Suicide Is Permanent, Please Stay

Suicide Is Permanent, Please Stay

Suicide Is Permanent, Please Stay

D. S. Mitchell

Just The Facts

If you are between 15-35, suicide is the second leading cause of death for your age group.  For all age groups, suicide is responsible for more deaths than murder and natural disasters, combined.  Men take their own lives four times as often as women. Many men sadly would rather be dead than seem ‘weak.’

Those Left Behind

As you can see, suicide is not a rare, or isolated event. It is very real and definitely permanent, and it leaves those who are left behind, in utter despair. For them the suicide event is plagued by stigma, guilt and self-recrimination. The most common question from those left behind is, “what could I have done differently?”

A Societal Contract

Suicide is like the tentacles of an octopus wrapping itself around all of us, casting doubt on hope, and future.  It tears at our social fabric and brings into question society’s compact with the individual.  Whether spoken or unspoken, we as people, are part of a greater society.  As a society, we have agreed to a collective future, a means to provide for our children, to continue our culture, to sustain our existence at all cost. Jennifer Michael Hecht wrote,  Stay: A History of Suicide and the Arguments Against it. And in her words,  “Either the universe is a cold dead place with solitary sentient beings, or we are all alive together, committed to persevere.”

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Disturbed “The Sound of Silence”

Disturbed “The Sound of Silence”

Disturbed “The Sound of Silence”

David Draiman is the perfect voice for this incredible song of pain and frustration. I loved Simon & Garfunkel. I loved their version of their amazing song, however sometimes a new voice can bring new life to someone else’s work. It’s a rainy day where I’m at. This version of “Sound of Silence” is a perfect reflection of the day.  So, here we go folks, the Calamity Politics Jukebox Choice of the Day, Disturbed doing “Sound of Silence.”

14 Secret Life Habits That Bring Happiness

14 Secret Life Habits That Bring Happiness

While some will seem obvious, others may not. . .

Happiness comes from staying vital and engaged

14 Secret Life Habits That Bring Happiness

By D. S. Mitchell

Your Future 

Psychologists and life coaches make it clear that some behaviors will lead to a productive and happy life, while others can potentially lead to prison.  Seriously, if you stopped reading at 12, drink to excess, drive recklessly, and bully your family, you are likely to come in contact with law enforcement and a whole lot of unhappiness. Conversely, there are habits and actions that are positive, rewarding, and fulfilling. Positive, rewarded and fulfilled; that sounds like the definition of happiness to me.

1.) Keep to a Schedule. This one can be hard, as we juggle work and life, but this is a biggie; one of the most important on this list. Just remember the goal and not the means. The goal is to bring organization out of chaos, NOT following the schedule stupidly.  Don’t let the schedule become the religion, but let it help you live a more comfortable life. Organization starts with a schedule. Staying on track is one of the best ways to get needed daily, weekly, and monthly tasks accomplished. And who doesn’t like to get things done? There is a satisfaction in a job done, especially if it is well-done.

2.) Adapt and Evolve. Change is a constant, once you accept that fact the happier you will be. Be flexible. Remember, “each moment is a new beginning.” As you get older, accepting change is often hard, but it is worth the effort. Stay relevant. Stay involved.

3.) The U-bend of Life. Science has told us that the happiest folks are those in their 80’s and beyond. I love a quote from Cousin Lucille, “Let my last days be my best days.” So if you are having a mid-life crisis and feel your life is on a downward trajectory be assured a turn around is in your future.

4.) Talk Kindly to Yourself. We all self-talk. If you talk doom and gloom, you will be repaid with doom and gloom. If you dial down the negative brain chatter you will be happier for it. Buddha said, “You are what you think,” suggesting you have an option to choose negative or positive. Like so many things in life there is an option.

5.) Don’t Let Vanity Stop You. If you are grossly overweight, pitifully thin, physically disabled, or disfigured; you may feel shy or uncomfortable about showing your body at the swimming pool, jogging down the roadway, or shaking your booty on the dance floor, but don’t let vanity get in the way of enjoying every moment of your life. Poor self-esteem and self criticism can deny you so much. Who cares what someone else thinks? Join the party.  Join life. Love life; it will love you back.

6.) Exercise. Thirty minutes of aerobic exercise five times a week. Move more, sit less. Both your butt and your attitude will thank you. The World Health Organization has declared sitting to be the new smoking.

