Posted in humor, mental-health, quarantine

You Might Be Addicted to NETFLIX IF…

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. Today, I thought I’d write a post about addiction. Now, this isn’t any kind of normal addiction like a drug or alcohol addiction. This addiction is what we call a NETFLIX addiction. It’s hard to tell if a loved one has this addiction so, I thought I’d post some symptoms and that way, you’d be able to help those loved ones who can’t help themselves.  So, without further ado, here we go.

 

You might be addicted to NETFLIX if you’ve developed carpel tunnel syndrome from operating the remote and you’ve gained ten pounds.

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You might be addicted to Netflix if you can reenact whole scenes from “The Office” with the TV off.

 

You may be addicted to NETFLIX if you’ve watched “The Tiger King” in its entirety.

Tiger King, Murder, Mayhem and Madness publicity image.jpg

 

You may be addicted to NETFLIX if you believe Dwight Schrute is a real person.

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You might be addicted to NETFLIX if you think a mullet is a current fashion statement.

 

You might be addicted to NETFLIX if moving to the Ozarks and laundering money for the drug cartel is a viable career choice.

 

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You might be addicted to NETFLIX if you have the sudden urge to buy tigers and open your very own petting zoo.

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You might be addicted to NETFLIX if you want to dress up for Halloween as Joe Exotic.

 

 

You might be addicted to NETFLIX if you want to introduce your neighbor who mows his lawn at seven in the morning wearing his black knee socks to Carol Baskin.

 

You might be addicted to NETFLIX if you’re considering cooking meth in an RV in your underwear as a way to make some extra cash.

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You might be addicted to NETFLIX if you end another person’s sentence with “that’s what she said.”

 

You might be addicted to NETFLIX if you believe Michael Scarn Threat Level Midnight is a real movie.

You may be addicted to NETFLIX if you’re considering changing your last name to Heisenberg.

 

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Thanks for stopping by and reading my addiction to NETFLIX post. Do you have any symptoms to add? Leave them in the comments! I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Guest interview, inspiration, mental-health

Let’s hear it for Mike Hamp and Walk #2!

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. Today, I thought I’d bring a guest on board to talk about his vision. He is the creator of “A Walk for A Thought,” and his objective is to bring awareness to the Opiate Epidemic that plagues our country today.  His first walk was from Hastings, Michigan all the way across the Mackinac Bridge. Today, he’s sharing his plans about his second walk with us.

 

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I interviewed Mike before his first walk last year. To read that first interview please click the link:  Mike Hamp Interview 

Now, without further ado, here’s Mike!

  1. Mike, you just finished your first “Walk for a Thought.” What are your plans for Walk number two?

 

Hey Lisa, I appreciate you reaching back out and checking in! I finished up the walk in September and was able to relax for a little bit. However, with no more direction or real goals to shoot for after finishing, I got myself into a pretty dark funk and got off track for planning a bigger walk in 2020. I have some pretty cool smaller walks in the works for this coming spring and summer, hoping to connect with some great causes and try to help bring awareness and funds to them.

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One in particular is a documentary called “Needles In The Hay.” Brett Meyer is the guy making this film about the opiate crisis in America. He joined me, along with his cameraman, for one of the days of the walk and they were able to shoot some great footage in hopes to use it in this amazing film that he is creating.

To learn more about “Needles in the Hay,” click HERE.

He has been all over the country meeting with addicts and the families of addicts, to get to the root cause of this epidemic. He’s been confronting and digging deep into the pharmaceutical companies looking for answers, all while bringing the viewer closer to what this war really looks like. We are in the planning stages right now of how this project will look for later in the summer of 2020.

 

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The next big walk is also in the early planning stage and it looks like it will take place in the summer of 2021. I will be headed to Niagara Falls. This is a lot further than the first walk and a lot of things need to come together, but I am very confident that I am building the right team to accomplish this one as well.

 

 

Photo on Visual Hunt

 

  1. What did you learn about yourself on your first walk?

 

Man, where do I start?? 🙂 This walk took me deeper into my mind than I had ever gone before. Anxiety and over thinking are some things I have struggled with for as far back as I can remember and these behaviors are exhausting. When we get mentally exhausted, it gets really hard to combat the negative thinking that start to chatter in the mind. I feel like the biggest thing that I gained during this walk was the understanding that we really can take our thoughts captive, we really can learn to shut down that negative voice before it even starts. When we are alone with an endurance type task, it is won or lost in our minds. Go on or quit? This showed its ugly face many times a day while on this journey, I had to choose that I wasn’t going to quit, and I realized that our bodies can do far more than what we think…

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  1. What are you going to do differently on your second walk?

