Thank you Robin Williams

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Robin Williams 

July 21 1951-August 11, 2014

 

Earlier I had posted a blog on bipolar depression. It is alive although many that have been diagnosed with it choose to hide it with a joke or a laugh or in acting. Hard times and growing older are two factors that aid in the depression broadening as well as alcohol and drugs. Yesterday we lost an incredible man that brought us years of laughter in comedy roles, sitcoms, movies. And also roles that he portrayed as more solemn but truly enlightening.
Movies like “Dead Poet Society”, “Patch Adams” and “Good Will Hunting” which is one of my all time favorites of actor Robin Williams. In our hearts, you will live forever.

The rest of this blog I will paraphrase from devotion I read by Billy Graham. It is not one on Robin Williams himself but on life.

“The Uncertainty of Life”

Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” –Psalm 90:12

“We are not the masters of our fate. We think we can control our lives but we don’t. In an instant life can radically change. ‘The length of our days is seventy years or eighty if we have the strength; yet their span is but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away’

Even your next breath is a gift from God. Don’t take life for granted, but gain a heart of wisdom”

 

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She knew….

MomRuthie

I write many blogs about my Mom because she and my Dad were not only my parents; they were my mentors and biggest support.
Mom grew up in New York and was raised strictly by a wealthy father and a loving mother who were an arranged marriage. My grandmother, whom I never met and so wish I had, and grandfather met on the night of their wedding. I always thought that strange. But, that was how it was done back then.

My mom had one sibling, “Nana”. Aunt Mary was older than my mom but was close, always. Nana had a smile and an “Oh! How sweet” for all. She has passed on as well as my parents, although it was always a joy to have her visit or go back to New York to see her.
Momma was the glue that held my two siblings and I, cousins, my Dad’s family altogether. When my two siblings and I grew up and married, had kids of our own and moved away, she was always just a phone call away. My parents would come to visit many times and was with me when I had my first child at age 18 and then again at age 21. Momma would come and stay with us and cook, clean, make sure that myself and the babies were healthy.

My parent’s marriage was a huge blessing. Theirs was a marriage I had always dreamed of. Totally in love for 50 years until Dad lost his battle with cancer in 1997. He was in the Navy, went to college to become an engineer and together they made great sacrifices. He, by working and going to college and she by taking care of my brother and sister by herself (before I was born), with my sister being very sick and Momma’s health was not being good, either. Those were tough years for my parents, but they did it together.

After my Dad died in 1997, my momma was diagnosed with breast cancer. I lived closest to her in Colorado and so weekly we would go for her radiation treatments. She beat cancer, but the radiation wore her immune system down so low that she came down with tuberculosis. For a solid year, she was on oxygen, breathing tubes, medicine that filled a basket. My brother and I would both take care of her at her home where she and Dad lived before he died. She also had a day nurse and caretaker. Momma would sit in her recliner in front of her front window, day after day, doing what she needed to do to stay alive and get through the tuberculosis.

She made it, finally, although she was then 76 years old and tired of being sick. She wanted to live again. My brother went to see her one day and she said to him “I’m ready. I want to move out of this house”.

She had great and very fond memories inside that home of family, laughter, grandchildren. But she also had the last years of much pain without my Dad and illness. She had my siblings and I help her move into a great assisted living care home just within miles of where my 2nd husband and I lived. She prepared ahead of time in her most almost perfected way, organizing all her paper work, pictures, crafts, things to give to we children and grandchildren.

The home was very nice. It was a large apartment in a high rise that was her’s where she could cook and live comfortably .She loved my 2nd husband, Jake. If anything concerned her about the home, she would call Jake and have him come fix it for her. In fact, he would go visit her every Tuesday, rain or shine. I was always working and did not get over to see her as much as he did and she also knew that, after helping her take care of my Dad for 18 months, I did not want to see her ill in any way. Selfish on my part? Yes. I was protecting myself from watching another parent go.

Her Dr. of many years, one that took care of her through her asthma, COPD, cancer and tuberculosis had put her on a very strong anti-depressant to “get her through the move” and then planned to take her off of it. I questioned that many times as a wrong call. I have nursing in my background and knew that at her age, in her condition, that was not the right prescription for her. I was correct. Momma started changing. Her moods were high and low. She began to hallucinate months after moving into new home.

I would tell her “Momma, I’m going to call your Dr. and ask her why she has you on these medications. They are not good for you” and she would change the subject telling me how she wanted to start meeting her neighbors and dining with them in the main dining room on the bottom floor at night. “I wonder what people are wearing these days?” She was a seamstress for years and very on top of fashion until older.

