February 13, 2017

Mental Health Week on the LifeTrain (Day 1). But first…

Category: Thoughts — chuckie @ 12:06 am

But first, First things first.

 

MERRY MONDAY!

Depression, not the best of topics eh? Never the less, …I have heard, I have listened and …I have felt the need to discuss this from some of my fellow passengers. First, let’s talk about understanding and recognizing signs of those around you who might be dealing with this issue.

If someone close to us is suffering from depression, we may feel isolated. In fact, from what I have researched, depression is a remarkably prevalent disease. As many people suffer from major depression as from other leading chronic conditions.

The only shame is not getting help…

Why then is it so difficult to watch a family member suffer from depression? I very definitely feel that the main part of the difficulty comes from the stigma of mental illnesses, particularly an illness that is often related to “the blues. The cultural assumption is often that if people didn’t want to be depressed they should only get out of bed and do something – And as for us men folk….“Just MAN-UP!”.

But as I suspect we all know now, true depression is much more complex than that. The US’s National Institute of Mental Health states on its website: “Depression is a serious medical condition. In contrast to the normal emotional experiences of sadness, loss, or passing mood states, clinical depression is persistent and can interfere significantly with an individual’s ability to function.” And being the partner of someone who is depressed and potentially starting to experience difficulty functioning through the daily stresses of every day life can be very difficult.

Dealing with someone who is depressed can be frustrating and well, quite frankly, depressing in and of itself. It’s extremely frustrating to continually reach out to someone who doesn’t seem able to respond or to respond appropriately or consistently. Well, at least one thing as been verified for me and that is, it’s perfectly normal to feel annoyed and angry, and even despairing.

Passengers of the LifeTrain, NOW HEAR THIS! If you have been feeling this way and it is beginning to impact on your own quality of life, support

“NOW HEAR THIS!”

for yourself should be your first priority. Finding a counsellor or support group can make all the difference as you navigate the waters of supporting a family member as he or she grapples with the disease and its results.

The important thing to keep in mind is that depression truly is a disease. Although it’s difficult to change your thinking, if you can come to understand that your loved one truly has limited control over his or her state of mind, and to treat it as an illness and not a lack of desire or willpower, we will be on our way to finding a clearer understanding of the reality of your situation.

Most of all…know that “we” are not alone…heck…as much as I hate to admit it….one time, back in 1934, or was that 1935, I was a bit down myself!

To be continued….

The only shame is not reaching out for help…

All Aboard, The LifeTrain!

n conjunction with today’s post, give this a listen  (CLICK):
http://one.npr.org/?sharedMediaId=513733284:513733286

February 6, 2017

“Fear”… is a Liar!

Category: Thoughts — chuckie @ 9:00 am

Hey Fellow passengers!  I greet you with a smile hug, and a small white business card today.  The black letters read:

“FEAR IS A LIAR!”.

As we kick things off let’s take a look at that old liar, “FEAR”.  It’s so easy to get stuck in it. To let it hold you back.  I have been there at times in my life.  One of the reasons for that is that I made a common mistake.

TRUTH…

And it’s this:

You misinterpret the often little information you have.

It is easy to take very few experiences – or maybe just one – and start seeing them as evidence of something permanent and frightening in your life.  So what can you do instead to reduce your fears?

Here’s what worked for me…

Question your fears and what they are based upon.

Think back to what evidence you have in your memories for a fear and a belief of yours.

Try to see the situation(s) that created your fear with fresh eyes today. Instead of
the way you may usually see them.

Doing this helped me to for example reduce my fear in certain situations.  I looked back at a few situations from my past that formed and fueled that fear.

And I realized these two things:

  • Honestly, I may have just misinterpreted being rejected in some of those situations.

  • I often wasn’t rejected because it was something wrong with what I did but simply because we weren’t realistically a good match for each other. Or because the other person had a bad day or because he or she simply wanted to push me down to feel better about himself or herself in that moment.

Yep…

This was an eye-opening experience and also helped me to understand that everything is not about me and what I do. And that our memories can often be pretty inaccurate and unhelpful if not

reexamined later on.

