Overlooked in disbelief, financially insecure and emotionally overcome, people with invisible disabilities remain faceless in a crowd. Many suffer in silence for fear of discrimination. Falling through the cracks of society, they are virtually impossible to spot because they look “normal.” Like a cover on a book, they are judged from the outside, yet are screaming inside for help and understanding. Awareness of invisible disabilities must be spread in order to create a just society.
An invisible disability is a hidden illness that does not require the use of visible assistive devices. People with invisible disabilities are often accused of being paranoid or faking symptoms because they “look fine.” With emotional and physical pain they struggle to keep up with society and act “normal.” The disbelief they encounter is heightened by those who fake their illnesses, discrediting those whose disabilities are all too real.
Facing hopelessness, homelessness, unequal pay, unemployment, inaccessibility to treatment and a lack of understanding from government agencies and health-care and insurance providers, people with invisible disabilities are often left on their own to survive. With everything taken away, many commit suicide as they feel there is nowhere else to turn.
A report from the Canadian Human Rights Commission recognizes that three percent of Canadians have been diagnosed with some sort of environmental sensitivity – only one of many types of invisible disabilities – and acknowledges the importance of accommodating the needs of sufferers. But due to a lack of research in the area, many people are misdiagnosed or left untreated.
Given the chance, many people suffering from invisible disabilities would prefer to work and live in a society where they are acknowledged and accepted for who they are and for their qualifications, and not excluded from society due to lack of understanding. But businesses are apprehensive to hire people who disclose their invisible disabilities due to their fear of the unknown. It seems safer to hire people whose disabilities are visible and easily defined.
Each person with a disability finds his or her own niche carved out of their own experience. Many start their own business out of desperation caused from the exclusion of society. Their individual talents and abilities can make them as valuable as the able-bodied people in their same communities, and their insights into many of life’s challenges can come from a unique and helpful vantage point.
As a person living with invisible disabilities, the scrutiny, doubt and lack of understanding from those around me has been very challenging. Facing barriers at every turn, my personal experiences with dozens of medical procedures, fibromyalgia, multiple chemical sensitivities, interstitial cystitis, scurvy, memory and concentration issues, insomnia and chronic fatigue syndrome have affected every area of my life. People are more than willing to dispute I have an invisible disability, as to them I look “normal.” Due to the invisible nature of my conditions, I have been overlooked by society. Misunderstood, I need special accommodations for my most basic needs while trying to survive. This leaves me searching for answers, desperate, isolated and determined to find a way to live a sustainable, healthier life.
Though it is difficult to deal with excruciating pain and odd hours of sleep, I have found outlets to cope with the barriers of life. If it were not for my disabilities I would not be on the path in life I am on now. I have discovered organizations that will allow me to volunteer at my own pace from home to help create awareness for people with invisible disabilities.
I have also been using visual art, poetry, performance art and photography as ways of being in the present moment. Without my disabilities I would not have discovered these hidden abilities. I use the camera to see where I have been and where I am going. It serves as my memory bank and helps me create a visual record of what I have done during a day. My disabilities prevent me from remembering things and my visual distortions are getting worse, so I use the eye of the camera to capture the shadows and reflections that define the physical world around me.
In this world where exclusion and isolation are the norms for people with all types of disabilities, I feel that inclusion, understanding and awareness of invisible disabilities would transform society. We all have our own abilities to offer the world. We all matter. There is only unity where neither illness nor status defines us.
Marie LeBlanc is an artist and disability activist based in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Without my disabilities I would not have discovered these hidden abilities.
This article was written by my friend Marie LeBlanc who lives in Winnipeg Canada.
“This article first appeared in Geez magazine, Spring 2014, see geezmagazine.org.”
Participants Needed for PTSD Clinical Trial At Stanford University / VA Medical Facility In Palo Alto, California
Example: “Heart attack” AND “Los Angeles”
Search for studies:
Brain Imaging of Psychotherapy for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
The investigators are seeking people who have been exposed to a traumatic event in the past and have symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) currently. A person with PTSD may feel significant distress when reminded of a traumatic event or feel depressed, anxious or jumpy.
As a part of this study, participants will receive brain MRIs and office assessments before and after psychotherapy. The investigators provide the gold-standard psychotherapy for PTSD, “Prolonged Exposure”, free of charge; additionally participants are compensated for their time during assessment procedures. This study is exploring the brain circuitry involved in improvement in response to psychotherapy.
|Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)||Behavioral: Prolonged exposure Behavioral: Prolonged Exposure|
|Study Design:||Allocation: Randomized Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment Masking: Open Label Primary Purpose: Basic Science|
|Official Title:||The Neurobiology of Psychotherapy: Emotional Reactivity and Regulation in PTSD|
- Clinician Administered PTSD scale (CAPS) [ Time Frame: Before and after Prolonged Exposure Treatment, which is expected to take approximately six weeks. ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
The CAPS is a 30-item structured interview that corresponds to the DSM-IV criteria for PTSD. In addition to assessing the 17 PTSD symptoms, questions target the impact of symptoms on social and occupational functioning, improvement in symptoms since a previous CAPS administration, overall response validity, overall PTSD severity, and frequency and intensity of five associated symptoms (guilt over acts, survivor guilt, gaps in awareness, depersonalization, and derealization). For each item, standardized questions and probes are provided.
- Mood and Anxiety Symptom Questionnaire (MASQ) [ Time Frame: Before and after Prolonged Exposure Treatment, which is expected to take approximately six weeks. ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
Treatment success based on Improvement on subscales of the MASQ, including decreased anxious arousal and decreased anhedonic depression, from pre- to post-treatment assessment
- fMRI-assessed resting connectivity [ Time Frame: Before and after Prolonged Exposure Treatment, which is expected to take approximately six weeks. ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
From pre- to post-treatment, improve will be based on enhanced functional connectivity
- Implicit emotion regulation [ Time Frame: Assessed 4 times: Before beginning Prolonged Exposure, after the third week of therapy, after the last therapy session (on average 6 weeks after beginning therapy), and 1 month after the end of therapy. ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
Implicit emotion regulation assessed through emotion conflict task performed during functional imaging. Performance based on reaction time and recruitment of emotion regulation regions during the task.
|Study Start Date:||September 2010|
|Estimated Study Completion Date:||September 2015|
|Estimated Primary Completion Date:||September 2015 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)|
| Experimental: Immediate Prolonged Exposure Treatment
Intake procedures include clinician-administered diagnostic battery, cognitive testing, self-report measures of symptoms, and functional imaging scan. Participants in this arm will complete a concurrent TMS/fMRI scan before beginning Prolonged Exposure (PE). PE will be delivered in 9-12 90-minute sessions. Therapy will be delivered by PhD-level therapists at Stanford and Palo Alto VA.
| Behavioral: Prolonged exposure
PE will be delivered in 9-12 90-minute sessions. Therapy will be delivered by PhD-level therapists at Stanford and Palo Alto VA. PE consists of four components: psychoeducation about PTSD symptoms and the behavioral or cognitive factors maintaining it, a brief breathing retraining that can be used as a stress management tool, prolonged imaginal exposure to the trauma memory both within-session and repeated as homework, and prolonged in vivo exposure to avoided scenarios in patients’ day-to-day lives.
| No Intervention: Wait list, immediately followed by Prolonged Exposure
Intake procedures include clinician-administered diagnostic battery, cognitive testing, self-report measures of symptoms, and functional imaging scan. NOTE: Participants in this arm receive treatment following a waitlist period of 12 weeks. After waitlist, will have a TMS/fMRI scan and then immediately begin Prolonged Exposure treatment. See above for description of Prolonged Exposure.
| Behavioral: Prolonged Exposure
PE will be delivered in 9-12 90-minute sessions. Therapy will be delivered by PhD-level therapists at Stanford and Palo Alto VA. PE consists of four components: psychoeducation about PTSD symptoms and the behavioral or cognitive factors maintaining it, a brief breathing retraining that can be used as a stress management tool, prolonged imaginal exposure to the trauma memory both within-session and repeated as homework, and prolonged in vivo exposure to avoided scenarios in patients’ day-to-day lives.
|Ages Eligible for Study:||18 Years to 60 Years|
|Genders Eligible for Study:||Both|
|Accepts Healthy Volunteers:||No|
- age between 18 and 60 years;
- fMRI scanning eligibility, including no evidence of any form of metal embedded in the body (e.g., metal wires, nuts, bolts, screws, plates, sutures), as these produce artifacts when brain imaging;
- not currently involved in an exposure-based psychotherapy, in order to be able to measure and interpret the effects of PE on PTSD;
- must comprehend English well and show non-impaired intellectual abilities to ensure adequate comprehension of the fMRI task instructions and PE treatment;
- no history of neurological or cardiovascular disorders, brain surgery, electroconvulsive or radiation treatment, brain hemorrhage or tumor, stroke, seizures or epilepsy, diabetes, hypo- or hyperthyroidism, head trauma with loss of consciousness greater than thirty minutes;
- no regular use of benzodiazepine, opiate, thyroid, anticonvulsant or antipsychotic medications. Patients on stable doses of antidepressant medications will be allowed. Patients for whom antidepressant dosing is being actively titrated will be required to be on a stable dose for 1 month prior to inclusion in the study.
- Any contraindication to being scanned in the 3T or 1.5T scanners at the Lucas Center or CNI such as having a pacemaker or implanted device that has not been cleared for scanning at the Lucas Center or CNI.
- Participants will be excluded from the study if there is any lifetime evidence of psychosis, mania, hypomania, or bipolar disorders. Other axis I comorbidities will not be a cause for exclusion.
In addition, subjects will be excluded if they have a significant CNS neurological condition such as stroke, seizure, tumor, hemorrhage, multiple sclerosis, etc.
Patients who have current substance dependence will be excluded from the study. A recent diagnosis of substance abuse is allowable, however, as long as subjects have been abstinent for greater than three months.
