What is this treatment….

June 15, 2015 by

I am confused but perhaps  I am easily confused and someone can help me.

I just read another tirade about the worried well  and how they are preventing the seriously mentally ill from getting treatment by another “mental illness advocate” (does that term sound as creepy to you as it does to me).   And it hit me.   I really don’t know what they are talking about.   What is this treatment?

Are they saying the “seriously mentally ill” have a right to be put in psychiatric hospitals?

Are they saying the “seriously mentally ill”  have a right to be kept in psychiatric hospitals?

Are they saying the “seriously mentally ill”  have a right to take prescribed medication?

Are they saying the “seriously mentally ill”  have a right to be forced to take prescribed medication?

Are they saying that the “seriously mentally ill”  have a right to have other people make every important decision in their life for them?

Are they saying the “seriously mentally ill” have a right not to be burdened with their rights?

Are they saying that anyone who thinks the “seriously mentally ill” are no less human than anyone else and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect are foolish and unrealistic?

Are they saying that anyone that believes that life can and frequently does get better for even the most troubled people are cruelly optimistic and misleading?

Are they saying that believing that what happens to you in life is as important as “what you have”  is unscientific and undercuts medical expertise?

Are they saying that not believing that psychiatrists hold the answer to all things human is reprehensible and irresponsible?

Are they saying that believing “bringing back the asylums”  is a terrible idea shows you really don’t care about the “seriously mentally ill”?

What are they saying and why don’t they say it?

There is a difference between the way we make sense of things and the things we make sense of

June 12, 2015 by

He made two mistakes.

His first was that because of his job he had good insurance.

His second was that he told the people in the  ER he was depressed.

They called a counselor for the psych ward.   She asked him if he had ever thought of hurting himself.  He figured everybody had at some time or another and said yes.

She left to speak with the doctor.   When she came back she told him he had a choice.   Either he could agree to a voluntary admission or they would commit him.

He was afraid he would lose his job. He agreed to voluntarily admit.

They diagnosed him. He was commitable they said. He must have severe depression.

He had worked for the US government for twenty years and had to have a security clearance to work. They promised him no one would know he had been there.

They found out and his job was gone.

3 weeks after he was successfully discharged, after the insurance said they would no longer pay for him being there, he jumped off the bridge on the way to the hospital. He died. No note.

There is a difference between the way we make sense of things and the things we make sense of. If you lose that distinction then we become the things we are called. Whoever calls the names controls the lives of the people they name. They define identity, relationship, and purpose. We all become the list of what we “have” and when things go poorly it is about inadequacy and not injustice. Diagnosis becomes not a description of how we have lived but a prescription for how we can live and what we can expect.

The way we make sense of things is either useful or not. It is either works or it doesn’t. But none of us are the sum of the things we are broken down to. Life is more than a symptom of what we are called.

Someone once told me that psychiatric hospitals ultimately admit people only because they get paid for them not because they can help them.

I don’t know. Somehow it seems like the business of mental health should be about more than the business of mental health. When the sense we make of things makes it hard for it to be about people being with people I wonder how much sense it really makes.

The 25th letter: Linda….and insurance miracles

June 12, 2015 by


Dear Senator Ramsey:

This is my 25th letter to you.

You could in a couple of days save as many lives as all the doctors in all the hospitals in the state of Tennessee.

You see….Insurance can be and is a miracle in the lives of countless people.  You and every person in the legislature literally has the chance to be a miracle worker….. or prevent miracles in the lives of people who pray for little else.

Perhaps you have never thought about it or perhaps you have never seen the miracle.  I dont know.  I want to introduce you to such a miracle….Her name is Linda.  She is my wife.

Linda has Tenn Care and it has saved her life.  Without being overly dramatic or emotional it is simply a fact.  It has saved her life.

We have had to fight for it.  On more than one occasion it looked like it was about to be gone.  I can remember many years ago writing Governor Bredesen a letter asking him not to kill my wife.  On another occasion it looked like she was on the cut list and I can remember coming to the state legislature to testify asking for mercy.

