inspiration, mental health, parenting, prayers, religion

Finding My Way out of Darkness

Through my life I have struggled with anxiety and depression.  When I was younger there were some dark times that I fought through.  Watching Oprah’s TV show introduced me to self-help and I began keeping a quote book and encouraging things.  I also relied on prayer to pull me out.

When I became a mom I ended up having to have a c-section and I was trying to breastfeed.  A lack of sleep became a given and it changed me.  I was sad most of the time and just felt like a different person.  I tried to put on the happy face around others but when alone there was no smiling at all.  When my husband and I were considering having another child I told him I had to seek counseling or I might not survive another child.  This counselor seemed to be making things worse.  She agreed with all my struggles and wanted me to just change situations I was in when I was not capable of changing them.  I ended up once again turning to God and positive quotes.  I also joined a woman’s group at my church.  I found may way through again.

Through the years I have had my ups and downs and when I am down I have tried counseling but recently our insurance changed and counseling was going to cost us a pretty penny.  So less than a year ago I felt myself falling deep into my dark hole.  My in-laws attend a church that offers counseling for just a donation.  I looked to the Catholic Church to help.  Where I was living free counseling would be out of the question.  It was going to cost close to $125 an hour.  Are you serious?  How are people able to afford this?This made me mad and sad.  How can my religion not help me?  My local priest was willing to meet with me but I didn’t want to burden him even though he said I wasn’t a burden at all and he was there for me.

I began praying and asking God to lead me where he wanted me to be.  Please help me find a way out of this.  I want to be better for my children.  My older brother gave me the gift of meditation for Christmas and I found myself doing that daily.  It really got me into an almost trans-like state.  This led me to reaching out to a friend of mine who has found peace and relief through Reiki.  A few years ago when she just began training, she practiced on me and I remember having the same calming feeling I had when I meditated.  I asked her if she would train me and thanks to her help I became certified in Reiki level I.

During this time I also went on a woman’s retreat and was introduced to Tai Chi.  Tai chi is like meditative movement.  This seemed to fit together with everything else I was learning and was similar, yet different tools I could use to help me.

God led me to these tools to help me and they were working.  I also remembered I use to love using essential oils to help me and the kids.  So I dug out my oils and began using them.  Peace was finding it’s way back into my life.  God has answered my prayers in a way that I didn’t expect but was grateful for.

So as I continue to learn more about these tools I am hoping that not only will I help myself but I can help others in similar situations find tools they can empower themselves with.  Stay tuned for future post on these different tools/blessings.

Copyright 2020 Sheila M Scarpulla.  All rights reserved.  No reproduction without written consent.

mental health, parenting, prayers

What Makes Someone ‘Evil’?

 

       I have never been able to understand how a person could get so angry that they would harm another human being.  I use to think a person had to just be evil to commit murder or violence.  Then I got a little taste of that anger.  I figure this is a good time to share that with all the violence that has been happening in our country and world.

       Something happened recently to someone I love dearly.  I hope to write about it one day but today it is too fresh, to new.  Yet, this event opened my eyes to what hate is and how it is fueled.

       When I love, I love with every fiber of my being and when someone I love hurts the pain I feel for them can be unbearable.   This time though that pain turned to anger.  Could it have turned to rage?  I wished those who had hurt my loved one pain and suffering.  I knew these people had NO clue what pain they had caused and so I wanted them to feel even a tiny piece of what I felt.

       I could see how easily it was for a person’s brain to switch.  How in the heat of those feelings all you want to do is avenge your loved one or to make those who have hurt you hurt just as bad or worse.

       I am blessed to have two amazing parents who raised me to know God and to know right from wrong.  I was taught that actions have consequences.  I never wanted to get in trouble with any authority or disappoint anyone, whether it was my parents, teachers or police.  So when this event came up I was able to control myself.  I was able to rationalize what I was feeling.  I  accepted it as a feeling and not something to act out on.

       I never felt those feelings before and they were SCARY.  I NEVER want to feel them again.  Those feelings led me to start counseling so I could try and work through what I was feeling.  I was able to reach out for help.

       What if I didn’t have that upbringing would I still have felt this way?  I am not sure.  Would I have been able to stop myself from acting on those feelings?  What if I didn’t have all those people in my life who loved me?  What if I didn’t have those people to let down?

       What if I didn’t have parents or had absentee parents?  What if I had parents but they were physically, emotionally or mentally abusive?  What if I lived feeling like an outcast or a failure?  What if I felt this way all the time?  What if I had no one?  What if I went to a school I hated and every day I was picked on or beat up?  So many what if’s.

