Mental Health Insight

Hi All,

I wonder sometimes why I use this blog- only 18 followers.  But that is okay- this is a hard post to write but I want to help people find the solution to our nation’s mental health crisis.

I’ve had another HARD autumn.  As I tossed and turned last night trying to find the answer that my daughter so genuinely asked me- What will make you happy?  Suffering with mental illness most of my life- the honest answer is I don’t know.  But last night God opened my mind and helped me understand, I want to be free of the financial burden of our business.

The stress is too much for me to take any longer.  I tried to leave the business last year, I tried to give our daughter the business again this year.  She is kind and did not take over our business.  So it has been a roller coaster of emotions with some very deep, dark dips into depression, anxiety and panic.

I don’t ever want to let anyone down- most of all my daughter and business partner.  So I’ve tried to shoulder the weight of the financial end of our thriving, growing business.  But in my own mind, the fears run out of control driving me over the edge of near sanity.

The decisions have all been made.  Checked.  Cross checked and over thought.  I will meet with our drivers today and give them 2 weeks notice of us closing our doors.  I will then contact our clients and so on and so forth.  My heart hurts for our drivers who have done a fine job and don’t even know the mental health struggle I’ve been battling….   I also know that what they earn from us is a part time wage and we are their 2nd jobs so it’s not like dinner won’t be put on the table for them because of this decision.

I know our daughter will succeed at everything in life.  She is an over achiever- my hope is that by splitting this connection my mental health struggles will stop affecting her as severely.  Not knowing if your business partner can cover your back STINKS.  So while my mental health will always affect her- maybe now it won’t affect EVERY aspect of her life.

It took me 2 months to figure out what was causing this uproar in my stability.  As someone who suffers and overcomes depression- please know I am not alone.  I find it nearly impossible to pinpoint the downturns- the cycle.  I listen to my trusted family who recognize they are about to get hit with another wave of this turmoil and I try to avoid the slippery edges- but Autumn gets me every year- some years worse – some years not as bad.

It is so hard to describe- but these two pictures are fitting of the last two months in my life.  I am in the middle of a GREAT dot to dot picture-  but I CAN NOT find the next dot.  I keep trying and trying but now the scribbles are covering everything and I never found the next dot.     And when I see the scribbles and recognize the manic behavior I change- oh no look I have a square peg and all the holes are circles……. my peg won’t fit into any of them… it doesn’t matter if I twist, turn…. hit…..  my peg doesn’t fit =  which equals I don’t fit- I am not smart – I am unwanted – I don’t belong…..   I have learned to take those thoughts captive and argue for myself and speak good into me (with lots of mental health counseling)  But I can’t stop the manic from starting- I use it to accomplish lots of really good things – and sometimes that is enough to mask it from changing my life- but not this time.

Another thing that helps with the manic emotions / feelings is to get myself grounded in the moment or space.  This tool I forgot about until just today.  5 things I can see, 5 things I can touch…  etc.  It is VERY calming and if I had remembered this tool faster I might not have scribbled up the beauty of our business.

Change is happening.  It will be okay.  Paths change.  Some things end.  Some things improve.  It will be okay.

Addiction sucks the life out of the addict and those who love them

This last month I have been in the middle of addiction with a young woman trying to help her find the way out.  Honestly I’ve been in the middle of it for over a decade with her but it has been extremely intense this last month.

I sit here writing this blog now that she is checked into a detox unit under a suicide watch.  The last 36 hours have been hard on all of us.  This afternoon she asked me to take her in.  That was after hours of texts and phone calls switching from ‘help me, save me’ to leave me alone- let me die.

Trying to get mental health help for anyone is hard.  No one can help unless she calls.  When she is in the middle of crisis she is not capable of calling a stranger for help.  She calls me because she trusts me, but I can only do so much.  I can want her to be sober and drug free till the end of time- my desires don’t have any power of the evil of addition.  I placed calls yesterday and spoke with different experts but bottom line is until she calls they can’t do anything.

