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Well Color Me A Bit Contemplative

CrossPosted from Well Color Me

I was watching a lame movie today and in it, one of the characters said, “I’m a man, and men don’t hurt the people they love.” If you take it a step further, I’d say I’m an adult and adults don’t hurt the people the love.  But they do, all the time.  Most of the time, it’s not on purpose, but some times it is.  And it got me thinking why people do that.  Why do they say or do things that they know are going to hurt someone they care about

It can be romantic relationship wise, sibling wise, or friend wise.  It doesn’t matter what the relationship is, what matters is that it happened.  I know I’ve done it, and I usually immediately regret it.  But I’ve known some people who have said incredibly hurtful things to people and have never regretted it.  Your actions speak volumes as well, and if you don’t walk your talk, what you say doesn’t matter.  Think before you speak and think before you act.

I’m going to try to be a better person and think before I speak and before I act.  More importantly I’m going to work to not hurt the people that I love, and to just be a better person all around.

Share Your Dreams – Challenge Day 6

A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together becomes reality. – John Lennon

So this is going to seem rather round about and convoluted, but just hang in there for a few minutes.  It had been bitterly cold where I live, and at my school, a pipe to the sink in my classroom froze.  We had no school today because of a blizzard, a blizzard that came right after the temperature rose just a bit. Well I got a call this morning from my principal telling me that the pipe burst and my classroom was a mess.  Needless to say I headed into school only to find that my principal was wrong, it wasn’t a mess, it was a disaster area.  And as bad as my room was, the room of the teacher below dream your dreams and keep thinking positiveme was even worse because the water had to go some place, and that place was down. I’ll be 100% honest, my negativity was off the chart, and I forgot everything I ever knew about thinking positive and finding a positive in the what was a very negative situation.  I literally couldn’t think of a single solitary positive thing about this situation.

I lost a lot of stuff in this little disaster, but my friend in the room below me lost everything.  As we sat there, well technically we stood because there wasn’t a dry surface to sit, she looked at me and said, “Well at least there were no kids in school when it happened.”  And just like that things started getting a little better because there was a positive that came from our negative.  From there we went on to realize that as bad as it was (and it is very bad) only 3 classrooms were damaged.  My classroom and her classroom are bad, and the third classroom sustained some damage, but not that much, so that’s another positive.

Now on to the dream portion.  On my ride home, various teacher friends reached out and we talked about what was lost and what we could do to make things better.  The teacher below me has a classroom full of kids with autism, and she teaches the special needs art class, so we need to get her up and running as soon as possible.  I figured I’d put out what had happened on facebook.  Really, I wasn’t expecting too much, I figured a few people may have some books and stuff they would be willing to donate.  Well, boy was I wrong.  My dream of helping my friend out exploded with other people joining in and sharing the post and it made it a reality.  When we put our heads together and work as a team, we can accomplish great things.  So those dreams you have, don’t hoard them.  Share them with others and watch your dreams take wings and become your new reality.

The Power of Positivity: Amy’s Story

Today’s guest post is by Constance Ray of RecoveryWell.org

“I’m so grateful to be set free from living a fear-driven life and carrying the burdens of that fear and worry. I am so thankful that I am happy the majority of the time today.” – Annette, Sobriety Advocate

Depression and addiction are serious illnesses that affect millions of people — and sometimes, they work together to make someone’s life completely

Photo credit: Pixabay

unbearable. And while it’s important to receive treatment for these conditions, whether on their own or as co-occurring disorders, the power of positive thinking can go a long way in helping people find their way back from despair. Amy, a brave addiction warrior, is proof that dancing in the rain is an effective first step in making a positive and permanent life change.

 

***

 

Amy started struggling with mental health issues when she was just a little girl.

 

“From a young age, I started having panic attacks,” she said. “I was in and out of the doctors’ offices, and eventually diagnosed with depression and panic disorder.”

 

Though her parents worked hard to get her the help she needed, she still suffered some dark times during her adolescence.

 

“I experienced quite a bit of childhood trauma growing up. My parents divorced when I was about 12 or 13 years old, and that’s around the time I started drinking. It was also around that time I started having suicidal thoughts.”

