Felt compelled to share this informative article as a mom and also a mental health therapist. As a therapist, it’s easy to see other people’s issues. As a mom, things become cloudy. I can understand how any parent can become confused or unsure what to do. Nothing is black and white with kids and teens. Everything becomes gray: Is it a phase? Is it hormones?
As a parent, you don’t want to over-react or under-react. It’s tough to know the answer. Sometimes reading something in black and white can be helpful, like this article below.
Have you ever been through something extremely painful or traumatic and thought “I can’t handle this” or “there is no way I am going to make it?”
Perhaps you are dragging yourself through the day, barely keeping your head afloat, and spend the entire day dreaming about the moment your head hits the pillow. Praying sleep will be an escape from the nightmare you are living through.
You somehow get past this pain a little bit each day. Before you know it, you notice that you got through one minute without thinking about it. Eventually, you went one hour or one day without crying. As you keep pushing through the pain, the days turn into weeks, the weeks turn into months, the months turn into years.
You may even find yourself able to mention this event or loss without getting choked up. Hopefully, you are mindful enough to recognize this feat and reflect on it. It could be “I said their name today without tearing up” or “Someone asked me about it and I was able to respond.” 🤯
Eventually, you realize that you somehow survived a traumatic event and just blew your own damn mind.
Peace shows up around the time you have embraced the person you are now. Acceptance of this means that you are now a changed person forever, you cannot change back.
Change, Loss, Pain, and trauma of any kind is difficult.
Obviously some individuals have been through more than others.
As human beings, we have to provide empathy and compassion not only to each other, but to ourselves. This pressure to “get back to normal” after a loss or a traumatic event-only prolongs the process.
We also have to remember that we are not here to judge or compare each other’s pain. Example: “who endured a worse situation.” Or “who deserves special treatment”. Trauma and Loss are not grounds for a competition.
However, there are a precious few who deserve an automatic level of honor, respect, empathy, compassion and an immediate win in the unspoken competition of “who is entitled to special treatment.”
These precious few are not celebrities or professional sports players.
This is a group of individuals who have had to go through MANY of those painful, traumatic events over and over and that most likely took a lifetime to process. Everyday, these “regular” people probably said “I can’t do this. I can’t handle this. How am I going to get through this?”
They did it anyway, for us.
These courageous men & women provided us with an example of the sheer resilience that human beings possess. These resilient members of our society have sacrificed years of their life for our freedom and to serve our country…
Yesterday, my patriotic side got fired up after I listened to my favorite podcast, Smartless, with guest Tom Hanks.
(This podcast is a comical escape hosted by Sean Hayes, Jason Bateman and Will Arnett. What I enjoy the most about this podcast, is the real, open-ended conversations and the quick-wit of the hosts/guests is captivating. Basically, they all rip on each other whenever they have the opportunity.)
Anyways, Tom Hanks was asked about his role in Saving Private Ryan and what was the source of his passion and fascination with being a “war guy”. Tom disclosed that during his “formative years every caregiver & adult would make reference to the war as this dividing line” that everyone collectively went through. “Another aspect is that a big chunk of their lives, they had no idea where they were going to be in the next week, month, six months. This was a time loaded with all sorts of problems that we are still dealing with.”
“I’m a schoolteacher. I teach English composition… in this little town called Adley, Pennsylvania. The last eleven years, I’ve been at Thomas Alva Edison High School. I was a coach of the baseball team in the springtime. Back home, I tell people what I do for a living and they think well, now that figures. But over here, it’s a big, a big mystery. So, I guess I’ve changed some. Sometimes I wonder if I’ve changed so much my wife is even going to recognize me, whenever it is that I get back to her. And how I’ll ever be able to tell her about days like today. Ah, Ryan. I don’t know anything about Ryan. I don’t care. The man means nothing to me. It’s just a name. But if… You know if going to Rumelle and finding him so that he can go home. If that earns me the right to get back to my wife, then that’s my mission.
Captain Miller, Tom Hanks: Saving Private Ryan
Will Arnett then points out to Tom Hanks that “What I love about this movie and is that your character is a school teacher, he is just a regular guy NOT a guy born to be a military officer. He had to go to the war, because that is what he had to do. This movie provides reverence for the bravery of these people who did extraordinary things. Captain Miller wasan example of one of these regular guys called to do extraordinary things.”
I wrote this In honor of Veteran’s Day, 11/11/21, and “a regular guy that did extraordinary things.” He is the only person that I am privileged to know personally that served in a war. Except he served in a different war and a different time. A time when people were not proud of their veterans. When he arrived home after serving our country, he was treated cathartically. He was humiliated and shamed; he was told to take his uniform off.
Thankfully, on October 27, 2021, he received vindication and a moment of the honor he deserves, through a non-profit organization dedicated to honoring WWII, Korean War & Vietnam War veterans by flying them, all expense-paid, to DC for a day of honor, thanks and dedication.
On this momental Veteran’s day, 11/11/21 and in honor of all the “regular guys called to do extraordinary things” please donate to this brilliant organization to do our part in honoring those who served our country.
A daily routine: The day in and day out of it can be redundant & exhausting. What is the point of it all?
The weekly grind of working, parenting and adulting overall is boring, tedious and unfulfilling most of the time. Throw in 18+ months of uncertainty, due to a lingering global pandemic; paired with this underlying pressure to “get back to normal” does not help.
Now, more than ever, we need to take care of our physical, emotional and mental health. How are we supposed to do this? It is extremely difficult when you feel confused, unsure, tired, worn out and depleted.
In a attempt to find some type of motivation myself, my brain has been searching for a frame of reference, a role model, to cope with this strange time. Which led me to thinking about George Bailey.
