Sunday, June 26, 2011

It Wasn't Me

This morning I tweeted this little ditty...

Understanding that there is a reason why I/my life was f**d up is different than when I make it an excuse that it is still f**d up.

Whaa at?

Heres the thing...

When I thought the problem was ME 

ie that I was sick, disordered, bad, wrong, defective, a bitch, a (fillintheblankdad)...

I lived in that place where I had to justify myself, my existence, my thoughts, feelings and choices.


Because I had a really difficult time shouldering the burden that something was WRONG with me was the "why" behind my life being a shipwreck.

And why did I carry this burden of proof of my f****ed-upedness?

Because I was taught from an early age that whatever was wrong was my fault.

That I was not and never would be "good enough".

That I never did, never could and never would do anything "right enough".

I was being blamed for what was wrong by those who modeled the world and how to view it to me. 

I was taught that its not nice to blame mother and father for what they did to me but rather

that what they did to me I caused it, was responsible to fix whatever it was that made me do whatever it was that I did that made them do what they did.

So naturally I grew up believing that blaming was "normal".

Well, as I grew up and started my own life I of course engaged with the bigger world from that perspective.

There was always someone or something or some reason why I did what I did or didn't do.

This was that place where I was stuck in "story" and could not yet get to my "Story" in my healing journey.

It was when I gave back that burden and realized that the state of the union was NOT my fault...and it was not my responsibility to fix it that I was able to understand that my "normal" ie blaming things outside of myself for the crappy state of my life was not really "normal" aka "healthy"...nor helpful.


When I was able to let go of feeling responsible for everyone and everything else that was wrong in the world and my relationships...

I was able to understand the difference between understanding that my past life experiences were the reason my life was f***ed up and...

using my past as a reason why it is still f***ed up.

Learning to live beyond broken, learning to live beyond trauma, pain and past wounds came down to understanding that someone WAS responsible for why my life was f***ed up...

And that it wasn't me.

Learning to let go of that burden of proof allowed me to learn to let go of the pain of the past and begin to see that while I could not change the past...

I could learn how to live beyond it. 

Photo Credit

 Seek Knowledge, find Wisdom, live your Truth!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

War, Warriors and Pharma: PTSD is NOT a disease

Every now and then I get the old soapbox out, give a rant, shake my fist, bow my head and cry...

Our warriors are out there fighting a war, sacrificing their lives, families and now their futures as the best thing the VA and the Mental Health system have to offer them is a chemical lobotomy. 

I have nothing else to say....except....

How can America being doing this to their soldiers?

Big Pharma killing more soldiers than enemy combatants?
Anthony Mena is just one of a fast-rising number of U.S. soldiers who are being drugged to death by psychiatrists and physicians who dish out painkillers and psychotropic drugs with virtually no regard to their chemical interactions.

Those interactions are never tested in clinical trials (yes, never!). The position of the FDA and Big Pharma seems to be that the more drugs a person takes, the better they'll get, and doctors are trained in med schools to keep prescribing pills with virtually no concern about the extreme toxicity of various pharmaceutical combinations. Their motto is, "For every ill, there's another pill."

Now the body count is rising. Today,one-third of the U.S. Army is on at least one prescription medication, and many of those are psychiatric medsused to treat PTSD.

Read the entire article here:

From the archives here at A Journey:

USA Today: Hundreds of Soldiers Given Diagnosis of Personality Disorder

Pray for the wounded, the weak, the ones whose voices have been silenced but most of all...

Pray for our country.

 Seek Knowledge, find Wisdom, live your Truth!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

BlissChick: Most Mental Illness is Manufactured

BlissChick: Most Mental Illness is Manufactured is a most awesomely wonderful post by my Blogger friend and fellow SRBT's (Survivor of Really Bad Things:)), Christine Claire Reed aka the BlissChick.

Over the past year I've noticed peoples heads are turning and as a society we are beginning to question the whole "illness" paradigm that surrounds the mental health industry. 

And Award Winning Scientific Journalist Robert Whitaker has had a lot to do with this. You can check out his blog on Psychology Today by clicking here and visit his personal blog by clicking here. You can also order his book Anatomy of an Epidemic from his blog.

