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“You Knew The Risk”

To those wonderful commenters on addiction/or an overdose post who say no one forced people with SUD to stick a pill down their throat or use a needle, I say to you: Thank God.

Thank God, it wasn’t YOUR CHILD. Thank heavens you don’t know what it’s like to feel helpless when you find out your successful son; the hero of so many, the big hearted business owner who took his family on vacations and bought his workers new tires to get to work; is now homeless without a car or a suitcase to his name.

Thank heavens you never had to buy your son Ciggerettes because you were so relieved he wasn’t using heroin.

Thank God you never cried when you saw a simple cement driveway picture.

Oh, but about that forcing thing? Did you ever buy a lemon car? Did the salesman ever promise you that it ran great, would last you years and years, and damn, you would look great in it, very stylish and on top of the world. Then when you’re stranded in the middle of nowhere, listening to John Phillips Topanga Canyon:

Oh Mary, I’m in deep waters
And it’s way over my head
Everyone thought I was smarter
Then to be misled.

https://mojim.com

And you’re cussing the salesman AND yourself first being so naive?

Well here’s proof that they (‘someone’ in pain or otherwise distressed) were swayed with misinformation (from physicians, brochures in Dr’s offices and a huge marketing campaign) that MAY have led to their drastic downslide into addiction and some into death ๐Ÿ˜ข

Here’s what the investigations found

  • 1. A well-intentioned effort among some physician groups to better manage chronic pain2. False marketing claims about addiction to new, longer-acting opioids
    3. Lack of physician education on the use of drugs with high abuse potentials
    4. Direct-to-physician marketing
    5. Provider-run pill mills
    6. Culture of drug use and abuse
    7. Multitude of cheap, widely available drugs of abuse including black tar heroin
    8. Over-prescription of narcotics
    9. Expansion of Mexican drug cartels
    10. Corporate greed

This is a great video ( if you can call the whole thing great) explaining it. This is what chapter 4 in my book coming out this year is about.

Even Walmart admitted there were Red flags

Whoever and whatever may have contributed to this crises, the remnants of it’s hurricane force winds go on. Not only are the grieving families still suffering the kids if their family member; but others, who have the nightmare of a child still involved, is excruciating.

It’s easy to tell someone to “let go” or ‘live your life” because you can’t control another person’s actions; but that doesn’t make it easy.

Despite, the solution, or the correct course of action, when people are suffering it’s NOT the time to tell them it’s their fault. If its the person suffering with substance use disorder, shaming them into recovery has never worked.

If it’s the the suffering parents, saying such things as:

“You should have got them help….” Is just cruel.

I will never understand the social media comments that are so insensitive towards such a massive problem in our society, no matter what or who is the cause. It doesn’t matter how it started really…… Just how we can give suffering people hope….

God help me to never become that callous๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ™

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Fighting Against Someone’s Free Agency

Way back in the 4th grade at Lincoln Elementary in small town America, some 40+ years ago; I remember seeing the anti smoking video of someone with a hole in their throat who didn’t let that stop them from smoking.

It horrified me so much I ran home in tears begging my Mom to PLEASE STOP SMOKING.

“Do It For Me! Please, Mom. Can’t you see I need you? Can’t you see I’m scared you will leave me then who will take care of me? Because if you leave me I will have a lifetime of fear of loss and will spend immense amounts of energy to avoid loss”

– the inner child of Samantha Waters.

I didn’t actually say all that. But now I know that my fear of losing people begin with that moment, only to be followed by the lesson that it’s not just losing people I have to fear. I had countless pet dogs run over by cars on the busy main street we lived on. Oh, how I mourned each of their deaths. It didn’t matter how much I vowed to keep them tied up, or behind a gate- NEVER in the house!; they always seemed to get out & became infatuated with chasing those moving black tires. As I sat beside each dying dog, with tears streaming down my freckled little girl face; I vowed to do better next time. To love harder. To be more responsible.

To control the actions of another so that I can feel better.

I really thought I could control the universe or at least those around me. Not in a domineering narcissistic way. I’m as far from that personality as can be. (Some might disagree) but my intent is the same, I suppose: to help ME feel better.

You see, when faced with these losses, every single time throughout my young life, I didn’t know how I was ever going to get through it. I felt incompetent to handle it, to forge through those uncomfortable emotions. Losing my brother, my hero, my protector, when I was 14 was my biggest devastation. It shook my whole confusing world even more and left me feeling more alone than ever. I would avoid working through those emotions for a period of 10 years at least. I accomplished this denial by not talking about it and using other behaviors of co-dependence and “clinginess” to specific people and things to give me that sense of feeling relevant and in control. Relevant enough to make things and people want to stay……

Of course that doesn’t work, which creates a wounded soul with somewhat of a inferior ego and victim mentality. I’m not going to go into the psychology of these terms, but to me it just means that the world is harsh.

