Resources: Maryville University Supports Veterans Earning College, Graduate, and Post-Graduate Degrees

Disclaimer: this is a place of learning, safety, and hope. Take what you want from the post and forget the rest. Maybe this will help you. Maybe it won’t.

Disclaimer: Resource Posts provide information and links to the organization sharing information with guests here. I DO NOT promote, advertise, or receive any benefit/compensation for sharing the information and links.

Short Sabbatical Break; Extra Post this month

My partial sabbatical is going well so far. I’ve been concentrating on family stuff and the paid job. Aromatherapy certification requirements are on hold. Herb classes online work as a TV alternative and fun hobby to relax and learn something interesting after work. So does creating aromatherapy blends.

I continue to brainstorm new ideas for Untangled Connections and figure out where it’s headed in 2020. My plan was to write a post on Halloween since it is an Anniversary I never shared much about here in the past.

But then I got an email from an outreach coordinator at Maryville University’s Online college program about 1.5 weeks ago asking me:

  1. Am I still updating Untangled Connections?
  2. Would I add their article about Veterans, PTSD, and higher education to my Resources page if I was still updating the site?
  3. This article can help Veterans and people working with Veterans succeed in college and other higher education pursuits.
  4. Our University also offers other resources and support for veterans and active duty soldiers who want to enroll in college or graduate school

At first, I didn’t know what to say. This would be a big opportunity for me, but also triggering, in many ways. Talking with my counselor helped, and so I decided to share this resource with you. All of the links go back to Maryville University

In Support of Maryville University’s Active Work with Veterans and Active Duty Soldiers

I work with Maryville University, a nationally recognized private institution offering comprehensive and innovative education.

Our health guides aim to spread awareness on various mental conditions and break the stigma surrounding them. Seeing your page, I thought our guide would be a great addition to it. You can review it below:

https://online.maryville.edu/online-bachelors-degrees/psychology/understanding-a-veteran-with-ptsd/

This resource provides valuable information that your audience may find helpful.

Maryville University Outreach Coordinator

When this email appeared, my first thoughts were:

  • I’m not qualified to write about this
  • Wow, this is a first – a higher education institute requesting to be added here – exciting and scary
  • But I really want to share this resource here and help guests who are part of the military or military families.
  • How can I do justice to this topic and this resource?

Then I reached out to the coordinator (forgot to ask permission to include this person’s name here) and explained the reason for a delayed response (sabbatical) and my process for adding a resource. If this process was acceptable, I’d do the research and publish the post on the next Sunday (today).

Also, was there anything else the coordinator wanted to share with my guests? Answer below

Maryville’s Understanding a Veteran with PTSD guide aims to spread awareness on our heroes’ off-field worst nemesis: PTSD. The guide contains information on how we can understand their situation more and how to help them get through the situation as well.

Maryville University Outreach Coordinator

In Support of Veterans and Active Duty Soldiers

As you know, I am not a veteran and have never been part of the US Military or a government employee. I do not claim to know anything about being a soldier or what it’s like to serve the US or any country in this capacity.

My time as a soldier was for the paramilitary branch of a human trafficking organization disguised as a cult. The leaders were predominantly pedophiles who trained kids they got tired of as child soldiers instead of killing or throwing them away. It wasn’t voluntary, but it taught me how to survive.

Since then, I’ve had the privilege to know and learn from many veterans and soldiers. One of my favorite uncles was a Navy veteran who shared his love of cooking with me growing up. Many of my mentors at the paid job are veterans too. Finally, some of my TCM or acupuncture providers at the teaching clinic have been veterans.

Choices, Experiences, Trauma

One topic that often comes up in our conversations is perspective about trauma and PTSD. They can acknowledge my experiences as traumatic easily, but have difficulty applying the word “traumatic” to some of their military experiences.

One person told me it’s because soldiers choose the military life and what it entails to follow orders from command. Sometimes those orders include actions they would not otherwise commit outside of military life. Therefore, they were not really traumatized or victims of trauma.

In some ways, I can agree with that. But not in other ways. Because not all trauma survivors are victims or victimized. Many are. But not everyone.