Over the past week or so Christine (aka BlissChick) put on her PissedChick hat and came up with some astounding articles that I would like to share with you here:

  1. Medicine Makes Me Sick - Love is the Cure In this post Christine bares her soul and reveals her pain and how pills seemed the easy answer but had some unfortunate side effects - including self harm behavior that had not existed before the drugs - and how she found healing...but it didn't come from the pills.
  2. Most Mental Illness Is Manufactured is where we meet PissedChick:) Christine gets it on and makes it clear this illness model of our minds and emotions is questionable and that the "fix" doesn't come in pill form. We who have SRBT's - are not "sick" but injured. 
  3. Ignoring Mental Injury is an excellent piece on the fact that there is a reason people feel f***ed up - and its not because our brains are broken.
  4. You Are Not Mentally Ill Just Because Is an expose on how our pain - emotional, psychological - and its expression - our behaviors - have become so pathologized that we as a nation and society have been conditioned aka brainwashed - to believe something is wrong with us if we aren't "like everyone else". 
Before I go any further I feel its important to ask you to click here to read my disclaimer before you decide that you need to put me in my place or remind me that there are good therapists out there or that you believe the drugs helped you and how dare I bring this subject up...

In other words - if you are content with your quality of life and current mental health care - bravo!

But don't blast me and others for wanting more than to exist in a drugged stupor and find true, complete and full recovery from the pain of the past...something I never found and was even told in my time in the mental health system - was not possible because - of course - I was "sick" and would need the drugs "for life". 

PissedChick....thanks for taking the chance and putting your voice out there on these issues. 

Its time more of us found our inner bitch and started speaking up about these issues instead of being bullied and shamed into the silence that enables the abuse and crippling to continue as America keeps its proverbial head in the sand and pretends that these drugs are not killing, crippling and destroying lives.

Visit Christine's blog by clicking here.

Some related posts from the archives:

I Wanted to Understand this Paradigm of "Mental Illness"

Creating a New Paradigm for Myself Part 1

Creating a New Paradigm Part 2

ShareSeek Knowledge, find Wisdom, live your Truth!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Curve Balls

To overcome effects of the past does not mean that life will no longer throw curve balls.

It means that we will have the skills to catch them

Throw them back

And remain standing.

Photo Credit 

Seek Knowledge, find Wisdom, live your Truth!


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Have to's, Should's and Cant's; I Felt Powerless


I'm wondering if you've noticed how often these kinds of thoughts slip through your mind?

I can't....I should....I have to.....


Me too. ;)

And in the past I viewed my negative thinking as another thing that I couldn't do "right".

The big burden I was carrying was that I had to do all things

good enough

right enough

fast enough.

In other words - just doing my best was never 


So - what I've learned along the way was to use those negative thoughts as mile-markers in my journey - instead of the negative validation of the lies I'd been conditioned to believe that I truly was NOT enough and held no power over the miserable state of my existence. 

Did you catch that?


Existing is different that living and I was so very tired of only existing, coping, managing....surviving.

Yes; I had survived horrible things.

But I wanted more than the constant struggle where I lived in distress, where I managed symptoms and avoided triggering events, isolated, hibernated and felt as though my life was a complete mistake...

while I searched for someone or something that would make me feel better and make it all just

go away.

One key I found in my journey was in understanding that it wasn't helpful to simply brush those thoughts to the side, dismissing them as unimportant, wrong or bad...

but to use them to guide my healing journey.


Yes. Using the negative thoughts to guide my journey.

You see - when I was dismissing my own thoughts and feelings of inadequacy I was doing the same thing as those who had TAUGHT me that I - my thoughts, my feelings, my choices - held no value and that this was justification for the way I was treated.

I had been taught to invalidate myself by those who had invalided me first.

I had learned not to see myself as the creator of my life but rather to deny everything that made me an individual...

my thoughts, feelings, opinions, likes, dislikes, choices, behaviors...

I had learned to doubt everything about me that made

The side issue is that those who taught me this also saw themselves as invalid and this is how this abuse, neglect and dysfunction is passed from generation to generation. This became grounds for more healing in regards to putting responsibility back with those who abused me while at the same time learning to have compassion for their experiences. 

But I digress:)

The solution for me was to:

  1. Understand that these kinds of thoughts; the have to's, should's and cant's are thoughts that tell me I'm feeling powerless - not that I AM powerless
  2. Understand that those thoughts are my normal not because I'm defective or disordered but because it is how I was taught to view myself as worthless and helpless when my power was taken from me in the original trauma - that there is a REASON I felt powerless over my life circumstances 
  3. Understand that I can LEARN to claim my power and change my life and circumstance and that being aware of my own thoughts, feelings and recognizing that I was powerless and am no longer powerless was the foundation of it all

How did I begin to do this?

By understanding that by continuing to dwell on and use these kinds of statements...

I have to....I should....I can't....

That I was fueling that feeling of helplessness, hopelessness and powerlessness.

And - that by learning to change the words I used to

I could...I can...I want...I won't...

I began to see that I held the power within myself

to create the change that would in the end

change my life.

From the archives:

 I AM....and I am NOT Powerless

Site search: I am not powerless

Photo Credit

 Seek Knowledge, find Wisdom, live your Truth!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Did you miss the show this month? Here's the link!