- Subjects will be excluded if they are currently in an exposure-based psychotherapy for PTSD.
|Contact: Kathy Peng, B.A.||email@example.com|
|Contact: Madeleine Goodkind, PhD||650-493-5000 ext firstname.lastname@example.org|
|United States, California|
|VA Palo Alto Healthcare System||Recruiting|
|Palo Alto, California, United States, 94304|
|Contact: Kathy Peng, B.A. 650-725-9510 email@example.com|
|Contact: Madeleine Goodkind, Ph.D. 650-493-5000 ext 60168 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Principal Investigator: Amit Etkin, M.D., Ph.D.|
|Stanford University, Department of Psychiatry||Recruiting|
|Stanford, California, United States, 94304|
|Contact: Kathy Peng, B.A. 650-725-9510 email@example.com|
|Contact: Madeleine Goodkind, Ph.D. 650-725-9510 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Principal Investigator: Amit Etkin, M.D., Ph.D.|
|Principal Investigator:||Amit Etkin, M.D., Ph.D.||Stanford University|
|Study Director:||Madeleine S Goodkind, Ph.D.||Stanford University|
No publications provided
|Responsible Party:||Stanford University|
|ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier:||NCT01507948 History of Changes|
|Other Study ID Numbers:||SU-10252011-8566|
|Study First Received:||December 14, 2011|
|Last Updated:||January 13, 2012|
|Health Authority:||United States: Institutional Review Board United States: Federal Government|
Keywords provided by Stanford University:
|Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Psychotherapy non-medication treatment Prolonged Exposure Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)||Anxiety Disorders emotion emotion regulation functional MRI Affective Symptoms|
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
|Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders, Traumatic Anxiety Disorders Mental Disorders|
ClinicalTrials.gov processed this record on August 27, 2013
As a Black Man I Have had to contend with all of what’s talked about in the article below in addition to healing from my PTSD. I’ve been stopped several times by police and once on a Washington state darkened Highway in 2001 for doing absolutely nothing but driving my truck home from the beach (Ocean Shores). At the time I was a crisis-line volunteer, licensed and employed aircraft mechanic, home-owner and had $300 of my own money in my pocket plus a credit card. I considered myself an upstanding citizen and yet,… out of the blue I was [pursued] and stopped by a legally gun carrying cop who exited the patrol vehicle with his [hand on] his gun. I yelled at the cop while having my hands on my steering wheel with interior car light on, “why are you stopping me?!”,… The officer’s answer was,… “someone called-in and said you were driving drunk”,… I yelled loudly once more with a clearly articulated voice while looking the officer straight in the eye,… “I have not had a drink since 1997…!”,…. the officer then said in a calm voice “I can tell you have not been drinking”. It was the only time in my life that I had ever yelled at a police officer and was prepared to kill him that night and I think he knew it because of my defiant nature as I turned and [stood my ground]. The officer did a very curious thing by backing up slowly, entered his patrol car, turned off the lights and drove away. All without ever asking for my vehicle registration or driver license which is required to be checked once an “official” stop has been made. The following week while on volunteer duty,… I mentioned to the crisis-line staff(all white) what had happened to me,… and they were shocked to say the least. I’m lucky to be alive today to share one of my personal stories with you and I encourage other Men of color,… but particularly Black Men,… to share your stories via some form of media(voice, written word, painting,… etc.). By sharing your stories,… it can be a way to honor yourselves and those individuals who have been harmed unjustly and “silenced” with death,… it is a way to make known,… the prevalence of such contradictory and destructive behavior that takes place within our society. Keep in mind that many of these transgressions take place and have taken place without any official record of their existence. Consider choosing to let your individual stories become an official record.
With a heavy heart,… I agree with what the author has written below and particularly the deeply profound final sentence. I feel a great uneasiness for Mr. Zimmerman because he has opened a Pandora’s-box for himself. I would not wish my personal and horrible experiences or anything similar,… on anyone,… including Mr. Zimmerman.
I’m 50 years old and another Black male who could have been Mr. Trayvon Martin…
Howard Lovely, Jr.
Dear George Zimmerman,
For the rest of your life you are now going to feel what its like to be a black man in America.
You will feel people stare at you. Judging you for what you think are unfair reasons. You will lose out on getting jobs for something you feel is outside of your control. You will believe yourself to be an upstanding citizen and wonder why people choose to not see that.
People will cross the street when they see you coming. They will call you hurtful names. It will drive you so insane some days that you’ll want to scream at the top of your lungs. But you will have to wake up the next day, put on firm look and push through life.
I bet you never thought that by shooting a black male you’d end up inheriting all of his struggles.
Enjoy your “freedom.”
A black male who could’ve been Trayvon Martin
Be Heard, Spread the Word July is African American Bone Marrow Awareness Month. Share the link BTMItsOnYou.org and ask other African Americans to join the registry and help patients in need.
I joined the Marrow Donor List back in 1995.
Howard Lovely, Jr.
On Monday, June 3rd, President Obama and Vice President Biden will host a White House Mental Health Conference as part of the Administration’s effort to launch a national conversation to increase understanding and awareness about mental health. President Obama will deliver opening remarks and Vice President Biden will deliver closing remarks to conference participants.
While millions of Americans struggle with mental health problems, those who need help are too often afraid to seek it because of the shame and secrecy associated with mental illness. The conference will bring together people from across the country, including representatives from state and local governments, mental health advocates, educators, health care providers, faith leaders, and individuals who have struggled with mental health problems, to discuss how we can all work together to reduce stigma and help the millions of Americans struggling with mental health problems recognize the importance of reaching out for assistance.
Bring Change 2 Mind is answering the President’s call to launch a national conversation to increase the understanding and awareness about mental health by participating during the White House Mental Health Conference. We invite you to participate in the conversation by watching it live at www.whitehouse.gov/live from approximately 9:30am to 2:45pm EST on June 3.
In addition the Department of Health and Human Services will officially launch a new website, www.MentalHealth.gov on June 3 to continue the conversation begun at the National Conference on Mental Health. The purpose of the website is to provide mental health information and resources for individuals living with mental health problems, friends and family members, educators, and other community members. Specifically, the website will feature information regarding the basic signs of mental health problems, how to talk about mental health and ways to find help.
Another important purpose of MentalHealth.gov is to keep the conversation about mental health going after June 3 by sharing information about what organizations and individuals across the country are doing to raise awareness about mental health in their communities. BC2M will be an active partner in the continuing conversation about mental health and in particular the stigma and discrimination of mental illness.
We are pleased to be participating in this very important conference and look forward to the dialogue that will begin in earnest as a result of so many dedicated people coming together to advance the conversation.
Hello everyone,….I’m following through on my plans to try a new Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approved treatment for PTSD / Anxiety.According to Joann Gadsky at http://www.smartbrainandhealth.com/,...recent University level trials were successful while utilizing this treatment method specifically for PTSD / Anxiety.During the past three decades I have tried many different methods to attempt to gain relief from my uncontrollable symptoms and have achieved some success with the use of Eye-Movement-Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR) during the most recent seven years.Utilization of this TransCranial-Magnetic-Stimulation (TMS) method,… which will target and directly stimulate the over-active / under-active area(s) of my brain,… to potentially achieve a decrease or increase of activity respectively.As many of you may already know,…one of the hallmark symptoms of PTSD is the near constant and unrelenting automatic Fight-Flight response,… or what I call the roller-coaster-ride-feeling that most individuals are familiar with while riding a coaster at an amusement park,.. or the chilling affect of watching a horror movie are close approximations. Those intense physical stomach sensations, tense muscle contractions, goose-bumps and tingly skin that go hand-in-hand with an [intentional thrill],… are no fun at all when it’s uncontrollable as with PTSD (a complex Anxiety disorder) and coupled with a sense of impending gloom & doom. Imagine this happening uncontrollable,…literally hundreds of times per day. This is what I’ve been experiencing for 41 years since age eight and why I am willing to take an enormous financial risk while reaching for “freedom”,… from within.I plan to Blog about my experience each day once I start treatments providing that I can secure access to a laptop with windows-7.If anyone has an old functional lap-top to donate to me,…I’ll be pleased to receive it.Here’s the up-date as of yesterday:My treatments are scheduled for 6 May – 13 June 2013.Total treatment cost is $13,600,….20% higher than the previous estimate.I paid a deposit of $5,562.00 yesterday via credit-card.Because I don’t have Health-Insurance,…by my calculations,…if I max out all my medical-loan credit lines plus utilize the $2,000.00 that Landy (Family) sent I should be able to cover everything.I still have to find appropriate housing for the entire 37 days at a cost of approximately $3,000.00 – $5,000.00 due to seasonal increases in the beach community area.My dog’s (Gracie) kennel care will cost aprox. $2,336.25 for 5 weeks.Total logistical out-of-pocket costs will run about $18,000.00 – $21,000.00 utilizing only my Veteran Administration monthly compensation to pay it all back with monthly payments.It’s gonna be financially as tight as a nets ass say the least.P.S.If anyone from the Veterans Administration is reading this Blog,…please consider potentially investing in this type of treatment as an additional “tool’ in your available tool-kit of treatments or consider providing the specific monetary coverage for the treatments at a civilian facility such as SmartBrainAndHealth; moreover, if this treatment proves to be as successful in the general population,… as the recent FDA approved trials turned-out,…then this method of treatment could potential increase medically combat readiness turn-around-time for active duty personnel.Just an FYI….P.P.S.If anyone is interested in donating money,…you can choose to call the facility directly and speak to Joann Gadsky (Director of Doctor patient relations) and mention my full name.The money will be deposited into my name / patient account:(Howard Lovely Jr).Call:(Director of patient & Doctor relations)(949)395 – 5775 mobile(310)829 – 3438 officeSmartBrainAndHealth2811 Wilshire Blvd. suite 660Santa Monica, CA 90403
By Howard Lovely, Jr.
Six weeks ago I did not have a clue as to how I would manage to find the funding to pay for treatments at the http://www.smartbrainandhealth.com/ facility. Since first seeing the episode of Dr. Phil that featured the new treatment and initially being told NO,…to my surprise,…I was called by the director of the facility two weeks ago and told YES. Joanne Gadsky (director of patient / Doctor relations) informed me that because their university level trials have been successful and that Smart-Brain-And-Health has received a new Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approved machine,…Smart-Brain-And-Health now has TMS magnets strong enough to offer potential treatment for PTSD (complex anxiety disorder).
TMS = Trans-cranial Magnetic Stimulation
fMRI = Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Since being notified that I can go ahead and schedule treatments as soon as the new machine is up and running,…I have been asking for financial help from all corners. I have received several lines of credit for medical purposes, a few “Hell-Naw…!” from financial institutions, at least one known pledge of $5.00 from an individual in San Diego, refinanced my house and I am currently organizing personal items to be sold via craigslist. This weekend was a success in terms of selling enough items on craigslist to pay for one of two needed airline tickets.
This morning I got $150.00 for a Chipper / shredder. I paid the same amount for it three years ago.
I sold both a Mower & Tiller to the same person for $80.00 bucks yesterday.
The Mower was given to me broken last year and I fixed it without any cash out-lay.
The Tiller I paid $42.00 for,…about 6 years ago.