But Tenn Care has stayed steady.  Thank God it has stayed steady.

Linda has had seizures since birth.  15 years ago a good day for her was 10-15 grand mal seizures.  There werent many good days.

Finally she hurt herself really bad.  She fell down a flight of stairs during a seizure and hit her face on the banister.  She literally broke her face.  She looked like I had beaten her with a baseball bat.

Doctors told her medicine wasnt going to work.  They said she had two choices.  Have brain surgery or eventually the damage from seizures would get so bad she would be unable to care for herself.  In the end she would die.

We knew about death.  There is something called status epilepticus.  It means going into continous seizures until you die.  I have seen her status 3 times.  You race to the ER and if you get there in time they can normally stop the seizures.  If you dont you die.  We have known 2 people who have died.  So far it is a race we have won every time.

She had the surgery.  Seizures were gone for a while and then in a couple of years they came back as bad if not worse than ever.  Doctors….medical care…made the difference.  She still has seizures but we are in a different world than what we previously lived in.  She is a Tenn Care miracle but she is a miracle that must be redone each and every day.

I write all this not to bring attention to us or to say that in some way we are special.  We are not.  There are many LInda’s out there and with your help there can be many more.  I know 3 people right now who have seizures who have no insurance.  They have no doctor…no medication.  They need a miracle.  They have been hurt multiple times.  Their lives are a shell of what they could be.  What doesnt have to be is for them.  And eventually they will probably have to run the “status race” too.  I pray they win.

What you save, what you could save is worth so much more than anything you think you are actually saving.  In a couple of days you could make more difference to more people than you have made in your entire legislative career.  You could give miracles.

LInda and I dont live together anymore.  Because Tenn Care was not expanded we had to separate to save her insurance.  I worked as a mental health counselor for 47 years and retired.  My social security retirement would put her insurance in jeopardy.  We almost lost the miracle.

Seizures are starting to come back again. More and more each day.  I think it is the stress of the way we live.  She is alone and I am not there to catch her when she falls and she has been hurt more in the last two months than in the last several years.  It is not safe for her to live alone.  It is not possible for me to live with her.

Two nights ago I got a call late.  The ambulance had taken her to the ER.  Things stabilized and I took her back to her place.  A bulllet dodged.

There is another insurance miracle.  If Insure Tennessee passed I would have insurance for the first time in about 8 years.  I need surgery.  The doctor tells me other things may well be coming down the road……But more importantly than that.  I would have my wife.

If the criteria of insurance was to be poor and simply to be poor my wife and I could live together.  We have been married for 34 years.  I would like to live with my wife.  I still remember my wedding vows.  “What God has put together let no man put asunder….”

I make sure the phone is by me now when I lay down.  More calls are coming.

Insurance is not simply about money.  It is not simply about politics.  It is not simply even about doctors and hospitals.  It is about miracles.

It is a miracle I pray for each day.

Until next time….

Yours truly,

Larry Drain

The anosognistic delusion and making life better

June 10, 2015 by

One of the shadier concepts in psychiatry in that of anosognosia.  It is the cornerstone of most justifications for the necessity and value of coercive treatment.    It basically means that because you have mental illness that you have suffered some kind of brain damage that makes you unable to realize that you are ill.  Refusing treatment becomes a symptom of your need for it.  It is remarkable notion that is used most frequently by people like the Treatment Advocacy Center to justify that the mentally ill need to be forced to accept treatment for their own good because they dont even know they have an illness.  “Treatment” in the way they use it is basically medication and/or hospitalization.  By appealing to the concept of anosognosia these folks try to annul any criticism of psychiatric intervention by those who have endured it as being the result of distorted thinking or personal blindness on their part.  In its most extreme variations it pictures psychiatrists in terms most people  use only for God. The conception of personal blindness as something peculiar to people with “mental illness” functions  to justify taking away someones’s rights to make decisions about their own life and through linguistic sleight of hand to make interventions which are frequently cruel, frequently dangerous, often demeaning seem to be something done for “their own good.”