 

Going into Walk #1, I felt like I was in the best shape that I had ever been in. I trained very hard for this and made a lot of nutritional changes throughout the training as well. Now that I was able to tap into my brain a bit more and see that I can dig deeper, I will be training harder and working on some specific areas more than others in order to build up my body to sustain more miles.

I will also be working on some new things that will be training and challenging my mind such as some Cold-water training and new breathing routines. I think the biggest change is going to be a new tent. 🙂 Mine was great for hiking with due to size and weight, but when I had to use it, I felt as if I was in a body bag and it was way too small for my liking. This was a huge struggle that will for sure help ease some of the mental struggle for the next walk.

 

 

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  1. Has this walk strengthened your relationships with your family?

 

Due to my struggle with drugs and alcohol and my inability to handle my anger and a lack of patience, I have let a ton of people down through the years. My children and other family and friends have been able to witness a huge change in my approach to life overall as well as how I respond to things as they happen. I’ve learned patience, and the fact that I am in control of my response only, always and this has helped build up relationships with my children, family and friends. It was cool to accomplish such a huge task because it gives my kids something to be proud of me for. Our communication when I was gone really helped keep me on track and my kiddos realized that they missed me a lot. It was a great way to strengthen our relationships.

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  1. What inspired you to embark on this journey?

 

Back in August of 2018, I had shoulder surgery number 5. I was sober for the first time ever. I was finally in a spot where I felt like I was making real progress in my life. I was active in the gym, eating right, doing anything and everything I could to stay on track and moving forward with a solid state of mind and new habits. This surgery was very difficult on me and truly took me out of commission.

It quickly threw me into a downward spiral of thinking which was only a matter of time where actions probably would have followed. After a couple weeks of the house feeling like it was caving in on me, I was able to get outside and take a little walk. This was a game changer because it helped shift my poor thinking and helped just enough to not feel like I was truly hopeless.

I was taking several small walks a day and realized my head was staying above the water so to speak. This was a pretty serious surgery and set me up for a long recovery period, but being able to get outside and walk was ultimately what kept me motivated. At some point during one of the walks, I started to think about how far I could walk. That thinking mixed with the vision I already had to want to help people who battled the same stuff I did, turned into me wondering if I was able to help inspire people with walking a long distance. I started to write my ideas down and ran them by a few solid people in my life and began planning the first #awalkforthought.

I was watching the news one day and they mentioned the Mackinac Bridge walk on Labor Day, and I knew right away where my first destination was. I brought it to the team, and we got to work. After a ton of support, a ton of hard work and so much planning, I finished the walk in 13 days and crossed the bridge on Labor Day of 2019

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  1. What keeps you going back?

 

The growth that comes from accomplishing something of this magnitude is incredible. I wanted this walk to bring hope, to inspire, to encourage anyone and everyone battling the things that I know so well. Addiction, depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, insecurity to name a few. I was blown away by all of the support and the amount of people this reached, it truly has changed my life, but the big reason I will continue to do this is for the change that happens inside when we can accomplish such a big goal. I thought this was for other people (And I know it truly was) but it was just as much, if not more for myself, and progressing into a better version of myself.

 

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  1. Do you think you’ll have people joining you on your second walk?

 

I had many people stop along the way and walk some distance with me on the first walk. One of my buddies spent a whole day walking and camped with me. I have had many people want to join me, but honestly, I needed this one to just be me for the most part. I am not against planning something with other people and the smaller walks this spring and summer will probably be a great time for that, but when I venture out for the 2021 walk, I will plan it for a solo walk, but I will never turn down anyone who wants to get some steps in.

 

  1. What are you hoping to accomplish with these journeys?

 

The biggest thing I would like to get across to people is that there is so much more to life than the vicious cycle that addiction and battling for mental health shows us. We truly are filled with potential and any one of us at any given time can (We Need to) make the decision to fight out of the hell like atmosphere so many are in on a daily basis. Discipline, hard work, perseverance, persistence, the will to not quit is where the answer is. We must break bad habits, as hard as it is (Some say it’s a disease, I disagree. I think it’s wiring through many years of poor thinking and bad habits that are so hard to break that it is like a disease.) and change the things in our lives that will help us beat this.