I reeled in enough cash ($230) to pay for one round-trip ticket to California for my initial fMRI…! (round-trip airfare cost $215.00 as of today with Frontier & United)
Note: 1. One of my Cousins is attempting to sale several guns (collectable / antique) at a gun show in Knoxville Tennessee this weekend February 9th & 10th. His efforts and the willingness of my biological family to choose to release the fire arms,…that are to be sold,…will continue to be profoundly beneficial to the forward momentum of raising cash to pay for all the necessary elements (treatments, food, lodging, travel, etc.,..) needed to facilitate treatments in Santa Monica California. If needed,…and regardless of potential treatment success or failure,…I’m willing to empty my house of all it’s ancillary contents in pursuit of freedom from 41 years of mental imprisonment.
The second and main ticket will most likely cost more because I will need to purchase an open-ended return date.
I have another Roto-Tiller to repair that I bought for $25.00 two years ago and should have it running this week just by cleaning the carburetor and scraping the carbon off the head. I expect to get $40 – $50.00 for it.
I also have another Mower to repair that I got for free,…I’ve got the engine running but I have to mount it back on the frame.
I expect to get $40 – $50.00 for it on craigslist.
By Howard Lovely, Jr.
The following is a letter that I recently sent to my entire family via one cousin that courageously asked to reconnect with me. This is a cousin that I spent a lot of time with as a child. keep in mind that I have been estranged from my biological family for over a decade. I have held this distance in my heart and physically for very specific reasons that I have spoken of in previous posts. The following chain of events are viewed as an “Olive Tree”,…that has for the third time in 41 years,…appeared fully grown for this “family” to recognize,…and then choose to take a branch. The first time occurred around 1973 when the matriarch (Grand Mother Upshaw) emphatically urged my parents to make piece with each other,…and the wisdom went unheeded. I was about 9 years old at that time. The third occurrence took place around 1994 when I was deep in a fit of suicidal, depressive and mental incapacitation to the level that my Aunt Margaret (Carver’s mother) chose to advise my family to assist me,….this too,…went unheeded without my knowledge,…for many years until recently. That amounts to two “Olive Trees” associated with the potential of fostering piece where there is imminent discord, distrust, disrespect and a fractured family bond that is deeper than the height of Mount Everest. In my eyes,…Cousin Carver’s request to reconnect,…represents a third appearance of an “Olive Tree” in this family,…and our (Carver & Howard) recent conversations lead to the following events that I have out-lined in the letter below. Maybe there is potential for my continued healing by selling the collection of antique / collectable weapons that ironically include two of the very firearms,…that I powerlessly and in a confused state of mind,…witnessed my father threaten to kill my mother as a child,…on numerous occasions. In a strange twist of life events,….maybe further healing can be born of the same weapons that caused so much hurt within the family. Choice is the key,…back then,…and now.
Update: Today I was denied credit card increases or new bank loans to cover the medical expenses. One medical card that I use for my dog was increase by $2900 but I can not use it toward treatment at the Smart-Brain-And-Health facility. Also the interest rates (9 – 40%) and upfront 10 – 15% fees that get taken of the top of the loan,…are way to high and financially dangerous for me to accept a medical loan via a third party that I inquired about.
The above link is to a facility that I need to go and have a type of non-invasive Brain surgery
as an attempt to further my healing process. It came highly recommended by Dr. Phil and there is a video clip of the Dr. Phil show where I learned about the treatment technique.
I’ve been in contact with the agency and have been accepted into the program due to the FDA approval of their new machine that can potentially help individuals with Anxiety (PTSD) disorder much like myself.
I was initially turned down a month ago because their current machine was not strong enough; however, the trials and Federal Drug Administration trials have proved successful and I received a call from the director of the treatment facility several days (25 Jan. 2013) ago with the good news.
The cost of the treat will be approximately $11,000.00 (+- 10%)..
I will have to stay in California for the daily treatments at least 30 days and need at least
$2,000.00 for accommodations, $500.00 for food and $1000.00 for two round-trip air fare tickets (one for initial evaluation and one for the treatment period).
I’ve just (22 Jan. 2013) successfully re-financed my home and cut my interest-rate down from 6.5% to a 3%.
This action will reduce my mortgage down from $749.01 (PITI) to $542 (PITI),….net result is an additional $200.00 per month that will enable me to possible take-out additional debt in the form of a medical-loan.
I plan to apply for a medical loan this week.
You gave me an idea of potentially how to raise a few hundred or thousand dollars for the medical procedure.
That is to say sale my drums that are possible still stored in Peaty & Williams attic and potentially sale Dad’s old gun collection including the 1911 (.45 pistol) that may be a rare “singer” of which only 500 were made.
serial numbers S8000001 – S8000500.
If the Family has not already parted with this weapons collection or drums and if the family is willing to choose to help me in this way,…it may be a viable source of funding for my medical treatments.
All they (Family) has to do is choose to call a legitimate antique collector / antique gun collector and negotiate a far price for the entire gun collection.
Since you are currently evolved with this community of collectors,…Carver,….if you choose,…you may be able to assist with this finding of a collector that is willing to pay a fare price.
I’m not begging for this assistance,…I’ve made it thus far alone for the most part; however,…I am,…pointing to a potential ”olive-tree”.
A potential new beginning as cousin Carver has shown me via his actions in recent days.
This is the third time in forty-one years that an ”Olive-Tree” has “appeared” in this Family.
The first time I was just a boy.
The second time,…I was mentally incapacitated to some degree as a young adult.
This time I see it and have the mental awareness to call it out for what it is,…an “Olive-Tree”.
The fact that last month,…Carver reached out to me in a manner that I deemed to be sincere, un-demanding and non-obligatory,…Carver point-blank asked / expressed his desire to reconnect with me in a respectful manner.
He seems to have recognized my needs as a Man,…as well as his (Carver) own needs / desire as an adult Male.
Carvers actions have re-kindled a since of hope of being seen as,…and respected as a Man within the Family,…rather than continual dis-respect as that long ago lost little boy called “Jr”.
Life continues to amaze me with the confluence of situations / circumstances such as the present time that sometimes provide potential opportunity for new beginnings to help me,…help myself,…simply by selling a few items that are sitting around collecting dust.
The act and fact that Carver confidently and courageously reached out to me last month in a manner that I deemed to be sincere,…and point-blank asked / expressed his desire to reconnect with me in a respectful manner,…a behavior that recognized my needs as a Man,…as well as his (Carver) own desire for connection with “Family” on some level,…
was an “Olive-Tree” in my eyes.
Whether we as individual “Family” members choose to walk over to such an “Olive-Tree” at this time,…and snip a branch off,…is each individuals choice.
With the writing of this letter,…I have chosen to stand before this “Olive-Tree”.
Will you help me,…help myself…?
Keep in mind that creativity,…sourced from source-energy,…has been the salvation of many generations that came before us.
OUT OF THE SILENCE: My Journey Into Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Back
“A stunning memoir” — Suzy Kenyon
ABOUT THE BOOK
Trapped in his living room between his gun-toting father and his butcher-knife-wielding mother, eight year-old Howard Lovely stood in horror as his father pulled the trigger. Amazingly, no one died. But something happened inside of Howard that would take more than thirty years to begin to reverse. Howard’s horror caused a major disruption in the young boy’s brain processing that led to what is labeled in the DSM-IV-TR as posttraumatic stress disorder, a mental health condition faced by approximately 5.2 million Americans each year. Howard and others like him suffer from a series of painful and far-reaching psychological, social, and physical effects as a result of having witnessed or experienced violence.
From the moment of this trauma, Howard seemed to walk through life upside down. A neighborhood kid yelling to another would make his body feel under attack. The beep of a car horn would hop him up on adrenaline. The sound of a dog barking would send his heartbeat racing into full PTSD mode. Howard figured that if he could just get away from the screaming and hitting at home, everything would start to be okay.
But when he enlisted in the Air Force, Howard’s body and mind took off again, racing down an ever-lasting rollercoaster of PTSD attacks. Howard would suffer through three hospitalizations in psych wards, fourteen out of twenty years in a jobless state, and countless doctor and therapy visits. In the end, he took a gamble on a treatment he had read about: eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, also known as EMDR.
That gamble gave him a renewed opportunity at life.
This is his unforgettable story into the war raging inside his head…and finally back to peace. Out of the Silence takes readers inside the complicated mind of a victim of PTSD, and how each can reclaim his or her life.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Howard Lovely, Jr. is a life coach who helps survivors of domestic violence, abuse and learn function more effectively—be it learn how to work through their challenges, achieve their goals and make a plan to not only survive, but overcome debilitating pain and chaos. As he says, “the goal is to not only survive, but thrive.”
“This stunning memoir will put a face to PTSD, a debilitating disorder currently receiving increased attention in response to the significant number of affected veterans returning home from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. PTSD is no small issue, with the VA treating approximately 200,000 veterans with this diagnosis at an annual cost of $4 billion according to The Psychiatric Times.”—David Lackmin, Psychiatrist
OUT OF THE SILENCE: My Journey Into Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Back
MEMOIR / HEALING / MIND BODY SPIRIT
6 x 9, 250 pages; $18.95
BISACS: PSY022040; HIS027120; BIO008000
RIGHTS: WORLD WIDE World Wide Distribution
© 2009- 2013 Bettie Youngs Books
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Dear Mr. President & Speaker of the House Boehner,
I’m a Gulf-War veteran currently receiving compensation for a non-combat service connected disability. Based on the quote from,…and the entire the article listed below,….I have decided for myself,…that I am personally willing to relinquish 8% – 10% of my Veterans Administration issued monetary compensation. It will help the country get back on it’s “feet”. I chose to have something smaller in quantity rather than nothing at all.
Although I have relatively “no” retirement($28.50 as of October 2012) savings in my 401K Fidelity account because I used it all for EMDR treatments seven years ago and I am currently unemployed, I have chosen this option out of Duty-Honor-Country.
Howard Lovely, Jr. ret. Sgt. USAF
Colorado, USA ________________________________________________________________________
Boehner Faces Line in the Sand in Fiscal Cliff Talks By DAVID KERLEY | ABC OTUS News – 12 hrs ago
“In exchange, the president suggests $600 billion in cuts to Medicare and other programs. House Republicans say that is not enough, but they have not publicly listed what they would cut.”
I help survivors of domestic violence, abuse & PTSD function more effectively, calmly and work through their challenges,…to achieve their goals.
It is my sincerest desire to use my extensive experience to support and help you thrive in the midst of joy or adversity. Much like the clouds obscure the peaks of the mountains pictured behind me,…your individual aspirations can be drastically obscured by your seemingly insurmountable challenges.
By Howard Lovely, Jr.
