Monday, February 20, 2017

Bullying Can Have Drastic Results

Bullying is never ok and is one of the reasons that many take their own lives. Some never even make it through middle school before they decide they just don't want to be in this world anymore. Some people will teach their kids that it is acceptable and okay to tear someone else down. When is that ever acceptable? Gossiping is the same way, it tears the person you are talking about down. Why can't we live in a world that builds each other up instead of tearing others apart to make ourselves look bigger and better?

The world has become more and more selfish and no one really seems to care. The only way we can change it, is to make sure we aren't part of the problem. I raised my girls to know that the only time violence was acceptable was in self-defense and I do believe that everyone should know some self-defense. However, using your fists to make a point is nothing more than bullying. The same goes with gossip. If you want to share your latest "dirt" on someone, remember the people that are doing the gossiping are also gossiping about you! What goes around, comes around.

Show the people in your life some respect and pass along some uplifting words and actions. When something happens in your life, in my case, my daughter taking her life, you look at the world differently. I remember when I was younger, people were taught to take their hats off when they entered a room. I remember a friend's Mom saying one time, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." Why aren't these rules instilled in all our children today?

Most of the time when I listen to music, I listen to the songs from the 70s that I grew up with. Yes, I do listen to some other music, but so much of the music and the videos are praising violence, rape, abuse, etc. Music can be so calming, and is great for your soul. If you constantly listen to violence in your music, you are teaching your very soul that violence is the answer! My girls tell me that I am just an overgrown hippy - peace, love and rock and roll. I don't think that is a bad thing. The world could definitely use some more peace.

Watch how you dress. No, I am not telling you to dress up every day although many feel better about themselves when they do take the care to look their absolute best. You can be comfortable however you want. However, some styles really leave me questioning our future. Years ago, a trend started in prison. Inmates were not always given clothes that fit properly and belts were not distributed so, pants would slide down. This, in turn, made prison rape more of a problem. Now, not everyone in jail would offer sex to another inmate, but some would prefer that over being raped. Well, those that were willing, would often just wear their pants low past their hips with their underwear showing. This way, there was no actual rape. They were volunteering for it as an easier way for prison life. Today on the streets, many young men are wearing this look. It was made popular, first in the prison system and then by many rappers. Really? If this is really how you want to dress, think about having some respect for yourself first.

Teach your kids to have respect for themselves and respect for others. No, we will not always agree with everyone, but we can talk out of differences without it coming to knock down, drag out fights. If someone is bullying you, talk about it. Don't just hide it. Physical and mental abuse can take a real toll on someone. Remember, most of the time, people that are bullying and talking down about people are really just trying to lift themselves up. Don't bring yourself down to their level. They need some serious mental health help.

Respect yourself and dress accordingly. I have seen music videos of girls dressing and acting like nothing more than a slut. Then, they press charges on the guy that actually goes after them for the sex they are offering! I've heard some people defend these dress styles as "this is what sells the music". If your music was really that good, it wouldn't need sex to sell it.

We can't change the world overnight but day by day, we can each make a little difference in the world. Together, it could build up to a nicer world. When you go outside today, spread some compliments instead of some gossip. When you see someone bullying someone, don't join the crowd and just stand there and watch it, stick up for the person being bullied. Most of the time, you don't know what they are really going through at home and could be really going through some hard times that you know nothing about. Let's all be a little more like the hippies of the past and instead of sharing anything negative, share a little peace and love.

Friday, February 17, 2017

The Best Actors and Actresses Aren't In Hollywood

We hear about Hollywood and how most of these stars actually believe they are worth millions of dollars for their acting. While some of them are good, the best ones in the world are those suffering with Mental Illness and go about their lives helping others and smiling and laughing. The best actors and actresses are in your family, your friends, your co-workers.

There are so many in this world like my beautiful daughter, Heather. She wasn't an actress but she played a role of a lifetime. She worked with the developmentally disabled, she was going to school to become an EMT. When someone called her needing help, she would drop everything and help them. She had a heart of gold. The closing scene of her greatest role was putting a gun to her head and pulling the trigger and ending her life.

No one expected this. No one thought she was hurting so badly that she wanted to end her life. She was a young adult, with her whole life ahead of her. While most of us look at the future and think there is possibility of change and a better future, she looked at her world as one she didn't want to be in. She didn't sulk and share her pain. She spent her days and nights trying to make the world a little better for others.

How do you know that someone you care about is hurting that badly that all they can think of, behind the smiles and the laughter, is the pain of living day to day. You don't. What can you say to them to get them to realize that death is not an option? Nothing. Heather didn't want to tell anyone and there are many more like her. She didn't want to tell anyone because she feared people would just think she was trying to get attention.

What do you do then? How can you help those that are still with you that are hurting so badly inside if you don't know who is hurting and who isn't? To start with, we need to make suicide and mental illness isn't taboo to talk about. I remember a friend losing someone close the them in an accident. She was very upset and more upset when she started hearing rumors that the accident might really have been suicide. Her response, like so many others, was "Please, don't let it be suicide." Death is death so why was the distinction so important? Because suicide is a definite choice that death is a better alternative than living.