 

She continued, “By the time I was 16, I was experiencing constant panic attacks and was unable to breathe and unable to cope. I was drinking, but hadn’t started using drugs yet. I was kicked out of my mom’s house, and instead of going to live with my dad, I moved in with drug dealers.”

 

When she was 18, she underwent open-heart surgery to treat a life-threatening medical condition.

 

“I was so excited to have the surgery because I thought it was really going to help me — so I could breathe normally, be better at sports, and have less anxiety,” she remembered.

 

Sadly, things didn’t turn out the way she hoped.

 

“What no one had told me was that surgery can significantly worsen depression,” she explained. “I couldn’t do the things I normally did to cope with it, like sports or driving. By the time I left the hospital, I was severely addicted to morphine. Everything went quickly downhill after my open-heart surgery, and I turned to pain medication.”

 

Amy continued to try to live a normal life — at that point, she didn’t yet realize that she was addicted. She moved from Chicago to New Orleans for college and completed her freshman year. Unfortunately, she couldn’t keep the momentum going, and soon found herself homeless on the streets of New Orleans.

 

“During that time, I experienced more trauma. I was diagnosed with PTSD. Things got really bad. I was down to about 80 pounds, and I crossed just about every line I had ever established in my life,” she said.

 

She was in and out of counseling, but it wasn’t until a friend connected her with a man who worked in an outpatient treatment program that she got the help she really needed — including the power of positive thinking.

 

She said, “That man, his wife and his family came to meet me on a 12-step call, and I went to a meeting with them. Immediately afterwards, I went out drinking; but the next day, [which was] Mardi Gras when I was 21 years old, I got a sponsor.

 

“Before I went to to that meeting, for the first time in my life, I actually wanted to live,” she continued. “While I was there, I saw people who were truly happy. The family that took me to that meeting — they saved my life. I felt a sense of community I had never experienced.”

 

Now, with over three and a half years of sobriety under her belt, Amy works tirelessly to ensure that others who are struggling the way she once did practice positivity and other body- and mind-healthy habits in their everyday lives.

 

“I am now the regional coordinator for the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network … I bring public education to topics like suicide, substance abuse and mental illness,” she beamed.

 

She shares her story whenever she can in order to help others.

 

She noted, “I realized I couldn’t do what I was doing for a living without expressing myself and my story. Part of my self-care today involves having people around me who are aware of my past and what I’m doing. When I speak with groups, I start up conversations about mental illness, substance abuse and suicidal thoughts.”

 

Although Amy worked for years to achieve everything she has accomplished today, she couldn’t truly battle her demons until she committed to having a changed perspective — one that allowed her to view things in a positive way.

 

“The first step is to want it — to really want it. I wish that wasn’t always the case, but it is.”

 

If you are struggling with a mental health condition like addiction, depression or anxiety, know that there is always help available for you. You can overcome any obstacle life throws at you — but as Amy proves, you have to want it, and embrace your strength with hope and positivity.

 

As she said, “It’s so important to have … a willingness to keep walking. No matter how small the step, keep moving forward. It’s all about daily action.”

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Positivity in the Grocery Store

I really need to share this with all of you.  Last night, I was in the grocery store, and I was NOT happy about it.  It was late, and I had been ready for bed when I realized that there was not enough milk for morning.  Plus, I wanted nothing more than to go upstairs and watch Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals.  But I’m a mum, and so I did what I had to do, which was getting dressed and driving to the store.

The Bruins scored a goal on my way to the store, so my mood had improved somewhat, but yeah, i was still quite cranky.  I was going through the self scan checkout when a gentleman went into the next checkout and I heard the cashier ask “How are you tonight?”  Her question was typical, his response,  was not only untypical, it rocked me to my very core.  “I’m excellent!” he replied.  “And why not, because the alternative isn’t worth it!”

The alternative isn’t worth it…..being unexcellent, being in a bad mood, being miserable and unhappy.  It…just…isn’t….worth….it.  Talk about a wake up call, and a swift boot in the pants all at once.  Why was I wasting my time being cranky and miserable because I had to get milk.  There was no point.  I had the money to buy the milk, I had a car to go GET the milk, there was a place to go get the milk, and it was opened.  Why be cranky about it?

So thank you to the super nice man who gave me the epiphany in the grocery store and reminding me that even if I do talk the talk, I have to walk the walk, too.

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