Sunday, July 26, 2009
I've tried all sorts of ways to get my life organized. Sometimes it feels like I am spinningggggggggggggg around and around with the things to do that I never do. I'm to busy spinning!
So this week, I vow to:
-> Start my day with saying thank you. I've gotten out of that routine.
-> Get my kitchen perfectly cleaned.
-> Same with the living room.
-> Work on the back yard for 1/2 hour each nite before jumping in the pool.
-> End my day with saying thank you.
Spent the day at a nice bay yesterday. It is inland bay. I love the drive through farm country and then down into the bay. The changes in temperature and the scenery are so drastic and so quick! The picture there shows a surfer wiping out.
I took my daughter and her friend. We borrowed mom's car since mine is not dependable enough. We packed pb&j's, oranges and pretzels. Poor girl picnic stuff!
I parked at the jetty and we donned our backpacks and went for a walk. We walked and played in the surf (brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr it is cold there and foggy!). We walked the whole beach - in the surf. We were blessed with some sunshine to clear the fog for a bit.
We stayed for a few hours, then headed home. When we got out of the cold bay we put the top down on the car and cruised under the stars.
What a needed diversion it was!
Monday, July 20, 2009
Just had one of those conversations with the daughter. The kind of conversation where you both end up crying because of frustration.
Life has not been real wonderful around this house lately.
There is a girl who will be 12 next month that has Depression, OCD and Anxiety. She has been on medication that has caused her to gain weight. A lot of weight. Her self esteem is shaky as it is after a rough year of learning to cope with these diagnosis and it's effects on her relationships. Plus, she is 12. That is a hard age.
Then ya have mom. Mom has clinicial depression but has not been on meds for a few months while she waits for her insurance to kick in after starting a new job. Mom is tired. Mom feels like she is struggling up hill constantly, only to be kicked back down every time she makes it a few feet up. Once again, mom finds herself in the trap of not taking good care of herself and this makes all her mole hills into mountains.
The girl tries to tell the mom how she feels, mom feels attacked (and sometimes she is really being attacked!) and mom reacts to her own feelings of being "less than."
The girl and the mom love each other and are usually a good team, but right now they are feeding off each other's negativity. They bicker and argue a lot. A whole lot. Neither one of them feel they are being heard. They both just want to be "right".
Mom knows that this situation is not all of her own making, yet she does see her part in it. Finally. The moment of clarity comes. She see's that her parenting skills are lacking and that she needs to make some changes before the situation in the house gets way out of control.
Mom needs help. She needs help putting the team back together. She needs a few coaches she thinks.
This realization is bitter sweet as it brings both relief and guilt. Relief that mom knows there is a light at the end of the tunnel should she continue to work towards it. Guilt because she should have allowed herself to admit this a while back, rather than pushing it back under the door each time it would start to come in.
Mom and daughter have an appointment with daughter's psychiatrist this week. Hopefully, this is the beginning of being back on track. At least for mom it is. She is going to ask for some coaching.
What the daughter does is really up to her. Mom is going to need reminding of that.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
By Hugh C. McBride
If a growing number of experts and advocates get their way, it may become a bit more difficult for American teenagers to party like a "Rockstar."
In the aftermath of a Johns Hopkins University study that questions the safety of caffeine-rich energy drinks such Rockstar, Red Bull, and Monster, 99 drug abuse and addiction experts have signed a letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration requesting mandatory warning labels and restrictions on the manner in which these products are marketed.
The study was published on the ScienceDirect website and in the September 2008 edition of the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence. Both the letter and the study were authored by Roland R. Griffiths, Ph.D., a professor of behavioral science and neuroscience at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
Too Much Caffeine
Energy drinks have been the subject of considerable concern as their popularity has soared in recent years, particularly in regard to their widespread consumption by adolescents and teenagers. Griffiths and the 98 other experts who signed the FDA letter are especially concerned about the amount of caffeine contained in these drinks, and the effect that that drug may be having on young consumers.
