Living life with a chronic illness is definitely not easy. But I do my best to push through all the barriers this illness puts in front of me! In my heart and mind, I believe maintaining a positive outlook on all situations in life will carry us through to much better times! I hope you find the information that I provide both helpful and inspirational!
Happy Sunday, y’all! I hope you are having a great and relaxing weekend! I had planned to write a few posts about topics I feel are important, but unfortunately, I have been struggling with awful leg and feet pain this weekend. I know it is just neuropathy, and I am assuming it has something to do with the change in weather. Yesterday, it was 90 degrees where I live, which I feel is way TOO HOT! I have never dealt well with hot weather, but this weekend has been challenging. I am doing everything I am supposed to do, at least according to my Neurologist, but I cannot deal with the neuropathy all summer. I am sure my body will adjust to the extreme temperatures, but I wish it would do so faster!
What have you been doing this weekend? As I already mentioned, I have been dealing with neuropathy issues, so I have not left the house or done much of anything. I was able to rest most of the day yesterday, but I did do a few loads of laundry. A few things I remember about last summer were to start my vehicle and let the air conditioning run for a little while before driving. Also, it is crucial to stay hydrated, so I have been drinking tons of water!
Considering I have no intention of leaving my house until Tuesday when I must go to the pharmacy to pick up prescriptions, I am hoping to work on the posts I wanted to do yesterday at some point today. I am not going to make any promises, but I hope to have both completed by the end of next week. Every month has awareness topics, but there are two in June that I feel are important to share and discuss. One of them is, Pride Awareness, and the other is Gun Violence. Pride Awareness is important because I do not think anyone should feel any shame because of who they love or be discriminated against. And Gun Violence because there is too much of this happening and it needs to end!
Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope you can enjoy the rest of your weekend, and you are able to do something that brings you joy. I always enjoy reading your comments, and I will respond to all of them as quickly as I can. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!
Although it has been 20 years since I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, there still has not been a cure discovered. When I was diagnosed, there were not many disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) available and the ones that were offered were all injection based. I will never forget the first two I tried because they failed miserably. To be 100% honest, it may not have been the medications that failed, but instead, I was at fault because I found it too difficult to give myself a shot. Of course, injecting yourself with a sharp needle is challenging, but I think that the after-effects were much more miserable.
One can experience side effects with any medication, which I believe is because most medications, no matter how helpful they seem are poison and they require another medication to combat the symptoms. I guess you could say that big pharma knew exactly what they were doing to keep their pockets filled deep and everyone else to be broke.
During the past twenty-plus years, which is more than two decades, there have been many improvements and advancements in the treatment for those living with Multiple Sclerosis. The DMTs are no longer only injection-based and there are now a variety of medications available. Not only are there numerous medications to choose between, but most have copay assistance programs making the medications more affordable. These copay assistance programs are very beneficial, especially, if you lived in the United States where healthcare and medications are outrageously expensive.
In the rest, of this post, I am going to share the different types of medications available for Multiple Sclerosis and if there are copay assistance programs available. Please be advised and understand that I am not a medical professional, nor am I providing any advice on the best medications to try. The information in the remainder of this post is all information I have discovered through the years and research.
I am going to start with my least favorite type of DMT, which was the only type available when I was diagnosed.
Rebif, an Interferon beta medication was the first medication I “tried” after my diagnosis. This medication is taken three times a week and at least 48 hours apart. Rebif is administered subcutaneously, which means you are injecting the medication with a short, thin needle just under the skin. Rebif offers three injection options: the Rebif prefilled syringe (which is what I had), the Rebif II autoinjector, and the Rebif Rebidose Autoinjector. There are two options or dosages, 22 mcg, and 44 mcg. The following link will take you to the website for Rebif’s copay assistance. https://www.rebif.com/home/1-on-1-support/Financial-support-specialists.html.
Copaxone was one that I did try for a short time. Both myself and my doctor knew it was not working well enough for me as I had already proven I was terrible at giving myself injections. This type is also given three times a week and at least 48 hours apart. It is best to do the injections at the same time and day each week. Copaxone 40mg can be administered with autoinjector 2 in a glass syringe. There is a copay assistance program for this medication, which you can visit at the following link. https://www.copaxone.com/shared-solutions/copay-assistance.
Avonex is a once-a-week medication. This is a 30-mcg intramuscular self-infection that is injected into the muscle. Avonex is available in two ways. One way is the Avonex pen which is a single-dose autoinjector. The second way is an Avonex prefilled syringe that allows you to inject your weekly dose. Copay assistance for this medication is available, so if you are interested in this, please see the following link https://www.avonex.com/en_us/home/support-and-events/financial-information.html
Although, oral medications are easier and do not involve needles, not all oral medications will be the most effective treatment for everyone. I am going to share the oral medications that are currently available and if there are copay assistance programs available.