7.) Make Sure You Never Stop Playing. Taking childhood games into adulthood will keep you smiling. “Playing” suspends the brain in a unique and youthful flexible state. Go horseback riding. Play golf with a couple friends. Or, maybe you’d prefer a game of tennis? Chess or checkers can be fun. A card game will keep you competitive. Dungeons and Dragons anyone? How about a Renaissance Fair? I got it, let’s go fishing.  Never stop having fun.

8.) Write About It. Take a few minutes every evening to write about your day. Journaling, or diary keeping, is time well spent. The time you take to write about your day and its events allows you time to put everything into perspective, to calm your busy mind. It is enlightening to see back over decades of your life, one page at a time.

9.) Find Your Purpose. Most people describe it as “something larger than myself.” Engaging in a “cause” can actually raise your immunity levels and lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Sadly, this need can be manipulated and twisted. In search of ‘your purpose’ stay away from radicalization. I’m not joking folks, careful what master you follow.

10.) Service. Volunteer your time, give your money. Service to others, to your family, your community, your nation is physically good for you. Your service will be rewarded with an infusion of an anti-inflammatory hormone.

11.) Take Time To Recharge. Take a break. Get a cup of coffee or tea and put your feet up. Give yourself permission to take time for yourself. We all need a quiet time to relax and recharge. Find what works best for you, since this is all about you, indulge. Remember, it takes time to replenish your inner core. It may just be a peaceful hot tub time-out or a glass of wine, just do it.

12.) Never Stop Reading. With the internet there are literally thousands of free book downloads at your  fingertips. When you are a child, books transport you to new and exciting worlds, places far from our everyday existence. I promise you they can do that at any time in our lives-keep reading.

13.) Stay Connected. It is so easy to let friendships and relationships die from lack of tending. Tend  doggedly to your relationships. Lifetime friendships and newly made ones deserve serious attention. Major life events, such as loss of a partner, retirement, a serious health condition often result in a pulling away. It is vital to stay connected; pick up the phone, write an email, send a card. It is important to continually be reaching out and embracing others.

14.) Be Inquisitive. Keep asking questions. Keep exploring. The goal is to learn something new everyday, or at least try. Be the forever curious child. Always be open to new feelings, emotions, thoughts, and experiences.

Internet Resources

The pandemic has made isolation and loneliness a centerpiece of our lives.   Making connections outside the usual peer group is more important today than ever before. If you are older, your peer group conversations likely revolve around pain, the obituaries, and your new blood pressure medication. If you are younger your conversations likely revolve around the new guy in the upstairs apartment, the high cost of concert tickets, Connie’s pregnancy, or the latest Marvel movie. Science shows that bringing two different generations together results in a different dialogue.  Turn your device to a hip hop station, use the internet to connect with programs that promote intergenerational interaction.

Intergenerational connection programs:

Check out Big & Mini (bigandmini.org), Sageconnect (sageusa.org/sageconnect) and Dorot (dorotusa.org) or Eldera (eldera.ai). These websites are free and welcoming.

Michael Trimble Unlikely Candidate

Editor Comment: Normally CNP steers away from local political news and candidates (Oregon and SW Washington), concentrating primarily on national issues. However, Mike Trimble, a black horse in the race, is a fascinating fellow and deserves some national exposure. Thanks, Megan Wallin for sharing your great interview with Mr. Trimble.  Thank you, Mr. Trimble for sharing your thoughts and your pictures.

Michael Trimble:

Unlikely Oregon Gubernatorial Candidate

By Megan Wallin

Michael Trimble is a fresh face on the political fied

A Bit of Background

The first thing someone might notice about Michael Trimble, one of Oregon’s more unlikely gubernatorial candidates, is not the fact that he lacks arms—or the fact that he is usually wearing a bike helmet as he commutes almost exclusively via a modified bicycle—but his enthusiasm.

Trimble is the odd man out in the Oregon governor race, something he would be the first to own, calling himself a true “grassroots candidate.”

“I’ve always been an advocate, because I was born in an orphanage, and I never met my biological parents,” he began, before elaborating on how that impacted him. “So in an orphanage, you basically learn at a very young age that you have to fend for yourself, and since I had no arms, that just doubled down.”

“And then when I was adopted by Christian evangelical parents who were ‘told by God’ to adopt a boy without arms and a girl who had legs but could not walk, that became my next challenge.” Their religious beliefs led them to adopt the young Michael.