Proper nutrition, exercise, hydrating, nature, finding purpose, setting goals and working hard towards them, learning proper self-talk. All of these are areas I needed to fix before I was able to get to a place where I was no longer going to be just another statistic. I want people to know they have everything they need built in; they just need to tap into it. I want my life to be an example that may help others get to a place in life where they too are able to live it to the fullest. Also, gaining finances to help further bigger vision projects that I have in my community and surrounding communities that are in need.

 

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  1. Can you share any epiphanies you may have had on your journey?

 

As cliché as this might sound, I really believe now that we can do ANYTHING we put our minds to (Within reason, obviously if I want to grow wings and fly it’s not going to happen) I saw all this in my head first, we planned, I put in the work and I followed though. I’m not saying it’s easy, but the concept is simple. Set goals, work your ass off, don’t quit. This is how we change the world.

 

  1. Are you going to walk the same path you did last year?

 

I have no desire to take the same trip more than once. My goal is to go bigger and further for each walk ultimately crossing the whole country at some point in my lifetime 🙂 Who knows, maybe even other countries… 😉

 

 

Thanks for sharing your vision with us Mike and taking the time for this interview. It is greatly appreciated. I’m so excited to see you accomplish your goals and I can’t wait for the documentary to come out. The opiate epidemic is a real problem and I applaud you for sharing your story so others may learn from it.

How about you? How do you feel about the opiate epidemic? Do you know anyone this has affected? How did they handle it? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

 

Posted in Family, Health, mental-health

Strive for Balance

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a weekend of writing. I had a procedure done this week that left me exhausted. It was a routine procedure and everything came out fine, but it did wipe me out. So I didn’t get much writing done during the week, but I made up for it over the weekend. 😊

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However, today I want to talk about finding balance. It’s hard when you’re juggling so many balls like family, a full-time job, writing, and exercise. Sometimes, you must spend a lot of energy  helping your family. Sometimes you have to spend extra time for your job. When this happens, things like your writing, self-care, and exercise fall to the wayside. This is unfortunate, but quite natural.

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However, when things settle down, it’s important to get back into your routine and take care of yourself. Right now, I find myself out of my routine and I’m struggling to get back into it. Why? Because this procedure I had to do this last week left me exhausted. So, exhausted I didn’t have the energy to exercise. I also had a couple of nights when I didn’t sleep well and that has also wreaked havoc on my motivation.

So, I spent most of the weekend writing and I feel good about that, because my story is one of my goals, but I need to get back into my exercise routine because it’s important for my health. Taking care of myself is one of my goals, and  I’ve lost some weight. I want to keep it off, so I need to get moving again.

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The way I try to maintain balance is to set up a flexible schedule for myself each day. I actually schedule time for exercise and time for my writing. Some days, it’s hard to maintain my commitment to my schedule, because sometimes I don’t feel like exercising or doing housework during my allotted time. During those times, I have to fight the urge to get back to my story and do what’s best for my health.

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Sometimes I give in and write instead of exercise. When I do this, I just adjust my schedule and exercise another day. The flexibility is important because the routine can sometimes grow restrictive and boring.

So, strive for balance by scheduling the self-care you need to do into your weekly routine. It’s important, especially as you grow older and less active. You’ll be happier when you do. I know I am.  What self-care activities do you do? How do you balance them with your other goals? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

 

Posted in Family, mental-health, Parenting

Focus on the Journey

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. Today, I’m back after the holidays, Christmas break, and sickness. Yes, the flu-bug hit our home and got to me and the kids. My youngest had it the worst, but he recovered, finally. Then I got hit with it. (A nasty cough and congestion, but no fever.) Now, my oldest has it. Sigh. When it rains, it pours.

I had a blog post all written for today, when another idea hit me. Yes, I’ll save that blog post for another day, or maybe I won’t. I wasn’t too attached to it, but I digress. Back to the topic at hand. Today, I’d like to talk about focus.