I can find detox that doesn’t help with mental health.  I can find mental health that will not deal with addiction.  I can not find her help that handles both.  I took her to a center in Grand Junction that has put her on a waiting list for a 90 day rehab program.  There are a few hoops for her to jump through to make it into the program.  Unlike me she is not a people pleasing hoop jumper.  So far she has completed 2 of the phone calls, but I don’t know if I can keep her involved long enough to make it to the top of the waiting list.

The other issue is the cost of rehab programs.  I understand the work that they do- it is hard, exhausting and many times unfulfilling work.  But the cost of rehab is so far out of reach that it feels as though we will never succeed at helping her find a new path in life that is not destructive.  While I will never advocate for socialized medicine we need something different than we have now.  We successfully raised one of our children who had significant respiratory ailments from birth.  Multiple ambulance rides to Children’s Hospital, weeks of ICU care and so forth.  The cost was jaw dropping.  We just kept making payments for decades.  We honestly could have sent her through a 4 year university for less than we paid in medical bills.  I don’t have the answers to how to fix the medical world but I know when you have to use every cent of your income and more for medical care that is not right or fair.  I have first hand been turned down for medical care because I did not have the ability to pay for it upfront.  This young lady is being turned down because of her financial status.  While I don’t think doctors, nurses, emt’s, therapists should work for free or be told you can only charge this much- I don’t think we should be turned away either.

After a grueling 2 hours of checking her in tonight and she hugged me, telling me she is sorry to keep me up so late & thanking me for caring enough to bring her- I know she will be alive in the morning and for now that is good enough.  I told her we are going to get it right this time.  You will do this by my rules.  If you leave this time you can’t come back.  I won’t enable anyone.  It’s a self destructive way of life to enable addicts.

If the detox center can not place her somewhere and she has to check out and come here we will attend AA meetings daily like last years rehab told her to do.  She stayed sober for 62 days then.  I will make her look in the mirror and tell her she is loved, daily.  I will make her go to church every Sunday.  I will make sure she makes it to mental health counseling and we will continue to pursue the center in Grand Junction.  And I already know that she will get frustrated and leave.  And I will continue to love her and pray for her- but I will not open my energy to be drained like this again.

I am exhausted.  I am struggling with my own mental health.  I’ve been working hard at utilizing all the tools I learned in my own mental health counseling to keep my head above water.  I think that is why we have such a bond.  She knows my history and I know her history- we are similar in so many ways.  Thankfully I never suffered from alcoholism myself, but was raised by alcoholics, lost my dearly loved brother to suicide and have made unsuccessful attempts on my own life.   Fight or Flee- I understand her wanting to flee life and the emotional pain.  I pray she heals enough to want to fight for her own life.

Please include us in your prayers!  We need our prayer warriors standing in the gap and holding back satan and his minions.

I would like to end this blog with a prayer~ Heavenly Father, thank you for all of your blessings.  Thank you for giving me the strength to help others.  Thank you Father for loving us, guiding us and helping us find you and your path for each of our lives.  Father please give her caregivers the wisdom they need to treat her successfully.  Please soften her heart and mind to receive their help.  Lord, hold her in the palm of your hand as you have me, keeping evil away until she is stronger.  God, I love you and need you today and always.  AMEN

Conclusion to Yes, My Name is Rebecca

CONCLUSION

I was driving making deliveries and listening to K-Love Radio station. On came a song by Chris Tomlin “Nobody Loves me like you” You can hear it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KicvBB2L68

I asked God how He can send us songs that speak straight to our hearts. Each time I feel this song I realize how much I have healed because of God. I truly could have had a whole different story. I could have been killed. I could have succeeded at suicide. But I have A WHOLE DIFFERENT STORY. God loved me before I ever knew Him and He has helped me throughout my entire life.

I could have remained a victim for ever. But no with the help of God, my family and friends I stopped being victim and became a survivor

I could have remained a survivor for ever. But no with the help of God, my family and friends I am thriving!

