The Permission Slip 

Oopsie! I had a premature post there a little bit ago – hopefully that won’t happen again. I’m using the WordPress site on my IPad as my laptop died on me. So inconsiderate!! I just lost an entire post so I’m grabbing a sangria and starting over.  Cheers! …………

Ok, Girlfriends, I need to rant. I need to blow off a little steam and GET THIS OFF MY CHEST. I don’t want to go to carry around this angst.

So what has my panties in a twist? Take a guess……

My kids? Surprisingly no.

My X-husband, “Mr. MF-Ski”? Nope.

My boss? Ha, ha, no. He has been behaving lately.

I am not pissed about my cellulite, how the refrigerator stinks (again), the high cost of living in the Bay Area or how hard it is to find stylish walking sandals that don’t look like Grandma Wilma’s orthopaedics! 

I am breathing hard because I am FED UP. Enough already!

I have heard too many excuses; excuses like you don’t have time, you don’t have a choice, you don’t have a small waist or a big bank account…… you don’t think your opinion matters, you don’t want to rock the boat, blah, blah, blah!

You don’t want to date until you lose ten pounds. You don’t want to travel until you retire. You don’t want a new job because you don’t like change.  

…….. ………..  ………. …….   You don’t have any problem complaining though. ………that’s the part that annoys me! 

I see your heavy heart. I feel your outrage. I hear your desperation.

Your pain is very familiar to me.

Like you, I chose to play it safe. I lived surrounded by walls built by my own fear. I put everyone else and everything else first. I either numbed or distracted myself to keep from feeling anything. I blamed everyone and everything for my UN-everythingness!! 

Superwoman puts up with bullshit because she can; she’s a fictional character!!! We on the other hand are only human!

I used to live that way but I don’t do that anymore. I gave myself permission to think and act differently. I’m in no way perfect- I still slip up and indulge in a bitchfest or feel sorry for myself.  Progress not perfection, Girlfriends! 

When I was in the elementary school, I pitched an idea to my teacher. We had a trash problem on the playground and I told her that we could solve the issue if we bedazzled our trash cans.  “Let’s make it fun to throw away our trash!” ! Ok, I didn’t use the word bedazzled in 1972 but this is a true story! The project was approved. I moved ahead with my idea. The can said, “FEED ME’ and featured Lucy from The Peanuts.

Cara and her little brother Mike!!

Fear has a way of looking really attractive; like a big colorful trashcan called Lucy who eats your dreams. The more you feed the fear, they more fear grows and keeps you small. 

Fear freezes you.  

Back to the present moment……What really confuses me is why you don’t give yourself permission to think or act differently?

What’s blocking you from making a change? You are an adult. You are intelligent and capable.

You are the one RESPONSIBLE for your life. You are the ONLY ONE responsible for change.

What is holding you back? What’s the worst thing that can happen?

Girlfriend, if this resonates with you then it is time to grow a pair! It is time to clear out whatever is preventing you from signing your permission slip.

I invite you to give yourself permission to do something that you have been longing to do. Give yourself permission TODAY.

This is your loving kick in the butt to stop whining and make a change. You are not going to thrive in this life unless you take risks and sit with discomfort.

LIVE a little! Let me assure you, you are going to be alright. You have everything you need right now.

I am hopeful you will honor the dreams and desires that reside within you.  

What will you give yourself permission to do today? Write out your permission slip to make it real. “I give myself permission to (fill in the blank). Post it in the comments below. Writing it down makes it real. Telling us keeps you accountable!! 

From the heart,

Cara

©2011-2017MyGirlFriendVoice

In case you are wondering about the other things that annoy me:

1. A dear friend that had recent surgery but didn’t tell anyone. She didn’t want to bother us. Let us love on you, Girlfriend!  Accepting help is not a weakness. 

2. Mitch McConnell, The Majority Whip Weiner. Need I say more?

3. My laptop dying before I was ready to replace it! 

4. I am out of FeverTree Tonic. Just as well, there is no cabana boy to make me a cocktail.

5. Mean people.  

 

 

 

 

“…..get up, stand up, stand up for your right!”

What does your bedtime routine look like? Personally, I prefer to read for a bit then go to bed early.  Geez though, you have be careful what you read as the day’s headlines are so damn depressing.

I was too lazy to get out of bed and walk twenty feet to the living room where I’d left my magazine so I picked up my phone.  The phone at bedtime! BIG MISTAKE. I made the all too familiar mistake of looking at my email and two hours later I was too worked up to sleep.

To educate myself about the Opioid Epidemic, I have Google alerts which provide me links to daily news articles.  Tragically there are so many daily alerts that’s it’s hard to keep up.  So why do I put myself there? Because I chose to and because I’m a Fierce Mama turned Advocate. I will advocate to reduce the stigma of substance use disorders and influence policy makers to provide more effective and affordable treatment options. Incarceration is not the answer.Just like Bob Marley said, “get up, stand up, stand up for your right.”  I have a right to be me and follow my passion just like you have a right to be you.