In his words, he “went from the frying pan of the orphanage system in Russia into the fires of Christian evangelicalism.”

Trimble spoke more about the uniqueness of his situation, explaining that while most people within the foster system have been taken out of their biological homes and are seeking adoption, he went to caseworkers seeking protection from abuse within his adopted home.

The abuse, he stated, was widely overlooked due to the family’s religious practices, which seemed to indeed cover a multitude of sins in the state of Pennsylvania.

“Technically, in Pennsylvania, they didn’t consider what was being done to me as child abuse even though all the social workers said, quite frankly, it was unforgivable.”

We didn’t really get along from day one,” he said of his adoptive parents in the states, calling the situation “unfortunate.”

“It was a very stormy relationship,” he concluded. “Some families are just never meant to be, and we were definitely an example. They adopted me with good spirits and good intentions, but the execution was really, really poor.”

While he acknowledged this answer may seem a bit “long winded,” his point was clear: He has been resourceful and independent from a young age.

“I would like to extend that fighting spirit…as governor and fight for those who don’t fight for themselves.”

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25 Great Ways To Save Money

25 Great Ways To Save Money

25 Great Ways To Save Money

D. S. Mitchell

AARP Tips

For at least the last decade AARP Bulletin Magazine has been highlighting clever money saving ideas and sharing them with members once a year in their “99 Ways To Save” issue. Some of them are a bit over the top and others sensible and worth passing on. So here are a few tips they have offered over the last several years.

1.) Sell To Amazon: Amazon buys used items, including video games, books, Kindle e-readers for trade-in, in exchange for a gift card. Go to the Amazon Trade-in Store and if an item you have is listed there, print our a free shipping label and send it off.

2.) Pass On Dryer Sheets: Easy trick to save about $8 on 80 loads. Instead, cut a sponge in half and soak the pieces in a container with 1 cup fabric softener and two cups of water. Wring and toss one sponge into each dryer load. You will need to replace the liquid every 3 months.

3.) Get Free E-books: There are nearly 60,000 public domain e-books available on gutenberg.org. You will find favorites and classics and easily save $3 to $10.

4.) 401(k) Know How: Sadly 1/4 of American workers employed at companies offering 401 (k) plans fail to take advantage of the full company match, this means you are missing out on an average of $1,336 in free money each year.

5.) Free Streaming Movies: Check out kanopy.com. If you belong to one of the more than 4,000 participating public libraries or campus facilities, you can stream over 30,000 movies for free.

6.) Fancy Dancy Lunch: When you want to try out a glamorous restaurant, do it at lunch. The menu is usually similar to what you would have at dinner but is usually 25% cheaper and a more relaxed atmosphere.

7.) Individual Development Accounts: IDA’s are designed to help people of modest means buy a house or start a business. Go to ProsperityNow.org/map to find community organizations that administer the programs. There are some programs that provide up to $4 for every $1 you save.

8.) Car Rental Discounts: If you are an AARP member just show your card to lock in big savings. With Avis you could sew up a 30% savings. That would mean $90 off a $300 rental charge.

9.) Start Using Your Cruise Control: Studies confirm you can reduce fuel consumption by about 7% using your cruise control device. The average U.S. household spends about $2,000 annually on gasoline. I could suggest switching to an electric vehicle but, I will not. Use your cruise control and save about a $100 annually.

10.) Check Engine Belts: Broken belts are a major reason for automobile breakdowns. Be sure to have a tech check on yours before you head out on that next long trip. Avoiding a single breakdown could save you at least $100 in towing charges and keep your vacation frown free.

11.) Small Carts Win Out: When you go to the grocery store don’t grab the biggest cart, here’s where you are advised to go small. Research shows when the size of your grocery cart is doubled, you buy 40% more! Downsize your cart and save up to $230 per month for two people.

12.) Forget The Bark Dust: When you are ready to spread bark this spring call your local tree service and ask for a pile of their free wood chips. Depending on the size of your yard you could easily save several hundred dollars.

13.) Cross The Border For Gasoline: I live in Washington state, I buy my gas in Oregon. Two reasons; in Oregon they have attendants that pump the gas, which is great when I’m in my heels and mini, plus there is no sales tax in Oregon which means gas and other items are at least 6.5% cheaper. In Washington many localities add on their own tax, so you might save even more buying across the river.  You  can improve your chances of getting the best price on gas by using the GasGuru and GasBuddy apps which will show you prices at all area gas stations.