As I understand it,…during slavery times in the American Southern States,…my Great GrandMother and other individuals made do with what they were given in terms of food. When the owner of a plantation butchered an animal,…many of the parts were considered waste or unfit for consumption and often times were given to the slaves. Being creative as they always were and continued to be,…cooks put into food their heart, mind, spirit, pain, desires and ingenuity to say the least. Once throw-away animals parts such as pig-tails, pig-ears, guts (chitlins), pig feet and ribs that had very little meat on them,…would all be paired up with other simple items such as cooked greens. In any other country these simple items would be called peasant-food but in this country it’s known as Soul-Food. Though it has been at least fourteen years since I last cleaned a five-pound bucket of slippery foul-smelling pig guts,…with the business end of a butter knife,…only to end up with about two pounds of edible chitlins,…there is nothing like that nose twisting fragrant aroma of fresh pig intestine. Have mercy on my nose so that my taste buds can rejoice at dinner time…! And don’t forget the hot sauce, cole-slaw and cornbread…! For me,…Soul-Food is a metaphor in terms of my views on relationships of all types (personal, amorous, food, health, spiritual,..etc.,.) at this time in my life. Just like those foul-smelling pig intestines or other scraps of food,…amorous relationships can often times come with their on bits and pieces of “fat”, “foul-smelling crap package” and a “core structure” that seemingly has no meat on it much like a slab of ribs. An individual such as myself may appear this way while overwhelmed with dis-ease as a result of a complex anxiety disorder such as PTSD. Nevertheless,..with a little ingenuity,…that foul-smelling gut wrenching dis-ease (depression, anxiety,..etc.,.) can potentially yield life-sustaining lessons that can / may propel a person forward in ways unimaginable while dwelling in this often times darkness of dispar. Take note of that individual that seems to have nothing going for them but bits of “meaty” character clinging to their spirit,…much like a raw slab of ribs consisting of more bone than meat,…but once cooked up slow and low over the fire of passion,…can yield a mind-blowing feast for the person who is cleaver and alert enough to see the value. Under the most dire circumstances,…many slaves such as my Great GrandMother survived,…I’m proof as such,…as I type these words. I have faith that any relationship,…individualized or as a pair-bond,…can survive with a willing participant(s). Consider putting a little Soul-Food into your relationship with yourself,…and / or your significant other.
Yesterday I and a neighbor (Tony) were working his old 1965 Chevy truck bed and his 2002 Chevy Silverado that needed the parking brake adjusted properly. While we were on the driveway adjusting the parking brake,…I noticed that a Blue-Banded Dove flew in next to us only about 5 feet away. I said,…”Tony…!!,…look at how close that bird has gotten to us”,…he looked and said wow!…. As we continued our work on the truck and Lupe (Tony’s wife of 22 years) was watering the lawn,…the Dove flew over to a small 6 foot tree and within 5 feet of Lupe. Once Tony and I adjusted and tested his parking brake,…we proceeded to work on his old truck and here is where things got really interesting with this curious bird. The 1965 Chevy was parked inside the garage and the bird flew into garage,…onto the roof of the truck,…and seemed to observe as Tony and I continued our task of aligning the truck bed in preparation for installation of a new wood surface that will look outstanding on the old classic. The Dove simply perched there observing our every move without flinching,…every now and then cleaning and grooming its feathers. It’s eyes appeared to be ruby-red against its tan – grey plumage. Even our noisy activities did not appear to frighten the dove in any way. At one point I sat my clear plastic water bottle on the edge of the driver side truck bed side panel and next to an automotive manual. The dove flew down off the top of the truck cab and onto the top ledge of the truck bed side panel and began to peck at my water bottle. I said “Tony look!”,….”I think it wants a drink of water!”,…..I walked right past the dove,…passing within one foot as it looked at me as if the bird knew me personally. I searched for a container and I found a small dog water bowl. I then reach for my water bottle,…without hesitation,…and amazingly the bird never flinched as my hand came within no more that six inches of its beak. I also removed the automotive manual on which the bird was standing and the dove responded by simply slowly walking off as I slide the book away but remained in the relative same location and perch on the truck bed ledge. Fortunately the book did’nt have any fresh gifts on it. I poured some of my water from my bottle into the bowl and sat it six inches from the dove and it immediately walked over to the bowl before I could even remove my hand,…perched on the rim and began to drink.
My human body is comprised of approximately 98% water,….a metaphorical “skin covered water bottle” and to the relationships of my dreams I offer drink. To the Woman of my dreams,…I offer drink,…and to myself I offer the drink of awareness. One courageous Blue-Band Dove taught me this lesson yesterday.
Tony and I continued I work for an hour or two as the bird observed. Later I went home while the bird was still perched on the truck. This morning I asked Tony what happened to the bird and if it ever flew out of the garage,…he said: “oh me and Lupe shoo-ed it out of the garage with a broom after you left and it flew away”.
By Howard Lovely Jr
Recently much of the United States has been and continues to be,…in a heat wave for the 60 – 90 days. This warmth in small metered amounts is great for plants animals and humans; however, in massive continuous doses,…the same environmental stress can cause damage of all sorts such as stunted plant growth, medical emergencies with humans and drought. For example,… in my own garden I have yellow crook-neck squash planted along with a few other heat tolerant summertime favorites such as eggplant and pole beans. My kentucky-wonder pole beans only climbed half way up the fence, many died and none have produced beans at this time wich is peak season in my garden,…this week my eggplant (Black Beauty) finally put out one “fruit” the size of a silver dollar so far and my yellow squash plant is producing 1 to 3 “fruits” per week when normally I would be over-run with 1 to 3 squash every other day. This is a simple example how stifling stress can be.
Now,..let’s imagine that what I have out-lined above is a metaphor for an anxiety disorder such as PTSD:
Human Brain = plant / muscle
Heat = anxiety / stress / event
Stifled Growth = disrupted social life, employment, family, health…etc.,..
In my life,…stress resulting in PTSD or a Complex Anxiety disorder has acted like a massive long-term “heat wave” adversely affecting my internal [brain environment]. It has stifled my ability and mobility in my social life, dating, employment,…etc.,. With plants and humans,…stress in small amounts can actually be a good experience in terms of encourage adaptation and or growth that is typically beneficial; however, extreme amounts of stress whether acute or chronic in duration can cause the opposite effect. Weight lifting is a common example. If I lift a small amount (10 pounds) of weight doing arm curls and gradually increase the weight (15, 20, 25, 30, 35 to 40 pounds) over an extended time period,…my muscles will adapt and grow stronger even though microscopically the muscle fiber is being damaged and repaired automatically by the body’s own powerful self-preservation system. Add too much weight too fast and the result can be catastrophic with a badly torn muscle that will cause limited or no use of that muscle until it heals. Sometimes plants never recover from stress. Like wise my brain structure (neurotransmitters) continue to adapt to stressful situations from the time I’m born; however,….much like the plants subjected to an excessive amount of heat due to a heat wave,…or my muscle subjected to large amounts of weight too rapidly,…the brain too,…somehow can be “torn” or “stifled” in terms of proper neurotransmitter communication ability. A “torn” brain is invisible for the most part, disruptive in every area of my life imaginable and physically & emotionally painful to say the least.
Incredible. More than 100,000 people — including you! — spoke up for Kentucky teenager Savannah Dietrich, who could have faced jail time after she posted online the names of the two young men who sexually assaulted her. Thanks to your action, Savannah is no longer facing charges.
Elizabeth Beier started a petition asking that charges against Savannah be dropped, and just days later, the lawyers who filed charges against Savannah withdrew the charges. One lawyer even told reporters that all the attention from Savannah’s supporters on the internet made filing the charges just not worth it — no wonder, when the petition received attention from MSNBC and the Associated Press, to name a few.
For her part, Elizabeth is thrilled that Savannah won’t face jail time for revealing the names of her convicted attackers. “Thank you to everyone who signed this petition and stood up for Savannah,” Elizabeth says. “When the whole world watches, justice is more likely to be done.”
If there’s something you want to change in your community, you’re about three minutes away from having your own petition on Change.org — just click here to get started.
Thanks for being a change-maker,
- Jon and the Change.org team
By Howard Lovely, Jr.
Janet Geissler, MEd
Institute For Family Development
34004 16th Ave South, Suite 200
Federal Way, WA 98003-8903
(253) 874-3630 Seattle
(253) 927-1550 Tacoma
(253) 838-1670 Fax
About the Workshop:
I recently met a Woman online (conscioussingles.com) that lives just 20 miles away. She’s a seemingly nice enough person also and we have exchanged Skype calls many times since we met a week ago. Yesterday she asked me if I like Indian food,..I said yes. then she asked if I had any favorite restaurant and I felt my entire body tense-up like a stretched rubber band. As much as I have attempted in detail,…to pre-explain my challenges via my personal profile on the dating web-site and on my Blog,…this individual told me that she didn’t see anything about my challenges on either location,…I was baffled to say the least,…unless she was simply messing with me for shits and grins. Which would’nt be very good at all. I knew what was coming because I’ve been through it so many times with Women that I’m attracted to and flirt with,…the dreaded unspoken demand for explanations about my Mental-Illness,…that sounds something like this in my head as a Man,…”now explain to me why you’re such a panty-waste?”, “scaredie-cat?”, “wimp?”. The female mental equivalent might sound like,…”is my ass too big?”, “is my ass too small?”, “are my tits the right size?”, “do I weigh too much?”, “do I weigh too little?”,…etc.,. Either way we all have our profound societal & cultural induced insecurities that can get connected / rooted into very real psychosis such as PTSD. Anyway,….I said to her: “I don’t have a favorite restaurant”,…”I haven’t been to a restaurant in a long time and can’t remember the last time”. She pressed with her questioning by asking the following: “How do you plan to date?”. It was at this point that my body tensed-up furiously,…I struggled to hide it,…and I was aware of my inner shame,…and began to break eye contact by looking away as I fell silent,…and I definitely didn’t want this Woman that I was attracted to,…to see my Soul crying. I’m a Man damn it! I felt to myself. From my indirect gaze and tension in my body,..I answered,…”I guess I’m not ready”. My voice was void of any aliveness and vivid words that could give this Woman the answer she must have wanted to hear from me. She commented that she didn’t mean to judge me and I said,…”your question is valid”,…”I’m just not ready”. In that moment,…I realized that this would not work out between she and I. After sleeping on the matter and 12 hours since the conversation,…I woke up with a little more specific clarity. It was not that I’m not ready for a relationship internally,…as I told the Lady last evening,….I simply don’t know how to date externally,… while living with PTSD, Frustration, Shame, embarrassment and Pain,…that typically arise instantly,…and,…the pressure that I often feel to be “normal” as if there is no problem or challenge. Going out to a restaurant or any social function are activities that are typically taken for granted in society; however, I have been long since cured of that. I realize that it was my internal psycho-emotional “stuff” that caused me to fall silent and feel like a stretched rubber band. I guess as a single Man who adores Women,….I pride myself on having answers and “providing”,…and when this is clearly threatened from within myself,…it’s humiliating to say the least. How does a Man(me) that can do all that I’m capable of such as fix my car, fix an airplane, grow food, cook, write, educated formally & informally, flirt with a Woman and speak articulately,…yet I can not and do not know how to fix my internally broken “something”,…or whatever it is that is broken in me. I simply don’t have the answer to give to any Woman that might ask “How do you plan to date if you can’t go out and socialize?”. This morning,…my answer to this valid question is: very creatively such as an un-crowded walk in the park, quiet picnic, weekend scenic drive, cook lunch together,..etc.,..with a willing and creative Woman,….that’s how. I’ll keep my eyes peeled for you my sweetness wherever you are,…but for now,..I’m still a single Handsome-Man-Hunk with a lot of open heart, skills and very few answers to a seemingly simple question.