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What I mean is this. I want to talk about how society tends to focus on the results of our actions. We talk about being “results oriented” and how this is something to be proud of. This focus negates all the efforts it took to reach the result and what happens when we don’t get the results we expected?

We feel like a failure. Our young people are engaging in self-destructive behavior and committing suicide because they’re so focused on the results, if they miss their mark? Well that’s when depression and anxiety set in. We need to change our focus from the results to focusing on the journey.

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Focusing on the journey, allows us to celebrate our smaller wins. For example, if you’re writing a book and you’re focused on the result of getting the book published, you miss out on celebrating hitting your word goals for the day. You miss out on celebrating that amazing description you’ve just written. You see focusing on the journey allows you to enjoy those moments and they are worthy of being celebrated. Don’t let society dictate whether you’re a success or a failure. You decide.

I remember my second born. He was a striver when he was young. He still is, but I digress. Anyway, he was a Transformers fan and one Christmas we got him these big Transformers. They were these robots that could be changes into cars and vice-versa. Well, when he first got them, they were hard to transform. I mean he would be so frustrated, he’d be crying, and I’d tell him, “It’s time to take a break.”

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He’d shake his head and wipe his tears and he’d tell me no. He was determined to get it right. He didn’t give up. I admire this resilience in my son. He’d fail and fail again, but each time he learned something that brought him closer to his goal. He was getting closer, so he knew he could get there. I admire this “stick-to-itivness” in my son.

His focus wasn’t on the result, but on achieving the next step.  This is what we need to teach our kids to focus on the journey and the results will take care of themselves.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post! I appreciate it! How about you, what’s your focus for the New Year? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

 

Posted in mental-health, Parenting, Teen

Could Gaming be the Reason Teen Depression is on the Rise?

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’ve had a busy week with working and Christmas shopping and writing. So, it has been productive. I had lunch today with a couple of friends from my writer’s group. I haven’t seen either one of them in a long time and it was good to see them.

Oddly enough we didn’t talk about writing. We talked about personal struggles and dealing with life. It was good to talk with them and open up about our fears for our kids and the trials we’re dealing with in our daily lives.

 

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It made me think about how different my childhood was compared to my own children’s. With the advances in technology, I find my kids spend more time in front of a computer screen than they do running around outside playing games like Kick the Can or Capture the Flag. This got me thinking about how teen depression is on the rise and it wasn’t a huge leap for me to think the advances in technology are to blame. Is that a fair conclusion for me to draw? Click here to see a study regarding this question.

The answer isn’t quite as simple as a definitive yes or no. Because there are some positive aspects to video games. Gaming is a great coping mechanism and it improves hand eye coordination and teaches teamwork when teens must work with another player to accomplish a goal. However, there are some negatives. Gaming can become addictive and it is isolating. It doesn’t provide the physical activity a young person needs to develop a strong body and physical activity, or exercise is a great way to combat depression.

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Especially in the Midwest, where it’s winter for nine months of the year, it’s important for kids to get outside and get that Vitamin D from the sun, and it’s equally important that they get outside and move their bodies.

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Statistics show that teen depression is on the rise. Exercise and getting out into nature are excellent ways to combat depression. Gaming doesn’t have the positive physical effects that exercise does. Exercise and getting out into nature are not only good for your soul they’re good for your body as well.

So, what is the answer? The answer is two-fold. I believe moderation is the key when it comes to gaming. Limiting the amount of time kids are on the computer is a key component to combating depression, but we need to also teach teens other coping mechanisms as well. We need to teach them to value nature and to respect our connection to it, and to get them into the habit of exercising at least one hour a day.

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This summer, I’m planning on taking my kids for a hike at least once a week. It will be a great way to stay connected to them and hopefully will develop some excellent ways for them to cope with the turbulent teen years they are about to start. They’ll be getting out into nature and exercising at the same time. I’m also going to insist they get outside for at least one hour during the day. We are fortunate that we have neighbor kids near us, and they do get together and play football or basketball when the weather permits.

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What about you? How do you feel about gaming? Do you think it’s the cause for the rise in depression? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

 

Posted in Family, mental-health, Parenting

Why it’s imperative to Communicate with Your Teen about Mental Illness in your Family

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a weekend of picking out countertops, (yes, hubby and I have a home project) and fun stuff like laundry and housework.