It was not easy nor was the healing fast. It came at a snail’s pace sometimes and other times it was like a stampede of wild horses. Some of the healing had to be reapplied many times. There may still be more healing to come. My healing didn’t happen in a straight clear concise way- it was much more like a lost nomad with no direction or goal. But I made it!

Stay on your path and let God speak to your heart and heal your soul. The journey is worth it! He loves you like you will never understand!

Dave, my brother, my hero

Look at the muscle tone in his arm.  He kept himself in great physical shape.  When he returned home from Viet Nam he would do a handstand and walk through the house on his hands.  He had incredible balance that he never shared with me!

Dave had 6 pack abs for years.  I don’t recall him working out- but I remember his physique.  And with all that strength he was the kindest person I believe I have ever known.  He would give a stranger the shirt he was wearing if it was helpful.  For me, his little sister, he always tried to give me the world.

Whether he was giving me a gift or a lesson it was always thoughtful and appropriate for me.  I think that is one of the reasons he was always good at training dogs.  He was thoughtful and connected with his dogs.  He almost always had a dog.  I recognize in hind sight this was one of the ways he was trying to heal his PTSD.

Dave offered his dogs his patience.  He took the time to teach them basic commands.  He would have been amazing at obstacle course training with dogs- he had the physical health to keep up and the connection with dogs to do extremely well with it- but alas back in those days there was no such thing- Dogs did basic commands- hunting dogs did more but there was not agility or obstacle training back then.

More memories of my brother

This is a picture of Dave and I in front of his 442 Oldsmobile.  As our mom described it when he started it- that’s a HOT car!  It was a memorable muscle car.

I remember riding with Dave in his car.  Where I remember going the most was dove hunting.  We used to meet his buddies in the foothills and everyone would shoot doves. I remember Dave bringing them home- we probably ate them but I don’t remember that.  He did complain that some of his buddies bird shot loads wasted most of the useful meat.

He would take me out target shooting sometimes.  I refused to shoot at doves- but he taught me how to shoot pistols and rifles.  He was patient and kind.  He explained how to load each gun he taught me how to shoot as well as how to unload them.  He would let me ‘help’ clean his guns which mostly meant I could sit and listen to why he did what he did.

Another thing my big brother did with me from this age on was shadow box.  At this young age in the photo it was gentle and easy but the older I got the more he taught me how to box, how to hit or as he put it, how to kick ass and take names.  He had a way of making me believe I was as tough as he was.

Thru my teen years I did some fighting.  Most of it was self defense and when I think back to that time in my life I now know I was able to hold my own because of this man who took the time to teach me how to defend myself.  Through YEARS of shadow boxing I NEVER was able to hit my brother.  At times I would be so mad and frustrated by this.  I would be really trying and he was always faster than I was.

Fast forward to me at 17 years old- I’ve moved to Colorado with Dave and Sharon.  I moved into my father’s house which was one of the biggest mistakes in my life.  But my father, LeRoy, wanted to shadow box with me.  He had this notion he would show me I wasn’t tough enough.  I hit him on the end of his nose and followed with an left upper cut to his chin.  Set him on his ass.  It was not as intentional as it should have been- I had spent YEARS shadow boxing and unable to land a punch-  LeRoy just wasn’t privy to all that training.  LeRoy NEVER shadow boxed with me again.  Too bad I didn’t realize I was strong enough to not be his victim.

Thank you Dave for all these lessons.  I don’t use them often anymore- but they brought me a long way in my life and helped me in ways I probably still don’t know about!

Dave’s Wedding

I remember Dave calling Mom and telling us that Sharon agreed to marry him.  He was so excited!  He asked if they could get married at home. Mom said yes!  And then the hustle and bustle of a wedding ensued.

Sharon was delightful and I always enjoyed spending time with her.  Dave and Sharon were living in Phoenix.  I was always welcome to come stay with them and spent days off with them in Phoenix.