George is technically not a real person, however George is relatable to all of us and represents many of our real-life, elderly population. This wise, hardworking generation lived through true-times of uncertainty; such as the Great Depression and a World War. I suppose they just “kept showing up” through the confusion and cognitive dissonance.
George was already feeling stuck, trapped and living in a period of uncertainty before the real shit hit the fan.
“I’m shakin’ the dust of this crummy little town off my feet and I’m gonna see the world! Italy, Greece, the Parthenon, the Colosseum. Then, I’m comin’ back here to go to college and see what they know. And then I’m gonna build things. I’m gonna build airfields, I’m gonna build skyscrapers a hundred stories high, I’m gonna build bridges a mile long…”
George wanted to do something BIG.
BIG is what we all “want”, isn’t it?
A bigger house, a bigger yard, a bigger car, a bigger bank account, bigger boobs, a bigger ….
Anyways, BIG does not always refer to SIZE.😜
BIG things can also come in small packages.
There is nothing wrong with dreaming BIG.
There can be an issue with dreaming big if you base your self-worth and life’s purpose on an external picture of “what-it’s supposed-to-be-like” instead of “what is.” As with anything, there are steps to greatness.
George wants to do something IMPORTANT.
George wants to BUILD.
However, George is so fixated on the “doing something BIG” he missed the BIG picture that he already was. George was oblivious that these little, menial things he was completing consistently on a daily basis that were adding up to BIG results.
George could not see he was already BUILDING:
George was BUILDING homes that provided other human beings with a sense of dignity and integrity.
George was BUILDING relationships and friendships through candor, loyalty, honor, honesty & consistency.
George was BUILDING a community with these relationships who held the same core values.
George was BUILDING the foundation.
Without a solid foundation, a community, a family or an individual falls apart. 👇🏻
This solid foundation of community & the connection of core values is what ultimately saved George’s life & mindset. By his perseverance and showing up, he inadvertently saved the entire town from plummeting into the gutter.
It is tiring staying true to your values with leaders and other members of society do selfish, stupid, manipulative and downright evil deeds. How are we all supposed to maintain a sense of hope?
This may lead you to feeling like you should do something drastic & BIG, such as quitting your job, switching careers, moving, cutting off family or friends, and even leaving the country.
Fantasizing about a massive change to stop the awful, bewildering sensation of cognitive dissonance is normal; it’s an escape for the brain. A good grounding exercise for when you catch yourself fantasizing about living in the country alone with no internet, wishing for a bigger house, a better car or a BIG vacation to “fix” how you feel=look back at your childhood.
What is the first vacation memory that pops in your mind?
This is what I honestly thought of. 👇🏻
We didn’t have any vacations but what I do remember is the night we went out together for the first & last time as a family to dinner….
The McRib Story
We were all showered and dressed in our Sunday best for our first dinner out. We eagerly piled into the family van, wide-eyed with excitement for the evening ahead. Our mouths were watering, recalling that glorious sandwich with its golden, brown-sugary appeal. Our vivid memories of that commercial were so powerful, we could almost taste it. We craved this tasty delicacy with an empty, insatiable hunger.
All of us were smiling greedily at those Golden Arches, we were finally here! My stomach fluttered with butterflies as we pulled into the McDonald’s drive-thru so we could all finally try the infamous McRib sandwich….Drool was rolling down our chins as my Dad ordered six sandwiches from the overly-perky, fake smiling attendant !
The drive-thru attendant’s expression changes to that patronizing-exaggerated pucker and states, “The McRib was only here for a limited time, so we no longer carry that sandwich. It may be back. Sorry.😕 May I get you something else?” My Dad shakes his head no, speechless. Our mouths hang open, frozen, in disbelief. The devastating disappointment was written on our faces as we drove back home.
This sad story of the BIG Sandwich that resulted in BIG disappointment is ironically what makes all of us laugh now. It didn’t turn out as planned, just as most things in life. Now this story provides us with BIG joy.
Through my family’s solid foundation of a good sense of humor and laughter-in-the-face-of-adversity is how we found joy. How we DEALT with the disappointment is the shit-sandwich I remember as an adult.
The point is, in the vast configuration of things, Potter is a scurvy, financially-rich spider 🕷 living an empty life and we have no control over anything. We also have no control over what our kids will remember as adults.
In the BIG picture, we are only able to provide ourselves with a SENSE of control. An example of this sense of control is a planning ahead, a consistent daily routine, shifting our mindset, staying connected to those who maintain the same values and practicing coping strategies. Meanwhile, still accepting that something may still go wrong as a part of life; such as the joy-robbing, limited-time, McRib Sandwich.
“The McRib is a barbecue-flavored pork sandwich periodically sold. It was first introduced to the McDonald's menu in 1981. After poor sales, it was removed from the menu in 1985. Seasonal items are an important marketing tool for the food industry. Limited releases almost give consumers a Pavlovian response.”By Danielle Wiener-Bronner, CNN Business
Bottom line: Keep showing up through it, we all feel the same way. Find ways to cope with the foreign feelings.
If you love It’s a Wonderful Life …
There is a restaurant and bar in Berwyn Illinois called Fitzgerald’s. This super, cool place is located along a quaint and adorable block. Not even joking. A cross block before it is Clarence street. 😇.I am so grateful I was able to get the free tickets and show up to their viewing of It’s a Wonderful Life! They had specialty drinks such as mulled wine, flaming rum punch (of course) and a fun drank ZuZu’s petals!
I went with friends. We all agreed they had fantastic food, best waffle fries we ever had. This is definitely going to be a regular place to go for us all year round. Loved it!