbacks became less intense and less frequent. The dreams also were less intense and less frequent.

I noticed one of the side effects was that I became numb and rather emotionless inside. I felt dead and empty or numb. This was alarming to me but after 30 years of dealing with medications and therapy, I realized it maybe a side-effect that could be weathered out, so I continued taking the medication and monitoring the issues carefully. The benefits of a medication sometimes out way the side effects, thus waiting them out can be the best route of success if they are not serious. Side effects can last a few days to a few months until the body builds a tolerance. I had those feelings of numb, dead, empty, emotionlessness for 6 to 7 months before they finally subsided. My body had built a tolerance, yet the medication was working very well.  

One who is taking lasix , diuretics, (water pills) may want to be very careful when they take the Prazoson for often they both lower the blood pressure. Knowing this one should also know their medications for heart disease and be careful how they take these. Usually keeping a careful schedule not to mix them at the same time is all that is needed. As always every doctor one sees should have a detailed list of medications and medical information upgraded monthly. Below are relevant sights to help with the most up to date information.

Contact me for more information or any form or information or support needs.  

 

 

References:

http://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/prazosin-for-ptsd

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/760070

http://www.ihs.gov/nptc/documents/NPTCPrazosinPTSD-2-2012.pdf

http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/article.aspx?articleid=176041

Support Sites:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001923/

http://www.ptsd.va.gov/

http://www.freedomfromfear.org/

Scriptural Coping in Modern Struggles

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“Fear not, for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My right hand of rightness and justice.” (Isaiah 41:10, AMP)

 Sometimes life can be so discouraging. Friends or family say things not knowing the real situation or understanding the hardship you face from day to day from health issues, mental health struggles, or other situations.

Neighbors and work peers endlessly tend to judge by what they see on the surface rather than understanding the greatest issues lie hidden deep within. This scripture deals with fear, but  could amply be applied to coping with cruelty others dish out, wrongs imposed on us by others, hardships we face due to others spreading gossip, belittling our hard work, or even promoting their own agenda. We inevitably will suffer in every way no matter what, but being able to rise above and beyond comes from the strength or resolve to be sustained by the God we cherish. His love and care makes it easier. Remembering the rules keeps you free from the hardships others fall pray to. The hope of better and knowing we are never truly alone gives us courage. Finally the privilege of communication with the sovereign of the universe –  His very name means He who causes to become – makes life more bearable.

Each day for me is a struggle and this is not a complaint – it is sharing a reality. Between the muscle disease, the mental issues,TBI effects that linger, medication side effects, it crowds in from time to time. I hear the commentary from well meaning judgmental people. It is good they do not understand for if they did they would be suffering also. Thankfully, the God I love so much promises to “harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with – My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice.” MJM

The Journey of Hope

Our lives resemble journeys created as if in a theater of living reality within our minds. The journey is often our choice; made up of small decisions and major changes some good others not so, but tomorrow rolls around and then next week. The drama of the day changes and re-arranges for the next. This too shall pass becomes a mantra of survival. Life moves on whether we like it or not. One thing we all know is we cannot stop time. There are no do over. Whether we smile or cringe, we must walk on. If the choice or issue repeats itself maybe we will have the courage approach it differently.

I am a survivor of rape, domestic violence, and incest, extreme physical and emotional abuse over a long period of time. I am a survivor – not a victim.  The difference is my choice of perception. The journey of my youth was invaded, but the years after have spawned hard work, self-help, and formidable understandings.  The road has been a roller coaster. Many having survived the same have had similar effects in their lives. It is a struggle…every day, no matter how long ago or how you view it – it is a daily struggle with choices.

People who have no reference for the experience often misunderstand or make the mistake of equation: “well if it happened to me.” It did not thankfully, so excusing their ignorance is about all we are able to do.  One never knows how that personal violation becomes so overwhelming until they experience it. One basic freedom is the right to control our own body and what happens with it. That right -when taken- becomes a monumental degradation that eats away the inner being much as a corrosive material eats away at steel over time. Positive steps to overcome and regain a healthy mentality take time, firm resolve, as well as hard work. Some already struggling with lifelong issues may fall by the wayside before (if ever) gaining their footing.     