With Bafiertam, during the first week, the patient could take the starting dosage of 95 mg, which a day. After the initial seven days, the dosage would increase to the normal dose of 190 mg twice a day. Copay assistance for this medication is available, please see the following link to learn more https://copay.bafiertam.com/
Gilenya is the medication that I have been on for many years. The first dose of 0.5 mg needs to be monitored for at least six hours by a healthcare professional. After the first dose, this medication is taken once a day with a daily dosage of 0.25 mg. There is a copay assistance program, which is a lifesaver as this medication is insanely expensive. For a better understanding of the copay assistance that may be offered, please see the following link https://www.gilenya.com/ms-pill/co-pay
Zeposia is another type of oral medication that I have not heard much about and it surely was not an option when I was diagnosed. This medication is taken once a day as well. There is a copay assistance program available, please see the following link for further information. https://www.zeposia.com/multiple-sclerosis/copay/
Another oral medication that I am not too familiar with, and it was not available when I was diagnosed is Ponvory. This medication is a once-a-day pill, but it does involve a special way to begin the medication. There is copay assistance available for this medication, please see the following link to view more information https://www.janssencarepath.com/patient/ponvory/cost-support
There are numerous other options available to treat Multiple Sclerosis and so many more than I was offered when I was diagnosed. Of course, I do encourage anyone who has been battling with this disease for years or those who have been recently diagnosed to do research on different medications. I am including a link to the Multiple Sclerosis Society, as this website explains the different types of medications available and if there are any assistance programs available.
I do think it is also good to talk with your specialist because they should be very knowledgeable about the medications that are available. I did share several in this post, but I did not want to make you read about so many medications, when you can read about the types that seem appealing without reading as much as I have already shared. Plus, I do not want to encourage anyone to try any medications because again, I am not a medical professional. The only thing I know is, I have been fighting this disease for over 20 years and I am still waiting for a cure to be available.
Thank you for visiting my site today. Even though I am not making any suggestions on the best medications, I hope the information I shared regarding copay assistance was helpful for you. Considering I have been dealing with these copay assistance programs for a long time, I am happy to help if you should have any questions. I hope you are having a lovely weekend and I am looking forward to reading your comments or questions, which I will respond to as quickly as possible. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!
Most likely many of you are aware that March is Multiple Sclerosis Awareness month. There are only 31 days to raise awareness of a disease that impacts and changes the lives of those living with the disease for the rest of their lives. Although I am sure there are more, I am going to share with you 31 reasons why I detest MS. Of course, I do not mean to sound negative, but this disease is anything but pleasant or easy to deal with. Please know these reasons are not in any specific order.
1. This disease is incurable and a lifelong condition.
2. Multiple Sclerosis is unpredictable and can strike at any time without any notice.
3. Neuropathy is something that can cause issues such as pain, numbness, tingling, weakness, and a pins and needles sensation.
4. Random and frequent headaches, which no one could ever get used to.
5. Numerous appointments with different doctors.
6. The expenses of medication are higher than they should be in the United States where free healthcare is not an option.
7. Vision changes can happen to anyone but seem more common with MS.
8. Multiple Sclerosis can be hard to control considering there are no answers to the causes.
9. Never-ending fears of losing mobility.
10. Constant daily changes.
11. Back Pain, which I have lived with for years in my lower to mid back.
12. Leg pain, mostly neuropathy. This can make walking challenging.
13. Heat intolerance, which living in the south can be miserable.
14. Weight gain due to the inability to exercise much because of the pain.
15. Sleeping troubles due to waking up with pain and not being able to fall back to sleep.
16. Frustrations! You can do everything the doctors recommend, but it does not appear to make a difference.
17. Memory issues.
18. Missing the feeling of being normal.
19. Adjusting to weather changes can be challenging. Too hot creates issues, but too cold can cause me to tense and cause even more pain.
20. Dealing with doctors that do not always listen or understand. Doctors may understand the disease as much as they can, but they have no idea what it is like to live with it. Studying and reading can only do so much.
21. Understanding what creates additional issues, such as food, lack of sleep, stress, etc.
22. Worrying about the possibility of progression. This has always been a huge concern for me.
23. No answers regarding the causes of the disease.
24. With the unpredictability, one needs to always have a backup plan. This may be easy, but it is not easy explaining to friends and family.