I knew someone that had been in a state psychiatric hospital for 24 years.  She survived unmentionable horrors.  She told me once about the psychiatrist who tried to tell her that she didnt realize she was sick.  She had been hospitalized because she accused her stepfather of rape and in the hospital had survived rape and assault.  No one ever talked to her about life and what had happened to her.  They just wanted to talk about symptoms and her need for more and more medication.  She told him:  “I know that I am messed up….How could I not be?  But I also know I am a human being who deserves the same chance at life as anyone else.  And this is not life.  I dont quarrel with needing help.  I quarrel with being here. And you are the one who is blind if you dont, wont, or cant see that.  Your help is killing me.”

According to Rep.  Murphy 4% of the population has a serious mental illness and 50% of them dont know it.  In other half of the people with serious life impacting problems dont know they have a problem and need help.  In Tennessee that would mean there are 120,000 thousand people with serious mental illness that dont know they have it.  By definition those people are not in the voluntary mental health system.  There are about 20,000 people in the correctional system and even if you entertain the truly bizarre idea that all of them are seriously mentally ill and anosognostic there are still 100,000 missing people.  In Tennessee that is a really big town.  I honestly dont know where the 50% number came from but when you take the number seriously and check it against reality it turns out that there are serious problems with taking it serious.  But it really is an important number because unless you buy the idea that anosognosia is widespread and a real issue for many people the rationale for widespread coercive tactics simply falls apart.

Language is really important in this.  What you call things matter.  Whoever names reality in the end has control and power over it and what needs to be done.  Anosognosia is so much more than simply a word.

There is ample evidence that personal blindness can be a major problem.  It is part of being a human being.  All of us lack insight in some areas and if you listen to what some people say some of us lack insight in a lot of areas.  But I keep coming back to my friend.  She knew what hurt.  And she held onto that knowledge with a passion because to let it go would have been an assault on her worth as a person.

Much of the ordinary experience of the mental health system is about identity.  We are told both who we are and what we can become in a thousand ways, both spoken and unspoken.  Often the news is not so good.

When your identity is based on what is difficult for you then much of what you prize or care about is relegated to little more than an asterisk.  I know one person who got excited when he learned about WRAP and when trying to explain it to his psychiatrist was told that he probably needed to increase his medication as he was obviously becoming more manic.    When your living is an illness everything you do is a symptom.  I know another person who told me her life’s ambition was for anyone, one single person to give her credit for being mad when she was mad instead of symptomatic.  I know people who have told me that they have been told that everything about them:  their feelings, their thoughts, their values, their goals, their relationships, their sex life….everything was the playground of their “illness.”  One of them said it simply.  “Their is no room left for me….”

I think the biggest problem that most people have with their treatment is not what they are told about their issues, their problems but about who they are or who they can become.  One friend explained it cynically,   “If I listen long enough to people who think I am an idiot maybe I will become one…..Or  maybe I already am.”

One of the major differences in life is between those who believe they “got what they got” or that “they decide what they can become.”  There are multiple and real limits on each of us.  I am not saying anyone has a blank check.  We dont.  What I am saying is that what we make of things and what we think things make of us has a lot to do with what they are and who we become.

One of the best analysis of the scientific standing of anosognosia was written by Dr. Sandra Steingard.  She reviewed a paper produced by TAC which allegedly proves the real existence of anosognosia as a real thing.  I hope you will read the entire article. (http://www.madinamerica.com/2012/08/anosognosia-how-conjecture-becomes-medical-fact/)

Part of it reads:

The paper reviewed 18 studies of brain imaging of people who were identified as having this syndrome.  This is from the conclusion to that study:

“Regarding localization, it is now clear that anosognosia is not caused by damage to one specific area. Rather a person’s awareness of illness involves a brain network that includes the prefrontal cortex, cingulate, superior and inferior parietal areas, and temporal cortex and the connections between these areas. Damage to any combination of these areas can produce anosognosia, but damage to the prefrontal and parietal areas together make anosognosia especially likely.