 I’m exercising my right to speak up. I believe one person can make a difference.

So why opioids? My family has been and continues to be impacted or shall I say devastated by my son’s misuse of opioids. It’s hell. Actually hell sounds nice compared to our story. It’s impossible to describe the gut wrenching nightmare we’ve endured. The pain has sent me to my knees a million times over.

Please note. I do NOT want your pity.  This is NOT why I’m writing about my experience.

I write because it helps me cope. It grounds me. Writing heals me.

“My Girlfriend Voice” arose from my frantic attempt to survive the chronic stress of my life. Not only did I have a child suffering from substance use and mental illness, I had another child who desperately needed his Mother’s attention and love.  I was depressed and ending a long term marriage. I dreamt of running away.

Now while I don’t claim to know everything, I know I am resilient. I am wise because I learn from my experiences. Yes, I make mistakes. I cry big ugly snotty cries and I swear like a sailor. I rage, although not as often. I have bad days just like everyone.

Despite all of “this crap”,  I’m happy and optimistic. It’s hard work but a terrific return on my investment. I am grateful for my deep compassion and perspective.

Thank goodness we gain wisdom as we experience pain!!

I’m willing to let you witness to my process. I’m willing to share my thoughts and my tools in hopes that these stories will help you. I don’t want you to ever feel alone and hopeless.

Do you think this is weird? Narcisitic? You have a right to your opinion! I respect that! I don’t have to defend my motives or intentions.

In the spirit of sharing, here is a post I wrote last week. (Pasted below) “My Girlfriend Voice” encouraged me to show up strong and empowered. Finally I am comfortable accepting the consequences of who I am!!!!!!! It’s the only way I want to live. Free and open hearted. Get up, stand up! Don’t give up the fight!

I’d love to hear from you. Have you made contact with your Girlfriend Voice? What’s she telling you?

Are you ready to accept the consequences of who you are?

From the heart,

Cara

No parent EVER believes that they may someday need drug treatment for their child. Why does Trump propose such nonsense with his health care proposal? It will be even more difficult and much more expensive to obtain medical assistance.


What if only 10% of cancer patients got treatment? I’m serious. I’m real serious because I’m livid.

Drug overdose is now the LEADING cause of death for 50 year olds and under yet no one wants to talk about it . We MUST talk about it!

1. I don’t want to hear from you if you accuse me of trying to take pain pills away from those patients in need. I’M NOT!

2. Don’t bother saying addiction is a choice. It is a disease of the brain! Would anyone want the life of an addict? Would you want to watch your child slowly self-destruct and then bury them?

3.  Addiction is NOT a moral failing. Period.

Pharma companies manipulated us into believing opioids were safe. It’s atrocious.  Despite the tragic numbers, and by the way there were more deaths last year than lived lost in the Vietnam War, there is too little regulation regarding writing opioid prescriptions.
While I’ve been writing this post 4 people have died of an over dose. 4 people!! That’s 91 people dying every day. It’s senseless.
We incarcerate instead of rehabilitate.
We shame and isolate addicts and their families. It’s cruel.
We look the other way instead of shouting enough is enough!

“As of 2014, Medicaid picked up the tab for 21 percent of substance-abuse treatment spending and covered roughly one-quarter of medication-assisted treatments. Democrats have said that Medicaid rollbacks that would follow a partial repeal of the Affordable Care Act could strip access to services that patients use to combat drug addiction.”

Please help me take stand.

1. Please call your senators and say no to HCA. (202) 224-3121 is the US Capital Switchboard

2. Please use social media to express your concerns.

3. Feel free to share this post.

If you’ve read this far, I thank you. I thank you for your willingness to understand this urgent medical crisis.

#opioids #heroin #painkillers #SUD #ServicesNotCells #DualDiagnosis #91DeathsADay #OpioidEpidemic #Fentanyl #Narcan #Suboxone #Methadone #BlackTar #MAT

©2011-2017MyGirlfriendVoice

A Gift to My Girlfriends! A free gift that keeps on giving…..and no, it’s not THAT!

gift box mark bredinskiIf there is one thing that I am passionate about it is the importance of SELF-CARE!  With the help of Pianist Daniel Roberts, I created a guided relaxation and I’d like to share it with our Girlfriend community.  Free, from you to me.

Will you consider setting aside 15 minutes for yourself today?  It’s critically important to take care of yourself.  Cortisol and adrenaline, our stress hormones, will return to baseline levels once a perceived threat has passed.  For too many of us though, we live with CHRONIC stress and the “fight or flight” response becomes our standard operating procedure.  Elevated stress hormones interfere with the operation of every single bodily function; especially our cardiovascular system, our immune system, cognitive function and memory.  Chronic stress leads to disease and premature death.

