#Beyourself, #freedom, #opportunity, American, coming of age, march for our lives, PTSD, Veterans, vulnerability

Semper Fidelis

I have been feeling very uninspired lately. I have not felt like writing or speaking my truth because it seems like there is no point. Feeling disheartened, discouraged, disappointed, and unpatriotic is a terrible mindset to be stuck in.

Thankfully this changed on Thursday, August 11th, 2022, when I accompanied my sister to her friend’s book signing.

It was a privilege and honor meeting a true HERO, Major Tom Schueman.
.
And Added bonus, he is from the Southside of Chicago!

Major Tom Schueman & my baby sista Allison
See pic 👆🏻Tom is writing on his hand 😉 …just a quick quote by William Faulkner 🤯😂- you can take a guy out the south side but ya can’t take the south-side outta the guy;)

Major Tom Schueman, A Marist High School, Loyola and Georgetown graduate raised by a single “hippie, cop mom” has authored his first book with Zak, an Interpreter from Afghanistan.

This one- hour interview, had me choked up-then-laughing numerous times about Tom’s experience growing up and what he went through serving our country.

Laughing when Major Tom describes his Grandma having a crush on Tom Cruise and A Few Good Men was on all the time at his house growing up.


Major Tom describes the values his mother instilled in him, the childhood friends he made, and how both combined helped build the foundation of the amazing man he has become today.


Tom’s core values of resilience, adversity, integrity, persistence, and always being faithful led Major Tom, to not giving up in any aspect of his life.

These core values provided him with the stamina to persevere in his deployment in Afghanistan, watching his military brothers become wounded or even killed and in helping his friend Zak and his family escape from the Taliban to the United States.


Zak wanted to improve the quality of life in Afghanistan and chose to take a life-threatening job as an interpreter to the United States military.

Zak’s expertise and cultural knowledge saved lives of countless lives of US soldiers.

Zak is not a trained UNITED STATES soldier, yet he faced the same challenges as US troops and over time, he became one of them and served our country without even being a United States Citizen.

Tom so eloquently describes how some individuals can have American values and “BE American” even if they are not born here.

This story of adversity, loyalty, friendship and always being faithful provides readers with the empowering journey of how Major Tom assisted in getting Zak and his family to the United States after after two previously failed attempts.

If you have been feeling uninspired, discouraged, disheartened, disappointed and unpatriotic, read this book. 🇺🇸 ❤️ 💙 🤍

Always Faithful: A Story of the War in Afghanistan, the Fall of Kabul, and the Unshakable Bond Between a Marine and an Interpreter https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B09NW2TFVV/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_BNBM2Q1EFWQE1V4H1C94

https://www.instagram.com/p/ChGRhlVrT4P/?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=

#Beyourself, #brenebrown, #doitanyway, #freedom, coming of age, Ned Vizzini, under pressure

The Terror of “Knowing”

Picture it: It’s a chilly, dreary Tuesday morning, probably November 2nd, you are in the car, flipping through radio stations. The cusp of the holidays are approaching. You are not feeling anything in particular, perhaps even a little numb or dead inside. Probably chasing a hangover of some kind; from sugar, booze or your drug of choice. You are going through the motions of whatever tasks you have on your pointless agenda.

Suddenly, you hit a pause of silence on the radio; you hear those glorious drums…the chills involuntarily run up your spine, arm or the back of your neck. A gasp or slight smirk emerges on your previously despondent face. …Next thing ya know, you are belting out “FEED THE WOORRLLLDDD!” And “the only gift they will get this year is LIFE”….

Life?

You freeze with a furrowed brow, with that expression of “what-in-the-hell-did-I just say?” THAT.

This “FFFUUUUCCCCCKKKK”face.

The realization that the lyrics of this “jam” are so heartbreaking and sad. That naive, duh moment, “Omg. I’m an asshole. Uh, first world probs…I was just depressed about going to work on a boring Tuesday, feeling blah or overwhelmed about the holidays approaching…jeez get some real problems.”

It’s fascinating and tricky how musicians and songwriters can make a song upbeat & fast so you do not even realize what the song is truly about. A complete mindfuck.

Which brings me to why I am kind of freaking out right now.

