Empathy finale: Part III


A LOT of Help — from friends
both near and far

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
from the Walking a Mile Series – Part III, conclusion
Part I HERE; and Part II HERE

“There, but for the grace of God, go I”

We each have the power to change the world for someone

Our society has become very self-focused in the 30 years between my first and last experience with broken bones and lack of autonomy. I may not be able to do much to change it, but I am driven to name it and to speak out against it, especially in today’s political climate.

Perhaps the posting of this 3-part article will turn out to be the silver lining to the cloud of an unbelievably challenging several years of my already challenging life.

Perhaps the world will be just a little bit softer and more supportive, thanks to the efforts of those of you who have taken time from your lives to read it — in any number of arenas, but certainly in that of reaching out to help someone alone and in need.

Time creeps for those awaiting attention or help, especially once autonomy has been stripped.

I hope that reading my story will encourage ALL of you to set aside a moment to pay a bit of kind attention to anyone in your lives who has been waiting for someone to have time for them.

Attempt to cheer them up without making them wrong for needing cheering. Simply listening (without “up-languaging”) is a very kind thing to do and easy to extend, even if you are unable to manage more practical assistance.

As I have said in each of the three parts of this article, I am posting it NOW to put a human face on the reality that we all need to increase our willingness to get involved, before the next DSM is forced to add a new category: EDD – Empathy Deficiency Disorder.

My second experience is coming to a close, thanks to a dear couple several states away, more disposed to empathy than sympathy. They insisted on making the TEN HOUR drive to bring me back home with them — to help me heal emotionally as much as physically.

Again, as you read, I want you to keep in mind that, as disturbing as my experience certainly was, it pales in comparison to what many folks must overcome every day of their lives, and what many of our neighbors may shortly be facing unless enough of us step up and sing out.
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Sorry for the Inconvenience Part II


dynv_warning_sign_1

PTSD Trigger Warning

Not my problem,
not my business?

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
from the Walking a Mile Series – Part II

“There, but for the grace of God, go I”

What kind of world do YOU want?

As I began in Part I of this article, our society seems to be rapidly moving to a state where it is empathy-averse. This article is my attempt at trying to change that sad reality in some small fashion by telling my personal story.

The power of true stories

Sometimes hearing the stories of people you know, even a little, makes a greater impact than any urging to speak out, step up, and make a difference ever could. So I have written a three-part article sharing two personal experiences, several years past now, the first of which I shared in Part I.

My second experience is more disturbing, yet perhaps more important to my quest to foster empathy in those who seem to be more disposed to offer sympathy.  Not to post a spoiler, but the end of the story, Part III returns to a more upbeat tone that so many commented that they appreciated about Part I.

However, anyone who has never experienced needing help and not being able to get it has probably never thought about what a lack of empathy means in the life of someone they know. This part of the article gives everybody just a little taste.

Everybody wins – or loses

Science is unconflicted in their assertions that community is important to physical and mental health – both to those who give and to those who receive support — as well as about the dangers of remaining apart on either side of the equation.

I want to repeat another bit of text from Part I:

Sympathy is not the same as Empathy

Sympathy is “feeling sorry for” a person in a particular situation. It is a feeling that allows us to be grateful that we are not the ones going through the experience personally.

But it also fosters a pull to allow ourselves to sit back and do nothing to ease the burden for another.

Empathy is “putting ourselves in the shoes of another,” allowing us to imagine what we would find helpful and encouraging, and perhaps to step up to extend support – if only a little bit, and maybe more than that.

OR, as Bernadette from HaddonsMusings, host of the Senior Salon commented after Part I:

Sympathy is sitting on the sidelines;
empathy is getting in the game.

And now for the disclosure of some of the details of my more recent experience – even though it is now several years behind me.

As you read, I want you to keep in mind that, as disturbing as my experience certainly was, it pales in comparison to what many of our neighbors may shortly be facing unless enough of us step up and sing out.

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Can Eating Grapes Improve Your Memory?


Pilot study highlights role of grapes
in preventing Alzheimer’s disease
Implications for Memory & Attentional Struggles in Alphabet City

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Edited Reblog from the ClinicalNews blog
Ralph Turchiano on February 3, 2017

Brand New Study suggests Good News!