14.) Raising Your Deductible: Raising the deductible on a homeowner’s policy from $500 to $1000 will likely save you 25%, according to the Insurance Institute. That’s about a $300 savings on a $1200 policy.

15.) Fifteen Year Mortgage: In November 2021 the interest rate on a thirty year mortgage was 3.5%-3.7%. The rate on a 15 year mortgage was 2.6%-2.7%. On a $200,000 mortgage you will probably pay about $400 a month more for the fifteen year mortgage. Cutting that mortgage by fifteen years will save you over $100,000 in interest.

16.) Skip The Coffee Kiosk: Imagine you spend $4 at Starbucks on a couple tall coffees, that’s $1,000 a year, just on workdays. Most businesses have breakrooms with free coffee. A pound of $7.99 coffee from Kroger’s will make 25 (12 oz,) cups. Big savings.

17.) Donate Stock, Not Cash: You could save big by donating stock instead of cash. by donating the stock versus the cash you aren’t liable for capital gains tax. An example, say you give $5,000 worth shares of stock to your favorite charity. You originally paid $1,000 for the stock. If you sold the shares and then donated the cash you’d owe $1,000 in capital gains taxes if you’re in the 25% tax bracket. The choice is easy, give the charity the stock. They will be able to use their tax exempt status to sell the stock without tax consequences.

18.) Stop Smoking: There’s a million good reasons to quit smoking. One of them being non-smokers, exercisers and people who maintain a healthy weight can get as much as a 50 percent savings on life insurance.

19. Prescription Savings: You might find a prescription medicine is cheaper than one you commonly buy over the counter. The heartburn remedy Prilosec, as an example, costs about $10 for a dozen tabs. With a prescription for Omeprazole you can get 90 tabs with a $10 co-pay. That is about a $60 a month savings.

20.) Stop Rinsing The Dirty Dishes: It is no longer necessary to prewash dishes. Just scrape thoroughly and load. You can expect to save about 55,000 gallons of water over the lifetime of the dishwasher.  That is about a $280 in dollar savings, plus using less water is good for the environment, in addition you will spare yourself a lots of unnecessary work.

21.) Help For Veteran Caregivers: The Department of Veteran Affairs offers caregivers a temporary break by paying all or at least a large portion of  the costs of an in-home health aide or for the veteran to attend an adult day center. Find details about the program by going to caregiver.va.gov, or call 855-260-3274.

22.) Apply For Free Medicine: You may be able to find help to pay for your prescriptions from The Partnership for Prescription Assistance, pparx.org. If you qualify you could potentially save hundreds of dollars a year on needed medications.

23.) Unclaimed Property: If you haven’t done it recently, go to unclaimed.org, find your state (or any other states you may have lived in) and enter your name. You may find the state is holding money from a savings account you forgot about, or an undelivered refund check.  I recently found $79 at the State of Oregon unclaimed property site. When I was there I also found $219 for my son and another $110 for my daughter. Yipee skipee! It took a total of 15 minutes and three Forever stamps to recover over $400 of the big green ones.

24.) Property Tax Breaks: States across the country offer property tax breaks for homeowners over 65 years of age. Since losing federal write offs on property taxes many homeowners on fixed budgets are endangered of being taxed out of their homes. States offer many types of tax programs, depending on the homeowner circumstances. I am not talking about tax deferments that defer taxes until the homeowner dies or sells the property, but are rather exemptions. That means it will not be collected later. Huge difference. Exemptions include caps on assessed value, tax rates and assessment freezes.  Each state, and many counties in those different states, have various programs and requirements. Programs like these can save senior homeowners thousands and thousands of dollars.

25.) Upgrade your refrigerator: A new model fridge may reduce your electric bill by about $350 over the first five years of use. Before buying go to your electric provider and check on rebate offers that are offered for buying an energy efficient appliance.

I decided I wanted to give readers a bonus, so here are two more great money saving tips.

26.) Reduce Your Lawn: The grass in your yard is one of the most expensive and labor intensive parts of your property maintenance. Statistics indicate Americans spend over $30 billion each year keeping up their lawns. Think arid. Think creative. Patios, decks, plant native species. Grass is not environmentally friendly nor is it pocketbook friendly, go natural.