Plus, he and other soldiers or veterans may have chosen their career paths – chosen to follow orders – but they did not choose to be traumatized by the experiences of being a soldier. They chose to follow orders, not to commit acts that would scar them in so many ways.

I believe this because I experienced it. What many people don’t realize (and I hardly ever share anywhere or with anyone) is that I chose to go back to the scary other life in college. I chose to be part of that world for many years because it felt safer and more secure than exploring the unknown other world.

It wasn’t until I got the permanent, paying job and learned how to function in the “legitimate” “normal” world with friends and peers that I decided to leave the other world behind.

So yes, like the soldiers and veterans, I chose to go back to that familiar world and be an active part of traumatic experiences that only reinforced childhood lessons for many years even though I had many opportunities to leave.

Was I a victim because I chose to go back to that world? I don’t know.

Does serving in the military make soldiers and veterans victims of trauma? I don’t know.

It’s a matter of perspective to be honest. Not just how the world views us, but also how we view ourselves

Helping Ourselves by Helping Each Other

If you or anyone you know may find this information beneficial, please share it how ever you choose.

Thanks for reading

Life Quirks & Resources: Knowledgeable? or Expert?

Why two categories?

This post shares as star about my not wanting to be an “expert” and a resource link to one of my favorites podcasts about herbalism. This husband and wife team work together to educate and inform people about herbalism as a business and a lifestyle through their podcast. They also teach classes (online and in person) and run clinics in their neighborhood.

I found them through an aromatherapy podcast interview and found their perspective about herbalism and community refreshing. But most important, I really loved their podcasts about “how to not be a guru” and “smoking herbs”. Both of those podcasts resonated with me, my values, and my future career choices so much that I wrote to them and asked to share their podcasts here with you.

Why don’t you want to be considered an expert?

Simple. I do not consider myself and expert on this topic or any topic to be honest. Yes, I am smart. Yes I am knowledgeable about the topics here and others too.

But I don’t have all the answers. My methods will not work for everyone. What I share here is not meant to be diagnosis, treatment, or solutions to problems. I am not going to ever, on purpose, tell you what to do or how to do it. I offer options and information that can turn into education, knowledge, or self-study through my guests curiosity.

There are many people with more knowledge, wisdom, experience, and expertise than me out in the world with the credentials to provide diagnosis, treatment, solutions, etc. These people are the experts who can tell you what to do.

I am one of few people who are willing to openly discuss topics like this. Unfortunately, not many others are willing to do the same. That will change some day.

The questions are:

  • Who are they?
  • Where do we find them?
  • Will these people share knowledge?
  • And what do we look for?

But for now, it’s up to us to be honest and authentic in sharing our experiences in a safe and positive way that helps us and others heal.

AlterXpressions

Make sense?

Who is the husband and wife herbalist team you mentioned above?

*I am not being paid or compensated in any way to promote CommonWealth Center for Holistic Herbalism here*

The CommonWealth Center for Holistic Herbalism is owned and run by Katja Swift and Ryn Midura. They call themselves holistic herbalists and educators on the podcast and use the audio platform to share their knowledge and experiences about how herbs can be used in every day life.

With all transparency, I will also tell you that I hope to take their online and in person classes in the future. Learning herbalism has been a long-time dream and exchanging email with Katja has only increased my excitement. Now to find the time and money….

First Podcast share is: How to Not Be A Guru

This relates to my “rant” about being an expert.

podcast link in case WordPress does not let me share the audio directly

Second Podcast share is: Herbal Smoking Blends & Herbs To Quit Smoking

This relates to coping strategies and coping challenges I and guests here on the blog have with regards to smoking

podcast link in case WordPress does not let me share the audio directly

Maybe this will help you; maybe it won’t. But I hope you give them a chance if you are interested in learning more about how herbs can help you.

As for me, maybe the first podcast will help you understand why I prefer not to be considered an expert with all the answers. It’s almost like putting me on a pedestal – something I don’t like and wrote about here – and feels really uncomfortable because I have been put on pedestals and then knocked down hard with my reputation and livelihood in tatters.