Anosognosia, or lack of awareness of illness, thus has an anatomical basis and is caused by damage to the brain by the disease process. It thus should not be confused with denial, a psychological mechanism we all use.”

This conclusion, which will now likely be repeated in TAC publications and elsewhere as a definitive statement of scientific “fact”,  involves some slight of words.  What the paper reports is that 15 of 18 studies found group differences between the study subjects and the controls but the findings were highly variable between studies. In the summary above, they mention that differences were found in multiple brain regions but the findings did not overlap much between the studies, i.e., although 15 studies had “positive” findings, they were often different findings in each study. My assumption from reading this review is that, despite this research, if one were to show a scan to a doctor, he would not be able to make a diagnosis from the scan.  In other words, the differences are subtle and do not clearly distinguish a person with “lack of awareness” of psychotic symptoms from any one else.

If one were to do a similar study of patients who had strokes and subsequently had the classic form of anosognosia, the findings would be strikingly different. In every study, there would be profound abnormalities in the brain and they would all be found in the right parietal lobe of the brain.  If you showed me a series of scans of people with left sided neglect due to strokes and those of people who did not have this syndrome, I believe I could easily pick out those with left neglect.  In this case the brain damage would be obvious and the resulting deficit would be easy to predict.

Coercion hurts.  It comes with a cost.  The idea of anosognosia is a blank check to hurt.

This is from an earlier post about coercion:

“The research is clear.  Coercion is not an effective strategy over the long term to maintain any change.  Here are some of the problems:

  1. Coercion in the long run gets you less of what you want by destroying the intrinsic motivation to maintain that change.  If a big stick is how you intend to get people to change people tend not get emotionally invested in the value of the change you want them to make.  Their only investment is in not getting hit.  And after awhile even the stick doesnt work.  How many people do self destructive things even when they know the consequences will be dire?  A big stick may be a great way to get someone attention.  But they may not be attending to what you think they are and it is one of the worst ways to build anyones commitment to continued change.
  2. Their is no evidence that a bigger stick improves the performance of anything.  It increases anxiety.  It increases anger.  It increases the feeling of being overwhelmed.  The scientific evidence is crystal clear on this.  The idea that people will do nothing unless you make them is based on a philosophical model of human nature that is simply not backed up by the facts.
  3. Punishment destroys creativity.  Every theory I know of about recovery says that clear thinking is essential to recovery.  Punishment narrows the focus of thinking.  Again the research is clear about this.
  4. Punishment not only gives you less of what you want.  It gives you more of what you dont want.  It encourages people not to tell the truth, to be suspicious, and to be resentful.  It teaches people that how well they manipulate the people with sticks is the most important behavior for them to have.  Recovery is based on people accepting responsibility for their behavior.  Punishment and coercion teaches people that is a naive and dangerous behavior.
  5. Much of recovery is based on long term thinking and commitment.  Coercion encourages short term thinking.  Hope is based on long term thinking and a short term focus destroys hope.  Life becomes about what you have to put up with instead of what you can accomplish.”

The only question is not what is wrong with the people that seek help, but what is wrong with the way we give help.  People need to feel like things are worth emotionally investing in.  Does it offer them something worth having?  Does it tell them they have something to give?  Is it empowering and affirming?  Is it safe?  Can it be trusted?  And do the people who are trying to help me care about me as a person?  For too many people all the answers are no.

In closing:

People buy into what makes life better.

Treat people with dignity.  Their fundamental value as people should be where you start and not be based on their response to treatment.

Be honest.  Let people know what you know but dont lie about what you dont know.

Empower people.  Dont allow decisions.  Treasure their decisions.

Teach things that matter.  It is about making life better.  It may be hard.  It may be slow.  It may never be as better as you would like.  But give people the tools that give them a chance.

Affirm hope.  If you dont the rest is a waste of time.

Is coercion inevitable??