27.) Buy Wine By The Case: Check with the retailer, but stores usually discount cases of by anywhere from 10% to 25%. Watch for sales and pick up a case of (12) bottles of wine for a great price and you’ll always have a handy house warming gift right at your finger tips.

Again I want to thank several issues of the AARP Bulletin magazine for the various money saving tips. Hurry out there and start saving.

Thanksgiving In Perspective

OPINION: Thanksgiving In Perspective

OPINION: From My Perspective

A Traditional Thanksgiving May Become a Relic of the Past

By Megan Wallin

As an adoptee with strong ties to and respect for my biological Oglala Lakota heritage—now three generations and several European ancestors away from life on the reservation—I’ve had some qualms with traditional American views of Thanksgiving.

There are quite a few people (Native and Non) who feel similarly, but I’ve also spoken with some elders who, despite being deeply ingrained in their tribal cultures, feel neutral on the subject. Their reasoning? Holidays are what you make them. For many, any holiday is a day off to share with loved ones and focus on gratitude, and that includes this one. Still, it remains a bleak reminder of the origin story behind genocide and intergeneration trauma.

Ironically, some of the people I’ve talked to who are most passionately opposed to Thanksgiving have entirely European heritage. They’ve proposed enjoying the day off but celebrating a Harvest Day, changing the title and the focus of a day ultimately rooted in celebrating colonialism that led to the destruction of tribes, families, cultures and languages. They’re certainly not wrong to think that.

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Women Of A Certain Age

Women Of A Certain Age

We are Survivors of a hell of a lot. . . .

Women of a Certain Age, are survivors

Women Of A Certain Age

We are Survivors

By Anna Hessel

We Survived 

4 years of “The Donald”. Shoulder pads. Bouffant hair. Bodysuits that snapped down there. Mullets. We survived 45. Eighties fashions; including spandex and neon. Girdles that were never Spanx. Fighting for the ERA – we continue to survive this one. Thigh cream. Trump “presidency.” Platform shoes. Bell bottom pants that did nothing for our bottoms.

Nair For Short Shorts

Short shorts themselves. We survived 45 (and I’m not talking about the age…). Push up bras – some of us are still surviving this one. Aerobics classes at the ladies gym in brightly colored leg warmers. Jelly sandals. Ironing our hair with clothing irons. “That” administration. Velcro hair rollers (I actually still use mine!). Setting our hair on orange juice cans. Class photos, precursor to drivers license photos. Drinking from the garden hose.

The Trumpster

Suntans courtesy of baby oil and iodine with no SPF in sight. Junior High, High School, and College. Many of us survived childbirth, terrible twos, and raising teenagers. Gym class in uniforms that resembled prison garb. “Agent Orange.”  Powder Puff football games. Cheerleading skirts. Pageants with swimsuit competitions. Bridesmaid dresses. Rotary dial phones. Land lines. Twenty-six foot telephone cords. Beepers, and pay phones. Polyester pantsuits. 4 years of “The Family”. Paisley floral prints. Granny boots with ruffled dresses.

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10 Plus Tips To Cope With Anxiety

Got Holiday Anxiety?

With Thanksgiving comes tension for some. . .

10 Plus Tips To Cope


Don’t Let Anxiety Ruin Your Holidays

By D. S. Mitchell 

Turkey and Pumpkin Pie 

The holidays are right around the corner. Some are excited about turkey and gravy, and fancy wrapped presents, but others see only stress and anxiety on the horizon. If you are hosting parties, the stress level is on steroids; fancy china, excited young ones, guests, surprise and otherwise. It can seem overwhelming. Read on if you are looking for some tips on how to get you through the holidays as anxiety free as possible.

Be Ready

Stay rested and recharged, ahead of the holidays. Take time for yourself.  Get enough sleep, engage in activities that you enjoy and make you feel good. Don’t skip self care routines under the pressure of the approaching holidays. Don’t do it-skipping health care routines will cost in the long run. You need that 30 minutes of cardio and any other health activities you are engaged in. These activities will keep you balanced and ready to face the upcoming holiday challenges. It just might be yoga, biking, stretching, Tai Chi, or  aqua aerobics, that  saves your sanity.