Grape-enriched diet prevents metabolic brain decline,
improves attention and memory
Public Release: 3-Feb-2017: California Table Grape Commission FRESNO, CA

Consuming grapes twice a day for six months protected against significant metabolic decline in Alzheimer-related areas of the brain in a study of people with early memory decline.

Low metabolic activity in these areas of the brain is a hallmark of early stage Alzheimer’s disease. Study results showed a grape-enriched diet protected against the decline of metabolic activity.

Alzheimer’s disease. as most people know, is a brain disease that results in a slow decline of memory and cognitive skills. Although it’s cause is not yet fully understood, it is believed result from a combination of genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors.

Currently 5.4 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease — and the numbers continue to grow.

Study implications for EFD

Scientists noted that the group that was given the grape-enriched diet also exhibited increased metabolism in other areas of the brain that correlated with individual improvements in attention and working memory performance, compared to those on the non-grape diet.

That’s encouraging news for those of us with Executive Functioning Disorders.

EFD, remember, is the term used to describe problems with cognitive abilities that most adults take for granted as products of intelligence, education and maturity — items like planning, problem solving, concentration, mental flexibility, and controlling short-term behavior to achieve long-term goals.

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THANKS to all who read & commented on My Birthday Prayer


You are much appreciated
AND there is more to be done & more we ALL can do

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
from the Mental Health Awareness Series

Turning a Comment into a Post

I added a comment to my Birthday Post to thank my readers and followers for the amazing response from so many of you who took the time to read the story behind my prayer.

I so appreciate everyone who commented with empathy, as well as with the disgust that *I* feel for the TRAGIC and avoidable murder of the son of a good friend, colleague, and leading light in the ADD community.

I am expanding it into an Advocacy article, hoping that more of you will see it.

So what’s the MORE?

God Bless YOU all – and now I hope everyone will be proactive, speaking truth to “power” with a reach further than that of the blogging community.

I ask you to write or call your elected representatives and local hospital administrators – and that you repeat this story to your doctors with an expression of concern that something similar could EVER happen to you or someone you love.

It’s desperately needed, regardless of where you live in the free world.

The police are not the central problem here – but their lack of mental health training IS a serious issue that has needed addressing for a very long time. And that, my friends, is a matter for specifically targeted appropriations – or, as it turns out, lack thereof.

The APA (American Psychological Association) and AMA (Medical) could us a major tune up as well.

What happened medically that allowed this tragedy to occur was and IS INexcusable, totally avoidable and, unfortunately, not rare.

We, too, can become effective Lobbyists

ALL decision and policy makers need to be encouraged to assign a staff member to start reading the blogs of the mental health advocates, the chronic pain & PTSD sufferers and of a great many individuals attempting to get adequate and EMPATHETIC care from their doctors and nurses.

Many too many health care professionals seem more afraid of black and white DEA retribution – due to the way in which the DEA enforces their policies, intended to lower drug abuse statistics, to undercut the effective treatment for a variety of disabilities and disorders – than they are of being called out for providing seriously substandard care to many in the mental health community. REGULARLY.

Inexcusable, of course, but professional cowardice is at least understandable on some level.  What is NOT understandable is the rude and insensitive way in which many patients are treated by the doctors and nurses they look to and PÅY for help and understanding.

I see tales of lousy treatment on most of the blogs – and insensitive treatment on ALL of them. 

I hope that everyone who has posted an article supporting this statement will leave a link in a comment — those will become the only Related Posts for this article.

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Can you hear them NOW?


Heads up Washington!
I hope you got the message LOUD and CLEAR

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
from the What Kind of World do YOU Want Series

America is mad as hell and
they’re not going to take it anymore!

Regular readers could probably have predicted that I would be depressed about the election results.  And I am. I have been hiding out in shock, cycling through depression and anxiety for more than a few days now, while previously prepared content auto-posted.

After a bit of intro, dumping my current feelings, I believe I am finally ready to take some forward steps (skip to the next section if you are not ready to read anything more about the election.)