June 10, 2015 by

Much of the current debate about mental health reform is about coercion.   On the national level most discussion is about Rep Tim Murphys bill which basically says coercion is inevitable and needed and indeed that the most needed reform is to make coercion easier and more likely to implement.  His view is that the biggest problem in the mental health  system is the lack of cooperation of those who need its help.   His answer is stop asking them … Make em.

He thinks we know what to do to people and their lack of cooperation is not a choice but a symptom of their “illness.”

A different view says it is not what you do to people that matters but what you do with people and their choice matters. 

Most states buy into the inevitability of coercion and when it doesn’t work normally tries to solve it with more  coercion.  They may talk about the value of empowerment and similar notions but largely don’t believe that the  “mentally ill”  are likely to make good choices about their lives.   They don’t put their money where their mouth is.

Tennessee is one of very states that does not have an AOT program. The TAC came into the state several years ago and lost. The report written about AOT by the Dept of Mental Health is still one of the best analysis of AOT I have ever read. A lot of advocates spoke and spoke loudly. As part of a political compromise the next year a pilot AOT program was started. After serving one person in two years that pilot was disbanded. The consensus was clear. There were better options. AOT is dead in Tennessee.

Coercion is not a guiding value in Tennessee. I have heard leaders in the Dept of Mental Health talk about the trauma of commitment and their worries about the long term consequences of coercion. They are aware that whatever value may be seen in crisis stabilization there is little evidence of long term benefits. People are often hurt. Too often the same people keep coming back.

They are pioneers in trying to find options. Several years ago one state hospital was shut down and that money by legislative act was committed back that area and invested in community based programs.

Tennessee has also put a lot of effort into developing crisis stabilization units. A crisis stabilization unit (CSU) is a small voluntary facility in many Tennessee communities which is exactly what it says… a place where people who believe they are in or moving towards crisis can come for help in stabilizing themselves and their lives. Length of stay is a maximum of 3 days. You can leave at any point before that if you want. The emphasis is on providing a safe place and support, introducing people to the idea of recovery and recovery tools and helping to tie people to community resources if they want additional help. This past year the most amazing thing happened. For the first time as many people were admitted to CSU’s as to state psychiatric hospitals. Many of the people who used CSU’s would have been hospitalized I’m the past.

State psychiatric hospitals serve about 7600 people a year. Within the last couple of weeks a major new initiative has been announced. As a result of a Samhsa grant (ironic considering the Murphy debate) the Dept of Mental Health in cooperation with the Tennessee Mental Health Consumers Asociation (TMHCA) is getting ready to implement a peer run Peer Engagement Project which could change the way psychiatric hospitalization is done in Tennessee forever. Under the direction of the Tmhca the plan includes the following :

1. 1000 hospital staff per year will be trained in trauma informed care.
2. At least 5000 patients a year will be served through support groups, recovery skills classes and peer bridger services. All these services will be provided by people with lived experience of their own.
3. There will be both peer and family voices on the board of trustees of the state psychiatric hospitals. In addition a peer led review committee will be set up for the psychiatric hospitals.

There are other provisions but these are key ones.

Tennessee continues to try to find options to psychiatric hospitalization. The peer engagement project seeks to change the experience of hospitalization. It says more coercion is not the only answer to the failure of coercion. The answer to the lack of effectiveness of psychiatric hospitals is not to make it easier to hospitalize people or keep them longer but to develop alternatives to hospitalization and to try to make it more unlikely those hospitalized will return.

What Tennessee is doing may not be the answer everywhere. It does show there are other answers and that no coercion is not inevitable. The best way to change the mental health system is not to give more control over what we do to people but change what we do with them.

What if it was true????

May 31, 2015 by

I got an arm bracelet several years ago. On it are the words, “Every life matters…”  What if it was true?

If it was true then….

We would not be pre-occupied with how to label people or afraid of how they will label us.

The value of  kindness would be something we didnt have to prove, because it would be self evident.

Politics would be more than name calling and noise.

Radio and TV personalities would be judged by something else than the total disdain they have for people who dont agree with them.

Women would be more than pieces of meat.

Men would not have to count how many times they “make it” in order to make sure they are men.