I’m transitioning from running outside to running inside on the treadmill and I must say, it has been hard because running on the treadmill can be rather boring to say the least, but enough about that. I don’t want to talk about the treadmill today. LOL.

I was able to get some writing time in, but not as much as I would’ve liked. Sigh. There just aren’t enough minutes in the day sometimes, but enough about that, too. Today, I’d like to talk about the book I’ve been reading. “The Stressed Years of their Lives.”

 

It’s an excellent book and I recommend it for any parent whose kids are approaching high school or college age. It talks about how teen depression and anxiety is on the rise and how a mental illness can develop during this stressful period.

If you have a history of depression or anxiety in your family, it’s imperative that you communicate this to your children, so if they experience this type of reaction to stress, they’ll know what they’re dealing with. Sweeping it under the rug does not help them in any way shape or form. It only adds to their confusion and their shame.

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Sadly, when kids are experiencing anxiety or depression, they tend to lean toward self-medication or drinking and partying. When kids party too much, they can develop alcohol poisoning or even worse, OD. It’s because they aren’t experienced enough with drinking or drugs to know what their limits are. This leaves them vulnerable. When they pass out, they can be victimized by other intoxicated students who have impaired judgement.

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So, start talking to your kids now and tell them that anxiety runs in the family and it has many forms, like obsessive worrying, irrational fears, and perfectionism. These can all lead to an anxiety attack. Give them the information they need to identify what they’re dealing with, then give them the tools to help them handle the situation.

Unfortunately, we can’t prepare them for every stressor in life, but if we can help them develop their critical thinking, maybe they’ll have the tools to apply what they’ve learned from one situation to another.

In the book, it talks about how teens’ executive functioning skills aren’t fully developed yet, so that adds another dimension to the situation, because there’s no way to speed that process up. At least, not one that I’m aware of yet.

Photo credit: Daniela Hartmann (alles-schlumpf) on Visualhunt / CC BY-NC-SA

 

So, what it all boils down to is communicate with your kids, tell them if anxiety or mental illness runs in the family, so if they start developing symptoms, they’ll know to come to you for help or to seek out a mental health professional.

This book is pure gold for parents. I can’t recommend it enough. There is a lot to this book, so I’m going to be writing about it in a couple of different blog posts. So, stay tuned and let me know what you think! Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

Posted in mental-health

Are you Dealing with a Non-Apologist?

 

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. I’ve been busy with work and writing, and it has been a productive week. I’m almost finished with a scene that has been hanging over my head, and it has finally stopped RAINING. Knock on wood.

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I was able to go for a run the other night, and it was amazing. I love that feeling the next day of sore muscles and tight joints. It’s a good feeling. But enough about that, today I’d like talk about people who can’t seem to apologiz.

The reason I want to talk about this is because I’ve noticed there are people who would rather die than admit any wrongdoing. It amazes me that people would rather let a relationship disintegrate than apologize. Most of the people who fall into this category are ego driven and have poor relationships all the way around.

Why don’t people apologize, especially when they know they are wrong? According to this article, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-squeaky-wheel/201305/5-reasons-why-some-people-will-never-say-sorry.

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it’s a way for a person (who we’ll call a Non-apologist) to manage their emotions. Being vulnerable and open with people is extremely threatening. Emotional closeness isn’t something they’re comfortable with, so whenever they feel someone getting too close, they’ll put distance between them. One way is by behaving poorly and this behavior pushes the other person away, creating emotional distance.

Some people are only comfortable with anger, irritability, and emotional distance, and experiencing emotional closeness and the positive feelings of love are unbearable. Many of these people have been hurt in the past maybe by an abusive parent or other authority figure, and this is how they’ve managed to survive.

One last thing to think about when you’re dealing with this type of person is that they’re also avoiding the pain of emotional closeness, too. If they apologize, it could open the floodgates to all the pent-up emotion they’ve been trying to avoid. They just don’t want to feel that kind of pain.

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So, the next time, you’re dealing with someone who won’t apologize or avoids you because they’ve treated you badly, remember they may be walking a tight-rope and trying to keep it together. Whenever, I run into someone like this, I try not to take their behavior too personally and give them space because that may be all they can handle at that time.

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Thanks for stopping by and reading my post today! Have you ever dealt with someone who wouldn’t apologize? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!