Socialworkishsunday: Something Happened

As a crisis worker, I spend a LOT of time in emergency departments. Up until about a year ago, I think I witnessed ONE overdose coming in, and then something happened. These days, I usually don’t get through a work shift without an overdose coming in. Sometimes they die. Narcan isn’t made of magic. Overhearing these people dying (because even if they live through that overdose…. they are still dying) day in and day out really takes a toll on me. So many people with so much life yet to live. But something happened, and now their life belongs to drugs.
There have ALWAYS been drugs and there have ALWAYS been people addicted to them. Something happened and now we have an epidemic. WHAT HAPPENED!????
I see people post the most disgusting and heartless memes recommending we just let all the drug addicts kill themselves, suggesting Narcam shouldn’t be readily available, saying ‘it’s their choice to do drugs—it’s their problem,’ etc. What if is ISN’T their choice? Do you really think ANY 5 year old out there is spinning around with their arms spread out daydreaming about the first time they get their hands on some smack? Coloring at the table imagining their first night as a homeless person? Getting ready for an 8th grade dance thinking about how excited they are to grow up and trade their first blow job for an 8-ball? No. But SOMETHING HAPPENED, and the it’s starting to seem like drugs are just as likely a future as college for kids growing up right now.
It is SO. EASY. TO. JUDGE. But I PROMISE YOU that EVERY overdose I overhear was once just a ‘regular kid,’ with hopes, dreams, crayons, and swings. EVERY overdose I overhear is someone with family members JUST LIKE YOU about to hear the worst news of their life; That any hope they were holding is gone.
We need to figure out what happened and then work on fixing it. Judging, ignoring, alienating, demonizing and ‘not-my-probleming’ is just making things so much worse.

L-I-V-I-N-G with Seasonal Affective Disorder. In Maine.

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LOOK HOW FUN!!!! Winter is JUST THE BEES KNEES, RIGHT!!!!??? Uh, no. Actually, I have a long history of winter blues that subjects those around me to endless complaining about feeling cold, and not wanting to do anything except snuggle under a blanket on the couch. This year my ‘winter blues’ seemed worse than usual (…..perhaps there is a connection to my father dying the weekend before Christmas… just a theory 😉 )
So I took a quiz. And it said I had Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). But then I noticed the quiz was on a ‘phototherapy light’ website, so I figured they probably diagnose everyone with SAD to sell more lights! So I searched for more appropriate diagnostic tools and found another, more lengthy, test from a more legitimate source. And it said I had Seasonal Affective Disorder. To which I thought, “Meh, it probably says everyone has everything.” So I took a test for depression, and then one for anxiety. It said, “No ma’am. No depression or anxiety in that little brain of yours. Ya just got the ole SAD.”
So what are the “textbook” treatments?
Drugs: No thank you. And thankfully, my home remedies have been working so I don’t even need to consider that route!
Exposure to sunlight: CHECK!! Even though they are INSULATING and keep the rooms warmer, we decided natural sunlight was worth the little extra we may pay for heat this year.
Light therapy: Open to it if needed, but I think I’m good!
Psychotherapy: All set thanx.
My treatment regime prescribed by myself, and Google…
After lots of reading and, previously learned knowledge having been in the mental health field for over 20 years now, I know the importance of exercise to mental health. I also know how few people actually follow through with this, so it’s important to me that I practice what I preach. So I exercise almost every day.
Several articles discuss the importance of engaging in activities, particularly winter activities, to find enjoyment during winter months. So, I stopped saying (aka whining) “No… it’s too cold and yucky” when Lonnie says, “Hey, wanna go _______?” We started Friday night board games, a new tradition I am LOVING!!!! I have PLANS to see Black Panther Friday night with friends and I WILL GO EVEN IF IT’S COLD OUT!! (I said it here so now I have to!)
  • I’ve hiked!
  • I’ve snow-shoed!
  • I’ve cross country skied (for about 6 feet)!
  • I’ve walked the dogs!
  • I’ve shoveled!
  • I’ve started a gratefulness/21 Days of Happiness journal
  • I’ve stopped listening to news all day
  • I’ve STARTED listening to Oprah’s Soulful Conversations instead of news! (Amazingly inspiring and thought provoking!)
  • I’m watching what I eat and drink and even doing a Whole30 (or 20) (maybe 8) (I’m on day 8 😉 )

We (speaking of “we,” having a super-supportive partner who isn’t afraid to tell you when you need to get your shit together and your ass off the couch doesn’t hurt!) are in full-on SAD battle mode and it’s WORKING!!! I feel great, and when I don’t, I recognize it, and FREAKING DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT— SEE ABOVE!!

::::Drug commercial tagline alert::::I may have SAD, but it doesn’t have ME! LOL Had to.