We need to talk about it. We need to let others know when we feel like life is getting too hard for us at times. Have you ever felt sometimes that life would be so much better if we just ended it? Did you ever feel like just taking your own life? Did you talk to anyone about it? Did you talk to your friends and family and let them know? Did you hold it inside because you thought no one would understand it? We need to start talking and sharing this with our friends and family. The one thing we can't do is blow them off. We need to really listen. We need to open our hearts.

It's been almost 16 months now that Heather has been gone from us. Every day is hard. Every day I want to just break down in tears. I miss her terribly but I can't do anything to change it. Heather made her choice and we all have to live with it. I can't ask her how she is coping with everything. I can't ask her if there is anything I can do for her. I can beg her from the bottom of my heart to come back to us but I know she can't come back. It's a one-way trip.

Please, don't just read this and move on. Make a decision that you are going to have suicide and mental illness a part of your conversations. When you see your friends and family or talk to them on the phone, ask them if there is anything they are coping with that they need help with. Let them know that they mean the world to you and you would be lost without them. If you don't, one day you could be at another funeral saying goodbye to someone that didn't have to die. Another life lost to pain. Come on, let's work together and Help Stop The Pain.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

No Wonder Heather Was Tired of This World

The world today has become a world of the super wealthy versus the people. I read an article recently that 1/3 of residents of New Jersey are living below the Federal Poverty level. New Jersey is not alone in that. Too many are struggling to get through each month, cutting as much as they can from their budget just to be able to keep a roof over their heads and food in their mouths.

Do you want to know why suicides and overdoses are on the rise? I can tell you, quite simply, that most people can't afford to live! They are tired of struggling, knowing that at any given time, another huge increase could mean the difference between getting through each month and not. People talk about cars being a necessity. Yeah, they really help. I don't personally drive because I have back spasms. They are random and I never know when one will happen, but if it were to happen, I would be as dangerous as drunk driver behind the wheel. However, if my back wasn't messed up, I still wouldn't be able to afford the car insurance prices today, let alone buy a decent car. It wouldn't happen.

This morning, I saw another article where many of the makers of the drug to reverse heroin overdoses has now more than doubled in the past couple of years. It's just not the addicts that the pharmaceutical companies don't care about, it's those suffering from any life saving treatments! How about those with diabetes. Well, they have raised those prices to the extreme also. I see people asking other to pray that there is a cure for cancer. Why would the pharmaceutical companies ever do that? Cancer is a huge money maker for them! Who do I blame? I blame our elected officials who gave the big pharmaceutical companies exemption.

What do I mean? Have you noticed all their warnings? Well, our government told them as long as they share what can what could go wrong, well, they can't be sued for it. Who cares if the medication can actually kill the users? Well, not the politicians. (Note, I am not talking Republican or Democrat - in my opinion, they are all guilty!) Go ahead, watch a commercial for a prescription drug. The abc drug could be the end of your medical condition problems. Warning: and then they go on for the rest of the 50 seconds in a minute long ad to tell you all the ways it could kill or maim you.

I hear other politicians say that we need to offer hope to those suffering from mental illness. We are going to give them some beds, etc. to help out. Well, it won't be this year, it will be years down the road. But, when these same politicians are told that people can't afford to live, well, that's not my problem. Someone else can figure it out.

Over the years, people have joked that politicians should have to wear uniforms like the NASCAR drivers. I don't feel this is a joke. I think they should be required to display for all to see whose pockets they are really in. Forget their fancy suits, let them wear jumpsuits like the drivers and when they are out in public, they can show who owns them. Believe me, it's not the people.

So, what can we do as a people? Well, we can start treating people the way we want to be treated. Trust me, our elected officials really don't care about you. They care about their bottom line. Not the people they are supposed to. We need to start showing compassion. We don't know what they are going through. We don't know if that person can really afford the necessities of life. We don't know if they have given up the struggle and just want to find an escape. Don't be so quick to judge.

Racism has gotten out of control. I don't care what color you are or what your religious beliefs are. We can try to make the world a better place by opening our hearts. Show compassion, show love, show an ear to listen. Don't count on your politicians to make the world a better place. Take the steps to make the changes that you can.

Instead of supporting all the cookie cutter corporate businesses, go find a local Mom and Pop shop. Support someone putting a roof over their heads instead of a business trying to increase their millionaire status. Yes, the big box stores are convenient, but they aren't in the business of helping - they are in the business of increasing their bottom line. Period.

I will end this rant now, but I hope you take a few minutes and read and share this. We need to make this a better world if we want to end suicide and overdoses. No one is going to do it for us. Go ahead, support some local businesses today. Instead of going to a fast-food place that is exactly the same around the country, find a locally owned and run business to stop and get your burger. When you need to do some general shopping for household things? Again, shop locally owned and operated businesses. How are we going to take control of our country and our world? Start in your own neighborhood and work from there.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Giveaways Ending February 15, 2017

Here are the giveaways that end tonight. Just click on the link and then look for the form to enter. Sometimes you have to wait for the form to load so please be patient. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask! Best of luck to you!