Tag: boomers

Living with Mental Illness and Surviving Suicide – One Mother’s Story

Living with Mental Illness and Surviving Suicide – One Mother’s Story

Leaving the Hall Light On  A Mother’s Memoir of Living with Her Son’s Bipolar Disorder and Surviving His Suicide is the powerful, heart wrenching story of one women’s journey through 17 years of heartbreak and struggle. It is a story of strength and courage, creative genius and despair. Madeline shares her confusion and anger, her hope and disappointment as she recounts the events that led to her son’s ultimate suicide, and along the way the reader has an up close and personal introduction to this debilitating disease and its effect on a family. I came away from this book with a new depth of understanding and compassion for all who are and have been touched by serious mental illness. It’s message has lingered long after the initial reading. It will broaden your perspective and awareness and for that reason alone, this is an important book.

In addition, Madeline is our peer. A woman of our generation and experience who tells her story, not only as a part of her healing journey but, to inform and support others who are struggling with a similar challenge. Whether or not you have someone in your life who suffers from mental illness, there is not a one of us who has not witnessed its destruction, most recently in the shocking and unexpected death of Robin Williams.  We long for understanding. We search for hope. Perhaps together, by raising awareness, we can find a cure, a satisfactory treatment, or at the very least, an opening of our hearts in support of one another.

Madeline Sharples

Although Madeline Sharples worked for most of her professional life as a technical writer and editor, grant writer, and proposal manager, she fell in love with poetry and creative writing in grade school. She pursued her writing interests in high school while studying journalism and writing for the high school newspaper, and she studied journalism in college. However, she only began to fulfill her dream to be a professional writer later in life.

In addition to Leaving the Hall Light On, Madeline co-authored Blue-Collar Women: Trailblazing Women Take on Men-Only Jobs (New Horizon Press, 1994) a book about women in nontraditional professions and co-edited the poetry anthology, The Great American Poetry Show, Volumes 1 (Muse Media, 2004) and 2 (2010). Her poetry accompanies the work of photographer Paul Blieden in two books, The Emerging Goddess and Intimacy as well as appearing in print and online on many occasions.

Madeline is now a full-time writer and is working on her next book, a novel, based in the 1920s. She and Bob, her husband of 40+ years, live in Manhattan Beach, California, a small beach community south of Los Angeles.

Connect with Madeline online: 

Visit her website: http://madelinesharples.com/

On Facebook: Madeline Sharples

On Twitter: @madeline40

On G+

FATHER’S DAY GIFT IDEAS for BOOMER MEN

FATHER’S DAY GIFT IDEAS for BOOMER MEN


Father’s Day is just around the corner. It’s the perfect time to start thinking about a special gift for the fathers in your life. My husband and I both loved the these two books. Light, but thought-provoking, they are perfect summer reading for the midlife male.

Summer Reads for Boomer Men

LIFE AT 12 COLLEGE ROAD, by Eric Mondschein – Eric Mondschein is a born story-teller. From the very first page I was drawn in to his tales of life as a young boy in the 1950’s. I was flooded with my own memories as he recounted a selection of his childhood adventures.  At times I found myself laughing until tears ran down my face, and then just as quickly I’d sink with the author into quiet reflection.  I was so taken with Mondschein’s stories that I passed the book along to my husband enjoying it again vicariously each time he laughed or recounted a part he particularly enjoyed.

If there’s a “Boomer” man in your life, you’ll want to share this book with him.  It’s a perfect Father’s Day gift.  Just be sure you read it first!

Available on Amazon 

 *****

Dr. Eric S. Mondschein has taught law and education and published and edited numerous articles and books in the field. He has worked 2999e74d88880a7e9d9af0.L._SX80_for the US government in various capacities and directed an award-winning education program for New York. He was awarded the ABA’s Award of Excellence in Law Related Education. He also served as an advisor for an international NGO in Haifa, Israel, in external affairs, security, government relations, and human rights.

He currently resides in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York with his wife, Ginny. They have two grown children Adam and Emily, a son-in-law, Kamal, a daughter in law, Yaani, and grandchildren, Annie, Nathanael, and Eli.

Visit Dr. Mondschein’s website: EricMondschein.com or connect with him on Twitter @EricSMondshein

 



BREAKFAST WITH BUDDHA by Roland Merullo – This is the first Roland Merullo book I have read and I really enjoyed it. I loved the realness of Otto Ringling’s character and the unfolding of his midlife journey, both inside and out. It’s the perfect book for men looking for something more in their lives. There’s no fluff, or long drawn out dissertations on spirituality, just little nudges and believable scenarios. Again, this book won my husband’s approval, so I wouldn’t hesitate to include it for consideration for Father’s Day.