Although the appearance of each challenge may vary in form, most things in life are like a metaphorical jigsaw puzzle,…similar to dis-assembling the front-end on my car in the photo above,….I just have to fit the pieces together. Somehow I may even have to create needed pieces that have been lost due to the corrosive effects of environmental elements. Kind of like fabricating new side panels in the photo below for an old 1965 Chevy truck bed that has been rusted out. It’s a conceptual irony,…that a Guy like myself with such a messed-up life,…is a “Mr. Fix-It” trained mechanic,…I’m formally and informally trained to find and resolve / repair problems. Aint that a blip….!!! Ha!…Ha!…Ha!
“Dietrich was assaulted by the pair after passing out at a party. They later shared photos of the assault with friends.”
Due to the actions of the two young Men publicly sharing their misdeed(rape) with friends via photos and most likely,…internet photos via cell-phones,…the two rapists,… publicly,…identified themselves prior to Miss Dietrich making the tweet that is at the heart of the “contempt-of-court” charge. For this reason the young lady should not be sentenced to jail time even though she did break a judge’s [grossly misguided] order to keep silent about the issue,…that is already irretrievably out in cyberspace. Though Miss Dietrich technically & legally committed,…contempt-of-court,…common sense must prevail in this case and the [court system] and its’ administrative agents,…must refrain from victimizing the “victim”. Is anyone(Judge, prosecutors, etc.,..) concerned with the short & long-term emotional well-being of this young Woman in terms of how she may choose to relate to Men and how she may choose to feel about herself as a Woman,…as she matures…??? Where is….and / or,…what is the role of Religion & Spirituality in this entire situation…??? Where is the extension of compassion from the legal system and Judge,…toward the “victim”?…
Read the full article here and if you choose,…sign the petition: http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/savannah-dietrich-twitter-sexual-assault-louisville-174732753.html
Today a very alert Friend stated that she has noticed how I accept my condition with seemingly no anger at this time. I told her that I have been stuck in feelings of anger and emotionally out of control many times; however, after so many years I have simply gotten tired of,…and learned to,…stop fighting. It’s a strategy that keeps me from drowning in a sea of dispar, anger and frustration. It’s kind of like not knowing how to swim,…while struggling and flopping around all tense,…will most likely cause me to sink in a lake. However, learning to shift my thinking and gently relaxing my mind and body will allow me to float “calmly”,…in that same water,…not swim,…just float. I can do a metaphorical mental form of this concept. While living with the multitude of frustrations that accompany Mental-Illness,…I’m still unable to fix myself immediately,…unable to speed up my healing process,…yet I can just mentally-float. The mental-floating is a type of acceptance, acknowledgement and surrender to my condition,…that [lessens] anger and frustration while I’m fully aware of my Human-predicament. If I’m fortunate enough,…the currents of my divine journey may drift me toward liberation.
Because the compilation of my past is always with me and contributing to my present moment and future,…the road that will be travelled,…can be paved with both the ‘helpful” and seemingly “unhelpful” bricks from my experiences,…stones turned over 180 degrees, examined and positioned to form a new visual pattern that is vastly different from my previous path. Knowing that an infinite combination of patterns are possible from [all] my inner resources,…I move quietly confident in the direction of my choice while expecting and clearly receiving limitless divine support. Even as little squiggly black “floaters” have developed and minimally obscure my vision as I age,…my inner sight and self-understanding have continued to vividly sharpen.
I can choose to paint the brick road any color,…including yellow.
Within a free Nation and on the eve of Independence Day, I search for my on personal freedom. The ”lacking” that I search for can not be legislated by intellectuals or politicians,…nor can it be forged into a vivid document comprised of wood-pulp / parchment, ink and words. What I seek within myself can not be infused by well-meaning words from Clergy or Gurus of any type. There are no bullets, bombs or other weapons powerful enough to penetrate the [seemingly] indomitable invisible “walls” of Mental-Illness,…an internal-external double walled fortress comprised of anguish, sorrow, frustration, stigma, fear, shame, guilt, humiliation and emasculation to say the least. Years ago this fortress went up so fast within me,…much like an inflatable Bouncy-Castle at a child’s Birthday party,…minus the joy and laughter of course,…a kind of instant inflatable mental prison. Though inherently intrusted with the power of my personal protection,…my body’s nervous system has long since gone rogue; nevertheless, a peace accord is currently being negotiated between my brain, sympathetic nervous system and all the cells within my body. For the past forty years a discord has raged within me and during the immediate previous 7 years,…a restoration of internal balance has been in the works. There has been no fan fare, parades or celebration,…just a calming of my mind and nervous system one day at a time,…plus a returning of unbridled confidence that I have faint memories of having possessed long ago as a child. My recovery process continues to be much like the difference between the violent winds of a past hurricane,…transformed to an early morning gentle breeze,…with the occasional disruptive gust. Although I’m out of the prison cell, I have not cleared the prison grounds as I continue my [inner] quest for freedom.
Life experience has taught me that my Mental-Illness is a type of “spot-light” that will illuminate my character,…as well as the character of everyone around me,…for better or worse. Oddly,…this last personal fact makes it a really useful tool in a weird way. I’ve come to the conclusion that individuals who choose to be helpfully around me while I’m at my “worst”,…will definitely be deserving of the fantastic qualities that I’ve always possessed,…when I’m at my “better”.
As I started attempting to understand what I now know is,…and has been,… undiagnosed PTSD up until August of 2005,…I have discovered many painful facts about my feelings and life. One thing that seems to go back so far is the idea and experience of [abandonment]. As a child when the guns, knives and angry words would so often surface between my parents, I had no vocabulary to describe what I was feeling as I watched and listened in horror as early as eight years old and up until age 21. At that time my skin tingled furiously for 13 years during my childhood from 1972 – 1985,…a feeling like a thousand mosquitos had descended upon me all at once to suck the “life” out of me and my groin pulsed as if I were about to wet my pants most times,…but never did. My mouth became like cotton,…my ears as sharp as a bat detecting the action & sound of a gun-bolt long before my eyes gazed upon the flash,…my breath intermittent and muted,…my eyes as keen as a hawk that has zoned in on its prey (my parents) and yet my feet and some part of my mind were rapidly frozen without my willful choice,…like an opossum or mouse trying to avoid the clutches of instant death. In all this foolishness at it’s best,…I discovered abandonment. Stigma is really societies way of “abandoning” anyone for any reason. My parents abandoned good judgement, me, themselves and worst of all,…my mind abandoned my physical body and got stuck behind the curtain(PTSD),…or more of a feeling of existing somewhere in between. The “in between” feeling is what I call ”Living A Strange Death”,…an eery state of being both [present] and simultaneously [absent] with full unrelenting awareness of both. I call these moments [freeze-ups] and they got me in trouble with my grade school teachers all the time for so-called ”Day Dreaming”, it hurt to be accused of not paying attention over and over again and I didn’t understand why my body continued to dissociate(clinical term for freeze-ups). As a child & adult,….these freeze-ups randomly happen all the time while doing just about anything such as taking a test, driving a car or installing rivets on an aircraft which scared the mess out of me while behind the wheel or holding a rivet gun at full blast; nevertheless, I was able to maintain composure somehow. For me,…PTSD is often times so silently horrifying that I often wonder what the hell might have happened to Edgar Allen Poe,…the master of fictional horror tales minus the blood & gore. Edgar Allen Poe explored this theme of being stuck between two worlds (a world of the living & a world of the dead) in the tale of ”Mr. Valdemar, (1845)”. The idea / condition of being stuck between two vivid states of mind sounds weird and impossible and yet I have painfully lived it for 40 years and still don’t fully understand the phenomenon. Ironically my own experience of existing in my body that will not / would not function properly no matter what thoughts I commanded,…drove me mad and to the brink of suicide years ago. Similarly,…being stuck in a lifeless rotting corps tormented Mr. Valdemar in Poe’s tale.
Behind the PTSD curtain you will often find interesting, intelligent, compassionate, creative, spiritual / religious, non-religious, accomplished, socially upstanding, socially competent, kind-hearted, Uncles, Dads, Moms, Brothers, Sisters, Sons, Daughters, Aunts, Husbands, Wives, Significant Others, Neighbors, a few Ass-Holes and Capable Individuals much like I think of myself…
What’s behind the curtain?,…choose to take a look,…you may be pleasantly surprised about what and who you discover.
It’s been almost two weeks since I completed my first “Reconnection” session and I can tell you that something is happening within my central nervous system. Although I still have a cognitive mind that seemingly chatters uncontrollably like a 100 monkeys in a tree,….my central-nervous system appears to have taken another step toward calming down. My 40 year affair with typical feelings of being high on adrenaline, seemingly 24/7,…coupled with near constant muscle tension and physical body alertness that feels as sharp as the sting of a thousand mosquitos descending on my skin all at once,…appears to have been influenced in a positive manner via my recent Reconnection treatments. I find it difficult to vividly explain the near instantaneously painful bio-chemical, physical, emotional and psychological reaction that takes place within my body; moreover, daily assaults by general stimulus that would be considered harmless are brutal to say the least. For me the extremes of the automatic reaction makes it very easy to distinguish a diminution of the symptoms in my case. Here’s why,…first imagine PTSD and it’s subsequent automatic symptoms as being the spillway gates fully open on a [dam]. Now,…after treatments imagine PTSD and its automatic symptoms as a common open-ended [garden hose] turned on full blast. That’s the way I’ve been feeling during the past few days after my treatments,…like the garden hose example. As if gradually during the past six years my nervous system’s ”flood-gates” have been closing slowly,…little by little after being stuck in a wide open position for nearly 40 years,…now only opening as necessary in an automatically controlled reasonable manner that is in alignment with and dictated by environmental stimulus. Now keep in mind that I have previously done Eye-Movement-Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR) and EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique or “Tapping”). Each seems to have furthered my progress toward symptom remission during the past six years and my recent [Reconnection] “treatments” appear to be positively adding to the mix. That’s six years of progressive remission accomplished in relative daily isolation compared to nearly forty years total time of living with this relentlessly uncontrolled crap (PTSD). Even though my newly functioning [sympathetic nervous system] and it’s more appropriate automatic reactions feel odd, uncomfortable and take some getting used to,…it’s needless to say that I’m getting a little pumped about the possibilities in my near future. My progress thus far has been accomplished in isolation with minimal social interaction and I continue to have a lot of ground to cover in my recovery process. My healing progress eventually has to be tested on [my terms],…through a protracted and gradual reduction in social isolation. I do consider that this phase requires extreme awareness, self-respect and discretionary choice,…even though I prefer “faster” results.
