My 2016 Birthday Prayer


Today is my birthday
but, awakening from a nightmare,
I’m not feeling very happy right now

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

First, my birthday prayer:

The personal story behind both the prayer and my recurring nightmares follows below.

PLEASE God, we seriously need to upgrade the health-care system in this country. We need a clean sweep of the Mammon-worshipping insurance industry, God, clearing out everyone who is getting rich off the health challenges of the citizens of this country.

Please make everyone aware that, most importantly, we desperately need to FIX America’s woefully inadequate mental health care system, as we vastly improve mental health awareness in the entire country – including empathy for the poor, the homeless and every single one of our veterans.

Lay it on the heart of every single American with breath enough to speak, God. Let them know it like *I* know it, feel it like *I* feel it

Make them realize that action can no longer be procrastinated, regardless of whether America’s new administration is willing to understand or is otherwise uninspired to take effective steps toward solutions that are more than sound-bites and cronyism.

Let the world finally understand that jails and prisons are no place for those who are mentally ill, God, and that Law Enforcement without in-depth mental health training has NO place dealing with the mentally ill.

Amen

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The not just ADD not-a-blog Blog


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Evergreens, Information & Neurodiversity

tree(c) Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

No, not the TREE!

I borrow the meaning of the term “evergreen” from its current usage in the podcasting community, in particular, in reference to Dr. Ginger Campbell’s amazing evergreen podcasts of brain-based information and interviews with leading scientists and science writers in the neuro-fields: The Brain Science Podcast.

“Evergreen,” in this context, refers to content that is not designed to “age-off” — information, written to remain relevant.

On ADDandSoMuchMORE, the content is ALSO designed to build upon itself, providing “background explanation” links for newly written content, rather than making every single post as long as a BOOK!

  • If you’ve been reading since Day-ONE, keep up as I post, and can remember what you read, you may not need to jump back to read the older content (over 450 info-dense articles and counting!)
  • It’s THERE if you need it or want it — and for newer readers trying to play “catch-up.”
  • I try to write each article so that it makes sense without a lot of “off-post” background explanation, but you will get A LOT more value from the content if you do click and read the linked information. Your choice.
  • By the way – I revisit several of the older posts every single week, adding links and editing content (where indicated) to keep things current.

THAT’s why it’s EVERGREEN!!

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Sneaky Grief


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the_sneaky_ninja_by_kirilleeWhad’ya Mean Sneaky Grief?

(c) Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Part of the Grief & Diagnosis Series
– all rights reserved

————————————————————————-
You will get more value out of the articles in this series
if you’ve read Part 1:

The Interplay between Diagnosis and Grief
————————————————————-

occupations_chefOnion

Peeling Grief’s Onion takes the TIME it takes!

Nancy Berns, author of Closure: The Rush to End Grief and What It Costs Us has this to say:

It’s wrong to expect everyone else to follow a
formulaic ‘healing process’ aimed at ‘moving on.’
 . . .
‘You do not need to “close” pain in order to live life again.”

Here, here!  I couldn’t agree more strongly.

We each grieve uniquely, and there are parts of our experience of grieving that will remain in our hearts forever – thank God!

How horrible to think that significant loss might be marked with nothing more dramatic than a nod before moving on forever, thinking no more often about what we have lost than those remnants of a fast-food meal we tossed with last week’s trash.

However, I believe it is equally wrong to avoid handing out a few maps of the territory in our fear of seeming didactic about a process that is one of the most individual of journeys.

  • There are markers that most of us swim by as we navigate the waters of grief, holding our lives above the waterline as best we can.
  • I believe that locating ourselves on our particular pathway is an important first step in our ability to navigate successfully – sometimes at all.

Locating ourselves in the grief process is trickier than it might be otherwise, until we understand the concept I refer to as “sneaky grief.”

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Some HELP for the Grieving


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What to DO while we’re peeling the onion

Another adorable Phillip Martin graphic

(c) Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Part 2 of a two-part article in the
Grief & Diagnosis Series
– all rights reserved

————————————————————————-
You will get more value out of the articles in this series
if you’ve read Part 1:

The Interplay between Diagnosis and Grief

Click BELOW for Part ONE of this article:
Onions, Diagnosis, Attention and Grief –
Dealing with Grief is like Peeling an Onion 
————————————————————-

In Part One of this article, we talked about some of the ways in which dealing with grief is like peeling an onion, and we discussed the fact that it can sometimes be difficult to distinguish grief from depression.