Everyone has different triggers, and identifying them is one of the most important steps to coping and managing anxiety attacks. Common ones, your first day at a new job, heading an important meeting, meeting your SO’s parents. Time and reflection will be required to identify your triggers. In the meantime, there are things you can do to try to help calm or quiet your anxious mind.

4.) Use aromatherapy

Whether they’re in oil form, incense, or a candle, scents like lavender, chamomile, and sandalwood are soothing. Certain receptors in your brain are activated by aromatherapy.

5.) Walking or Yoga

Just walk away if the situation is causing anxiety. It might be time to focus on  your body and not your mind to relieve your anxiety. Just move. Whether it’s the pool or the yoga mat, move your butt, it helps reduce stress. Try stretching, it can be incredibly beneficial.

6.) Write down your thoughts

Many mental health therapists suggest a client write down what’s causing their anxiety. Writing it down, gets it out of your head and can make it less daunting. My mother used this one, on a regular basis. She would write letters to the offenders and put them in envelopes addressed to whoever was causing her frustration and then stick it in a file, never sending it.

Not All Anxiety Is The Same
The previous suggestions are helpful if your symptoms are situational or sporadic. If anxiety is an on-going, persistent part of you life you may need more serious interventions and coping strategies.
Five Strategies For Coping With Long-Term Illness 

If anxiety is a regular part of your life, not just around the holidays, it’s important to find treatment strategies to help you manage it. There might be a combination of things, like talk therapy and meditation, or perhaps cutting out or resolving your anxiety trigger. Confused, as to where to start? It is always helpful to discuss options with a mental health professional who might suggest something you hadn’t thought of before moving ahead with your plan.

Some Well-Known Triggers:
  • debt
  • a stressful work environment
  • traveling
  • driving
  • DNA-genetics — anxiety, depression, alcoholism can run in families
  • drug withdrawal
  • medication side effects
  • trauma
  • phobias, such as agoraphobia (fear of crowded or open spaces) and claustrophobia (fear of small spaces)
  • some chronic illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, or asthma
  • chronic pain
  • multiple mental illness diagnoses (such as depression, OCDC, anxiety)
  • caffeine
  • alcohol
Managing Those Triggers

Sometimes triggers can be obvious, such as caffeine, alcohol consumption, and drug use. Other times triggers are less obvious and we may need a therapist to help us isolate those triggers. Long-term stress, such as financial or work-related situations, can be more difficult— is it a due date, a person, or the situation? At this point you may need some extra support, through therapy or with some trusted friends.

Then What?

Once you do figure out your trigger(s), you should try to limit your exposure to them if you can. If you can’t limit it — say because it is due to a stressful work environment that you can’t currently change — using other coping techniques may help.

1.) Try Meditation

A successful meditation regime will take time and practice.  When done regularly, you can train your brain to dismiss anxious thoughts when they arise. If sitting still and concentrating is difficult, try starting your exercise routine with more active physical exertion and then start your yoga routine.

2.) Adopt Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT helps people learn different ways of thinking about and reacting to anxiety-causing situations. A therapist can help you develop ways to change negative thought patterns and behaviors before they spiral into a panic attack.

3.) Healthy Diet, Regular Exercise, Embrace Life 

Exercise regularly. Eat balanced meals. Get enough sleep. Stay connected to people who care about you. You may want to talk to your psychiatrist about adding supplements or nutrients to your long-term strategy.

4.) Consider Adding Supplements

Research shows certain supplements or nutrients help reduce anxiety symptoms. Some of these include:

  • lemon balm
  • omega-3 fatty acids
  • green tea
  • valerian root
  • dark chocolate (in moderation)

It can take up to three months before your body is actually using the nutrition these herbs and foods provide. If you’re taking other medications, make sure to discuss herbal remedies with your doctor. I’ve said that twice. I cannot say it enough. Different medications interact with one another whether OTC  or prescription. Talk to your doc.

5.) Prescription Medications

If your anxiety is severe enough that your mental health practitioner believes you’d benefit from psychotropic medication, there are a number of directions to go, depending on your symptoms. Discuss your concerns with your doctor.

Is My Anxiety Harmful?

Identifying what variety of anxiety you’re dealing with can be challenging-mainly because everyone’s body reacts to danger in entirely different ways. I’m sure you have heard “anxiety” used as a general term for feeling worry, uneasiness, or nervousness. It is often situational, a big dance, a speech, a tryout; it is often a feeling grown in response to an upcoming event that has an uncertain outcome. Every human being deals with such emotions-at some time in their life. It is part of how we are wired, our brains respond to perceived danger, even if there is no real danger.