       There are people out there who do horrible things, unimaginable things.  Were they born evil?  Were they born full of hate?  I try to believe that the majority of these people, if not all were not born evil and learned to hate.  I believe that I was blessed to be raised the way I was but does that make it ok for me to judge someone who was nowhere near as lucky as I was?  NO. 

       So I have learned a lot and I am teaching my children all that I have learned.  What have I learned?

       I learned that good people can do bad things. Everyone needs our prayers even those who harm us or others.  Those people may possibly need our prayers even more than others.  We should try our hardest to not judge others especially people who may be different than us.  We can’t say how we would react in a given situation unless we have actually been in that situation. 

       If we see someone alone or that looks sad we can try and reach out to them or tell someone.  If we see something that seems out of place or strange we should tell someone we trust.  A little eye contact and a simple smile to someone can make a difference.  We need to show people who God (they may not know of God) is through our actions.  We need to love one another (even those we don’t know) as He loved us.

       May God watch over us all and guide us to help those around us.  May he touch those who are alone or who are struggling.   

 

copyright 2018 Sheila M Scarpulla.  All rights reserved.  No reproduction without written consent

inspiration, mental health, parenting

Sleep With Me Podcast

sleepwithme-300x300

Growing up, my older brother and I were not very close.  We did not start becoming close until we were both in college.  When we did start becoming closer I realized my brother and I faced some of the same struggles in life.  What to do with the rest of our lives?  We had both been in more than one career field and we still were not sure.

Then we had children.  Parenting can be a real challenge but I think we were both doing a pretty good job at it.  Our kids got to see each other about once a year in the summer. During that time my big brother would do his best and see to it that I got some kind of break.  (I had two boys close in age and then added a little girl.  My hands were full.)

He often read them stories or told them stories at nap time or bedtime and he actually got them to sleep.  I was amazed.  In the summer they never wanted to nap or go to bed for me.  He had a gift but at the time I do not know if I or any of us realized what a blessing his gift really was.

Now jump ahead a few years.  I turned to him because I wanted to create a webpage where I could share what I was learning as a new mom and as a Catholic mom.  I wanted my big brother’s thoughts.  It turned out that during that time he had already created his Sleep With Me Podcast but it was still a hidden gem to most.  He was doing it because he wanted to and not to win anyone’s approval.  Good for you big brother!

I started listening to it here and there.  As a mom sometimes shutting my brain off and getting to sleep could be a real challenge.  I often would listen to the Rosary and sometimes I still do.  Yet, now I have my big brother.

I am a person all about bonding with loved ones.  It has always been my thing.  I feel like I don’t get the opportunity to bond with my siblings as much as I would like and often wished that could be different.  However, it is what it is.  Yet, now I feel like I am bonding more with my oldest brother.  At night when I am stressed and cannot get to sleep I turn to him.  He may not know it but I do.  I listen to him as if he is sitting next to me trying to help me and it WORKS.  I am a sleep before I even know it.

After having my first child I learned that I am a person who needs sleep.  A lack of sleep causes me to stop functioning like a normal person and I slowly start losing it.  When I think I will not get enough sleep I begin to worry because I do not want to lose it.  When this starts to happen I just say a prayer and listen to the podcast.

My brother has a gift.  A gift that he loves so very much.  A gift that he excels in.  If you are like me and you toss and turn at night, I highly recommend you give this a shot.  You can join me and the thousands of people out there who are put to bed by my big brother. Heck you might even hear a story with me in it 🙂

website

copyright 2016 Sheila M Scarpulla . All rights reserved. No reproduction without written consent

mental health

Do You Suffer From Anxiety?

Anxiety is realAnxiety is a real thing and if you do not have it you probably do not get it. You do not get why someone would not be able to leave their home or get in a car or be around people. You may see someone who seems ‘normal’ on the outside but have no clue what is going on inside.

Anxiety sucks. It is not fun to have and it’s worse when people around you just do not get it or even try to get it. It can consume you if you let it. It can affect all aspects of your life from the time you get up to when you go to bed. There are all different kinds of levels and all kinds of things that can affect it.

An anxiety attack is a monster of its own. Not everyone who has anxiety gets them and someone who does not usually have anxiety may get one. They are scary. You feel as though you are suffocating and just can’t breathe. Minutes seem like eternity.

For those who have been lucky enough to never suffer from anxiety please understand that it is real and can impact someone you love. Please think before you judge someone because you truly do not know what they are struggling with inside.