*****

 

Roland Merullo is the author of twelve novels and five non-fiction books.  Born and raised in a working-class family in Boston he graduated from Brown in 1975, then earned a Master’s there–in Russian Studies– in 1976. He currently lives in Massachusetts with his wife Amanda and their two daughters. He can be reached via his website: RolandMerullo.com.

Merullo has a side-speciality, golf writing. His articles and columns appear frequently in Golf World Magazine, and his golf books include GOLFING WITH GOD, THE ITALIAN SUMMER, AND PASSION FOR GOLF.

He also writes regularly for the Boston Globe Op-Ed page.

 


ON A SLIGHTLY LIGHTER NOTE!

A FEW MORE FATHER’S DAY GIFT IDEAS

 

Hippie Van Hat
Hippie Van Hat by AgingAbundantly
Design your own photo hat from zazzle.com.
Midlife Trauma & Transformation

Midlife Trauma & Transformation

Stina Persson is an illustrator based in Stockholm, Sweden. She has been working for many famous corporations, such as Coca Cola, Absolut Vodka,Sony Music and popular editorial magazines as Harper’s Bazaar, Flaunt, Elle UK, Marie Claire, etc. Here is a collection of her watercolor paintings. CLICK PICTURE FOR MORE INFORMATION
Stina Persson is an illustrator based in Stockholm, Sweden. She has been working for many famous corporations, such as Coca Cola, Absolut Vodka,Sony Music and popular editorial magazines as Harper’s Bazaar, Flaunt, Elle UK, Marie Claire, etc.

MANIFEST ME

Midlife brings many changes, some are incredibly good, some extremely challenging. We are happy to discover a sense of confidence and freedom we may not have known in our younger days. We take on new challenges, try new things and sometimes even start over completely. Our sense of self and identity begins to take form in deeper ways. Many of us face deep and challenging questions that often bring to light traumas we may have experienced as children or even throughout our lives that now seems to impede our progress. This is a rich and complex issue that I hold close to my heart. I have therefore begun to delve into this issue in a new blog ManifestMe2014. If you have suffered trauma at any time in your life, or are finding it difficult to find yourself or your path at midlife and beyond, I urge you to follow this blog.  It might just offer you some of answers you have been looking for, or launch you on a new and fertile path in your journey toward health and wholeness. I hope you’ll join me in this new adventure.

 

Rediscovering Your Gifts

Rediscovering Your Gifts

personal growthWe each carry within us a treasure. Living deep inside, it is a quiet place where we can go to find our untarnished heart and a soul that is still pure. We once knew this place, our place where there is peace and understanding, wisdom and strength, though it may have slipped from our memory.

The hours, days and years that we have struggled and pushed, yearned and stretched toward something more has powered us through our lives. It is “life yearning for itself”. Our desire for something more and incessant discontent led us down many a winding path and along the way we collected bits and pieces of life’s debris.  Instead of tossing the debris aside, we often instead as packaging material to insulate us from the world.

Sometimes we build a wall of anger, of fear, or of resentment, so thick and so profound that we forget our treasure ever existed. When we feel the sting of hurt and rejection we recoil inside of ourselves and do not remember the gifts of understanding and forgiveness we once knew so keenly. The longer we live the more likely we are to have lost our connection to our treasured self, as life’s rubble piles up upon us despite our best intentions.

We may begin to feel as though we might smother, or die without meaning or purpose for having lived. We fear we may wither away into nothingness. We might feel emptiness, an overwhelming sense of loss, or confusion or an aimless uncertainty.  It is precisely these uncomfortable stirrings that are our reminders. They are prompting us to return to the treasure that was born in us so many years ago, to dig down deep inside and uncover that precious someone who still lives and holds a pure and loving heart; who knows the value of trust and forgiveness. She understands the meaning of life and the purpose of her living.