Things Can Get Dark

There are times anxiety can get serious and turn into anxiety attacks that may begin slowly and initially feel manageable, but build up over a few hours. (Panic attacks are different. A panic attack comes out of the blue and then subsides.)

Signs and Symptoms of an anxiety attack

These are some of the more common mental and physical symptoms of anxiety:

  • feelings of danger, panic, or dread
  • nervousness/restlessness
  • rapid heart rate
  • sweating
  • trembling/chills
  • tiredness/weakness
  • gastric problems
  • difficulty focusing
  • rapid breathing, hyperventilating

It is possible to have both an anxiety and panic attack simultaneously. The quick coping strategies mentioned above may also help with a panic attack.

Try focusing on an object, repeating a mantra, closing your eyes, and going to your happy place.

Signs and Symptoms of a Panic Attack
Causes of Anxiety

If you notice that quick tips haven’t been working, you may want to consider seeing a professional for help. Especially if you believe you have GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) and the symptoms are interfering with your daily routine and physical symptoms. A mental health professional can help with identifying your triggers, maintaining long-term strategies through behavioral therapy, medications, and more.

Living With Anxiety 

If your anxiety stems from a past trauma, it can be helpful to work through those issues with a licensed therapist. On the other hand, if your brain chemistry predisposes you to persistent, chronic anxiety, you may need to go on medication to manage it. Anxiety is likely to continue to be part of your life, but it doesn’t need to take over your life.  Treatment is available to help control those painful symptoms and make those holidays at least tolerable.

Ivanka Mismanaged Food Program

Ivanka Mismanaged Food Program

Lines at food banks were long during the height of the COVID pandemic

Did Ivanka Mismanage Food Program?

“Of course,” she did, says investigative congressional committee

Ivanka is at the center of  another scandal involving fraud, incompetence, and mismanagement

By D. S. Mitchell

Numb To Outrage

I thought I was numb to the outrageous behavior of the Trump family, and those in their orbit, but I am not. Yesterday, I was perusing the internet, instead of doing what needed to be done. Anyway. . . I came across an article on ProPublica about the mishandling of the Food to Families Program from last spring and then the same story with updates popped up again in a Palmer Report article last week.

Pulling Back The Veil

Ivanka Trump, unveiled the program in May 2020.  According to congressional investigators, Ivanka spearheaded the idea to include the letter from her father in each of the boxes.  Private contractors were told by the USDA that the letter was mandatory. Food bank operators told congressional investigators the letter concerned them because it was politically biased.

The Dig Continues

I continued digging. I discovered that last week The House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis,  published their report on the debacle. Sadly, the conclusion was that that former President Donald Trump’s administration, under the leadership of his daughter Ivanka, failed miserably at delivering food to families as promised.

Furthermore, the year long congressional investigation identified problems with the deliveries themselves; including food safety issues, spoiled food, failed deliveries, and uneven food distribution. Recipient organizations complained some contractors forced them to accept more food than they could distribute or store. That’s why, under the Trump administration, the Food to Families program was created. This program was supposed to get food into the hands and mouths of needy families. “Supposed to” are the keywords. It turns out, like, with everything else Trump & Associates touched, this program fell apart.

Whistle While You Work

ProPublica reports that the Farmers to Families Food Box program gave contracts to companies that had no relevant experience, and in many cases companies that lacked the necessary licenses for the contracts they applied for. Contractor applications were not adequately screened or vetted; nor did officials follow up on red flags in bid proposals. Money was foolishly wasted, grievously mishandled, probably stolen, and most assuredly misappropriated for political campaigning.

Conclusion

Why is that? To start with Ivanka was involved. According to new reporting  millions of dollars were misused and squandered. And much of the money went to bogus contracts being given to unqualified and inexperienced companies. There was little screening of said applications, according to the investigators. Some of the funds were also used to promote President Trump in various ways. Who would have guessed that? Remember that letter Ivanka Trump insisted be included in the food packages? The now infamous letter bragged about what a good job Daddy Trump was doing with the pandemic response. Democrats point out that the letter appears to violate the Hatch Act. No surprise there. I’d laugh if it wasn’t so predictable and so corruptly Trump.