Groups would be judged by how they treat people  outside of the group instead  of how they keep people outside of the group.

We would know people by more than the names we call them.

We would be able to look in the mirror and tell there are more people than just “me.”

The point of conflict would be to find solutions rather than “beat” those we are in conflict with.

Listening would be part of every conversation.

We would know that good news for someone else is good news for us too.

Of the things that matter we would find there is more that enough to go around.

We would know there is more to people than how they threaten us or disappoint us.

We would know we can be the miracles in each others lives.

Courage would be much more easily found and much more frequently noticed.

Hands would be for reaching out instead of fingers for pointing.

Love would not be how we think about acting.  It would be how we act without thinking.

What if it were true?  What do you think?

For Linda

May 31, 2015 by

To see you through (a poem for my wife)

Your courage is
each day new
even when skies
are black
and the day heavy
and things are as lead
and weight immovable.
Your love touches and
moves through me
holding me in tight embrace
lifting me into the light
of the day
Telling me that the love
between us
holds true fiber
even in times weary
and sad.
My prayer is that
the coming day
be light
with music dear
and hope again new
to help see you through.

Seeking solid ground

May 31, 2015 by

We all go to war each day

Each day a muddy confusion

Seeking solid ground

On which to stand

Against galing winds

That leave us huddled

And hanging on

Never clear where to

Or where from

Lost without story

Trying to hold the truth

That what was

Need not always be

And hanging on to the

Small hope of single moments

And praying for new melody

in the next day………

Till the coming of new day

May 31, 2015 by

Till the coming of new day

In the night of life

Hope seems small and quiet

And shivers before the wind

That cuts to the bone

And clings like a tight fitting coat

That cuts off all movement

But never brings enough warmth.


Brings its own night

Its’ clock seems somehow stilled

And day

A tissue-paper memory

That comes apart in our hands

As we try to bring it close and real

Weariness hangs in the air

And is in every breath

As hearts

Grow tired and slow

And wonder at

The absence of the sun

Reaching in the dark

For new places

We feel like we are

One mistake from

Being forever lost

And stop fearful

Afraid to move

Dear God

Move among the shadows

Of our despair

Show us in Your love

That darkness is

Only of the moment

And that in reaching

To each other there

Is warmth and comfort

And the assurance of

New day and new light

God bless us

And leave us assured

That even in the coldest and darkest

Of nights

That You give warmth and shelter

Till the coming of new day..

A Mental Health Advocacy Manifesto | Pax Nortona – A Blog by Joel Sax

May 31, 2015 by


The Shockingly Simple, Surprisingly Cost-Effective Way to End Homelessness

May 31, 2015 by


Struggling with issues of desperation

May 29, 2015 by

I heard someone in a support group introduce themselves by giving their name and saying I struggle with issues of depression.

My name is Larry Drain and I struggle with issues of desperation.

I try not to talk like that because I think it makes me sound whiny and self absorbed. I hope I am neither but nevertheless problems with desperation are real. A friend asked me why expecting some kind of wise insightful comment and I think I disappointed her. “Life sucks. In important basic ways it sucks. It doesn’t mean everything sucks or that the things that suck will always suck but much right now is pain and misery.”

This blog is getting really old. In about 5 posts it will be 4000 posts long. It has changed a lot in the last years as I have changed. Some posts seem to have some lasting value. Some are still read every day even being written years ago. Some have seemed quickly dated. More than one just seems wrong and I am astounded that they were written by me.

There are many readers now and many have become friends, some good friends. I don’t think I am anywhere close to saying things as smart as they can be said. My goal has been to try to say what I thought was important to say and to try and be as honest as I can…. even when it makes others angry.

I have talked a lot about recovery and about hope. I have shared stories about people I have been lucky to meet. I have shared videos and articles I thought important. In recent months I have talked more about advocacy and public action than anything. More and more it has been about justice and addressing the so many ways that so many people have just been denied a fair and equitable chance at life.

Healthcare reform has taken more time and energy most recently because it is more directly related to my daily desperation than anything else. If you have read this blog at all you have heard mine and Linda’s story more than once.