Never would I want that for an of my guests to feel that way about me here. Nor do I want to make others feel that way on purpose. It’s not a fun or good experience in any way.

So if you are looking for an expert to give you all the answers, this is not the place for you.

If you are looking for a place to ask questions and get honest answers (including “I don’t know”), welcome to the site and explore at your own pace.

Thanks for reading

Write to me on to the Contact & Connect form.

Resources: RehabCenter.net

https://www.rehabcenter.net/inpatient-rehab-centers/

*Caveat 1 – I do not receive compensation for writing Resource Posts and am not promoting any of the services or products on this website*

*Caveat 2 – This review is for informational purposes only*

One of the employees from DrugRehab.com shared RehabCenter.net as resource referral back in March. I promised to review the information and share the resource here on the blog and add it to the Resources page. You can find the link at the end of the first section in the spreadsheet. I wrote back and promised to feature this resource in a post and add  the website to my resources page by the end of April 2019.

Life got in  the way – final exams, work, a rash that’s finally going away, etc. – so I have not been able to update the Resource page and write this post until today.

Here is what I like about this site:

  • Free 1-800 number with a promise of confidentiality to anyone who calls looking for help
  • A directory with multiple treatment centers in all 50 states
  • Supportive, compassionate (from their site) professionals willing to help callers find a treatment center and/or program tailored to their specific circumstances – within reason
  • States on their home page: “most insurances accepted” with the logos of many common medical insurance providers displayed in the same section
  • Well organized, easy to navigate website and menu
  • Articles and links to information about specific topics: treatment programs/organizations; drug addiction (types, etc.), alcohol treatment  (types, etc.), resources, and contact information
  • Discusses and provides information about how addiction affects physical, emotional, and spiritual health and how to address those effects
  • Provides information about the connection between addiction and mental health issues and offers assistance with mental health issues too

If you want to learn more about RehabCenter.net, please visit their About Us page.

If you want to learn more about DrugRehab.com, you can find my here and here.

If you have a resource referral you’d like to share, please fill out this contact form.

Thanks for reading.

Resources: Aromatherapy for Anxiety Class

Aromahead Institute. www.aromahead.com
borrowed from the Aromahead Institute’s home page on 24March2019

Disclosure 1: I am a happy, engaged, biased student at the Aromahead Institute and have completed 5 different aromatherapy courses there so far. 

Disclosure 2: I am not getting paid to share this information or promote the class described below.

Background

As you’ve read in past posts, I am taking classes to become a certified aromatherapist. All of my classes are online at the Aromahead Institute School of Essential Oil Studies. Essential oils and aromatherapy has helped me a lot with my anxiety and related pain management issues, so I wanted to share this learning opportunity with you too.

Webinar Class Details

Andrea Butje is the head instructor and will be teaching a live webinar about how certain essential oils are scientifically proven to help reduce anxiety and stress on March 28, 2019 for $30.

The webinar is on Thursday, March 28th at 1 PM Eastern USA, and is $30.

On the webinar, I’ll teach you about three essential oil components that have been researched and proven to calm the nervous system.

I’ll also teach you about three essential oils that contain these components.

And three recipes for using these essential oils to keep your heart, mind, and nervous system calm.

That’s 3 components, 3 essential oils, and 3 recipes.

These recipes are simple to make, and convenient to use throughout your day.

I will also include some bonus lessons for you—a FOURTH essential oil that can inspire real peace in your heart, and an easy method for making your own vanilla-infused jojoba.

~from the March 20, 2019 email newsletter by Andrea Butje

Andrea gave me permission to share  this newsletter information and link with you. If you are interested in learning more about aromatherapy and can’t afford this class, you can always try the free class here instead. This class served as my introduction and convinced me to continue learning through the school.

Unfortunately for me, I won’t be able to attend this seminar. Life is too busy with work, recovery, and case studies for my certification class right now. But I intend to take this webinar class  the next time it’s offered.

Happy blending and hope you get some relief if you take the class.

Thanks for  reading.