Rape is used as a weapon of war and is becoming recognized as such. Warring groups use rape as a weapon because it destroys communities totally, says Major-General Patrick Cammaert, former commander of UN peacekeeping forces in the eastern Congo. “You destroy communities. You punish the men, and you punish the women, doing it in front of the men.” Adds Cammaert: “It has probably become more dangerous to be a woman than a soldier in armed conflict.” (OHCHR, 2012)

How did Rape become such an effective tactic? “From the systematic rape of women in Bosnia, to an estimated 200,000 women raped during the battle for Bangladeshi independence in 1971, to Japanese rapes during the 1937 occupation of Nanking – the past century offers too many examples.

So what motivates armed forces, whether state-backed troops or irregular militia, to attack civilian women and children?

Gita Sahgal, of Amnesty International, told the BBC News website it was a mistake to think such assaults were primarily about the age-old “spoils of war”, or sexual gratification.

Rape is often used in ethnic conflicts as a way for attackers to perpetuate their social control and redraw ethnic boundaries, she said.

“Women are seen as the reproducers and carers of the community,” she said.

“Therefore if one group wants to control another they often do it by impregnating women of the other community because they see it as a way of destroying the opposing community.”

A report by Medecins Sans Frontieres says it first came across rape as a weapon in the 1990s. “(BBC, 2012)

One thing we can all be certain of is: if someone decided it was an accurate weapon of war, then it was/has been used centuries before it was discovered… Men are often slow to admit the obvious. This deals with the women and girls – what about the child soldiers in some of these horrid situations?? Ever wonder how they are tortured into submission or subjection? I bet it isn’t with candy and toys. When will their cries be heard? How long will it be before we – as humans – get a grip on our own trifling realities. This is twelve years into a new millennium – and there is nothing new under the sun. It makes you wonder doesn’t it?

There is an answer. It lies in our faith. Never before has there been such disgraceful or degradation of the earth and its inhabitants.  Ecc 1:4 sets the promise the earth will “endure forever.” That being said what about the people who cause so much trouble – Psalms 37: deals specifically with the cleansing of the earth and the result to those “righteous or meek” ones left.  (Mat 5:5 Meek to inherit the earth.) If you are sick and tired of the infinite badness and sorrows of the times – it is not a permanent issue. There is hope ahead. Revelations spoke of a 1000-year reign of Christ and we are nearly there. The horrible things being endured now are “birth pains of the kingdom.” The upcoming promise is that all things will be: “made new and all tears, sorrow, death, and pain will be wiped away.”   If you are struggling or a survivor of cruelty of some form seek out comfort from a local ministry service, church, or faith-based program. There is hope as well as comfort. We will see a new day dawn.

My contact information is available on request. God’s best..

m.j.m.

 

References:

OHCHR 2012  http://www.ohchr.org/en/newsevents/pages/rapeweaponwar.aspx

BBC 2012 http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/4078677.stm

 

 

 

An Amazing Gift

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An Amazing Gift

The winter holidays are wonderful for some. They give way to fond times with family and friends. Making grand memories of food, friends, and fun seemingly endless over the November and December months maybe stressful, but it is a labor of love. When considering the good and happy parts of most anything there is almost always a flip side. Some do not fare well over the holiday season. They may not do well over most of the year. They may barely hold it together throughout the year and then the holidays come and then the bottom falls out emotionally for them. Stress, family expectations, work place drama, and memories of the past come flooding to the fore. The harsh realities of life as well as memories that are hard to cope with often overwhelm one already struggling.

Individuals are just as different as their DNA, fingerprints, thought patterns, and looks. It is not uncommon for us to tailor our views, opinions, and beliefs to fit our unique needs. Nothing is a miracle fix or cure. That is why there are so many popular self-help books, differing methods of treatments in the medical fields or psychology, and even in the complementary/alternative medical fields. This extends to forms of recovery ideologies and behavioral modification therapies available. The diversity is a wonderful development as it provides choice and alternatives for each individual.