After 34 years of marriage we have been separated for almost a year and a half now. It was the only way to keep the insurance she absolutely needs in order to live. And the honest truth is that I no longer am sure if we will ever live together again. Right now it is close to midnight and Linda is 25 miles away. It feels like a million.

There have been extraordinary consequences for us. Expenses have basically doubled and most of my money goes into gas for the car to continue to see her. Poverty is real and overwhelming. Food is frequently an issue. Rarely do we go anywhere to do anything. Just no money.

Linda’s health has suffered greatly. Seizures have increased and she has hurt herself multiple times. I just haven’t been there. Her blood pressure has become a problem. Neurological issues interfere with daily living in multiple ways. She has destroyed her glasses in a seizure and we have no way to replace them. We have had multiple issues with Tenn Care denying meds and literally putting her life in danger. We live in a constant state of war.
A doctor finally filled out a form saying Linda needed a caregiver. It is dangerous for her to live alone. It is illegal we are told for me to be that caregiver.

All this is my way of saying this blog has become hard for me. I struggle to write. You need perspective and sometimes it is hard to find the space that makes perspective possible.

Things have a way of going full circle and I am sure this will too. The patience of so many has helped me to find the little patience I have.

I know more than ever that life is not about what you have as it is about what has happened. I would like to think I cope well and sometimes I do. Sometimes all I do is survive. Linda and I are both resilient people and we have learned to treasure better days. There are plenty that aren’t but maybe accepting what you cant control makes you more apt to change what you can.

This is probably the 10th version of this post and it will have to do. I look forward to more posts and I look forward to 4000. Thanks to so many for so much.

Inside/out…. By Linda Drain

May 26, 2015 by

Have you ever wondered what it is like to have seizures?

Inside out

No one sees it coming, 
Its warning is silent and unseen

It’s not a noise or vision
It’s a change of perception in me.

I realize I’m present among others
Yet my mind plays tricks on me. 
My eyes get glassy and begin to twitch
While to the worst mode I switch
This can drag on for 
Staring and frozen in time
Inside I’m screaming to get out of this terrifying body of mine.

If I’m lucky it won’t last 
And I’ll return in no time at all
But every time I go there 
I believe I’ll have my next fall. 
When things turn bad from this point on
prayer no longer works
And all my hope is gone. 
My head bows  and I curl  to fetal position
As muscles will stiffen and Tremors take over 
While electrical charges fire

This goes on for minutes 
And I get closer to death. 
My brain has been fried once again
When I wake I am weary and
ready for sleep

I’m dazed and confused and can hardly think   
The monster has visited again robbing me life
Leading to agitation and headaches along with personal strife.

But my stubborn spirit says get up and keep at it
Because life goes on and I must make up for lost time
The next day is better as recovery begins
I hope I stay in touch with sanity.. 
But Christ has been with me throughout this ordeal
Through seizures He holds me and gives me  zeal.

Linda Drain

Late Night with Heroes Pamela Weston & Meryl Rice with host Yvonne Smith 05/24 by Lauren Tenney | Current Events Podcasts

May 26, 2015 by


The question not asked… Really the only important question

May 24, 2015 by


From the archives… Still looking for an

Originally posted on Hopeworks Community:

I read again the article about the end of legislative session news conference and I realized the single most important question of all was never asked. It was probably the only question that really mattered and I would have payed money to have someone ask it publicly to Ron Ramsey or Beth Harwell.

Insure Tennessee would have given about 280,000 people health insurance. It would have saved lives, prevented avoidable suffering and improved the quality of life for countless people, saved families and made many communities better places to live. THAT DIDN’T MATTER AND I UNDERSTAND THAT.

This legislature gave 280,000 people the freedom to carry guns virtually every where they go but did not give the same people freedom to get treatment for illness or access life saving or life enhancing medication. THAT DIDN’T MATTER. I UNDERSTAND THAT.

The program would not have cost Tennessee a penny. Between the…

View original 314 more words


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