Our minds love to create patterns and conclusions based on very little evidence or few experiences.

So question your memories and fears from time to time to see them for what they
actually are.

And remember Passengers, “Fear IS a liar!”

All Aboard! The LifeTrain!

February 3, 2017

It’s Super Bowl Weekend…and the white Elephant in the room is…

Category: Thoughts — chuckie @ 12:51 am

DWI

As I help you board the train I hand you a white business card with black lettering.  It simply says…

A designated driver helps you party another day.

Hello LifeTrain passengers, Super Bowl weekend is upon us.  For many folks that means celebrating! Office parties, family get-togethers, social outings, etc. Drinking and driving is especially high during this weekend, thus the reason for this discussion.

Stay alive, don't drink and drive...

Stay alive, don’t drink and drive…

No sense in putting our heads in the ground like an Ostrich or ignoring the proverbial “White Elephant ” in the room.  Time for some real talk.  We mentioned celebration and sometimes that celebration is paired with libation which increases chances for DWI’s.  It happens, and my prayer is it won’t happen to you or a loved one.  Nothing good can come from that.  However, things happen, life happens and if you or a loved one is faced with this situation let’s take a look at a conversation I had recently with my good friend, Attorney Ewing Carter III.

Note:  Even though I am his athletic and academic superior, I do want to thank the attorney for doing these articles.  Trust me, if you ever need a lawyer, these articles will help prepare you for what to expect so…Thank you Attorney Carter for allowing us a peek into the legal world.  However, we will note that this is not to be construed as legal advice.

EC III:  As for the first part of your opening statement, in your dreams dude in your dreams.  However, it is my pleasure to ride and share with you and the passengers here on the LifeTrain…you are doing some good work…especially for a mentally challenged chap like yourself.

Chuckie:  Enough of the pleasantries, Tell me sir…How does the law know if I’ve had too much to drink before I drive?
EC III:  In most all 50 states, if a person is operating a motor vehicle and their blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08 or higher, they can be charged with driving while impaired (DWI) / driving under the influence (DUI). A key consideration is that you can be impaired by any substance you ingest (alcohol, illegal drugs, and even prescription drugs). Generally, the “Officer of the Peace “, (policeman, sheriff, DMV officer, park ranger, etc.) can make the decision to stop and investigate a person, if he/she has a “reasonable suspicion” to believe that the person is driving while subject to an impairing substance. Tell-tale signs are: weaving, speeding, driving too slowly, making too wide of a turn, just to name a few.

Chuckie:  What should I do or say if I am stopped for DWI?
EC III:  Be as cooperative as possible. The officer will ask for your driver’s license and vehicle registration. He will be developing an opinion about “you” to determine to whether further investigation is warranted.  Noted signs of impairment are:  slurred speech, obvious odor of alcohol, disheveled clothing, and bloodshot eyes.

Chuckie:  If the officer asks me to take a breathalyzer test, should I comply, or refuse?
EC  III:  The decision is totally yours to make. However, there are some facts to consider
Driving is a privilege, and not a constitutional right. Because driving is a privilege, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) determines under what circumstance a person can operate a motor vehicle along
the road and highways of their state.

If you decide to refuse to take the breath test, the DMV will revoke your privilege to drive for a certain period of time. This revocation is generally for one (1) year. However, obtaining a Driving Privilege in order to drive back and forth to work can be obtained from the Court. In North Carolina, again, if you refuse the breath test, there is a 6-month waiting period before becoming eligible for the Driving Privilege. Conversely, if you take the test, and your BAC in not excessive, then there is no waiting period for the Driving Privilege.

Well passengers, there you have it…Best case scenario, remember this:

The driver is safer when the roads are dry; the roads are safer when the driver is dry. Think of your future, Think of your date, Then think before making that fatal mistake, Don’t Drink and Drive.

Enjoy the game passengers, remember there is now UBER, Lyft and that one guy who takes one for the team…the designated driver.

All Aboard, The LifeTrain!