Last week Darlene Ouimet of the popular recovery blog Emerging From Broken and I had a chat on the Empowering Solutions page at Blog Talk Radio.

If you missed the live show, you can listen or download the archived program here: where Darlene and I discuss how we were both given numerous diagnosis and in the end we both found freedom when we looked not at our symptoms and labels that told us we were sick but at the lies that told us we were unworthy and powerless. 

We both experienced the deeply ingrained sense of hopelessness that drove our depressions, addictions and other learned coping skills that had served us well in our dysfunctional upbringings. And we both experienced what some would call a near miraculous turnaround in that we both no longer suffer from these "diagnosis" or live only to manage the symptoms that kept us in chronic distress.

(Don't forget to click "share" to post to your Facebook page when you're done listening:))

During this broadcast Darlene shares freely about the differences and difficulties she faced as she faced a variety of mental health diagnosis including that of PTSD in her healing journey and - how she became empowered when she began to battle a broken belief system that finally allowed her to emerge from broken!

While you're there, you can register for automatic notifications of new shows, download to your media player or share the link. 

Don't forget to mark your calendars and catch ES! every 1st and 3rd Thursday at 2pm EST! (USA)

And if you happen to miss the live can always grab the link and listen or share the archived program!

Here's the schedule!

1st Thursday: Each month we'll have a Special Guest to share a personal challenge and how they found their own Empowering Solutions in their own healing journey

3rd Thursday: Susan and Darlene will focus on the unique and intricate issues of learning to recognize and challenge the beliefs that keep us from creating and living our best life as we learn to recognize and claim our rightful place in this world. 

You can read Darlene's follow up post here on her Blog Emerging From Broken.

I am honored and excited that we as a World Wide Community are able to connect and share the hope that comes with believing that healing is not just possible - but probable. 

For all of us:)

 Seek Knowledge, find Wisdom, live your Truth ! 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Are We There Yet??

May 31 2011
Oh. My. Gosh. :)

There are days in this journey where I think

shouldn't I be done with this by now?

And - this message is often reinforced by those around me who have made it very clear that they are really not interested in hearing about my "journey".

At all.

Thank god for social media:) 

Thank god I have this place where I can connect with others who travel this same path, who share the same struggles...

and who know that the healing journey is not about suddenly having the "perfect" life...

but about being ok with the life we have.

Its not about having a life where there are no more ups or downs...

but about knowing that the ups and downs are life.

Its not about never "losing it"...

but knowing that in losing it I"m not losing my mind. 

Its not about never having another "bad day"...

but about embracing every day.

So thank god for social media...

Facebook, twitter, blogging

and thank god for all who are on this journey 

and this place where where I know I'm not alone

and that we are all on the right path

in the perfect place

at the perfect time.

Are we there yet?


 Seek Knowledge, find Wisdom, live your Truth!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Where Can You Find Empowering Solutions!?


In gratitude for your support and encouragement!
A quick note today....

Thank you to all of you who visit and follow A Journey!

Over the past 13 months or so I've been sharing more of my journey through my work via Empowering Solutions and while I don't typically advertise  I thought I'd take a minute to make sure you all knew where to find me...

I'd like to invite you to drop by the Empowering Solutions page at Blog Talk Radio by clicking here where you can follow us, create an automatic reminder of new broadcasts and share links or download to your Media Player to listen to our archived programs.

And if you haven't found us on Facebook you can
click this link and give us a "like" to receive the daily notes at your FB account and join the conversation there!

From June 2010 to May 2011 I was privileged to embark on this leg of my amazing journey in collaboration with Coach, Author and Blogger Michele Rosenthal of fame. You can listen to the archives of ES! here at her Blog Talk Radio page!

What exactly is Empowering Solutions? 

ES! is a space and place I created to continue to share the helpful information, tools, skills and resources that I and others have found who have traveled the path of healing. 

My hope is to continue to share the light I've found in my own life and journey from that dark place to this place where

I am no longer am a victim and live far, far beyond survival:)

My hope is that by sharing this light....

that you will be inspired to see that it is not only possible

but probable:)

that we can


learn to create

and live

our own best life.

Every day:)

 Seek Knowledge, find Wisdom, live your Truth!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

This Month on Empowering Solutions!

Tune in this Thursday June 2, 2011 at 6pm EST/5pm CST/3pm Pacific time (USA) to hear Darlene Ouimet of the popular recovery blog talk about the differences and difficulties she faced as she faced a variety of mental health diagnosis including that of PTSD in her healing journey and - how she became empowered when she began to battle a broken belief system that finally allowed her to emerge from broken!

You can find us here this Thursday June 2nd at 6pm EST (USA):

 Seek Knowledge, find Wisdom, live your Truth!