25. Trying to stay positive without any changes in medical progress.
26. Knowing the best medication for the disease can be different for each person.
27. MS Hug. This is a painful hug that no one would ever want!
29. Flareups and steroids can weaken teeth causing them to break easily.
30. Fatigue. It is difficult to always feel tired because you are unable to get enough sleep.
31. Trying to explain to others how one can appear normal but are always in pain.
I have always known that this disease can take away my mobility and it has terrified me since I was diagnosed. Of course, I am always aware that it could be worse because my form of the disease is minor in comparison. I used to believe this disease was a punishment for something I did wrong in life, but logically know that it is not. We all have negative moments in life and trying to push past those thoughts can be challenging, but also necessary. This disease does not discriminate and can happen to anyone.
It is always important to remember that no matter what we are dealing with in life, someone else is dealing with something worse. While I do detest MS, I do know that no of us will have to endure something that we cannot handle. Whether this is true or not, it does help me to keep moving forward. Plus, I did make my late grandfather a promise that I will never all this disease to get and keep me down.
Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope you have a wonderful weekend and you are able to recuperate from last week because I know it was a long week. I hope you found what I have shared today interesting and I look forward to reading your comments. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!
Not only are we halfway through the week today, but it is also the first day of Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month. Of course, I am thrilled we are halfway through the week and that much closer to the weekend! How has your week been? I know there are still a few days left before the weekend returns, but is there anything you are looking forward to this weekend? This is out of character for me because I do not like or endorse violence, but there is a UFC fight happening on Saturday that I am looking forward to! The two fighters I am interested in watching are Jon Jones vs Ciryl Gane. Of the two men, I am hoping Ciryl Gane wins because Jon Jones has allegedly hit his wife, and I cannot support anyone who does this!
Normally, I enjoy writing about things during the awareness months because it is interesting and provides useful information to those reading, but this one is a little harder for me because it is not just one month out of the year this affects me. I must deal with Multiple Sclerosis 365 days a year, and it never gives me a break. It would be amazing to get a break from this disease, even if it was just for one minute, but it is something that refuses to take a break. Honestly, I do know it could be worst, and I have an easier form of it, but for lack of better words, it still sucks!
Anyone that has been following my blog for any length of time, already knows that I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis when I was 19 years old, which was over 20 years ago. It was a difficult diagnosis at such a young age, but in a way, it was better because I was able to start treatment early. Regardless of when I was diagnosed or how thankful I should be that I was able to start treatment early, it was terrifying because I knew next to nothing about the disease. This is just my first post of the month about Multiple Sclerosis and I plan to do more each week with the information I have learned during the years having lived with this not-so-fun and unpredictable disease. I do hope you will find the posts I shared with information useful!
Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope you enjoyed what I have shared and I look forward to reading your comments. Please know that I will respond to all comments as quickly as I can. I hope you have a wonderful day and remember that anything that does not get done today, tomorrow is another day. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!
I am sure that my question will be slightly controversial, but we all have and should have questions about the world and our lives. What exactly is the sole purpose of law enforcement “supposed” to be? I think it is normal to be nervous and even scared when we are pulled over, but NO ONE should ever fear for their lives. It should NOT matter the color of someone’s skin for how they are treated by the police, but unfortunately, it seems to play a HUGE factor in the treatment of an individual. Has this ever made sense to you because it as NOT and NEVER will make sense to me. I have said this before, but it still stands, it is now 2023 and we all should have evolved much more and instead too many continue to devolve at grossly rapid levels.
Many times, it tends to be a Caucasian officer that brutalizes an innocent and unarmed African American. I think most of us can remember George Floyd. After Mr. Floyd was murdered by Caucasian officers, there were mass protests demanding justice. One would think after that situation unfolded and the officers involved received consequences for their actions, law enforcement would have learned something, but they still have NOT learned anything and are continuing their ruthless, horrendous, and cowardly behavior.
George Floyd was NOT the only innocent African American that was dehumanized and victimized by law enforcement. We are only 33 days into 2023 and law enforcement has gotten even eviler. On January 3rd, Keenan Anderson, the cousin of Patrisse Cullor, the co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement died after being retrained and tasered 6 times by a member of the LAPD. Sadly, it was approximately 4 ½ hours after his encounter with the LAPD, Mr. Anderson died from suffering cardiac arrest.
Mr. Anderson had just been involved in a car collision when an officer ordered him to sit with his legs crossed on the sidewalk. He became paranoid and scared and said he needed water, which is not something anyone should be denied, especially after the trauma of an accident. Mr.Anderson was fearful when he was being questioned by law enforcement, so he panicked and tried to flee the situation. Of course, he was captured and detained by additional police. One of the officers shot Mr. Anderson with a taser for 30 seconds, uninterrupted. A few of Mr. Anderson’s last words, which bystanders clearly heard were, “They’re trying to George Floyd me”. This man had seen the news and was aware of how law enforcement treats Black Americans and was terrified. Who can blame him? We have all seen the news and the countless police brutality situations.