"The caffeine content of energy drinks varies over a 10-fold range, with some containing the equivalent of 14 cans of Coca-Cola," Griffiths said in a release that announced the publication of his study. "Yet the caffeine amounts are often unlabeled, and few include warnings about the potential health risks of caffeine intoxication."
Griffiths and co-authors Chad Reissig and Eric Strain directly addressed this issue in the abstract that introduced their study:
There are increasing reports of caffeine intoxication from energy drinks, and it seems likely that problems with caffeine dependence and withdrawal will also increase.
In children and adolescents who are not habitual caffeine users, vulnerability to caffeine intoxication may be markedly increased due to an absence of pharmacological tolerance. Genetic factors may also contribute to an individual's vulnerability to caffeine-related disorders including caffeine intoxication, dependence, and withdrawal.
The caffeine content of soft drinks is regulated by the FDA, and is limited to no more than 71 milligrams of caffeine per 12-ounce serving. According to Kathleen Doheny's Sept. 24 article on the WebMD website, the average 12-ounce can of Coke contains 34.5 milligrams of caffeine; Pepsi contains 38 milligrams of caffeine per 12 ounces; and Mountain Dew has 54 ounces in a 12-ounce serving.
Because energy drinks are classified as "dietary supplements," though, no FDA review or approval is required before these products hit store shelves. The Johns Hopkins researchers, Doheny reported, found that many of the most popular energy drinks contain considerably more caffeine than is found in the average soda:
•Red Bull: 80 milligrams of caffeine per 8.3 oz. serving
•Tab Energy: 95 milligrams of caffeine per 10.5 oz. serving
•Monster and Rockstar: 160 milligrams of caffeine per 16 oz. serving
•No Fear: 174 milligrams of caffeine per 16 oz. serving
•Wired X505: 505 milligrams of caffeine per 24 oz. serving
Depending upon an individual's body weight and tolerance, ingesting 300 milligrams or more of caffeine can lead to symptoms that are similar to overdoses of other stimulants. Signs of caffeine intoxication can include restlessness, insomnia, excitement, irritability, and increased urination. Significantly larger overdoses can cause mania, depression, delusions, and disorientation. In severe cases, caffeine overdose can even be deadly.
In an Oct. 9 post on the Washington Post's "The Checkup" blog, writer Rob Stein noted that poison control centers reported at least 41 cases of energy drink-associated caffeine intoxication between 2002 and 2004. "And that's probably just the tip of the iceberg," Stein wrote.
Exacerbating the risk, Griffiths said in a Sept. 25 article on the ScienceDaily website, is that there is currently no requirement for manufacturers to list the caffeine content on energy drink cans. "It's like drinking a serving of an alcoholic beverage and not knowing if it's beer or scotch," the researcher said.
A Gateway To Alcohol Abuse?
In addition to risks that are directly associated with caffeine ingestion, energy drinks also pose dangers due to the manner in which they are often ingested. In the abstract section of their study, Griffiths, Reissig, and Strain noted that the prevalence of mixing energy drinks with alcohol may lead young consumers into other unhealthy behaviors:
The combined use of caffeine and alcohol is increasing sharply, and studies suggest that such combined use may increase the rate of alcohol-related injury. Several studies suggest that energy drinks may serve as a gateway to other forms of drug dependence.
At first glance, concerns about energy drinks serving as a "gateway" to more dangerous drug use may appear to contain a Reefer Madness-like sense of hyperbole - but as science writer Jill U. Adams noted in her Oct. 13 article in the Los Angeles Times, research supports this association between energy drinks and the misuse of other substances:
•A survey of 795 college students found that respondents who drank at least six energy drinks a month were three times more likely to have smoked cigarettes, abused prescription drugs, and been in serious physical fights than were students who consumed fewer energy drinks. The members of the high-consumption group were also twice as likely to have smoked marijuana and had alcohol-related problems (including hangovers or blackouts). This study was published in the March/April 2008 edition Journal of American College Health.
•A web-based survey of more than 4,000 college students found that almost one-fourth of those who had consumed any type of alcohol had mixed it with an energy drink, and students who drank the alcohol-energy drink cocktail reported more drinking-related consequences, such as unsafe sex, injury, or driving while intoxicated. The study was published in the May 2008 edition of the journal Academic Emergency Medicine.