For those who suffer know that you are not alone and you do not need to face it alone. You would be surprised at how many suffer on some level with it and just do not talk about it. Talking about it may help you. Talk with a family member, friend or seek the help of your doctor.

Here are some websites that you may find helpful;

National Institute of Mental Health

Anxiety and Depression Association of America

Let us all keep those who suffer from anxiety in our prayers that God will be with them and help them in their time of need.

copyright 2015 Sheila M Scarpulla. All rights reserved. No reproduction without written consent

famous people, mental health, parenting

Bruce Jenner aka Caitlyn Jenner

574678_360224607358018_121323091248172_931205_2131164315_n_large

Let me first start off by saying this entry is not to judge anyone but to give a different perspective on things.

It seems like I have heard of transgender for as long as I can remember.  I remember learning about Chasity Bono wanting to become Chaz Bono.  My view had always been it’s your business, who am I to judge.  I never really thought about it.

Then recently I saw a post on Facebook about the family Lemay.  They have a five-year old daughter who they are raising as a transgender.  The question on Facebook was what we thought about it.  My heart felt for the parents.  My first reaction was how much they must love their child to do whatever was needed to see their child happy.  The other comments that were posted shocked me.  They shocked me to the point that I removed myself from the conversation.  People called them abusive and horrible parents for doing such a thing.

Watching Bruce Jenner on the Kardashian show has always fascinated me.  He seemed like such a loving man but you could see something was going on with him emotionally.  I recorded his interview with Diane Sawyer  and my heart broke for him.  You could see the pain in his eyes.  My initial thought was that I applauded him for what he was doing and the courage to do it.  Yet now that he has transitioned to her my tune is changing a little.

First, when Caitlyn finally revealed herself why did she have to do it in lingerie?  I don’t care how classy you think it was done.  Why couldn’t she have the cover be in one of the beautiful dresses she wore for the shoot?  I was saddened by that.  I felt that it was no longer about the transformation of this person but more about their physical changes.  I don’t think whether or not he/she had breast surgery done or sexual reassignment surgery is what it should have been about but the support of him simply becoming a her.

Second, the image of a boy or girl and the stereotypes of being a boy or girl have been created by society.  We are at fault.  As early as the hospital, each baby is labeled.  God created each of us.  He gave us a sexual gender as we know it (boy or girl).  Yet, some people relate better to the opposite sex or feel as though they should have been different.

I took a course in college called Psychology of Women.  In that class we talked about teaching our kids to be gender neutral and not pushing girls to play with ‘girl’ stuff or dress like a typical ‘girl’.  I thought it was a great idea and that we all should be doing that.  Yet, when I had kids things changed.  Even before the child is born we ‘pick a color’ to paint the room and register for gifts.  It is so hard to stay neutral.  Yes, I know some who have managed to at least start off gender neutral but it doesn’t seem to last.  We have been programmed to define ourselves as a lady or a gentleman and if you are not you get picked on or judge.

gender-neutral

I grew up with 5 brothers and I loved doing what the boys did and playing with the toys they played with.  Hey, my mom did a great job now that I think about it.  I wore a lot of my brother’s stuff.  Did you know that boy and girl jeans button differently?  I didn’t learn that until high school when I bought my first pair of ‘girl’ jeans.  I couldn’t believe it.  I would have been considered on tomboy and I was proud of it.  Granted I didn’t feel like I was a boy living in a girl’s body but did I sure envy the boys.  I thought they had it so easy compared to everything girls had to go through.

My point is that I wish people didn’t feel like they had to go to such drastic measures to change who they are.  Yes, Bruce Jenner had the money to forge ahead with surgeries but many don’t.

I truly am not sure how I feel about this subject anymore.  I don’t know if I can say I agree with the family that decided to change their daughter’s name and whole image.  I do know that I will try my hardest not to judge and I will teach my children not to judge another person.  If there is a girl who has the image of a ‘tomboy’ or a boy who may have long hair, we have to love them and accept them.  It isn’t about what we see but who they are.  We have to learn to see past the outside.  If we can learn to not judge based on outward appearances maybe those who feel trapped in their own bodies will be able to find a little more peace.

I hope that as parents we teach our kids acceptance.  To accept each other for WHO they are not what they look like.  If my son wants to have long hair or wear nail polish I hope he won’t be judged.  If my daughter wants to have buzzed hair or not wear dresses I will love her for her.  Maybe it isn’t about going to such drastic measures to change ourselves but embrace who we are and learn to love ourselves the way we are.

tumblr_nmflug8iQz1stsc4xo1_1280
No matter what I hope for anyone who feels they are a transgender we can accept you for whatever you chose.  We can learn to not judge but understand and to love, not hate one another.