During the past two weeks I have completed three “Reconnection” sessions with Debora Wayne (www.healingwithdebora.com). she was trained by Dr. Eric Pearl (www.thereconnection.com) as a [Reconnective Healing Practitioner].
By Howard Lovely, Jr.
During the past week I have completed three “Reconnection” sessions with Debora Wayne (www.healingwithdebora.com). she was trained by Dr. Eric Pearl (www.thereconnection.com) as a [Reconnective Healing Practitioner]. I completed my third long distance session yesterday.
At this time I can definitely tell you that it did not make me sick or ill in any way. I did not get hypnotized to go rob a bank or any other potentially weird ideas and concerns that a person might have.
However I did feel extremely tired(physically & emotionally) after the first session that lasted about 45 minutes and I was extremely hungry for some reason. At this early stage of the Reconnective “treatment”,…all I can do is observe myself(thoughts, reactions, sleep, mood, ect.,.) daily as several weeks pass. Then and only then will I have a better idea or know if the sessions helped me and if the changes,…if any,…will remain.
I can tell you that I am extremely grateful for individuals such as Debora Wayne,…individuals that show-up in my life while choosing to be [help] rather than [hinderance]. Debora is a Woman who showed up in my life full of encouraging words and calling for me to rise up from [my] depths of dispar,…rather than uttering words of be-littlement as so many other individuals have chosen to do over the previous years. Even if these three “reconnection” sessions that I have completed do absolutely nothing to further my personal healing process,…Debora’s spirited efforts and words,…that have been backed-up by immediate action on her part,…will continue to serve as part of my healing process at the very least. In my opinion,…there is no substitute for the [spirited-power] of a Woman that believes in herself and encourages my abilities as a Man,…to heal,…and to be everything within my capabilities. Subsequently I win regardless of the potential out-come resulting from the [Reconnection] sessions.
How do you show-up for yourself on a daily basis…???
Do you choose to investigate offers of potential [Help]…?
Do you choose to [Help] yourself…?
Do you choose to [Hinder] yourself…?
As a result of my amorous flirtatious efforts with a fantastic and broadly attractive woman last week,…this week, I will be trying a cutting-edge healing method called “reconnection”. So in one sense,…I got a “date” with this woman who I knew nothing about when I flirted with her,…but not the kind of “date” that I had envisioned. To my surprise,…Debora did the rare thing by walking toward me rather than running away…!!! This wonderful individual that confidently offered to assist me is Debora Wayne (www.healingwithdebora.com) and she was trained by Dr. Eric Pearl as a [Reconnective Healing Practitioner]. The irony is that two months prior to all this happening, I was searching for this exact type person after watching the movie “The Living Matrix”. After discovering the unavailability of Adam (healer) who was featured in the movie, I had no other clues for locating another person with the ability to utilize this method until now. Talk about the “Law Of Attraction”, ”Power Of Intention”, “Ask And It Is Given”, “As A Man Thinks So Shall He Become” and the list of sayings goes on and on back to the beginning of time. One very important point that I have learned to keep in mind once I put my attention on an idea,…be prepared to recognize and choose to allow it when it potentially shows up in “disguise“,…out of left field,…like Debora did.
Although I do not know what the outcome of my three sessions with Debora will be, I do know that during the past 20 years I have tried many different methods (pills of the legal type, sex, cognitive behavioral therapy, affirmations, read psychology books, had divining rods twirled around me, I did countless self-improvement workshops, EMDR therapy, The Holosync Solution, committed myself to a hospital psych-ward,…etc.). Some of these methods helped a little,…some were fun,…some were scary,…some were physically & emotionally painful,…some were down right amusing and some were a waste of time & money for me personally. I learned what would or wouldn’t work for [me],…thus my efforts were a fantastic success overall!
Below you will find a short bio on Dr. Eric Pearl who is featured in the movie “The Living Matrix”:
Dr. Eric Pearl
Internationally known healer Eric Pearl has appeared on countless television programs worldwide, spoken by invitation at the United Nations and presented to a full house at Madison Square Garden. His seminars have been featured in publications including The New York Times.
For more than a decade, before the onset of his unusual healing ability, Pearl ran a highly successful chiropractic practice. Suddenly, something changed. His patients told him that they felt his hands on them – even though he was not touching their bodies. For the first couple of months, his palms blistered and bled.
Then, patients began describing healings from cancers, AIDS-related diseases, epilepsy, chronic fatigue syndrome, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, birth disfigurements, cerebral palsy and other serious afflictions.
The recoveries reported by Pearl’s patients are documented in six books, including his own international bestseller, “The Reconnection: Heal Others, Heal Yourself,” now in over 30 languages, Pearl travels the globe, teaching his healing techniques. To date, he has taught more than 40,000 Reconnective Healing Practitioners in more than 60 countries.
Recently a Lady on seniorpeoplemeet.com dating site asked me the following question:
She Said: “How does PTSD show up in your life and how do you show up when it does?”
He Said: For me PTSD typically shows-up as a profoundly ridiculous, emasculating and often times painful specter of a teacher. I systematically show-up alone to do battle courageously within myself on levels I never knew existed within me. My experience of learning to understand the effects of PTSD on me,…has often times been like what I imagine the shock and horror of diving into an ocean while not knowing how to swim would be. Only another,…who has similarly seen the darkness,…and felt the cold horror of that kind of journey(Mental-Illness),…could ever understand. Mentally, emotionally and spiritually,…I continually dive deeper than a whale. I often see all kinds of seemingly odd “creatures” within the vast depths of my being-ness as a human,….and as a Man. I Repeatedly descend into the depths of dispar,….and rise to the surface of sanity again,…and again,…full of profound [knowledge] & [self-understanding],…this is how I show up,…each day,….bit by bit,….eager to taste a little sweetness in life.
By Howard Lovely, Jr.
National Suicide Prevention Life-Line 1-(800)273-Talk (8255)
EMDR Institute – Watsonville, CA 95077 (831)761-1040
Veterans Suicide Prevention Help-Line 1-(800)273-8255 (press 1)
Web – Sites:
1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
2. Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR)
3. Reconnection (http://www.thereconnection.com)
1. EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing) by Francine Shapiro & Margot Silk Forrest
2. Emotional Healing At Warp Speed (The Power Of EMDR) by David Grand, PH.D.
3. Self Matters (Creating Your Life From The Inside Out) by Phillip C. McGraw, PH.D.
4. Self Matters (Companion) by Phillip C. McGraw, PH.D.
5. The Four Agreements (A Toltec Wisdom Book) by Don Miguel Ruiz
6. Wisdom Of The Ages (A Modern Master Brings Eternal Truths Into Everyday Life) by Wayne W. Dyer
7. The Age Of Miracles (Embracing The New Midlife) by Marianne Williamson
8. The Art Of Sexual Ecstasy (The Path Of Sacred Sexuality For Western Lovers) by Margot Anand
9. Wounded Boys Heroic Men (A Man’s Guide To Recovering From Child Abuse) Daniel Jay SonKin, PH.D.
1. Esperanza (Hope To Cope With Anxiety And Depression)
2. Science Of Mind (A Guide For Spiritual Living)
3. Spirituality & Health (The Soul / Body Connection)
CD / DVD:
1. Getting The Love You Want (A Guide For Couples) by Harville Hendrix, PH.D.
2. The Way Of The Superior Man (The Teaching Sessions) by David Deida
3. Spiritual-Cinema-Circle (provides up-lifting & thought-provoking independent films once per month) 1(800)280-8290
1. TantraNova Institute, Chicago Illinois – Tantra
2. Margot Anand, California – Tantra
3. Carla Tara, California – Tantra
The Tantra workshops were instrumental in helping me get back in tune with my feelings as a Man considering that Mental-Illness derailed my sense of Masculinity. The workshops also helped me to learn to meditate and breathe properly which can help calm anxiety.
I personally have spent a lot of time reading many books, and participating in weekend workshops over the years to prepare myself for a better me and that fantastic woman who will eventually show up in my life. Hurry-up why don’t ya woman….!!! Ha!…Ha!…Ha! Seriously,….Harville is one of my favorite relationship coaches because he comes across as real and down to earth in his approach. I encourage you to consider choosing to check-out this free workshop even if your current relationship with yourself and your significant other is top-notch at this time.
P.S. I’ve already registered…! See ya there…!!!
By Howard Lovely, Jr.
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ching What We Need to Learn Free Upcoming Teleseminar Begins May 14th
Harville & Helen are featured guests in an upcoming free teleseminar series called Teaching What We Need to Learn: Leaders in Personal Growth and Spirituality Share their Own Innermost Challenges.
The unique interview reveals their own every day vulnerabilities in a way that having to be an “expert” doesn’t always allow. Host Raphael Cushnir envisioned a vital purpose in such transparency – helping us to remember that everyone is both teacher and student.
The series features nearly forty interviews in all, including visionaries from the realms of spirituality, psychotherapy, relationships, meditation, nonduality, yoga, and social activism. Starting next week, you will have the opportunity to listen to a series of audio interviews from renowned teachers such as Don Miguel Ruiz, Byron Katie, Daniel Siegel, Ram Dass and Lama Surya Das.
Brought to you in partnership with Sounds True, a pioneer in transformational multimedia, the series begins on May 14th (Harville and Helen’s interview will broadcast on June 11th) and continues through the summer. You can stream and/or download each interview for free from the time of its release until the series concludes. To learn more, hear a preview, and sign up for the series, click here.
Howard Lovely, Jr.