Though the manufacturers don't directly advise their underage consumers to mix their drinks with alcohol, industry critics note that marketing slogans such as Rockstar's "Party Like a Rockstar," Monster's "Unleash the Beast," and Full Throttle's "Go Full Throttle or Go Home" implicitly endorse an "extreme" lifestyle and encourage reckless behaviors.
Calls For Regulation
The letter that Griffiths wrote to the FDA is the latest in a series of efforts to control the sale of energy drinks.
Until recent changes in their nation's laws, Finland, France, Iceland, and Switzerland had banned energy drinks that contained taurine (a popular ingredient) or elevated levels of caffeine. Bans on these drinks remain in place in Denmark, Norway, and Uruguay.
Closer to the United States, an article in the Sept. 22 edition of Canada's National Post newspaper reported that schools in three Canadian provinces had sent warning letters to parents about the risks associated with energy drinks, and that the health minister of Nova Scotia had halted plans by Red Bull distributors to hand out free cans of the drink outside a high school in that province.
"We are getting kids coming into school unable to put in any kind of work effort because they are so high on these drinks," Dr. Lamont Sweet, Prince Edward Island's deputy chief health officer told Post writer Tom Blackwell. "They are causing hyperactivity, excitement, agitation, [and] inability to concentrate."
To date, the FDA has not issued any public warnings related to the consumption of energy drinks, nor has the agency responded to calls for additional oversight of the manufacture and sale of these products.
It overlooks the marina and the lake.
You will find me mostly at the swim beach though with my girlies... floating on a raft.
The cutie patootie nephew will probably have me spending lots of time here to!
While at the beach
We may even rent a paddleboat.
Yes, relief is in sight!
Saturday, July 11, 2009
"...be attentive to what is arising within you, and place that above
everything else...What is happening in your innermost self is worthy of your
entire love; somehow you must find a way to work at it." (Rainer Maria
I had an experience yesterday that really re-enforced to me the many sides of myself and the damage that is still there from past trauma and life experiences.
I had a situation with the ex yesterday that at the time, I really felt like I had handled well. I didn't react to him. I didn't play the game. I didn't participate. It wasn't a long drawn out situation--just a short phone call while sitting at a stop light.
I was confused last night as to why I didn't feel empowered by that though. It should have been an uplifting experience, one that made me proud of my progress.
Instead, I felt drained. It felt like my body was physically worn out. It wasn't just that feeling of being worn out physically though, it was also an extreme numbness that is still there.
Sitting at home around 8:00 that night, I felt like I was crawling out of my skin. I made an excuse to go to Walmart and left kidlet here while I went off for what I now know was a self defense mechanism --- I went for some retail therapy! I was having a feeling, was not recognizing I was having a feeling and was off to fix it anyway by "loosing myself" in the store.
So here I sit this morning feeling that same way. I was doing some reading for work when I came across the above quote.
What I am realizing though is that I am beating myself up for being "that woman" again. "That woman" is the one that was in a sometimes physical, but always emotionally abusive relationship. Well, one of two of those relationships. Both my marriage of ten years, and the 7 year relationship with my daughter's father.
"That woman" is also the by product of my childhood. She is the girl that witnessed domestic violence in the home. She is the girl that was molested. She is the girl that turned to men to make her feel whole, wanted and protected. She is the girl that turned to drugs, alcohol and unsafe behaviors to lose herself.
What I was feeling was defeat. I was feeling powerless. I was feeling owned. I was not only "that woman" I was "that girl."
Today, I will embrace "that woman" and "that girl" and nurture them. I will take care of them by taking care of myself. I will tolerate the feelings and get through them safely by acknowledging them for what they are, and also acknowledging myself for who I am.
Today, I am a woman worthy of good things and good people in my life. I am worthy of happiness and I am worthy of feeling safe. I am worthy of healthy relationships.
Most importantly, I am worthy enough to realize that I have power over my life today by way of the choices that I make.