This year I made a commitment to begin my day with quiet time and I sneak in quiet moments as often as possible throughout the day.  It’s when I pause and get quiet that the magic happens!  This is when I tune into the melody I call, My Girlfriend Voice.

Pause. Listen In.  Get in touch with your Breathing.  Enjoy the calm!  Here is the link for the download.       A Guided Relaxation – My Girlfriend Voice     The recording is approximately 12 minutes in length.

Please let me know if you have any difficulty accessing the file! This is an MP3 stored in Google Docs.  You are free to download the file to your device.

I also encourage you to pass this gift along to someone you love.  Enjoy!

From the heart,

Cara

©2011-2017MyGirlfriendVoice

Gift image borrowed from MarkBrodinsky.com

My Pianist collaborator, such a kind human being, can be found at DanielRoberts.com

Whatever You Feed Gets Stronger 

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Whatever you feed gets stronger!

We feed our emotional system all day long.

The brain has a thought and the thought produces a feeling. Feed the brain with positive thoughts and positivity blooms. Feed it negative thoughts and negativity bellows. In fact, the negativity grows like you’ve added some serious steroids! Why is it unbalanced?

Humans tend to recall negative information far more often than positive information. It’s related to our hard wiring; a primal instinct.  If you don’t remember to hide from T-Rex, you’re not going to live very long! Fire burns. Keep Momma happy and so on.  Continue reading

There’s a New Voice in Town!

2017-05-24 22.13.36
I believe in getting familiar with all of the voices in my head.  You might remember me mentioning some of them in previous posts.  I “humanize” these voices – not sure that anyone ever told me to do that but it made perfect sense to me.  I want to meet “face to face” with Penny  Perfectionist, Bitchy Becky, Anxious Abbie and the rest of that motley crew who contribute to the negative banter. My Girlfriend Voice lives with those mean girls and helps to keep them in check.

This weekend a new Voice had her debut. Let’s call her Warrior Woman. Rather than REACTING,  she RESPONDS from a place of power and passion. She is not to be silenced or shunned.  She is a fierce Momma – unleashed to lead and educate. It’s extra cool that this happens to be my 100th post!  Continue reading

Time Flies but I’m the Pilot! (Ha, ha!)

I’m feeling lifted, elated – lighter!  Last Saturday, I finished an 8 week class through my local university extension.  I love to learn and decided to leverage my company’s tuition reimbursement program.

images timeI have to admit that I had forgotten how much time it takes for homework and lectures so I would spend all day Saturday or Sunday studying.  You see,  a “B grade” is mandatory to qualify for the hefty tuition reimbursement.  Both my bank account and my ego are invested in me doing well!

I feel lighter because I have space back in my schedule.  I can dedicate this energy to another interest or to do nothing at all.  Girlfriends, you always have time to do what is important to you.  I’m often asked how I have enough time to accomplish all that I do and the answer is that I chose wisely.  I can’t do it all so what I do, I do because it is necessary and/or beneficial.  I make sure I am spending my time in alignment with my responsibilities and values.  I exercise “choice”.

As a working Mom with two small kids, I learned that anything I committed my time to had to benefit my career, my family or me personally.  I learned that lesson but I didn’t practice it!  Duh!!  I thought that giving 150% to my family and job was what you were supposed to do.  Remember the saying, “a woman’s work is never done?”  The more I gave to others, the better person I became, right?

It only took grinding to a halt with a clinical depression to rewire my thinking.  I became open to a new way of allocating my time and energy because I had to change in order to survive. Every day has to include ME time and the rest of my schedule goes from there.  I am in the pilot’s seat!

5031808-people-make-time-for-what-they-wantME time is not selfish.  ME time re-calibrates my mind and body.  ME time gets me in touch with My Girlfriend Voice.  ME time is often 30 minutes at the beginning of the day and several evenings during the week.

Do you struggle with too little time and too many interests?  Do you feel guilty taking time out for yourself?   Let’s chat; just between us Girlfriends!  I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

 

From the heart,

Cara

©2011-2017MyGirlfriendVoice

why? why??? Why do you do that???

 

2016-05-17 20.13.44I still chuckle when I think of this conversation with my Mother.  Mom asked me, “Why are you so honest?”  The question came out of the blue on a Sunday afternoon phone call.  I laughed but not unkindly and replied, “It’s the only way I want to be.”

Wait a minute, wasn’t I raised to be honest?

Isn’t honesty a core value?

Is it weird that my Mother is questioning my virtue or am I on Candid Camera? (for you Millennials, this was a TV show a hundred years ago.) Continue reading