On January 7th in Memphis Tennessee, another young Black American man, Tyre Nichols was pulled over by police for what they “claimed” was driving recklessly. This man was a father of a 4-year-old child, according to his family was an avid skateboarder, and a nature photographer from Sacramento, CA. Since moving to Memphis, TN, shortly before the pandemic, he began working at a major company, FedEx.
Mr. Nichols was taken into custody on January 7th, involving two confrontations. During the initial encounter, Mr. Nichols attempted to flee the scene of a traffic stop as I am sure he was fearing for his life. Due to videos that were released of this encounter, it is clear the officers mistreated Mr. Nichols, which is a gross understatement. These officers dragged Mr. Nichols from his vehicle, shouting vulgar language throughout the entire altercation. Mr. Nichols only tried to run when one officer tried using his taser and then proceeded to chase him on foot. They were only about 100 yards from Mr. Nichols’s home, and he pleaded with the officers by saying, “I’m just trying to go home.” The officers started to kick, punch, and use their batons to beat him, while he was laying on the ground. He was able to utter one last word during the brutal attack, “Mom”. After being hospitalized from the brutal and savage beating leaving him unrecognizable, he sadly died later, on January 10th.
Lastly, and possibly one of the most disturbing and recent situations of police brutality in California. Anthony Lowe Jr was a 36-year-old, father of two, a double amputee, and a Black American. He was accused of stabbing someone, which I am not sure how it would possible, but we will never know Mr. Lowe’s truth. When the police approached Mr. Lowe, he was holding a knife and tried to get away from the police by jumping out of his wheelchair and hobbling away on his amputated legs. The officers “claimed” Mr. Lowe tried to throw the knife at them. Instead of trying to de-escalate the situation, they proceeded to fatally shoot him. He was pronounced dead at the scene by the paramedics that were called. According to the man’s family, he was suffering from a mental health crisis due to losing both of his legs after a previous attack from law enforcement one year ago in Dallas, TX.
What is it going to take for law enforcement to act appropriately and kill someone before they talk to the person? Many law enforcement people are in prison for murder, which includes the officers involved in George Floyd and Tyre Nichols’s murder. I have said that we need better gun control over Americans, and I think that needs to include the police because they need to learn how to de-escalate situations and get answers before killing someone. NO ONE should ever be murdered by police because they are “supposed” to be here to serve and protect. I understand all people need to become a police officer is a GED, but maybe there needs to be more involved because this senseless and terrible behavior NEEDS to change.
Thank you for taking the time to visit my site and read this post. As I said, I know this topic is controversial and many will disagree with me, but this is something that has been bothering me. It took me several days to write this because I would get to upset to continue writing. I would like to be able to read your thoughts about this topic and I will respond as quickly as I can. I hope you have a good day! Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!
This can be cruel, but also a beautiful world we are living in. Unfortunately, we will never know what demons another is battling against because people often hide them very well. This tends to be due to the negative stigma our society puts on mental health. It is terrible that so many feel they must distinguish their struggles with fake smiles, to avoid being labeled and shamed. It is not a weakness when someone admits they are struggling mentally and makes the decision to seek mental health help, but instead, I think it shows signs of strength and courage.
We need to keep in mind that we are all human and no matter how things may appear on the outside, no one in the world has a “perfect” life. Even celebrities seem to have what seems to be a perfect family, a beautiful home, and plenty of money to feed themselves, and their family and afford all the luxuries in life. No matter what amount of money a person has in their bank account, money CANNOT busy happiness.
Considering our society demonizes and stigmatizes people with mental health issues, it is causing people to commit suicide instead of admitting they are struggling. What kind of world would rather have people end their lives, instead of providing necessary help to those in crucial need? We cannot even watch the news without seeing another horrific act that has occurred in our country. There is far too much hate, narcissistic judgments, misery inflicting our lives, and unnecessary deaths daily, it is hard to see the silver lining any longer.
Celebrities many admire and children look up to have suffered from addiction, depression, and past issues conflicting with their lives, and many more that have committed suicide. The most recent was a brilliant dancer and DJ, Stephen Boss, better known as Twitch from So You Think You Can Dance, and the DJ on the Ellen DeGeneres show took his own life on Tuesday. Those who knew Twitch, including his wife who just celebrated their 9th wedding anniversary, did not know he was suffering with anything. Friends, family, and those who knew him well said he loved his family and what he was doing more than anything in the world, but now he is gone and those who loved him are left wondering why.