 

Coping Strategy: EMDR Trial 2

Credit to: Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska

*Disclaimer: I am not a medical or mental health professional. The information below is for educational and support purposes only. Please discuss any changes you want to make with your provider first.*

BACKGROUND

In past posts, either my alters or I mentioned trying EMDR with different counselors. The results were good in session, but not so great between sessions or in real life. The coping strategies we practiced to help with the side effects of EMDR were sufficient but not enough to quote a past counselor. I couldn’t cope with the side effects of EMDR while living my old life, so put it aside to focus on techniques and strategies that did help.

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)

So what is EMDR? And why is it helpful (depending on the individual) for PTSD, Trauma, and Anxiety?

You can find an excellent definition and resources here at the EMDR Therapy website

This article defines EMDR

This website is for the EMDR International Association and offers training, education, and resources.

Q&A

Why try EMDR again after so many years?

Short answer:

Different counselor, different approach, different overall living situation

Longer answer:

  • My memories were coming back, and the emotions/sensations/triggers that came with them started interrupted daily life or nightly sleep too often
  • The hyper-vigilance and panic attacks kept increasing because of new or more sensitive environmental and internal triggers
  • Increased sensitivity to internal triggers – existing coping strategies and techniques were less helpful than usual; sometimes  made the overwhelming feelings or anxiety worse
  • My current counselor asked me if I was willing to try EMDR again and explained her process. Then showed me different options to use for the bi-lateral stimulation part of the process.
  • Overall, I felt safe, confident, and ready  to try this again

How did the EMDR work this time around?

The EMDR worked well and helped a lot to reduce my sensitivity to certain triggers and feel more confident about my reactions to situations in real life. The memories are just memories now. Any lingering trauma sensations or triggers left with each EMDR session.

Each Session?

Yes, I have had two sessions so far: one earlier this summer and one in October.

Why wait to share?

As mentioned earlier in the post, there are side effects or after effects that linger for a period of time after the EMDR session. The time period for long those effects last differs from person to person.

For me, the effects last about 2-3 months. During this time period, my focus is narrowed to: meet basic needs and self-care as I work with or through the emotional and physical changes brought out by the EMDR.

Will you share tips and suggestions for preparing for an EMDR session?

Yes. I broke the list down into three sections.

Discussing with or finding an experienced counselor

  • Learn as much as you can about EMDR and how it could benefit you because it does not help everyone
  • If you are seeing a counselor, have a conversation about how EMDR could help you
  • If your counselor is trained in EMDR, ask if you can try it in a future session
  • If your counselor is not trained and you want to try EMDR, ask for a referral to work with an EMDR specialist along with regular sessions
  • If you do decide to work with a specialist, make sure you feel safe and comfortable with her or him before you start anything.

*remember it’s important to trust the counselor and feel safe sharing these experiences in order for any kind of therapy or coping technique to be effective*

Before the EMDR session

  • Listen to the counselor’s process: intake questions, building resources, practicing coping strategies so that you remember them even in distress, discussing memories and choosing which one to work on in each session, etc.
  • Work with the counselor to answer questions as honestly as possible; provide enough information to help you both make informed decisions about the session and after care
  • If a coping strategy does not work for you, say so and work with the counselor to find an alternative
  • The counselor may ask you what type of EMDR tool you want to use for the bi-lateral stimulation part. The choice is yours, and it’s okay to ask if you can try out each one before making your choice

After the EMDR session

  • You will feel tired after your session, so it’s best to try scheduling your session after work or on a day with minimal activity
  • You may experience emotions and sensations differently – that makes coping with and reacting to them difficult sometimes
  • Your body may feel different – especially if you experience body memories
  • You could have more memories resurface – not all traumatic – and have to cope with them too
  • If you are like me (aka open about your unique gifts), you might also have some interesting experiences within your environment or during interactions with people. Traditional coping strategies might not work for those experiences, but your spiritual or religious practice could help. My spiritual practice helps me cope with them

Remember, EMDR is not for everyone. These tips are for informational purposes only and based solely on my personal experience. Please discuss with a medical or mental health professional before making any decisions or changes to your current treatment plan.

Thanks for reading.