The same situation just happened to me with “Under Pressure” by David Bowie & Queen.

I am mind-blown right now struggling to comprehend how I’ve been singing the lyrics to “Under Pressure” for twenty-something years and never realized what I was saying. How the hell does this happen?

🎶”Watching our friends scream LET ME OUT!”🎶 😱

David & Freddie, you deceased & tricky muthafers!

“It’s kind of a funny story” is a novel turned movie featuring “Under Pressure”. I will not spoil this for you with my usual humorous Memes-poking fun at this movie because it’s a hidden gem. It’s one of those movies that you will have to watch yourself. If I tell you anything more about it, besides the trailer below, you MAY NOT have the same experience I did.

Ironically, this movie is some thing that peaked my interest but I had no desire to watch it. I don’t want to watch a movie about depression when I’m feeling “blah”. It turned out to be-exactly what I needed.

The seasonal change followed by all the routine adjustments, the growing pains of my kids and myself along with them; feels a little more overwhelming than it has in the past.

This movie reminded me what it was like to be a teenager and how they feel. Adults can feel the same way, yet express it in different ways. Teenagers and even kids these days are more in tune with “life” way more than we ever were. They are exposed to so much more through social media.

It was a reminder why I went into the mental health field in the first place.It was a subtle hint that even though you don’t “feel” like doing something or believe that you have any “talents”, JUST DO IT ANYWAYS

Uncomfortable emotions are where the magic happens.

I’m sure David Bowie & Queen were feeling the same way when they wrote & composed the song “Under pressure”. This masterpiece of a song is what happens when individuals with shared values are real and authentic together and collaborate ideas.

“Queen’s Brian May says it was the group’s bassist John Deacon who first came up with the song’s unforgettable riff, and kept playing it over and over. The problem, Taylor said, is that everyone got hungry and went for pizza, and by the time they got back to the song Deacon had forgotten what he’d come up with.”

https://ew.com/music/queen-david-bowie-wrote-under-pressure-drunk-then-forgot/

The channeling of uncomfortable, but not necessarily negative, emotions such as sadness, anger, frustration, stress, pain, grief, despondency, and rage is an art in itself.

This process is a way of coping, using your gift, being authentic, being real, and living. You may possess something that transforms these emotions into some thing-spectacular, creative, and possibly beautiful.

However, even if what you enjoy doing doesn’t turn a profit or if no one likes it, this process is what flows for YOU and YOU AS AN INDIVIDUAL.

Doing YOU is doing something YOU enjoy. THE point is: instead of numbing these feelings out, or ignoring them, you stay with them, feel them and eventually “do” some thing therapeutic with these emotions. Perhaps just putting your foot in front of the other and walking in the “allowing yourself” to just “be”.

What ideas come to mind?

How do you know what your gift is?

Paying attention to the things you enjoy doing and time flies by, you get lost in it. It could be something you dream about like playing the guitar, playing the drums, playing an instrument, acting, improving, charading, game-playing, doing stand-up, writing, drawing, painting, sculpting, singing,gardening, planting, weeding, cultivating, innovating, editing, photographing, cutting the grass, doing hair, coloring, fixing a car, fixing a machine, using watercolors, composing, wood-shopping, poem-writing, pole-vaulting, inspiring, speaking, glassblowing, baking, frosting, cooking, exploring, running, crafting, reading, climbing, hiking, exploring, directing, cleaning, organizing, running, walking, riding, exercising, decorating, wrapping presents, folding clothes, etc. are all ways of processing emotions.

All of these are an examples of occupational therapy.

Which you may or may not be aware of, that is what they were doing on the psychiatric floor in the movie during arts & crafts and musical expression. I can’t wait for you to see these parts of the movie!

What I love about counseling, being a counselor and the mental health field is the process of self-discovery and personal development; which is displayed in this movie. I am drawn to the process that the protagonist, “Cool Craig” experiences during his psychiatric admission. Once he stops resisting and attempting to control the situation, he lets go and trusts the process.

Just like this blog that may or may not have more than six readers 😜, it is something I do to process emotions and it gets my mind off the “terror of knowing what this world is about.”🎵

🎶 This. is. ourselves. under. pressure. 🎶