I am especially concerned about what this presidency will mean for those suffering from chronic pain and mental health challenges.  I fear a return to the Dark Ages of mental illness history — as well as the return of devastating, life-threatening physical illnesses previously eradicated as DT reopens the vaccination wars, just announced.

Circle the wagons and pull in your heads.
It’s likely to be a four year extremely bumpy ride.

Ready for any New Broom Pusher

No matter how you feel about the election results, the vote sent a clear message to Party Bosses, Whips, lobbyists and American politicians – regardless of affiliation.

Voters representing slightly less than half the population (and the majority of the antiquated Electoral College, supposedly those with cooler heads) are prepared to vote into office anybody else – even a man with no platform and zero political experience.

Don’t you get it, Washington?

They are no longer willing to accept empty promises, pass the buck finger-pointing, or divisive Party politics.  They want legitimate CHANGE.  Now!

  • They want you to clean up politics, end cronyism, and stop legislating like spoiled, wealthy adolescents in school bathrooms, gathering to decide on group behaviors and who can be a protected member of your club.  Or else!
  • We ALL want you to start taking a long hard look at what you have been doing to the vast majority of the people of our once-great country in your relentless march toward corporate capitalism.
  • We want EACH of you who are supposedly representing us in Washington to step into personal accountability for the mess in this country, making sure you include EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US in your attempts to fix it.
  • We are counting on you to gird your loins and be brave enough to USE the checks and balances power still in place, before policies are enacted that prevent it.

Related Post: 10 Things I Do Not Want in my President

I hope you have been paying attention, Washington
and that you have HEARD the roar.

Moving ON from here

MEANWHILE, we must find some way to soldier on despite how we feel about the results of the election and how we are impacted by what happens next. Keep reading.

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Science CONFIRMS what we have always known – again


Let’s Hear It for Confirmation?

WHY are Common Sense & “Anecdotal” Evidence SUSPECT
until scientists obtain funding to “verify” what we already know?

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

Modern Media Headline News?

I really must stop reading the paper!

Anger and frustration grow increasingly stronger, page after page, reading even the headlines. When there is absolutely nothing one can do about what one reads, they are such uncomfortable, unproductive emotions.

I have come to expect various negative emotions whenever I read what passes for political commentary and coverage. I’m never sure which makes me crazier: what most of the politicians say and do or what most of the “news” reporters write about what the politicians say and do.

No longer do I spend hours of my time exploring alternate reportage in a vain attempt at determining the truth beneath a story printed in whatever paper I happen to pick up first.

As cynical as it sounds, I have finally been forced to accept that any political reportage I might read would be little more than another permutation of party SPIN in service of the almighty dollar, crafted primarily to attract a greater readership share than the journalistic competition.

Yet it seems that I have not yet jettisoned my naivety entirely.

Naivety, Hope & Timing

I still believe that research scientists truly mean well and are working to save lives and improve its quality for the next generation.

Nonetheless, it makes me Grumpy to note their lack of urgency as they take careful steps to build their careers and reputations – almost as if their patience with the process indicates that they need to think about the lives of this generation as “acceptable casualties.”

But about those reporters . . .

Science reportage in the majority of articles in the popular press retains the full force of my disdain.

  • “Don’t ANY of them read original sources?” I wail silently, frowning over whatever I’m eating or drinking as I read.
  • “Or is it that they don’t have adequate long-term memories?  What’s been around for decades is not NEWS.”

I had those thoughts again, just last night – as I enjoyed a margarita with a Cactus Pear specialty nacho salad during a solo evening dining out at the restaurant within walking distance of my apartment building.

To keep me company, I picked up one of their copies of the March 23 – 29 issue of Citibeat, Cincinnati’s alternative paper. Hoping to read something brief and not too upsetting so I could enjoy my dinner, I turned to Worst Week Ever! – one of their running features.

There – along with a blurb about the Pope’s brand new Instagram presence and a long paragraph about the GOP’s refusal to consider Obama’s Supreme Court Nominee “or anything else the man wants” – was some “news” about the intelligence of dogs: Scientists Believe Dogs Are More Intelligent Than We Give the Little Bastards Credit For (alternative paper, remember).

Don’t forget that you can always check out the sidebar for a reminder
of how links work on this site, they’re subtle (scroll UP for it) ==>

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