Some feel a loyalty to one method or hold a belief that this is the only discipline that works well.  Reality shows a better path. Individuals need the diversity. Just as it takes time to find the right treatment methods to progress; it takes time to find the right medications as well as dosage to work for each individual. Patience and persistence is the key. Sticking to the program, weathering out the lighter side-effects,(*1) resting better, and finding therapy of some kind that gives a positive outlet for the issues that you are struggling with can move the emotional mountains that seem insurmountable.

The holidays have passed, but the emotional toll may still be very present. A check up with the local mental health clinic can give one the needed boost for the New Year. We all set goals, make resolutions, and often ask ourselves what is the more important issues in our lives we wish to address in the upcoming year. Mental health clinics often have spin downs for low-income or no insurance patients. Some take state insurance or regular insurance. There are other options as well. Seeking help from your doctor or general practitioner can be a good beginning. Do not be ashamed to make a list of two or three items to try to help the doctor understand where you are emotionally, what you have been through, and if you have recently endured a trigger that has brought back strong feelings or negative self-talk. The doctor/practitioner can’t help you if they do not know what you are or have been going through.

If you are struggling with your emotions or know someone who is seek help or help them seek help. Be brave and try hard to understand it can become better. It can be a better year. You can make changes that are amazing. You have the power to give a gift to yourself – peace, better emotional health, a stronger resolve of self-care, an end to poor self-esteem, and a brighter future. The only things we as individuals can change is what pertains to us. We can change our clothes, our attitude, our level of knowledge, our belief system, where we live, how we live, and the way we treat ourselves or under normal situations allow others to treat us.(*2)

Only We have the ability to give An Amazing Gift of Change to ourselves.

Footnotes:

*1. No one should feel impelled to weather serious or dangerous side effects – any such extreme side-effects should prompt and immediate call to the doctor or visit to the ER and medication discontinuance under doctor supervision.

*2.  Staying in an abusive relationship or thinking someone will change because you love them or they are “good when….” is a form of delusional thinking women or men allow. It often stems from low self-esteem from being reared in an abusive atmosphere or an unstable home. It can be changed. There is help out there.

Below are educational resources to aid you in recovery.

Help for Mental Health Issues:

  1. http://www.nami.org/Template.cfm?Section=By_Illness
  2. http://www.nami.org/template.cfm?section=about_mental_illness
  3. http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/default.htm
  4. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/mentaldisorders.html
  5. http://www.medicinenet.com/mental_illness/article.htm

Help for PTSD:

  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001923/
  2. http://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/guide/post-traumatic-stress-disorder
  3. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd/index.shtml
  4. http://www.nami.org/Template.cfm?Section=posttraumatic_stress_disorder
  5. http://www.ptsdalliance.org/

Help for Bipolar:

  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001924/
  2. http://www.webmd.com/bipolar-disorder/default.htm
  3. http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20436786,00.html
  4. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/bipolar-disorder/index.shtml
  5. http://psychcentral.com/quizzes/bipolarquiz.htm

Help for Anxiety:

  1. Brain and Behavior Research Foundation: http://bbrfoundation.org/anxiety?gclid=CJiJkPX34rQCFedxOgodjHUAJA
  2. Freedom From Fear: Anxiety and Depression http://www.freedomfromfear.org
  3. http://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/guide/mental-health-anxiety-disorders
  4. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders/index.shtml
  5. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/anxiety/DS01187

Help for Depression:

  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001941/
  2. http://www.webmd.com/depression/default.htm
  3. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/depression/DS00175
  4. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/depression-and-exercise/MH00043
  5. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml
  6. http://www.helpguide.org/mental/depression_signs_types_diagnosis_treatment.htm

HashBrowns…December 10-14, 2012 Quiet -Shared from a favorite

HashBrowns…December 10-14, 2012 Quiet.

This is a wonderful post from a favorite blogger who has experience working through issues daily with little ones. As the Sandy Hook children and our nation works past the recent issues It is good to have several ideas on how to relate to our young ones and find ways for them to relate to us. Often we forget to listen. It is more important to listen than to speak sometimes and that is forgotten in the mix. Please find comfort in this Bloggers post through my link. She is amazing!