They purchased their wedding rings in Tucson.  Sharon called me when they were ready and asked me to go pick them up.  I went to the jewelers and he tried to give me this size 4 wedding ring- I knew he was wrong.  I left it there and called Sharon when I got home – no cell phones back then!  I told her what he tried to give to me and she said yes- that is my ring- I said no way?!?  You wear a size 4??  I think my ring size back then was a 7 and I thought all ADULTS had large fingers…. LOL  So I went back the next day and picked up her wedding ring.

Dave and Sharon drove down to Tucson the day before the wedding.  We were all having fun with pre wedding chores.  After dinner Dave insisted that we all see the suit that he bought to get married in.  Mind you this was the only suit I ever remember Dave wanting after his Army uniform.  As he is unwrapping his suit he looks at Sharon and says ‘where are the pants?’  I still remember the horror in her face as she realized the pants were still hanging in the closet at their home.

My brother said, that’s okay- I’ll get married without pants.  Because he would have married Sharon in his birthday suit- he was very happy to have her in his life.  I offered to go get his pants and finally we all settled on Sharon and I drove up together and retrieved the pants to the suit.  Late night for the bride to be but it was a fun road trip!!

You could feel Dave’s love, his energy and it invaded every aspect of their wedding day.  To see Dave feel that complete was inspiring to each of us.  It is one of the moments in time I still use when assisting others.  I say- do you remember how you felt on your wedding day?  What can we do to bring that feeling back to your marriage?  Can you love each other ‘just because’ again- let go of the hurt, the disappointment, the anger and find your way back to the beginning?

Dave

Back in 2013 I was the Administrative Assistant at our church.  We had a sad falling out and I wrote this blog and put it into the church bulletin:  https://wordpress.com/post/maloneyblog.wordpress.com/136

It was true.  I remember vividly my brothers return from Viet Nam.  I had to go over details with our mother many years ago because I also remember believing my brother was not coming home.  So this memory is told with the missing parts filled in to help make sense of what a 7 year old recalls:

Sitting in front of the television EVERY night looking for my brothers name in the list of names played after the news.  I watched with intent EVERY night knowing that I had not been told of his death.  I believed that the dead soldiers names were listed at the end of the news broadcast.

My mother was not sure why I believed that and did not recall that the news ever broadcast soldiers killed in action that way, she told me why I believed he was killed.  She was called by Dave and told that he would be released from duty on a certain date and she should pick him up.

We were there to pick him up and he was not there.  It took her nearly 3 weeks to find out where her son was.  Turned out someone had given Dave the wrong ‘out’ date and held up his discharge for 3 weeks.  He was mad at the world and never bothered to call his mother to let her know.   He was state side and safe- and how Mom learned of his correct discharge date is still a mystery to me.  But in that frantic 3 weeks for her- I knew he was a ‘short-timer’ and that’s when lots of soldiers are killed in action.  I remember the desperation of wanting Dave to be home and okay but the belief that he was gone.

Thankfully I remember picking him up.  He was Oh so HANDSOME in that army uniform.  He walked with me like I was his queen.  He was spit at and called horrible names.  I was in shock at how awful those war protesters were.  I had seen news reports but when confronted with it first hand at what was the best day in my young life was shocking to say the least.

Here my HERO was returned to us ALIVE!  And in all that glory people were calling him a baby killer, throwing things at us and spitting on him.  He walked with all the honor and discipline a soldier is taught.  We got into Moms car and drove home.  He took off that uniform and NEVER looked at it again.  Mom saved it for a few years but realized it brought him more grief than good so she got rid of it.

Still to this day when a gentleman in a uniform offers me his arm (I am now a great grandmother in my life) I feel like that 7 year old ‘Queen’ that my brother walked out of the terrible place into our home.

To each and every veteran that has ever served in the military I thank you for your service and your sacrifice.  What you gave to me as a citizen of the U.S.A. I appreciate deeply and I NEVER take your service lightly.