I do believe anyone should ever be judged or spoken negatively about because they are having troubles in life, but instead we should be trying to help people more. Why does anyone think they are better than another person that is having mental issues? Does anyone see what is going on in this world? Is there anyone that has a genuine smile or are they are just wearing a mask to hide the truth?
Thank you for visiting my site today. I wrote this post because what I see happening in the world is causing me so much sadness. I feel strongly that we should be lifting one another up and not tearing others down. We do not know what is going on in another person’s life and if we say something awful to them, it might be the last words they hear before making a terrible choice to end their lives. We can be kind and lift others up and we might end up making a HUGE difference that could save another person’s life. If you are struggling with something in life, please know that there is help and you are strong and courageous to admit the problems you are going through. I look forward to reading your comments and I will respond as quickly as possible. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!
Since 1989, when October was declared Domestic Violence Awareness Month, October has been a time of acknowledgment. Domestic violence can occur in any community and affect people regardless of their socio-economic status, sexual orientation, gender, race, religious beliefs, or nationality. The physical violence one can endure is often accompanied by emotional abuse and controlling behavior. Unfortunately, this may often result in physical injury, psychological trauma, and worst-case scenario death. The devastation of domestic violence can cross into other generations and last a lifetime.
Even though there has been significant progress in the reduction of domestic violence, an average of 20 people are physically abused by an intimate partner every minute of the day. What this means is there are still 10 million abuse victims annually. The number of victims dealing with this is astonishing and heartbreaking. One in three women and one in four men have been physically abused by an intimate partner, and one in five women and one in seven men have been severely physically abused by an intimate partner. Sadly, every year millions of innocent children are exposed to domestic violence, which can result in lifelong trauma, and negative effects on the child’s emotional well-being, and social and academic functioning.
There are many disturbing and shocking statistics available, but I am only going to share one because I think this will be more than enough to help people see the seriousness of this issue. The number of US troops killed in Afghanistan and Iraq between 2001 and 2012 was 6,488, which is a lot of lives lost. According to the Huffington Post, the number of women who were murdered by a current or ex-male partner during the same time frame was 11,766. The number of people killed in combat and those who are a victim of domestic violence nearly doubles. There are many reasons people who are in an abusive relationship will stay with their abuser, which include but are not limited to the following reasons:
1. Self-esteem is destroyed and they were forced to believe they will never find another person that will love them.
2. The cycle of abuse is the “honeymoon phase”. This is the phase that follows the physical and or mental abuse. The abuser makes the victim believe they are sorry, they love them, and it will never happen again.
3. It is too dangerous to leave. Women are 70 times more likely to be killed in the weeks that follow them leaving their abuser.
4. Statistics indicate that almost 5% of male homicide victims each year were murdered by an intimate partner.
5. The victim feels personally responsible for their partner’s behavior. They are forced to feel that everything that went wrong was their fault.
6. A huge reason victims stay with their abuser is they share a life, including children, homes, pets, and other financial reasons.
Often times people do not know if they are in an abusive relationship because their partner calls them crazy and tells them nothing is wrong and they are making things up or making them feel it is their own fault. The following are ways to know if you or someone you know are in an abusive relationship and need to find a safe way out:
~Your partner has hit you, beat you, or tried to strangle you in the past.
~Your partner is possessive, always checking up on you and wondering where you are, and gets angry if you go visit with friends.
~Your partner is too jealous. They will accuse you are being unfaithful or isolate you from family and friends.
~Your partner puts you down. They insult your intelligence, looks, mental health, or capabilities. Your partner blames you for their violent outbursts and tells you that no one else will ever love them.
~Your partner threatens you and or your family.
~Your partner physically or sexually abuses you. If your partner pushes, shoves, or hits you or forces you to have sex with them when you do not want to, this is abuse. It does not matter if you are married, “NO” still means “NO”.
If you are someone you know is being abused, there are numbers to call or text for help. The calls and or texts are anonymous so that you can get the help you need. The numbers to call are 800-799-SAFE (7233) or 911. You can also text 88788. While I understand many that are dealing with abuse feel trapped and that there is no way out, please know that there is help out there so that you can safely leave your abuser. One of the most important things to remember is, YOU are enough and YOU are worth more than your abuser is telling you!
One of my favorite bands wrote a song years ago about this issue and recently released a revised version of the song. This song resonated with me the first time I heard it and still has meaning to me today, not because I am in an abusive relationship, but because of things, I witnessed when I was younger. I do believe this is an amazing song and would encourage you to listen to it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Ux6SlOE9Qk.