When I look back on my life during the past 20 years or so specifically,..I can clearly see and understand what often I only felt in the heat of the moment. The internal palpable sense of shame of not wanting to be “this way”,….and an almost automatically driven need to hide what was troubling me mentally. This unspoken need to hide became the motivation to not seek help in my early years of living with Mental-Illness. I too had grown up with a sense that anyone who is different in any way,…is to be arbitrarily ridiculed, pushed aside, marginalized, belittled or simply not taken seriously as a potential intelligent Human and contributor to a functioning society. Stigma in my experience does not simply emanate externally like some water balloon thrown at me,..rather,…it can and did emanate from within myself at times, though unwittingly drenching my mind with a specter of fear. For me,…the internal version of stigma appears to have been more sinister and corrosive,…especially leading up to my suicide attempt. All my arbitrary societal programming lead me to conclude that I was worthless as a Man, Human, and undeserving of all that life has to offer. All this stigma driven self-concluded worthlessness was in the shadow of a multitude of accomplishments dating all the way back to when I first learned to walk and talk. How odd that for so many years I automatically down-played or even forgot about my endless list of accomplishments,… from the seemingly mundane to the profound…!!! I had to choose to help myself,….first by seeing myself as worthy of help,…next I had to ask for help and once I did that,…so began the gradual end of the automatic application of the internal version of stigma(branding of disgrace). None of this process has been easy to say the least and Stigma is a close cousin of Shame & Guilt when it’s self-inflicted. I’ve noticed that [three elements] listed below seem to be present whenever I’m engaged in unravelling issues in any major area of my life.
According to Websters Dictionary:
Embarrass – To make self-conscious or ashamed.
Shame – A remorseful consciousness of guilt.
Guilt – The fact of having violated law or right. A sense of having committed a wrong.
As most individuals may have already realized,…changing habitual ways of thinking, believing and behaving is difficult. In a society with a growing usage of anti-depressant medication along with a seemingly endless list of random illnesses that can lead to experiencing depression or anxiety,…it is probably a good idea for those who are not afflicted with some version of Mental-Illness at this time,…to heed the experiences of those that are currently in distress. It may be time to consider choosing the abandonment of the “sword of stigma”,…so that it is not at the ready to slice through the spirit of a relative, friend, spouse, co-worker….or even yourself at a time of confusion and distress.
By Howard Lovely, Jr.
Several days ago a very sweet Woman who lives in San Diego asked me several very profound questions. She and I met on a dating site called ”NoLongerLonely.com” a few weeks ago. This site was started several years ago by a Man whom is dealing with his own Mental-Health issues and the dating site is geared specifically toward individuals living with various types of Mental-Health challenges. Anyway,…she and I have been exchanging e-mails, phone calls and generally being supportive of each other on our individual journey.
The other day she asked me:
1. “Why do you find it hard to get out and about?”
2. “How can you help yourself?”
3. “How can I help?”
In the moment while on the phone with her I said “I don’t know” but that I will think about it and let her know on another day. Several days have gone by and on every single day since that phone call I have had this feeling gnawing at me from the inside. I finally was able to identify several of my feelings or states of mind. Yesterday while on the phone with this Woman I told her what I have been able to identify so far: arbitrary embarrassment, Shame and Guilt.
According to Websters Dictionary:
Embarrass - To make self-conscious or ashamed.
Shame - A remorseful consciousness of guilt.
Guilt - The fact of having violated law or right. A sense of having committed a wrong.
Under “normal circumstances each of these elements helps to maintain a civilized culture by having each individual self-govern from the inside out based on agreed upon general societal rules. However,..in my personal experience during the past 40 years and especially in my formative years as a child,…either I was given faulty rules & beliefs or I definitely created my own most likely to stay “safe”. I’ve come to the conclusion that these three “thieves”(Embarrassment, Shame & Guilt) seem to be running around through the “countryside” of my brain wreaking-havoc in the name of “keeping me safe”. All the while robbing me…!!! If something sounds wacky about that analogy,….that’s because it is. It’s an automated and twisted thinking dynamic that takes place in my brain. It reminds me of the old saying that “a little bit of something is good but too much of it causes problems”. What’s the solution for me….??? Take the mode of transportation away from Embarrassment, Shame & Guilt. What allows the three “thieves” to roam unchecked all the time in my mind…??? Basically my [specific faulty beliefs] appear to function like a type of transportation, that allows these “specters” to stifle my general personal progress,…often times in very specific areas of my life.
For example,…I’m confident and bountifully excellent at growing vegetables,…yet stifled at growing my social life in all areas,….Why is this…???! I have demonstrated good social skills(hygiene, dress & appearance, conversational, etc.), I’m personable, likeable and in addition to all this I’m a Handsome-Man-Hunk. I have full awareness of my behavior that I currently exhibit by openly hiding away socially like I used to as a child when the guns and knives came out and the fighting started between my parents. Sometimes as a child,…I would hide away in [anticipation] of the violence at certain times during the day. As a child I chose a [safety protocol], a [belief system] at some point. Today at 48 years old, that same belief system appears to be functioning deep within me on a daily basis,…mostly without my specific awareness because it is usually instantaneous in application and definitely antiquated, dust ridden and it is time for a change. It’s as if my brain is automatically attempting to prevent me from experiencing some dreaded event before it even happens,….even if the situation never ever takes place in reality. Rather than simply living relatively joyously from day-to-day,….I simply exist with minimal human interaction. I know where I learned this pattern of thinking and behaving,…it is rooted in my family of origin where my preconceived worse fears actually got confirmed on a daily basis for 13 years when the parental fighting started. Unfortunately for me,…when I finally got out of the violent situation at age twenty-one,….my brain continued to function as if I were still living with my parents and the fighting. In addition to all this,…typical sporadic worldly experiences happened that further bolstered my [brain's automatic pattern] of protectionist thinking in this manner. So in short,…my brain has never really known any other way during the past 40 years. I’ve had to peal-off and address multiple layers of issues, one by one,…year to date,…by utilizing different techniques. There has been no quick-fix for me. Something’s about to change drastically at a core level if I have my way…!!! In a few days,…I will start a program offered by Jack Canfield called Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT or Tapping). Several days ago I ordered his new book from HayHouse.com and it comes with a tutorial DVD. This is a choice to utilize an “economically affordable” resource that will allow me to [immediately take action] and potentially realize additional change on a profound core level.
Tapping Into Ultimate Success: How to Overcome Any Obstacle and Skyrocket Your Results by Jack Canfield; Pamela Bruner; Hardcover with DVD ISBN:978-1-4019-3955-7
Conclusion: This why I find it difficult to get out and about. This is what I will do to help myself at this time. This is how you can and did help me,…you asked a profound series of questions from a genuinely supportive place.
Thank you “Miss San Diego”.
By Howard Lovely, Jr.
See chart: Based on the official Social Security Earnings Data For Howard Lovely Jr….(Presentation PDF)
Considering that I actually started working between the ages of 6 & 7 in the family restaurant back in 1969 / 1970,….at nearly 50 years old I have one hell of a work-ethic and only approximately one hundred dollars worth of stock in my retirement account that was depleted in 2005 at age 41. I used all the cash for Eye-Movement-Desensitization-Reprocessing (EMDR) treatments that appear to be still having a positive affect by helping to reduce longstanding symptoms of Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder (PTSD). I have no health insurance other than that afforded an Honorably Discharged Veteran and my eating habits(see post dated 10 April 2012) of which I consider my own basic brand of “health insurance”. However I tend to steer clear of the Veterans Clinics for basic check-up or dental care,…so in essence,….it’s just available in a major type emergency if I ever need it. I maintain monthly financial obligations by utilizing the monetary compensation that I receive from the Veterans Administration to the best of my ability at this time.
The impact quantified breaks down like this:
During the most recent ten-year period from 2002 until 2012 I have been unemployed 99% of the time.
From 1991 through 2001 I was unemployed 55% of the decade.
From 1982 through 1990 I was unemployed 6% of the time.
The [over-all unemployment rate] from age 18 to 48(present) is 60%.
Currently out of thirty(30) of my adult working years,…I’ve struggled to maintain [inconsistent] employment 40% of the time.
According to “standards”,…by my late 40′s to early 50′s,…I should be hitting my stride career-wise and on target with retirement savings. Not so in my case due to my personal struggles with various aspects of Mental-Illness that includes: depression, anxiety, PTSD and elements of agora-phobia. This is a basic snap-shot of the devastating financial impact Mental-Illness has had and continues to have on my personal life. Now all you have to do is basically extrapolate this data / pattern in terms of my life and the lives of millions of other individuals living with various forms of Mental-Illness and you may begin to see an extremely disturbing National problem / trend concerning the financial impact that Mental-Illness potentially has on this country as a whole. Having said all this,…keep in mind that I’m an educated(formal & informal), intelligent and highly skilled individual that has been stifled by stigma, lack of support in general & Family, ignorance on my part and ignorance on the part of the medical community to some degree for 40 years,…regardless of my educational background. In my opinion,…this pattern has got to change for me and others if the country wants to thrive. I am doing my level best with the resources that I have at this time and that includes starting this Blog rather than remaining silent on what is a very devastating issue for myself, other individuals, families and the country as a whole.
What are your thoughts & feelings on the matter…???
Having something to look forward to each day can,…and does have a huge impact on my recovery process. Ironically I learned to garden from one of the very same parents that contributed to the violent home environment that I grew-up in,…which in turn precipitated my Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder (PTSD). My garden provides a daily dose of inspiration, joy, creativity, wonder, peace, excitement, a sense of accomplishment and an entire host of other feelings and emotions to say the least. I get to watch the antics of various types of birds (Blue Ring-Neck Doves, Finches, and Robins) that regularly fly into my backyard to feed and drink. Though impressive with it’s wing span, the occasional Hawk can wreak havoc on the smaller birds and their nests. My ears get serenaded on occasion by beautiful bird songs & tweets and my eyes get pleasantly assaulted by vibrant plumage such as that of the Red-Winged Black-Bird. These are all by-products of my garden space because I simply like eating fresh vegetables and watching them grow,…it’s my passionate hobby. Although Mental-Illness has an invisible way of imprisoning an individual,….having a creative hobby of any type,…may allow our minds to fly free through the bars of dispar, anxiety, depression, feelings of being out of control and daily isolation. As a matter of fact,….gardening teaches me how to let go of the desire for total control and thus learn to experience the power of [choice] and [perseverance] under less ideal conditions. Also I get to witness the tenacity of plants as metaphores. I get to choose to feel the excitement and surprise of checking the garden each day with anticipation of seeing what seeds have chosen to sprout on their own internal time-table,…not when my futile thinking dictates they should sprout. Ironically,…I’ve discovered that there is power and control buried just beneath the surface of surrender. Don’t take my word for it,…look for yourself,…feel it for yourself,…through your own hobby.
By Howard Lovely, Jr.