After watching Netflix’s: Sensitive, the untold story, I realized that my sensitivity to the harshness of the world was a unique minority but certainly not rare. I would like to say that the losses and tragedies in my life have made me stronger, but I’m not so sure because I still feel incompetent to handle traumas as they come up.

Of course we all have thoughts of “if only”. I do know enough that those thought are NOT helpful and keep us stuck in the past. Recently I’ve been seeing a lot of “time is not linear” thoughts. This helps me feel better because it relieves the pressure of:

“I should know better”.

If our experiences fail to teach us how to react and feel “the correct feelings” then what excuse do we have? What if it’s just a matter of clumping certain experiences together as a journey themselves, not in a particular timeline? I like that.

I’m not talking about defense mechanisms. Our experiences drive those. I’m referring to the positive coping skills and healthy thoughts that “should” happen with each new drama and trauma we have.

My mom never did quit smoking until her diagnosis of lung cancer in her early 70’s. She was very lucky to have that long of an earthly life with the tobacco habits she maintained. And I was blessed to have her in my life and my children’s life for that long. I took care of my Mom, emotionally and in a lot of physical ways my whole life, and it was an honor, not a chore. It helped make me who I am. Had she “changed” into the person I wanted her to be back then, I may not be the person I am today.

At the time of that little girl running home to beg my mom to quit smoking, was all I wanted in the entire world. When my brother died, all I wanted in the entire world was for that not to happen. When each of my kids did things against what I wanted for them, I pleaded and bartered with my God to change their minds. When people rejected me, I suffered in silent anger and bitterness. Luckily hindsight 20/20 is almost always forgiving with wisdom and clarity.

I now can forgive all those who didn’t ‘do as I wanted them to’, but mostly I forgive that little girl who was just struggling to survive, just like everyone else.

โ€œThe very person you find it hardest to forgive is the one you need to let go of the most. Forgiveness means letting go. It has nothing to do with condoning behavior; itโ€™s just letting the whole thing go. We do not have to know how to forgive. All we need to do is be willing to forgive. The universe will take care of the hows.โ€ โ€“ Louise Hay

Where does “free agency” and doing things for others’ benefit meet? Many battles have been fought for this idea. I mean, sure – a parent shouldn’t smoke for or around her kids, but there’s that dastardly word: Should”.

Lots of things shouldn’t happen, but they do.

It’s out of our control. We have heard in modern psychology for years to take care of ourselves first. To fill our cup. We instinctively know that people can’t be responsible for others’ happiness. It just never works. There are too many variables. The person who runs around trying to please each person they interact with is not called being polite, it’s called exhausting. In these moments of confusion when I don’t know which master to please, I turn to Matt Kahn’s wisdom of loving the girl in me who doesn’t know what to do. Loving the crying girl, the girl in mourning for her brother, for her parents now gone, and for the unraveling of her family due to the effects of substance use. It’s ok to not know the answers or the outcomes. It’s ok just to LOVE the one who wonders.

At this moment, the Universe wants you to knowโ€ฆ.
Itโ€™s not a matter of what happens, but how we choose to respond, that determines our level of consciousness. Whether able to act courageously in the face of despair, or continually shut down whenever change arrives, self-love is always the answer.
It may not lessen the pain or change your reality on command, but it will always give you everything you need to be the unwavering support, unlimited compassion, and irrefutable source of forgiveness absent from the past. From honoring the one who needs to know every detail about the future before stepping forward, to embracing the one who only knows doubt– and even acknowledging the one who yearns for love but has no idea how to feel worthy enough to receive it, every experience offers countless opportunities to deepen our relationship with our hearts as a gateway into the oneness of Source energy.
Rather than attempting to embrace the past,
what if you took the time to honor the
one it happened to?
Instead of trying to passively accept the injustices of life, why not passionately acknowledge the authenticity within you that cannot be okay when anyone is denied, persecuted, harmed, alienated, shamed, or judged for any reason? What if you didnโ€™t blame yourself for being so sensitive, but cherished how naturally open you are to receiving the gift of life, no matter how daunting or delicious any moment seems?
Even when you are unable to love, simply resting in the blessing of โ€œMay this moment help me learn to love as never beforeโ€ inspires milestones of growth that uplift your experience, while energetically assisting in the transformation of others. On behalf of the Universe, when the world seems cruel, we become more caring. When witnessing the unthinkable, we respond with greater thoughtfulness. When the world denies its pain, we dare to turn towards it. When life appears to be at its darkest hour, we shine our lights to brighten each perspective. This is the way of the new spiritual paradigm.
All For Love,
Matt Kahn

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Happy Independence Day๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

I’ve been camping this weekend away from the traditional fourth of July celebrations that I’m used to. It’s been a somewhat peaceful, but very hot get-away. We’ve went boating on the beautiful clear waters of Strawberry reservoir, picnicking on the sandy driftwood beach and four-wheeling to a beautiful mountain vista with wildflowers galore.