Thank you for visiting my site today. I know how disturbing this topic can be, but I also feel that this is crucial information everyone needs to be aware of. I hope you are having a good weekend and you are recuperated enough for the new week that will begin tomorrow. I would love to read your comments about what I have shared and I will respond as quickly as I can. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!
In 2011, former President Obama issued the first-ever Presidential Proclamation designating October as National Substance Abuse Prevention Month. This is meant to be a month to raise awareness of the various health effects substance abuse causes the individual, families, and communities. It is also a time to remember those who lost their lives to substance abuse, recognize those in recovery, and those who are continuing to support them. When someone battles with any type of addiction, it can wreak havoc on their lives and everyone around them. We need to try to understand the struggles and help get anyone not already in recovery, to find their way to the road to recovery.
Studies have indicated individuals who start smoking, drinking, or using other drugs have a greater likelihood of addiction. Unfortunately, those who began using addictive substances before they were 15 years old are about seven times more likely to develop a substance abuse problem than those that delay their first use until at least 21 years old or older. Each year substance abuse is delayed during their adolescent brain development, and their risk of addiction and substance abuse decreases.
The National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics suggests slightly more than 60% of Americans have abused a type of drug during the past month. This includes illegal and pharmaceutical drugs but also includes tobacco and alcohol. Pew Research Center, which is an indirect viewpoint has reported that 46% of American adults have a close relationship with someone who is or has suffered from addiction, some may not even know someone they are close to is dealing with an addiction. It is sad and unfortunate, but this is a common and VERY real problem in the United States.
As I have already mentioned, substance abuse tends to start with the youth and younger adults. Over 12.5% of our adolescent population has used illegal substances during the past year. It is crucial to help the youth understand the importance of avoiding drugs, as this can prevent them from further issues when they are adults.
Substance abuse is a known issue in the world, but in the United States statistics show that you or someone you care about has fallen victim to the addiction epidemic. Addiction can be a dark and lonely place for the person suffering from the addiction and in turn be painful for their family. This can cause many to feel powerless to discover a resolution and treatment.
Sadly, there have been countless celebrities and musicians the youth view as role models that fell into the addiction trap and lost their lives because of their addiction. Highly successful individuals such as Chester Bennington from Linkin Park and Chris Cornell from SouthGarden and Audioslave are just a couple of examples. So many become addicted to various types of drugs because they are self-medicating due to mental health issues, previous traumas they want to forget, negative home environments, or various other stressors.
The number of overdose deaths continues to increase each year. The CDC estimated in 2021, more than 107,000 died from a drug overdose, with 75% of these deaths involving opioids. Sadly, the number of overdose deaths increased to 109,000 as of March 2022. The vast majority of these deaths were due to synthetic opioids, which include fentanyl and stimulants such as cocaine and methamphetamine.
It is important to keep yourself educated on the signs of addiction. Understanding signs can help you to identify the behaviors and help the person suffering from addiction sooner rather than later when it may be too late.
*Increased aggression or irritability
*Changes in attitude or personality
*Abnormal messages on social media
*Drastic changes in habits and or priorities
*Bloodshot or glazed eyes
*Dilated or constricted pupils
*Abrupt weight changes
*Sleeping too much or too little
*Poor physical coordination
*Unusual body odor
Communicating with someone that is battling addiction can be complicated. Of course, each person is unique and may need different strategies than those that I am sharing with you. Regardless of the way you discuss the issue, all people need love, support, and compassion. The following are some strategies that you may find helpful.
Always Be Kind:
Be advised there is already a negative stigma engulfing our society regarding addiction. This causes people to be criticized, insulted, belittled and rejected. Although you may have accepted the person’s addiction struggles and disapprove of their behavior, you can slowly begin building a bridge to forgiveness and the person’s recovery.
Carefully choose your words:
Understanding language matters and we cannot erase words that are spoken. Remember to communicate as respectfully as possible. It is crucial to evade using language that encourages harmful cliches. Refrain from words such as addict or junkie because the person’s addiction does not define who they are as a whole. These names are dehumanizing and not helpful!
Society tends to blame people for their addiction like it is a moral failure. Be sure to understand before speaking to your loved one that addiction is a disorder and not a failure. The National Institute on Drug Abuse describes addiction as an inability to stop using drugs, failing to work, or failing family obligations. Currently, people working in the medical community refer to addiction as a substance abuse disorder. Even if you disagree with this, it is important you do not let the person you are trying to help know because it will not help the person recover.