 

 

copyright 2014 Sheila M Scarpulla. All rights reserved. No reproduction without written consent

famous people, mental health, parenting

Drugs and Our Children

10914124_1560038750880114_1205301257_n

This week we received some heartbreaking news, the loss of a young male relative to an overdose of Heroin.  He had been struggling as many do but was unable to win the battle.  My heart immediately broke for him, his parents and his siblings.  I know so many who have fought the battle against drugs or alcohol and many have won.  Yet, when the battle is lost there are no words.

Cory Monteith                      d9b1d5fd38e9a0f36fa86445b20bd5fc

I recently spoke with some family members who have teenagers about how their behavior is so different when they become teens.  They don’t want to listen, talk or do what is asked.  I think this is true for the majority of preteens and teens.  I know I was one of them (sorry Mom and Dad).  So my husband and I decided that maybe talking to our kids now when they are listening is the way to go.

download (1)

So when my boys (8 and 9) got home from school I told them we needed to talk.  I had my sunglasses still on from being outside and my older son thought it was to hide my tears. It went something like this;  I told them that a distant family member died from drugs. The young man was about the same age as their uncle.  This made it more relatable. “When you get older you may or may not meet people or have so-called ‘friends’ who want you to ‘try’ something.  It may be drugs, alcohol or cigarettes.  It will be made to look cool.  You may be made to feel uncool if you don’t try it.  However, by trying it your body may act like it likes it until it no longer has it.  Then the cycle begins.  Your body then thinks it NEEDS it.  If you don’t have it you get really sick.  So you try to get it.”

addiction-cycle

I explained that it may start with kids who take their mommy or daddy’s medicine when they aren’t supposed to.  “When you have surgery (like mommy did when she had them) the doctor gives you medicine for the pain.  You are only supposed to take the medicine when you are in pain.  When the pain stops you are not supposed to take more.  If you take the medication when the doctor hasn’t told you to your body reacts differently.  Your body may want more and what happens when there is no more?  That is when the kids learn about Heroin because it can be easier to get and can cost less money.  BUT it can also kill you.JesusHeroin3-300x297

When I was a kid we were not faced with these temptations.  Heroin and Crack seemed to be only for rich people or famous people but times have changed.  I want you to know how much we (and God) love you and how much drugs can ruin your life.  You lie, cheat, steal and can go to jail for the drugs.  Once you have been in jail that can affect you the rest of your life.  You may not see the effect now but when you meet the girl you want to marry and start a family with you may not be able to get the right job to support your new family.

I won’t be there with you when you are tempted but I hope you remember now.  My tears are those of love and fear.  We love you with all our heart and life wouldn’t be the same without you in it.  Never forget that.”

Children-Quotes-9

God, please be with this family who lost their loved one so young.  Help them through this unimaginable time.  Help all those who are facing addictions of any kind.  Be by the side of those who are about to be tempted for the first time.  Help them to realize it isn’t worth it.  Watch over all those who are struggling and all those who love them.

resources:

The Center for Alcohol and Drug Resources

National Institute on Drug Abuse

Drug Free Kids

copyright 2015 Sheila M Scarpulla . All rights reserved. No reproduction without written consent

mental health

Ever Felt Alone?

tumblr_lvcvd9lYyw1r39d5t_large

Have you ever felt alone?  I don’t mean being all by yourself and being lonely.  Have you ever been surrounded by people or been with others and yet felt all alone?  Throughout my lifetime there have been occasions I have felt this way.  I have felt like I am in a clear box.  I can see everything yet it seems those around me can’t see or hear me.  On other occasions I have just felt invisible.

stockfresh_1702879_man-standing-behind-a-screen_sizeXS-200x300

There have been times that I didn’t mind and other times that it has really bothered me. When it bothered me it brought me down, way down.  I believe those were the times that I didn’t think or talk to God.  When I get in a situation where I feel all alone but yet am fine, there is a peace or calm over me.  I must subconsciously realize that I am not truly alone.  God is ALWAYS with us.  We are never truly alone.  I also believe all our loved ones who have passed away are with us too.

the_god_who_sees_me

So the next time you or I are feeling invisible or in a box looking out and it starts to bring us down let us remember that God sees us.  We will never be invisible to God or stuck in a box that God cannot see through.  He will always be there and will always listen.  Let him help you out of the box.  Let him help others to see you again.  Let us be thankful to him for always being there.

copyright 2015 Sheila M Scarpulla . All rights reserved. No reproduction without written consent