The unearthing process can be approached alone or with the assistance of a friend, a mentor, a spiritual guide, a life coach, a therapist or any of a number of other guides.  There are as many methods of personal and spiritual growth as there are individuals. Here are some of the methods I have used and found helpful:

  1. Guided imagery meditation – A guided meditation by a trained practitioner using imagery and imagination to bypass thought and ego
  2. Solitary meditation – I recommend reading Full Catastrophe Living or any of a number of Wayne Dyer’s books and audios for more information on common meditation practices.
  3. Contemplation and mindfulness
  4. Journaling
  5. Reading or listening to the writings of spiritual teachers
  6. Work with a therapist or life coach to gather some movement if you are stuck
  7. Body work – massage therapy, chiropractic treatment, deep tissue massage, exercise
  8. Self-care – Learn listen to and follow the directives of your body, mind and spirit. If you feel tired, sleep. If you feel restless, go for a walk. If you feel stressed, meditate or make an appointment for a massage. Say no to demands that are being placed on you that cause your body to constrict.

Rediscover the treasure of your heart. It is waiting.

Health News ~ Are We Taking too Many Prescription and Non-Prescription Drugs?

Health News ~ Are We Taking too Many Prescription and Non-Prescription Drugs?

Healthy aging for women over fiftyAs women over fifty, it is often difficult to discern truth from fiction when it comes to treating our physical concerns. Which aches and pains should we do something about? Which discomforts come with age and which should we consult on with a physician? Should we be taking the medications we are taking? Should we have the tests that are being prescribed?

The medical and health field has been in a stage of rapid advance in recent years. Like technology, it’s moving full speed ahead. What I see developing is a growing respect for alternative treatments and a skepticism regarding prescription drugs. My conversations with Aging Abundantly women regarding this subject often revolves around the general feeling that physicians often treat symptoms with medications rather than getting to the root of the problem. This is not, of course, everyone’s experience, but I hear it more often than I used to.

The questions  arise: What are we to believe? Who are we to believe? Can we trust our doctors to advise us correctly? How do we know if this alternative treatment is safe? It’s a minefield of uncertainty and fear. The ability to access information on the internet has intensified the dialogue. We have, at our finger tips, detailed information that keeps us better informed, but the fact remains, we are not doctors. Can we really see the whole picture?

My mother lived to be ninety seven and rarely even took an aspirin. In her mid-nineties her doctor talked her into taking calcium and something for her allergies. She fiddled around with anti-depressants a time or two, but she would go days and weeks without taking any of them. Was she unusually healthy? Perhaps. She also modified her behavior when necessary. She ate a healthy, balanced diet, was physically active (not in the way we think of today) and lived a simple life. She gardened, cleaned the house, kept up with her friends and family, cooked three meals a day and took care of my Dad who lived twenty years after a stroke. He lived a similar lifestyle, although the stroke added some medications to his daily regime. Their first line of defense when they were not feeling well was always to modify their diet and rest.

The key to taking care of our bodies as we age is to have a sense of what they can handle on their own, and when our physical health would benefit from medical attention. I have been exploring this issue for myself and over the months ahead I will be sharing with you what I have discovered and information I have learned in my research. I will be inviting experts to share what they know on a variety of topics and welcome your input and comments.

Aging abundantly requires seeking health and peace in body, mind and soul. I do not believe we can have one without the other.

Cures for “Midlife Madness Fatigue”

Cures for “Midlife Madness Fatigue”

I love Sophie Lumen's artwork. She exemplifies the aging abundantly spirit in all that she does. Be sure and visit her website www.feedthebeauty.com.
art by Sophie Lumen, artist and founder of FeedtheBeauty.com

There’s a lesson to be learned by those just beginning their journey into midlife from my experiences that I describe in Midlife Madness. The most important of which is that it’s time to fasten your seat belt and hold on for dear life! You’re in for the ride of your life! All kidding aside, midlife madness is jam packed with life lessons and I say as often as I have the opportunity, the decade from fifty to sixty was, without a doubt, the most challenging, demanding and fulfilling decade of my life thus far.

The intensity of the challenges we face are equal to the intensity of the depth of our soul we can reach. I do not wish misfortune on anyone, even myself, but it is bound to place itself in our path sooner or later regardless of how much effort we put into protecting ourselves from it. The good news is that we come out the other side a fuller, deeper, richer, more compassionate human being.

If you are struggling with aging parents, health issues, difficult marriages/divorces, strained relationships, financial difficulties, take heart and take hold of the wisdom to be gained in them. When we face our problems head on, evaluate our responses to them, give up our need to constantly control the outcome, and love and accept ourselves despite the mistakes we make, we are gaining wisdom and we are learning to age with an abundance of spirit.

Women are survivors.  More importantly they are thrivers. At their very core, they believe in love. They believe in happy endings. They believe that life is good. It is that very belief that gives them so much power to heal the world.

Midlife madness fatigue may give you pause, but it will not defeat you. I promise.