I encouraged you not to automatically discount the idea of pharmaceuticals if you feel you are not able to cope very well at all, and discouraged the impulsive from self-medicating.

I also encouraged you to trust your instincts about what YOU need while you heal.

I went on to give you a few specifics to help explain what that frequently mentioned “trouble sleeping” during a grief phase might look like in your life.

Following some brief information about the benefits of normalizing, I included a bit of self-disclosure about my own recent struggles with grief, to further help normalize what you may be experiencing. I left you with this:

Peeling grief’s onion takes the time it takes.
There ARE no shortcuts.

While it is certainly true that we cannot shorten the process, there are many things we CAN do to avoid lengthening it. That will be the focus of the remainder of this particular 2-part article in the Grief Series.

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Onions, Diagnosis, Attention and Grief


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Dealing with Grief is like Peeling an Onion

occupations_chefOnion

Another adorable Phillip Martin graphic

(c) Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Part 1 of a two-part article in the
Grief & Diagnosis Series
– all rights reserved

————————————————————————-
You will get more value out of the articles in this series
if you’ve read Part 1:

The Interplay between Diagnosis and Grief.
————————————————————-

An article entitled Helpful Tips for Coping with Grief, available on the HealthCommunities Website, asserts that “Grief is a normal response to loss.”

By “normal,” no doubt, they are referring to a state that is to be expected in an emotionally healthy human being.

The ten paragraph, ten part, ten web-pagelet article goes on to say quite a few helpful things about grief, many of which I am going to recontext in this series, along with exploring other assertions about grief and the grieving process that have long been accepted as universally relevant.

Because I think we need to reopen that book!

I’d like to begin by expanding upon the HealthCommunity’s second item today:
Feelings of grief [are] often progress in different stages.
It begins by underscoring an important point
we must all endeavor to keep in mind:
Every person grieves differently. 

“For some people, intense feelings — sometimes called the “throes of grief” — can last quite awhile. People who are grieving may go through 5 stages, including denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. 

Grief may not involve all of these and they don’t necessarily occur in order.

A number of difficult emotions are associated with grief — from feeling numb, to shock, sorrow, loneliness, fear, guilt and anger.

People who are grieving may be in pain, physically and emotionally, have trouble sleeping, lose interest in eating or activities and have difficulty concentrating and making decisions.”

I especially appreciate their careful use of qualifiers like “often”, “may,” and “don’t necessarily.”

My primary reason for quoting them, however, is to introduce some of my own conclusions about WHY grief seems to involve layers of processing, and WHY we don’t proceed apace from one to the other.

But first, lets talk about that onion for a minute.

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Stages of Grief following Diagnosis


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Exploring the Stages of Grief following Diagnosis

(c) Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Part of the Grief & Diagnosis Series – all rights reserved

It’s A Process

In the previous article, I introduced some of the predictable stages of grief that we cycle through on the way to a Positive Acceptance of a diagnosis.

I use the term “Positive Acceptance” to refer to the developmental stage where we are able to incorporate a vision of the future that can include our diagnosis without allowing it to define our vision for ourselves and our lives.

We have reached the stage of Positive Acceptance when we are able to embrace our potential for incorporating change as development, affirming that healing and growth can, has and will occur in expected and unexpected ways — and that new opportunities will arise for which we have been uniquely prepared by the process of getting to this stage.

Given the tendency in our community to hyperfocus on rumination, when we are presented with a strong stimulus that triggers the release of adrenalin we tend to agonize!  As I said in the introductory article,  “it is only when we become ‘stuck’ in one of the phases of post-diagnosis grief that most of us take the time to stop to wonder what is going on with us and why we can’t ‘just get on with it.’”

What IS Going On?

One of the “problems” with adrenaline release is that it activates our fight-flight-freeze response, with its attendant shut-down of the prefrontal cortex [PFC] centers essential for what are termed the Executive Function.

Many of us with “alphabet disorders” [ADD, EFD, TBI, ASD] seem to have what I call “hair-trigger startle responses.” As a consequence, we often seem to get stuck far more often than our non-ADD peers.

