Please Keep Your Mind Where Your Butt Is!

No Cell Phones While DrivingHe was sitting at a stop sign. He looked to be about 16 or 17 years old. He had the ear bud from an iPod in one ear and was holding a cell phone up to the other ear and bouncing his head in time to some unseen cadence.

I wanted to get out of my car and tell him to pay attention to his driving. I wanted to tell him his life is way too valuable to be taking such chances with it. I wanted to tell him sometimes people get hurt, even killed. I wanted to tell him that whoever was on the other end of the cell phone could wait until he parked his car. I wanted to tell him that, believe it or not, we used to have to wait until we were in a building or a phone booth and give telephone calls our undivided attention.

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Feelings and Suicidal Behavior

Feelings are not Right and Wrong. Feelings just are.

People in pain are often ashamed of their feelings and will attempt to deny or hide them. Assure them you can handle their feelings and whatever the feelings are they are ok. Tell them feelings just are and everyone has them.

It is important to be open to expressions of pain and remain calm no matter what is said. Do not react or show shock to expressions of hopelessness or anger, or foul language.

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Codependency and the Fallout From It

Being raised in a family where there is addiction, mental illness, or any problems that cause an inordinate amount of stress, creates codependency and children learn:

  • That you are not important enough to be cared for properly.
  • That it is better to lie and steal than to say something adults do not want to hear.
  • That they could be severely punished if they are caught lying and stealing.
  • That adults are not to be trusted.
  • That it is not okay to care about yourself.
  • That you are expected to take care of yourself.
  • That other people's problems are more important than yours.
  • That the only way to get your needs met is to learn how to be manipulative and seductive.
  • That the only way to get approval and attention is by listening to other people’s problems and trying to solve them for them.
  • That if you have a problem or are in pain no one cares.
  • That accepting personal responsibility will only get you into trouble therefore it is best to blame someone or something else when things go wrong.
  • That it is safer to live a parent's dream than to have one of your own.
  • That you will feel lost, empty, and free floating much of the time causing you to feel different from other people.
  • That it is best to deny having feelings, neglect your own needs and develop a false persona.
  • That being helpless and victim-like will sometimes get you some sympathy, but the sympathy will never be based on the real problem.
  • That shame will be your constant companion and will hold you back from great accomplishments or cause you to over-work, over-produce and become compulsive about 'doing'.
  • That you will be a loner or accumulate followers who do not really know you.
  • That conflict is dangerous and therefore it is best to keep quiet and not stick-up for yourself.
  • That the only way to kill your pain or feel alive is to use alcohol, drugs, sex, work, religion or some other activity compulsively.
  • That perpetual anger colors every decision and action.
  • That as you grow older you will become cynical, intolerant, impetuous and controlling, or you will seek to go unnoticed and perform for others without complaint.
  • That you will feel like an outcast socially or become a social butterfly and neither will satisfy you.
  • That constant crisis is a way of life and without it you are bored.
  • That having been betrayed by the people who brought you into the world has set you up for a life-time of trusting the wrong people and listening to advice from inappropriate sources.
  • That you set up a grandiose way of thinking that says "I can do it all, be it all, and take care of others" and then develop self-hate when you can't "do it all, be it all, and take care of others".
  • That you will either idealize people places and things or negate them.
  • That the thing about you that no one knows or would ever guess is that you just want someone to take care of you.

This page may not be reproduced without express permission of the author.
© Evelyn Leite, MHR, LPC

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Just Do It - Part 3

Ultimately, we are our own worst critic and persecutor. To meet the challenge that fears present is a giant hurdle and requires a huge shift in thoughts and beliefs. Fear resides inside of self and behavior resides outside of self.

How many times have you been extremely afraid to do something and so put it off until it was too late? How many times have you faked illness, told a little white lie, and avoided doing things that made you feel fearful? Fear is like a monster that feeds on itself the more you put off doing something the bigger the monster grows. Have you ever considered yourself a loser?

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Just Do It - Part 2

How many times have you said to yourself or someone that you care about “for Pete’s sake stop talking about it and just do it?” This simple statement is often a complex problem in many lives.

Do you really want to know what is holding you back from doing the things you want to do with your life? If so, do a bold and courageous inventory of your life, your assets and your shortcomings. Give your friends a piece of paper with the questions written on it and ask them to be totally honest without fear of reprisal.

  1. Who are you when you are alone? (Who do they think you are when you’re alone?)
  2. What do you stand for? (What do your friends think you stand for?)
  3. What are your strengths? (What do your friends say your strengths are?)
  4. What are your limitations? (What do your friends say your limitations are?)
  5. What 3 things do you value most in the world? (What 3 things do your friends say?)

If you can’t answer these questions easily it is time for reflection and perhaps counseling.

Do not read any farther until you have answered these questions and asked at least two friends for their answers.

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