I had a great conversation with her on the telephone one day for two hours. She was very alert that day. We talked about my teenage years, family and laughed like two silly girls. Best conversation I ever had with my mom. Two days later, I got the call that she had passed. A sudden heart attack while taking a shower. That was a day that took my siblings and I, her friends, close family’s heart along with her.

She has been gone for several years now and it is ironic that I find myself quoting all the sayings “My momma used to say……” that she would say. I have grown to love to do crafts now as she did all her life. The memories of her and me singing together in church, the family dinners. I miss her more now than I ever have. And yet, it is because I also know it’s “time to move on”.

Just like she knew in her total being that she could no longer stay in a home that was once her Heaven on earth, she had to move away to start living again. And that she did.

 

“It happens to everyone as they grow up. You find out who you are and what you want, and then you realize that people you’ve known forever don’t see things the way you do. So you keep the wonderful memories, but find yourself moving on.”— Nicholas Sparks

 

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Bipolar disorder and those that suffer from it

 This is not the most popular topic or inspiring but in today’s world it is easy to fall into a depression and could lead to being bipolar without even knowing it.

 

 

 

Most of this blog will be quoted back to sources that can explain it fully for those to understand. About 2-3 times per day, I will get an email or call from someone that “needs to talk” and I will do just that.

I have worked with bipolar and dissociative identity disorder patients as a therapy aide in the 90’s and saw both of  each diagnosis.:

Here is definition of Bipolar:

What is Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder, formerly known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain and behavior disorder characterized by severe shifts in a person’s mood and energy, making it difficult for the person to function. More than 5.7 million American adults or 2.6 percent of the population age 18 or older in any given year have bipolar disorder. The condition typically starts in late adolescence or early adulthood, although it can show up in children and in older adults. People often live with the disorder without having it properly diagnosed and treated.

What are the symptoms of Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder causes repeated mood swings, or episodes, that can make someone feel very high (mania) or very low (depressive). The cyclic episodes are punctuated by normal moods.

Mania Episode Signs and Symptoms:

  • Increased energy, activity, restlessness
  • Euphoric mood
  • Extreme irritability
  • Poor concentration
  • Racing thoughts, fast talking, jumping between ideas
  • Sleeplessness
  • Heightened sense of self-importance
  • Spending sprees
  • Increased sexual behavior
  • Abuse of drugs, such as cocaine, alcohol and sleeping medications
  • Provocative, intrusive or aggressive behavior
  • Denial that anything is wrong

Depressive Episode Signs:

  • Sad, anxious or empty-feeling mood
  • Feelings of hopelessness and pessimism
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness and helplessness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed, including sex
  • Decreased energy, fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering or making decisions
  • Restlessness and irritability
  • Sleeplessness or sleeping too much
  • Change in appetite, unintended weight loss or gain
  • Bodily symptoms not caused by physical illness or injury
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

How is bipolar disorder diagnosed?
Bipolar disorder cannot yet be diagnosed physiologically by blood tests or brain scans. Currently, diagnosis is based on symptoms, course of illness, and family history. Clinicians rule out other medical conditions, such as a brain tumor, stroke or other neuropsychiatric illnesses that may also cause mood disturbance. The different types of bipolar disorder are diagnosed based on the pattern and severity of manic and depressive episodes.  Doctors usually diagnose brain and behavior disorders using guidelines from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM. According to the DSM, there are four basic types of bipolar disorder:

  • Bipolar I Disorder is mainly defined by manic or mixed episodes that last at least seven days, or by manic symptoms that are so severe that the person needs immediate hospital care. Usually, the person also has depressive episodes, typically lasting at least two weeks. The symptoms of mania or depression must be a major change from the person’s normal behavior.
  • Bipolar II Disorder is defined by a pattern of depressive episodes shifting back and forth with hypomanic episodes, but no full-blown manic or mixed episodes.
  • Bipolar Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (BP-NOS) is diagnosed when a person has symptoms of the illness that do not meet diagnostic criteria for either bipolar I or II. The symptoms may not last long enough, or the person may have too few symptoms, to be diagnosed with bipolar I or II. However, the symptoms are clearly out of the person’s normal range of behavior.
  • Cyclothymic Disorder, or Cyclothymia, is a mild form of bipolar disorder. People who have cyclothymia have episodes of hypomania that shift back and forth with mild depression for at least two years. However, the symptoms do not meet the diagnostic requirements for any other type of bipolar disorder.
  • Some people may be diagnosed with rapid-cycling bipolar disorder. This is when a person has four or more episodes of major depression, mania, hypomania, or mixed symptoms within a year.

