Okay, good people! Remember all that conversation, controversy and consternation about the "God Affirmation" in our posttraumatic stress audio?
For those of you who are in the dark, we had gotten an outraged email from a survivor of childhood abuse about the one affirmation in the audio program that said, "I know I am held in the hands of God and I am perfectly, utterly safe."
He was furious and said that this one line invalidated all the good the audio program had done up to the point he'd heard it. His thinking was, "Oh, really? And where was that loving, protective God when I was getting the living daylights kicked out of me?"
This wasn't the first time we'd gotten that reaction. But we've also heard innumerable positive comments and thank you's for that same line... a lot of really intense feelings about the "God word" on both sides, you could say. Our position at Health Journeys is, we just want to alleviate some suffering and whatever works is fine with us.
I just read a piece by Melissa Jeltsen in Huffington Post that reminded me of something I already knew: for all our talk about soldiers and athletes suffering from traumatic brain injury, the bulk of life-altering concussions happen to survivors of domestic violence.
I mean, really - who gets hit (or kicked) in the head more, or their brains rattled around in their skull more than women with violent partners? (Some men, too, but that's way less pervasive.)
A friend recently told me that, 6 years after her diagnosis and successful treatment for breast cancer, she's always on the lookout for signs of recurrence, especially when a check-up is looming, and she knows she'll soon be waiting for results from mammograms, scans and lab work.
She supposed that this was just the "new normal" and the way it would always be. She told me she'd manage it, just as she's managed many things. And I know she will.
But I was also reminded of a wonderful experience from maybe 18-20 years ago, at a drop-in cancer support group that was being run by two fabulous oncology nurses at University Hospitals of Cleveland.
That nasty flu that was going around over the winter seems to be enjoying a reprise this spring. Several friends and colleagues have been laid low.
So, I figure it's time to haul out the link to the terrific video that shows how a flu virus gets into your system, becomes all fruitful and multiplies, and how your amazing immune system responds. Of course, you could just take the lazy way out and listen to our Healthy Immune System Meditation, which narrates how it all happens inside of you, and by listening and experiencing this in your imagination, it pumps up the action of your immune system even further...)
But assuming you'd like to get an intellectual grasp on how this works, there's an excellent cartoon video on NPR's website that shows how this occurs at the cellular level.
Well, the Sports Injury Season is truly upon us, people!
I can now smile at the memory of the hours and hours spent in the E.R. of Sibley Hospital in Washington DC with various kids – my own and my neighbor's - with their various broken and lacerated arms, legs, ankles, shoulders and noses.
We had quite a run of visits back in the day, and I'd even learned to be ferociously protective of their faces after the first couple of visits. At the first sight of a very young- looking med student approaching a kid's wrecked face with a needle, I would automatically yell, "Don't touch his face! I want a plastic surgeon down here!"
Okay, it's Mental Health Month – time for a new list! I want to talk about anxiety, because over thirty years as a therapist has convinced me that anxiety is the mother lode of a lot personal difficulty and bad behavior.
Anxiety causes people to lash out, react impulsively and jump into places and relationships they shouldn't. Nine times out of ten, anger and nasty behavior is born of anxiety, looking for a place to get released.
It's also a huge energy waster and time-sapper, preventing people from getting things done, simply because it sucks up so much time and focus. More often than not, efficient, productive people aren't any more talented or educated than others, but they're people who are unhampered by anxiety, so they get a straight shot at their goals.
I recall seeing a surprising statistic that 50% of all office visits to the doctor are due to anxiety in one form or another (as opposed to illness).
Motherhood is not for sissies.
The rewards are flat-out amazing, no question about it. But I'm not here to talk about the good parts today.
Today I want to acknowledge what a demanding, stressful, nonstop job it is. And let's face it: even if you're lucky enough to have a great partner to carry the load with you, it's still no day at the beach.
When the kids are babies, you don't get around to brushing your teeth 'til noon; you go to work with spit-up on your silk blouse; and you've learned to function (sort of) on 4 hours of sleep.
By the time they're in grade school, you've come to realize that there's no longer any such thing as a 'sick day'; you may never be caught up on anything, ever again; and you've become acclimated to the fact that you're in a constant state of worry. Sometimes, you worry about not knowing what you should be worrying about.
Your new definition of luxury involves being able to do things (eat lunch, take a bath, read the paper, talk on the phone...) without interruption.
I could go on and on, coming up with my own memories of the hard parts of motherhood (now viewed humorously through the cushiony mists of time), but you already know all this.
So this is just a salute to all the mothers everywhere, who do their best and never feel like it's good enough.
I hope somebody waits on you hand and foot sometime soon.
Now that we have our new website in place, and it seems to be clicking along, doing what it's supposed to, with shockingly few complaints, I've been looking back at how this company evolved, and all the help we got to help get guided imagery into the ears of people who could use it.
It's hard to believe it's been nearly 25 years since I was first introduced to my business partner, George Klein, and we started Health Journeys.
At the time, I'd recorded 14 guided imagery cassette tapes that focused on major illnesses or procedures (cancer, stroke, multiple sclerosis, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, surgery, chemotherapy, etc etc). I'd first created some imagery for chemotherapy, requested by the oncology nurses at University Hospitals of Cleveland for patients in the waiting room.
Harriette Rovner-Ferguson, LCSW, is a gifted psychotherapist with a private practice in Smithtown, NY, where one of her specialty areas is fertility. In fact, she's been treating patients trying to get themselves pregnant for over 20 years now. Harriette was one of the clinical experts who provided input to Belleruth when she was writing the narrative for her Help with Fertility guided imagery audio program.
Here, Harriet recounts how guided imagery helped one of her clients recalibrate her attitude and sense of self after struggling with a sense of failure that was threatening to take over her whole identity. Some of the identifying details have been changed to protect this client's privacy.
Our new landing page is here! We honestly thought we’d be up and running with it last week, but glitches were found, incoherent text needed rewriting, screen sizing issues made right and other tech anomalies set straight. Check it out! Let us know what you think. We’re going to need to rely on your feedback to fix whatever else we missed.
Infertility Awareness Week is coming up next week, and a terrific parenting blog called My Baba posted a short piece I put together on how to handle all the associated stress, pressure, disappointment and distress that shows up when facing this challenge. I also wanted to make the point that, some of the things people do to manage the stress may also improve their fertility outcomes. Either way, it's a good idea to adopt some of these tips, and I offer seven of them.
If you think it could be useful, please pass this along to any friends, bloggers or organizations that might be interested. It's at http://www.mybaba.com/7-ways-to-manage-stress-to-help-fertility/.
Oh, and dare I say, Happy Spring? Hope so. I believe we may be done with the snow in Northeast Ohio. But, as with our long anticipated landing page, you just never know...