Hi! I’m Margaret,
I am a teacher, a blogger, and a speaker. I am also a believer, a lover (family, friends and others), a relentless optimist, and a Certified Laughter Leader.
I help people learn how to apply science and strategies for coping with mental health issues, communication, or learning problems – so that they can find and use the gifts that are within them and live their own definition of ‘success’ – to the Glory of God.
I’m a mid-life career changer – who left retail management to become a college freshman at age 36. I have earned a Master of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology, and a Master of Arts in Education (Special Education).
God took a one-time high-school drop out – and moved me that far! It’s never too late, or too hard, for God to make miracles of our lives.
I enjoy writing weekly about life’s adventures – the triumphs and disasters, the laughs – and even the tears – if they can be useful.
WHY I’m blogging:
I’ve spent the past 30+ years working as an education specialist and speech-language pathologist serving patients with communcation, life-skills or learning problems – who also have a diagnosis of major mental illness.
I teach academics, communication and life-skills, plus mental health recovery strategies, to patients in a state-run psychiatric hospital. I work within the secured treatment area, with adults who have broken the law – while experiencing their mental illnesses.
My students have suffered losses – on all levels: Loss of ‘sanity’, freedom, relationships, finances, homes, and employment – along with losses such as skill, confidence, strength and self-esteem. These losses, layered with the symptoms of mental illness, are heavy burdens to bear. Feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, and despair are common.
Yet, with all of this – there is hope and some comfort to be found.
If you have emotionally and behaviorally crashed and burned – when you hit bottom – you find hard-won clarity about the future. There are only two possibilities: 1) you will stay (awhile) in the darkness, or 2) you will rise again.
It takes energy, effort and commitment to keep trying for the ascent. These deserve great respect. My work provided a flashlight (in the form of information, tools, and strategies) to help make the climb possible. Even though it may not feel true right now, climbing is possible – if not to ultimate heights – at least up from the pit.
I have been blessed to find significance and meaning in my work. I’ve seen significant change, in significant numbers of students – including increased abilities with self-awareness, communication, and problem solving. Students have developed effective coping skills for anxiety, and depression (including thoughts of suicide) and, for some, even symptoms such as auditory or visual hallucination.
There have been no magical cures. There is no ‘snake-oil’ or wizardly wisdom suddenly available – but there is a wealth of information, resources and strategies that can be of great benefit when consistently applied.
Of their learning, students say:
“…(It) gave me my power back. It builds my confidence. I can choose to believe in me – or not. Thinking is a skill and mastery can feel great.” R.S.
” I got a sense of character and pride, and skills to cope with a lot of emotions. I learned how to make back-up plans. I found out I can improve my life – even though sometimes I think I can’t.” G.F.
“..For me it has been a life support to my self-esteem, dreams, and hope. If not for (it) I wouldn’t believe that I could start again.” T.M.
The power of faith, added to knowledge and personal commitment, exponentially multiplies potential. ‘Believe it – to achieve it’ is much more than a catchy slogan – it describes a quantum leap in benefit. It requires a tiny seed of faith – and you have it (if not in yourself – in your God).
I have learned much from more than a thousand students – about what helps, and what doesn’t, and about the amazing potentials common to all of us. My work has often felt like a treasure hunt. We all have gifts within us, but I’ve found that many people don’t seem to know what treasures they are – and have.
God intends for us to use the gifts He gives us. I’m excited to share what I have learned with believers who may be going through difficulties, and dark times. I am writing a faith-based book to offer some of the new brain science, practical strategies, and support for those who are coping with mental health issues such as Depression/Anxiety, etc..
Over the years, I’ve been asked a lot of questions. I’ve decided to ‘blog’ the book to get the information out there faster – and to get feedback from my readers about what they really need and want to know.
This project is my own leap of faith. I’m eager to share, and also afraid. I might leave something out – or say things in a less than perfect way. I am determined that fear will not stop the effort. By the grace of God, we will learn together. I’ll use questions and comments from readers to guide revisions and additions – to make the book as useful and meaningful as possible, before it’s release in e-book or print. You’re invited to join me.
WHO my blog can help:
The blog is for all who want to share a Christian view of the science and strategies that have been helpful for mental health and other issues of recovery – whether they are coping with these issues themselves, or are caring for someone who does.
You won’t find sermons – or judgment. You will find information, and strategies galore. You’ll also find scripture, encouragement, and humor.
When this book is finished – I hope to tackle other topics such as:
- Communication strategies and support for those who have had a stroke or traumatic brain injury.
- Strategies for coping with ADD/ADHD, Dyslexia, FASD, or difficulty with Sensory Integration.
- How we can all really use Laughter as good medicine.
- Life Stories: of Family, Life and Love. Tales from the adventures of a young-at-heart mom of two, Grand-mother of eight, and great-grandmother of one.
I’m so glad you visited, and I hope you will come back often – and take away information, inspiration, and connection. I also hope you’ll join in the creative process by adding your feedback and questions – for the revisions.
Life gets Heavy – God is LIGHT