How is bipolar disorder treated?
While no cure exists for bipolar disorder, it is treatable and manageable with psychotherapy and medications. Mood stabilizing medications are usually the first choice in medication.  Lithium is the most commonly prescribed mood stabilizer. Anticonvulsant medications are usually used to treat seizure disorders, and sometimes offer similar mood-stabilizing effects as antipsychotics and antidepressants. Bipolar disorder is much better controlled when treatment is continuous. Mood changes can occur even when someone is being treated and should be reported immediately to a physician; full-blown episodes may be averted by adjusting the treatment.

In addition to medication, psychotherapy provides support, guidance and education to people with bipolar disorder and their families. Psychotherapeutic interventions increase mood stability, decrease hospitalizations and improve overall functioning. Common techniques include cognitive behavioral therapy, psychoeducation, and family therapy.

What is the difference between depression and bipolar disorder?
The main difference between bipolar disorder and major clinical depression is the presence of manic episodes. This is why depression alone is not enough to diagnose an individual with bipolar. However, one manic episode (meeting DMS-IV criteria) is sufficient to make a bipolar diagnosis.”

 

Dissociative identity disorder is:

“Dissociative identity disorder (DID), previously known as multiple personality disorder  is a mental disorder on the dissociative spectrum characterized by at least two distinct and relatively enduring identities or dissociated personality states that alternately control a person’s behavior, and is accompanied by memory impairment for important information not explained by ordinary forgetfulness.”

 

Many an actor or actress have stepped forward to say that they are bipolar:

Demi Lovato

Bruce Springsteen

Catherine Zeta-Jones

and many more. They have been so very brave in sharing what they need to do daily to keep themselves in “check”.

 

Many people suffer from depression. Whether it is drug-related or just being introverted and obsessed with people pleasing.

Bipolar is more black and white…no grey in the middle. They are either manic (up and full of energy) or down to where they stay depressed for days.

Obsession, anxiety, panic, fear of losing friends and family, all these things related to being bipolar.

 

If someone you know has these symptoms, please help get them help. Because without treatment they could either hurt themselves or others

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Never Give up on Your Dream—Tyler Ward

Tyler Ward

 

 

Don’t let your failures define you, let them refine you.

This is a quote on musician Tyler Ward’s website. It describes him well. Tyler is from Aurora, CO and I remember very vividly his 1st video in his parent’s basement. His dad had set up a studio/recording room in their home where music was no stranger. His mom is a beautiful pianist, his brother is a dedicated, talented rapper and his dad knows how to build a recording studio.

It was in 2009, at the time, I was an A&R with Arista and J Records/MLS and it was my job to search monthly for new indie artists and submit them hoping that after review was finished each month by my co- A&R’s (200 of them nationally and internationally), my main A&R and his leadership team, that they would score highly. Into the top 20’s of each artist that was submitted by each of us.

I’m proud to say that my five years with the label taught me vast information on what to look for, how the music industry changes all the time and who to follow as mentors in the business for years. How to search for quality content, delivery of song and talent from each artist. I came close to the top voted artist three times and usually ranked in the top 20’s.

But that was my job. Tyler’s was to work hard, like all musicians, study, keep at it all the time, find support, learn how to collaborate with other musicians and step it up each time. And he did it. He still is. From 2009 and his first cover video in his parent’s home to today.

“Four years, 1,100,000 subscribers and 300,000,000+ views later, Tyler Ward is an empire with fans that span the globe. He is currently working on his Sony Records release scheduled for late 2013 while continuing to be a pioneer in the Youtube space with his steady flow of ever-evolving videos.”

In fact, Tyler just had “19,000 people heard Hoopty Hoop today!”  At vid.com in Anaheim, CA.  I do not think I have ever seen Tyler without a huge smile on his face. He loves what he does and myself and Colorado are very proud of his accomplishments in just 4 years. He has toured other countries and continues to.

This is evidence that if you have a goal to reach, go for it all the way. Doors may shut in your face, you may be told “no. You just don’t have what it takes in a very competitive industry. Come back when you do” many times. It is one of the toughest industries to be in and stay in that I have ever worked in as far as scouting and promotion. Seeing artists strive so very hard to do what they love and share that.  Tyler’s videos have not only included many well known artists collaborating with him in videos, but now he has film videos that are directed. Huge kudos to you, Tyler! You’re not only stepping it up all the time, but you are an excellent example to others to never give up on their dreams.

They come true.

Tyler Ward’s Website

 

 

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WordPress…you are the greatest!

I have been blogging for years online. Writing books that never got published except for one, so far.
In all my marketing, promoting experience I have never found such a great blogging source as WordPress.
Through a great friend of mine who helped me learn WordPress from the get go last year and co-authored with me I have come to know that the gadgets in WordPress shows you the stats of your audience for each day. Not only that, but where the audience is located.

That is better than Google Analytics, in my opinion.