Talk Less, Listen More:
An important part of communicating is listening to what the person is saying to you. When someone struggling with addiction confides in you, try to simply listen without interrupting or criticizing. You may disagree with what the person is saying, but it is VERY important to withhold your judgments. Remember to continue speaking to them as if they do not have an addiction. The person suffering from addiction is still the same person they were before the addiction took hold of them and they have the same likes, dislikes, and hobbies.
Communicate through actions and words. Keep your message consistent so your loved one does not misunderstand. Communicating with someone with an addiction is NOT easy, especially if you have a history of supporting their behaviors. Letting the person know how they hurt you may help to motivate their recovery.
Believe the person:
If your friend or loved one decides to talk to you about their addiction, do not disagree with what they are saying. Your perspective about addiction is NOT the reality of their experience. Trust, they know what is happening because it is their body going through the addiction. Respect how they are feeling and what it has been like for them. Do not make excuses and enable their behavior, because they are responsible for their addiction. Even with this say, you can still support their recovery.
You cannot control the recovery:
Naturally, you want to help the person you care about with their addiction, but you cannot control how they do it. As long as they are not a harm to themselves or anyone else, all you can do is respect their ways to make positive changes. Instead of dictating how they get help, ask them how you can help them!
This post ended up being a little longer than I expected, so I am going to do another post that describes the negative effects drugs can do to a person’s body. Too many people around the world have fallen victim to addiction and others lost their lives due to their addiction. I might be wrong, but I think there is something more the government can do about this problem, but most are in the pocket for the pharmaceutical companies.
Thank you for visiting my site today. If you or someone you care about are struggling with an addiction, I hope the information in this post will help. Please understand, I am not a medical professional and the information provided was all based on my research on the subject. If you have any other suggestions, please let us know as I am sure it will be helpful. I look forward to reading your comments and will respond as quickly as possible. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!
Abortion has been a controversial issue for decades and long before anyone had heard about Roe. Since June 24, 2022, when Roe vs Wade was overturned, abortion has become an even more heated topic. The views and beliefs of people around the world are plentiful and remain extremely controversial. I understand some of these views fall in line with religious beliefs, which is their right and no one can alter their beliefs. Row vs Wade was a ruling made almost 50 years ago in January of 1973, during a time before things were more progressive. In the past, nearly 50 years have we progressed at all? Are we trying to evolve or are we only consistently devolving?
I am very aware that there will be numerous people that are going to disagree with my thoughts, but I am going to share them anyway. This issue has caused me a lot of frustration and anger, and this post has taken me over a week to finish. First, let me start by saying that I do not agree with using abortion as a form of birth control. There are risks a woman may experience from having an abortion, which may include pain and cramping, plus some intense mental health struggles, and social and financial burdens. There is already a negative stigma surrounding abortion, so I do not believe any woman is going to choose to have an abortion if it is not truly necessary.
People do need to be responsible and practice safe sex, but unforeseen things can happen. When a woman decides for whatever reason that she wants to have an abortion, there are safe ways to have this procedure completed. According to the World Health Organization, about 45% of all abortions are unsafe of which 97% occur in developing countries. Unfortunately, unsafe abortions are a leading avoidable cause of maternal deaths. If women lose the ability to get a safe abortion where the dangers decrease, the problem will be more unsafe abortions and an increased number of women dying unnecessarily.
Another HUGE problem I have with banning abortions is it is taking away a woman’s right to decide what she can do with HER body. The United States “claims” to be a “free” country”, right? Please explain how taking away a woman’s right to her body is freedom because this does not sound like what I consider freedom.
If a woman is raped, how can anyone force her to keep her rapist’s baby? That baby will be a constant reminder of the worst day in her life, which is NOT fair. If a woman gets pregnant and can be mature enough to admit that she does not have the means to provide a safe and happy life for that child, WHY should she be forced to? She was trying to put that child’s needs first and not bring it into a world where it would not have what it needs to flourish.
Please take a look at the states that have already banned abortion. Do you see a common denominator to these states? The first two states to put an abortion ban were Indiana and West Virginia. I am not surprised about Indiana, but I have been to West Virginia and have seen what people are like there, so I am shocked they were the 2nd state to ban abortion. I do not mean to bring politics into this as that is another hot topic and causes more arguments, but most of the states that have banned abortion are Republican leading with the voting poles. This is not an opinion, but a fact!
Regardless of an individual’s political or religious ideology, what gives anyone the right to tell a woman what she can or cannot do with HER body? In a “free” country, how can a government dictate law for a human body? Why should a woman that is raped be forced to carry her rapist’s baby for nine months? I have heard the argument that she can give the baby up for adoption, but nine months is a long time to carry a baby and endure childbirth all because a man did not listen to the simple two letters word “NO”.