Ten years ago in 2002 I got very aggressive toward my eating life-style by basically inverting the way I had been culturally trained to eat as a child. Keep in mind that as a child,….there was plenty of each of these items provided in the home,…which is where I started / learned to garden as an 8-year-old. Nevertheless, my [eating habits or life-style] consisted of roughly 50% meat(beef, pork, poultry & fish); 20% refined starch such as white-flour in the form of bread, white rice, and corn-meal; 10% dairy(milk & cheese); 10% Junk(processed meats, candy, sugar,….etc.); 5% legumes; 5% fresh fruit & vegetables and as a young adult I started to eat more fast-food. By 2002 I had long since increased my daily plain water intake and stopped consuming alcohol in 1997 while taking anti-depression medication because of the uncomfortable way my body felt with the combination. The once fun feeling “buzz” of alcohol had become an uncomfortable out of control sensation. My eating life-style and habits currently consist of approximately 80% fresh fruits and vegetable; 5% meat(poultry, fish, pork & beef); 5% dairy(cheese); 4% grains(oats, white-flour, brown-rice, corn-meal, etc.,.); 2% junk(typically pizza,…etc.,); 2% nuts; 1% legumes; 1% sweeteners (agave & refined sugar).
Choosing to make and follow through with the radical alteration of my eating habits was difficult at first but I got used to the change for one simple and practical reason, I noticed that I felt better. A habit of feeling better / good was beginning to form. Ironically I felt more energetic by eating less calories / food. Calories derived from [food] with minimal,…to no exposure,…to pesticides. Food packed with huge amounts of nutrients and [complex carbohydrates] that released energy via the metabolic process within my body. This type of release of nutrients is much slower and consistent throughout the day for me. Gaining the basic understanding of the relationship between food and the bio-chemical dynamic within the body has helped me manage blood glucose(sugar) levels. Blood glucose can have a big impact(up, down or balanced) on my mood in terms of depression or anxiety. Twenty years ago in 1992 I was tested and diagnosed as Reactive-Hypo-Glysemic after temporarily loosing my eye sight,…at that time,…I thought that I had become diabetic due to my family history of the medical condition. Until I became aware of all this,…if I was already anxious or depressed,…eating a sugary or refined starchy food item would just exacerbate my mood in a unfavorable way by altering my blood glucose level much like being on a roller-coaster. In short,…It adds a type of bio-chemical stress and is not a good feeling when I’m trying to maintain or manage a balanced mood within a range that feels comfortable and will allow me to function. What I have learned is to keep in mind that managing a mental-illness can be a complex juggling act. This may include the vigilance of [amounts, types and frequency] of food intake, hydration, living environment, common chemical exposure and other medical conditions that potentially add stress to an already stressed-out body-system(nervous, digestive, emotional, psychological & immune). It can get to be a “cobweb” of a mess in a hurry and I’ve been there many times to say the least. This last note is why I continue to take an [active role],…via trial & error,…to figuring out what works best for me and use what I call a,…”food-awareness-tool”,…..to manage my eating life-style. I make minor adjustments daily to allow my body to maintain some sort of balance within a [range],…that is appropriate for me and it can be different for each individuals. I can choose to,…and do,…allow myself to eat anything [within reason] at this time,…..while still maintaining balance. I’ve discovered that finding and maintaining this individual “balance range” or “sweet-spot” within my eating life-style is one benefit of putting in the effort on a daily basis; it allows wiggle-room for my 2% of standard commercialized junk(pizza, potato chips, etc.,…) that tastes so good.
Google the subject to read many research based scientific articles…
What is Mental Illness: Mental Illness Facts
“In addition to medication treatment, psychosocial treatment such as cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, peer support groups and other community services can also be components of a treatment plan and that assist with recovery. The availability of transportation, diet, exercise, sleep, friends and meaningful paid or volunteer activities contribute to overall health and wellness, including mental illness recovery.”
Quote sourced from NAMI.org
By Howard Lovely, Jr.
Both the absence and the simultaneous possession of control in my life is a baffling and profound paradox much like a green leaf on a tree flapping in the wind. The tree has control of the leaf in so much as the internal biological process of photosynthesis but simultaneously has no control of the movement of the leaf due to a gentle breeze which is an outside force. It’s spring time and that means new growth visually and a type of “letting go to grow”, in the plant and animal world. Last fall the trees turned various colors from bright yellow, orange & red to earthy brown, then crisped up and fell to the ground. The grass and most other plants did a similar shedding of the old in preparation for new growth months later. But before we all can see the visual effects of spring-time growth, the inner activity of a seemingly “doing-nothing” tree or plant has been subtly busy. A lot happens internally all winter during the so called “dormant” period. What if I began to think of my life, mental illness and time alone in isolation at home as a type of weird human dormant period. A seemingly vulnerable nakedness of sorts much like the silent and leafless tree branches in the middle of winter standing alone as an individual but still among many other silent trees. I’m capable of sprouting new “leaves” within my mind and I will socialize and converse with other individuals at the appropriate time much like the chattery whispers of tree leaves in summer time. This is how much of my personal healing process has been thus far,….that is to say,…..shed a little bit,….renew and grow a little bit,….etc.,. It’s a seeming long process with profound rewards of inner beauty and outer spectacle of a colorful “leaf-life”.
There is and old saying that I am reminded of as I continue to heal mentally,…..: “A bird weaves its nest by going and coming”. Because I have bird feeders in my backyard and the occasional robins’ nest,…I know this saying to be true in the most practical way possible based on [observation], yet I can only speculate about its deeply profound implications in terms of my human predicament and the role the concept has played in my healing process thus far. I’m beginning to believe that being healed is not a “destination” much like the completion of the bird’s nest. It’s not something for me to achieve and then saturate myself in it for the rest of my days,….rather,…….potentially it is an enormously gentle and slow process that alternates subtly between healed-days & challenging-days, healed-moments & challenging moments. I have to discern which days are which for me and break out of the “shell”.
By Howard Lovely, Jr.
Webster’s Dictionary gives one definition of frustrate: “prevent from fulfilling plans, hopes, etc.,”.
During the first 34 years of living with what I now know was / is Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder I had a lot of frustration. I felt like I was falling short in everything that I attempted to do from attending grade-school to college and everything in between that you can imagine. I felt so unheard, mis-understood, judged, labeled and lost in most areas of my life to say the least. Most of this time I had no idea of how to explain my feelings.
What did I do to overcome such frustrations???
The best I can tell you is that I simply grew through it. The feeling of frustration has never gone away for me to this very day but I amazingly have achieved many major goals, regardless of the constant frustration that I have experienced while living with a mental illness. When I stop and really take an honest assessment of my life at age 48,….It does not look exactly like I had planned,….not even close, but I do have a few things to show for my forty-eight years. Let me put this another way,…imagine that you and I are acorns sprouting beneath the ground. Now think of the [resistance of the dirt] as being “frustration” to the seedling as it inches its’ way through darkness,…toward day-light. Then it finally breaks through the surface and it still has a lot of growing to do. This is the way my life has been prior to and starting six years ago when I had a breakthrough with EMDR. The EMDR allowed me to breakthrough a type of darkness that I had lived with for many decades and I’m still growing. So the next time I or you feel frustrated,….think of the seedling that eventually grows into a 400 year old oak tree due to [persistence]. Take note of what you have achieved even if it was a little bit of self-care yesterday in the form of showering, eating and or getting the mail, etc.,…that’s what I did at times. Although the frustration may never go away, make like an acorn seedling and keep reaching for the breakthrough. Keep persistence as your constant companion and grow from the inside-out…..
By Howard Lovely, Jr.
Welcome,…. In the days to come I will be speaking about a journey that I’ve been on for the past 40 years. This often times painful, hilariously despicable, enlightening, shameful, courageous, vivid and finally inspirationally motivating experience will be described in venue appropriate detail. I am one of approximately *40 million individuals who grew-up in an abusive childhood environment only to live an adult life of pain, confusion and frustration to say the least,….What I personally call “Living A Strange Death”. I have weathered Depression, Anxiety, multiple In-Patient Psych-Ward visits, estrangement from my birth family, employment difficulty, perpetual single status, survivability, college graduation to my amazement and greatly diminished quality of life to say the least. My crowning achievement that I am most proud of is my failed Suicide attempt at age 27. The previous sentence in part explains my purpose for being “here”. This Blog is my personal attempt to further my healing process as well as potentially help others in some capacity via sharing of my personal story / experiences in every way imaginable and known resources available for help to all who choose to reach out courageously.
Consider choosing to join me on what will prove to be an often times myth-busting, fascinating, frustrating and personal-belief-challenging journey. Where’s my “Mind” located any way..???
*Data obtained from Makersofmemories.org
This is A Free Follow-up Webinar to :
“African-American Sexuality: 8 Myths and Stereotypes”
hosted on 13 February 2013)
Is Sex Good For You?
Wed, February 27 @7pm EST
With Dr. Herb Samuels, Ph.D.
We all want to have sex, but is sex really good for you? In this informative webinar Dr. Herb Samuels will broadly address five areas of focus: Physical Health, General Physical Well-Being, Sexual and Reproductive Health, Pain Management, and Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Spiritual Health. Be sure to join us for this exciting exploration of sex and your body. Dr. Herb will answer your questions on this topic anonymously after his presentation.
Can’t make this time? Sign up and we’ll forward you a recording after the live webinar.
Herb Samuels, Ph.D., is a certified sexologist specializing in the study of African American sexuality. Dr. Herb is the President of the Foundation for the Scientific Study of Sexuality Professor of Human Sexuality at LaGuardia Community College in New York. He is the former president of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (SSSS), the oldest professional society dedicated to the advancement of knowledge about sexuality.
Sexuality and Understanding – A Personal Perspective In Terms of Healing From PTSD As a MAN of Color.
Please consider choosing to sign up for the following webinar and join me while learning and potentially healing via greater understanding of the complex issue of sexuality,…in general,…and specifically as a Man or Woman of color. I personally have had to contend with this very personal issue as part of my healing process,…while simultaneously understanding the heavy hit my sense of masculinity withstood,…under the oppressive Spector of Depression, Anxiety and PTSD (Complex Anxiety Disorder). In this culture,…both having a sense of masculinity / femininity and sexuality seem to be,…inextricably intertwined,…thus it is critical for each individual to re-enforce or gain good solid self knowledge in these areas,…in terms of how they are potentially and personally defined by facts, fiction or a combination of both. For the Women,…a sense of feeling less than attractive, sexy and desirable,…may manifest in a number of less than productive emotional & physical ways,…that in part,…may be born of a co-mingling of aspects of Depression, Anxiety, PTSD and sexual stereo types and myths. For me as a Man in recovery from PTSD which damaged my sense of masculinity,…it was helpful to weed-out some of these insidiously less than helpful and down-right,…unhealthy beliefs.
Howard Lovely, Jr.