Thank you WordPress for all you do.

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Fire and Rain

One thing about life is…..it never promised a rose garden. BUT, and I say this with all of my heart, I wouldn’t trade a minute of it. Because the low times make us stronger and the bright times make awesome memories with the people that we love the most. And that…makes it all worth it, believe me.

loveGod

“Just yesterday morning, they let me know you were gone.
Suzanne, the plans they made put an end to you.
I walked out this morning and I wrote down this song,
I just can’t remember who to send it to.
I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain. I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end.
I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend, but I always thought that I’d see you again.

Won’t you look down upon me, Jesus, You’ve got to help me make a stand.
You’ve just got to see me through another day.
My body’s aching and my time is at hand and I won’t make it any other way.
Oh, I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain. I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end.
I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend, but I always thought that I’d see you again.

Been walking my mind to an easy time, my back turned towards the sun.
Lord knows when the cold wind blows it’ll turn your head around.
Well, there’s hours of time on the telephone line to talk about things to come.
Sweet dreams and flying machines in pieces on the ground.

Oh, I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain. I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end.
I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend,
but I always thought that I’d see you baby, one more time again, now.

Thought I’d see you one more time again.
There’s just a few things coming my way this time around, now.” Continue reading

Through the Eyes of a Child

Image

“Precious are the children because they know no fear. Only faith, trust and love” That actually is my own quote. Probably something I heard and stuck with me or something I just made up.

But it is true. We have all seen toddlers walk around as if they own the world. Curious, wanting to explore everything using their senses; looking, hearing, feeling, smelling and of course tasting even if it was not what they expected.

I remember the special moments of being a child from 4 years old on up. At the time, my family and I lived in Utah and we were not the same religion as most. My older brother and sister had a more difficult time with that in school than I did. Being young teens there was some alienation from their peers asking why they did not participate in the strongly Mormon faith. My parents then decided to put my siblings in the only Catholic school in town. But for me, I never saw the difference myself. All I saw were kids just like myself and wanted to be their friend. From the neighborhood kids my age, I would hear “my parents say that I can’t play with you because you are not like us”. I couldn’t comprehend that, so I turned to bribing the kids with cookies. “If you play with me, I’ll give you my momma’s great cookies”. That worked sometimes with the girls, but mostly with one boy in my neighborhood who soon became one of my best of friends. Always waiting for me at my home after kindergarten and 1st grade school for more cookies and play. His name was Mikey and he and I were typical kids. We explored places in the wooded areas by our home. Old abandoned homes. At one particular time, for whatever reason, he and I decided that we were going to break into a neighbor’s basement window and take whatever we found. We knew that was wrong, but curiosity got the better of us.

We did get into their basement window one day when they were not home and in their basement were tons of SPAM meat and boxes of sugar cubes. We hit the big time, Mikey and I thought!! So we took as much as we could and while leaving the home, the owners drove up just in time to catch us and take us to our parent’s homes and show them what we did.

I had a glass, pink piggy bank that I was saving money in and my punishment was to not only apologize but give them all the money in my piggy bank. Mikey’s parents and mine were not too happy with us.

In kindergarten, I had a little African American girl friend that I met and liked her right away. I did not see the difference in her skin color than mine. I just saw a great potential friend. Which we continued to be. But not without being bullied by classmates that did not like 1) people of different color 2) people that were not their religious faith. Two huge strikes against my friend, Leetha.

I soon started protecting her from the bullies. I was the kind of little girl that my mom would dress in dresses and matching coats, but underneath, I always put on shorts so that I could play sports or climb trees in. Always half girl half tomboy. One day during recess Leetha and I were sitting at the top of the school playground ladder as the bullies started to circle around below and heckling both of us.

An older boy picked up a heavy metal bolt he had found on the ground and threw it at Leetha. Instead, I moved into the path of the bolt and it hit my left eyebrow leaving a bruise and bleeding. My momma was on her way to school to pick us up any way and saw what had happened. The boy was taken inside the school and punished by the principle. The school nurse took care of my eye and my momma took care of both my friend Leetha and myself by telling us that there were some people in the world that would do that to others. Make fun of, outcast you or try to belittle you. But to not let them get away with that. To not fight them back but instead show them that they too could have meaningful friendships with others that were “different” than us and all that it took was to get to know them first and then make their decision on whether or not they were friend -worthy.

That was the best lesson I learned in life early on. To not look at the world like others did because of the unknown, fear or not understanding. But to instead look at the world through their eyes and feel what they are feeling when ever many were against them. Because hidden gems are found in places and in people’s hearts in all colors, religions and beliefs. To this day I still remember that and have no problem meeting people that are different than I am and just liking them for who they are unconditionally.

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