The Fourth of July always makes me miss my parents and especially my dad. when I see Smokey the bear in the parades it reminds me of my dad’s last days working for the forest service as a part of the forest service senior citizen program. How many parades I watched him march in as a part of the National Guard. He took his role seriously & loved his jobs. He was in the Korean war as a young man them went to both desert storm wars as the oldest member of the states National Guard. He believed in freedom by following the laws that helped us obtain that. He wanted to do the right thing, but sometimes he fell short like all of us.

Most of us have never fought in a war, but we all enjoy the benefits of freedom.

I’m extremely grateful for free agency & personal choice & those who made that possible for us all & all who continue to make it possible. Lately it seems a lot of those freedoms have been questioned and turned upside down. Our freedom to question those AND and turn them upside down is also a freedom. Respecting all choices seems to resonate most with me.

This weekend has been a much needed break from the last week of my emotional roller coaster. I think there was one day I didn’t break down & cry over my son’s release from jail and all his legal problems related directly to his addiction.

As I made my strawberry cream cheese French toast today (pic to follow when I get better service); I was thinking how many times in the past I’ve felt restricted & chained to something that limits my freedom -(pre-addiction). At the time, I thought they were such inconveniences, but I’ve never felt the powerlessness of being chained to loving an addict.

We are sometimes told to:

Walk away, detach with love, let go and let God.

These things seem like great phrases to repeat but not so easy to implement; and also may not be appropriate for all situations all the time.

We do have The Freedom to handle our unique cases any way we feel is necessary, and we also have the power to find our own peace with those decisions – despite what any one or any group tells us.

My freedom thoughts this week are to lovingly accept my son’s freedom to choose. To lovingly maintain a connection with him with boundaries, so I can feel at peace if it’s our last interaction. Also I am working hard on accepting my other family member’s freedom to choose their thoughts and actions (or non- action) toward him. It’s not my job to tell them “You’ll be sorry if something happens to him”. It’s not my job to thwart their pain or their coping mechanisms for this devastating attack on our family. My job is me.

https://www.isiktlabar.com/blog/tag/responsibility

As I’ve stated in previous posts, it’s so incredibly important to at least try to decompress when going through anything difficult AND even for “normal” life’s daily stressors, to help ‘prevent addiction from starting. It’s a balance in all things & keeping priorities always in check.

Hope you enjoy your holiday weekend reflecting on what’s important to you. Even if you don’t have those things presently, having them in your heart is enough.

Here are a few pictures from my small-town America Fourth of July in the past and my current trip to the mountain lakes of Utah. Enjoy๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿš€๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿš€๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿš€๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿš€๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿš€๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿš€

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Why Can’t we Respect Differing Opinions?

It’s sad that we think we can only like or be friends with people who believe what we do.

It’s strange to think that the old debate rules we learned in High School are nonexistent anymore.  Yet history has shown us that it’s easier to divide and conquer if we want a certain policy passed or a way of life to be accepted.

Theres a video called hidden agendas (which btw won’t load-but it was originally on Amazon prime), is classified as  conspiracy theory, and is now unavailable with all the censoring. This only furthers the narrative to make us believe we should only watch ‘accepted’ media.

It’s sad that we’ve been taught that it’s ok to treat the elderly, or the cops, or someone of either party with such malice & hate in order to prove a point.

No matter who we think is right or who may have taught us these things, it’s unfortunate that we ourselves ‘are led to’ believe it to be true…..

Just like Netflix’s latest Social Dilemma shows, we CAN be swayed to believe things. Including that it’s OK to be so drastically divided and shame those who think differently.

Calling someone out on their behavior is different than shaming someone for their beliefs.

It’s sad that all sides of a story can’t be heard by all sources so that WE can decide for ourselves.

It’s sad that we can’t be trusted enough to decide for ourselves what’s true.

I’m especially saddened that one issue can tear apart families to the point of not being able to converse or strengthen family bonds.

You don’t have to believe in a God to believe in an evil force.

I truly believe that the devil is winning by using whatever device, tool, people, addiction or argument that it can muster up to cause such unrest & fear & anger in so many.

We can make a difference by doing our part & starting with what’s right in front of us.

Remember when we joined the big anti- bullying push in schools?  Yet nowadays, online, we feel justified to bully someone into compliance with what WE think. Is BEST for THEM. A complete stranger.

What are our kids learning?

People, ALL people, just want to be loved & respected…. The way they go about it is just different…

Some act out for attention. Some destroy things to feel empowered. Some deflect and cover up with substances or other addictive behaviors.

However, someone chooses to be heard and understand, I don’t think the answer is “raise voices through violence.”

It breaks my heart to see videos against innocent people such as the elderly these past few weekswith people cheering the attackers on saying “that’s go time”. Watch Here. Sad. Pray for peace.ย 

We ALWAYS Have a CHOICE what our next move will be

This will be the last time I share these hate filled videos, so not too give power to anyones “cause.” I sincerely hope that these viscous attacks fail to provide the wanted results. ๐Ÿ€๐Ÿคž๐Ÿ€๐Ÿคž๐Ÿ€๐Ÿคž

Pray for peace. Let it start with us