It is my experience that everyone gets stuck when PFC shutdown occurs, it just happens more often and more dramatically to those of us with deficits in the realms of the attentional spectrum.

That’s the good news as well as the bad news, by the way, but let’s explore some brain-basics before we expand on that idea — and before we explore each of the stages of post-diagnostic grief at the end of this article.  (Stay with me here – it will help things make more sense)

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How Cheap, really, IS talk?


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TalkCheapJustDo

For sale at spreadshirt.com

Just DO It!?

©Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Part of the Creativity Series – all rights reserved

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Talk is cheap. Words are plentiful.
Deeds are precious.
~
H Ross Perot

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Get OVER Yourselves!

There are A LOT of reasons why that ubiquitous advice to “Just DO It” seldom really works, but they’re rarely considered when those “tough love” so-called motivators mount their high horses. 

It is a worse than lousy motivator unless it comes at exactly the right moment and for exactly the right reasons to exactly the right person.  

  • Impulsives won’t be helped by that kind of encouragement.
  • Individuals at a crossroad in their lives would benefit more from a bit of that cheap talk before they Just DO anything.
  • Teens, already too much under the influence of peer pressure, certainly don’t need that kind of message tossed out like a dare.

There are folks, I suppose, who need that little kick-in-the-butt flavor of encouragement, and rare times when almost all of us could probably use it.  Those particular words, however, are more likely to activate our resistance than inspire our action, especially those of us with a higher than average oppositional piece to our make-up.

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The Interplay between Diagnosis and Grief


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Exploring the Post-Diagnostic Grief Response 

(c) Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Part of the Grief & Diagnosis Series – all rights reserved

webweaver clipart

Question: What do the following expressions
have in common?

  • “Oh thank goodness!  Now I can have a life!”
  • “You think I have what?” “Why didn’t they find this out before?”
  • “Why my child?” 
  • “He’s a perfectly normal BOY! Why do they have to pathologize everything?”
  • “I don’t need medication, I just need to try harder now that I know what I’m dealing with.”
  • “Those @#$% doctors don’t know anything!”
  • “If only I’d known this earlier, my life would have been completely different!”
  • Tell my boss?  Are you nuts?”

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ADDerWorld – Folks Like US!


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Lonelinesss . . .

is a longing for kind,

not company”

~source unknown

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Come meet your TRIBE

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

I would like to personally invite you to join one of the coolest ADD Playgrounds since the AOL ADD community  (way back in the online “olden days”) — ADDerWorld.

Membership is free. Bryan Hutchinson, the author of One Boy’s Story (and other ADD books and ebooks) uses book royalties to pay the freight.  In fact, when you join, he even lets you download a couple for absolutely nothing.

It’s like a FaceBook just for ADDers — and loved ones, colleagues, managers and educators who want to understand the ADDers they work with, teach, live with and love.

Do you have ADD yourself?

  • If you’ve ever felt like nobody in the world will ever understand – GET OVER THERE!
  • If you’re looking for a shoulder to cry on, a group to laugh with, a place where nobody’s gonna’ make you wrong – GET OVER THERE!!!
  • If you’re looking for a place where you can blog about your feelings without having to hide who you are – you know where to go, right?

Are you trying to live with an ADDer?

  • If you’ve ever felt like you will never in the world understand what’s going in in that ADD head of theirs – GET OVER THERE!
  • If you’re positive sometimes that YOUR ADDer really IS Lazy, Stupid and Crazy it’ll all start making A LOT more sense as you read the same private thought, tears and triumphs of so many other ADDers doing and saying what you thought was a behavioral quirk unique to your ADD pal  – ALL on ADDerWorld!!!

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Check out Peer Coaching


Need A Little More Help to really SHINE?

Graphic of confused man surrounded by words representing choices and procedures.

Do you need a little bit of ADD Coaching assistance to get to the point where you can afford ADD Coaching assistance?

  • Are you currently Peer Coaching and wish it could serve you BETTER?
  • Are you TRAINING to become an ADD Coach yourself — and you’re not sure how to really USE the required Peer-Partner sessions?
  • Are you currently using the services of a professional ADDCoach, but you’d like coaching support more often than you can afford?   Read more of this post
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