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Waddington TracyTherapist's Corner...
Spring Is In the Air

     This time of year I look forward to new beginnings, warmer days ahead, hearing the birds chirping, colors forming and life cycles reappearing and take shape! Spring to me is a newness of life, a gift of longer lit days, and time being able to reminisce as the sun sets and the day begins to come to a close. What I have come to appreciate and realize in my 44 years of life is that no matter how challenging the day may have been or what the struggle is that I find myself facing, I have worked to become disciplined to find good in every fortunate and unfortunate circumstance.
     There are no guarantees for a tomorrow; all that we have is this moment, this day. We can either go through life with our heads held down, or choose to look up and find joy even in the gravest of circumstances. When I work with my clients I always have the utmost respect for them. I have always shared with them that some of the bravest people I know are people like them who can walk through the front doors of this wonderful practice, and trust in someone like me, whom they don’t know from Adam, to share some of their most fragile life circumstances.
     I am blessed beyond measure to be able to be in the position of working with individuals to help them to make sense of their circumstances. To trust in a process that is far greater than ourselves, and to work through that challenge with our heads held high. Searching for the strength within ourselves, to see the situation as a teachable moment, digging deep and asking ourselves, “What is this thing trying to teach me? How is this going to strengthen me to become a better me? What is the take away message? Most importantly what is my role, what is my accountability in this issue that I need to look at and to see?
     It takes work and commitment to choose to be mindful of being able to see things in life as the glass is STILL HALF FULL, versus the glass is always half empty. Spring is upon us, life is recreating, recharging, and is relentless to show us how grateful we need to be of the beauty around us as well as within us. We need to spring into a new and different action, a different mindset, that all we have control over is this very moment. We don’t have control over tomorrow as there are no guarantees.
     I challenge you for 1 month to keep a daily gratitude journal. In this journal it can only be positive things written about “What are the things that you are most Thankful and Grateful For?” Changing our mindset and choosing to focus on the positive versus the negative will take us farther in this life than trying to control things that are beyond our control. YOU ARE WORTH IT, AND YOU CAN DO IT!

~ Tracy Waddington, Therapist


Clinical Director Contemplations...
Signs of Hope 

Well, the long winter season is coming to an end. The days are getting longer, the sun is shining more, and the cold soil is warming and beginning to split. This allows what has lain dormant under the soil to again sprout. This time of year is simply alive with newness. Take a moment and look outside the window, or better yet, talk a walk.bradstreet
     I just love quotes. The power that words hold is simply astounding to me. They can be used wrongly to cut and pierce others with whom we are upset; or lovingly to instill support, kindness, and hope. I was looking through some of my favorite quotes the other day and came across this one from Anne Bradstreet. If you are not familiar with her, she was an amazing woman from the mid to late 1600s. She was the first noteworthy American poet, and the first woman to publish her words in America. She writes, “If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome." 
     If you take a minute to allow Bradstreets words to sink in, she is not just talking to us about the changing of the seasons, but about the essence of life itself. Without the cold days, we are not thankful for the warm ones. Conversely, without setbacks in our lives, we dont appreciate times when there are not setbacks. Existential philosophy tells us that humans are at their best when we are overcoming adversity.
     So, my parting message is hopefully a simple one. Don't look at your present problems as keeping you down or preventing happiness. Instead, once they are overcome, they will make your life more rich because you had them. Be looking for the signs of spring in the smallest of ways, just as you look for your problems subsiding in the same way. For these are signs of hope that happiness and warmth are just around the corner.
     Be well.  

~ Douglas Tillman, Clinical Director

HainAFrom Our EAP...
Spring Break Fun: Keeping It Safe

Do you think of yourself as a savvy parent when it comes to teen and college age partying? If so, you may want to check your reference point. Today’s Spring Break scene is much different – and far more dangerous – than it was thirty years ago. Here’s what’s happening after the sun goes down on the beach:
Binge Drinking- From “beer bongs” to shots – Spring Break for a lot of students means consuming as much alcohol as quickly as possible. And it’s having deadly consequences.
    The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports that alcohol-related deaths among college students rose more than 26% from 1998 to 2005. This same study showed a rise in binge drinking among this same group.1
    These behaviors, when combined with the careless, partying atmosphere of Spring Break, increase vulnerability. Binging students can easily become disoriented and separated from friends in unfamiliar surroundings. 
Multiple Substance “Cocktails”- Drinking isn’t the only thing happening at late night gatherings. Teens and college students are often combining alcohol abuse with illicit drugs, prescription pills, and over-the-counter stimulants.
    Multiple substance cocktails multiply both the speed and effects of intoxication. Worse, the nature of Spring Break camaraderie often means sharing pills and other substances with strangers, which means students may not know what they’re consuming.
High-alcohol Content Liquor- Everclear®, today’s brand of “hard” alcohol for today’s youth, has a potency from anywhere from between 151-190 proof (75%-95% alcohol) and it’s still legal in many states.
    The popularity of Everclear® has inspired “grain trains,” a practice wherein youths bring bottles of hard liquor to parties and mix them with juice or fruit to create what’s known as “trashcan punch.” These brews are especially dangerous – anyone drinking this mix has no idea how much alcohol they’re consuming; the taste of alcohol is largely masked by the fruit.
    Rapidly consuming Everclear® and other high proof drinks can bring about alcohol poisoning, a condition that can lead to brain damage or death.
Date Rape Drugs- Rohypnol (“roofies”), Gamma Hydrobutrate (GHB or “Grievous Bodily Harm”), and Ketamine (“Special K”) are odorless, tasteless, and dangerous illicit drugs that can be dropped into the drinks of unknowing partiers.
    The DEA has seen significant use of these drugs, particularly in Florida and Texas, popular destinations for Spring Break party goers. Once ingested, these drugs cause victims to become disoriented, lose mobility and sometimes consciousness. Victims often have no memory of what happened after the fact.
The Link Between Partying and Risky Behaviors- Excessive consumption and binge drinking are linked to increased rates of arrest, violence, injury, drunk driving, promiscuous and unprotected sex, contraction of STDs, and rape.
     According to a recent study by the Harvard School of Public Health, 72% of college campus rape victims reported being intoxicated when raped.2
Reducing Risk If your teen or college-age kids plan on taking a Spring Break vacation with friends, talk to them about these risk reducing actions:
  ♦ Only attend parties with familiar people that you trust.
  ♦ Use the buddy system whenever consuming alcohol. Never attend a party alone.
  ♦ Don’t accept drinks made by other people. Never leave your drink unattended. (If your teen is underage, prohibit drinking any alcohol.)
  ♦ Don’t ever mix alcohol with other substances, including over-the-counter or prescription drugs.      Remember, your teen or college-age children don’t have to be troublemakers or “bad kids” to be at risk from substance abuse. It only takes one lapse in judgment. The best strategy is setting up good decision making before they take that trip to the beach.

~ Anna Hain, EAP Coordinator
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Resources: 1
2 rapeintox/037-Mohler-Kuo.sep1.pdf

DHoytFamily Resources Spotlight!

Dave is celebrating 3 years with Family Resources of Greater Nebraska, P.C.! Thanks, Dave, for your wisdom, male perspective (in our female-dominated office) and humor!


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