Again, I understand that many people reading this post will have opposite views that I do and that is your right. I am not trying to take anyone’s rights away from them, like so many states are doing to women. Like I have already said, I do not think abortion should be used as a form of birth control, but that is not my right to decide for another woman, it is hers and hers ONLY! I believe in a woman’s right to decide if she can take care of another human life and if she knows she can’t, I do not think she should be forced to. More than anything else, I do not think any woman should be told she must carry her rapist’s baby because this was no fault of hers.
I am sorry if this post has offended anyone but am not sorry for the way I see things. I am not sorry that I think a woman is the only person that can decide what happens to her body. I am not sorry that I do not agree a woman should never have to carry a baby from rape or incest. I am not sorry that I do not agree with what is going on in the United States. I am not sorry that I view freedom differently than some do. I am not sorry that I feel a woman has the right to decide!
Thank you for visiting my site today. Although I do know many will disagree with everything I stated, I do hope it provides you with an understanding as to why I view things the way I do. When I find something extremely disturbing and when something upset me, I feel the need to write about it because it helps me to accept things and let the anger go. I hope you are having a nice and safe weekend. I do encourage you to leave a comment and I will respond as quickly as I can. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes.
What does manipulation mean to you? The Webster’s Dictionary shows manipulation to mean a few different things, but for this post, it means, “to control or play upon by artful, unfair, or insidious means, especially to one’s advantage”. To your knowledge, has anyone in your life ever tried to manipulate you? If so, how did this make you feel and how did you handle it?
Unfortunately, manipulative people can be found anywhere. These people can be family, friends, co-workers, or even new people in your life. They are not always easy to detect because they can easily lie and deceive you. Although they are skillful in their deceptive and treacherous behaviors, they are careless and selfish with only their benefits in mind.
Manipulative people know how to find your weaknesses, use them against you, and convince you to do what will benefit their interests. Some may attempt using positive tactics, such as disingenuous compliments and artificial closeness, but they typically use negative means like silent treatment, criticism, and emotional abuse.
The feelings felt when being manipulated are unpleasant, to say the least. This can easily leave a person feeling sad, disappointed, hurt, and even betrayed. If you have even been on the receiving end of manipulation, please let this be a lesson and never treat another person in this way.
**Please note, I am not a psychologist, mental health professional, or medical professional in any way, but the following tips are what I discovered through research and I hope they will help you end manipulative people before they can hurt and deceive you**
Remember, NO means NO:
Learn how to say “NO” in a firm, calm, and diplomatic way. There is no need to add anything else to the conversation. When we offer any reason, it can just provide ammo for the person to use to get through your defenses and force you to say “yes”. Initially, the manipulative person may become irritated and persistently try to convince you of something other than what you have already stated. Do not allow their determination or pushy behavior to change your mind. Continue to say “NO” and they will eventually give up.
Do not apologize automatically:
Manipulative people are skillful at turning the tables to make everything be your fault, even when in your heart you know it was not. These types of people are always the victim. Of course, we are all human and it may seem easier to apologize to keep the peace and end the conversation, but this will just provide them with more control. Stand your ground and know manipulative people will never take responsibility for their actions.
Do not react:
Although it is not easy, the more you defend yourself or explain your reasons, the farther you fall into their web of control. Manipulative people know the way you think and will take advantage of it. They will create drama and chaos and the more emotional you become, the calmer they will feel. They want to make you seem like the crazy one and they are sane. No matter how many accusations and criticisms they throw at you, try to walk away and simply say, “I am sorry you feel that way”.
Establish clear boundaries:
Manipulative people are drawn to and prey on people pleasers because their boundaries are often weaker. Boundaries are important in all relationships as lines are clearly drawn. If there is a manipulative person in your life that continues to cross even one of your boundaries, know when it is time to walk away and not engage further. Define ahead of time what the consequences are when the person continues to disrespect you and your boundaries.
Take time to make decisions:
Often a manipulative person will be forceful and demand an answer right away. Try to never cave into their pressure because it only gives them more control. Take as much time as you need to provide them with an answer.
Keep your distance:
The best and most challenging thing to do is to cut these manipulative people out of your life because they will try to make you feel guilty. Sometimes ignoring the person is easier because they are unaware of what is going on.
Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope the information in this post will help you deal with a manipulative person in your life or at least prepare you to handle on if you ever are forced to. Life is not easy, and we always need to do what is best for us because it is our life! If you have dealt with this type of person before, I am interested to read about it and how you handled it or knew it was happening. I will respond to all comments as quickly as I can. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!