Many experience symptoms of stress. These include headaches, feelings of unworthiness, fear of failure, stomach aches, lack of motivation, addictions to work, substances, or other unhealthy behaviors. Our bodies and minds can struggle to cope.
The fast pace of our lives and the uncertainty of our safety in these trying times are adding to the difficulties we face on a daily basis. If life seems overwhelming to you or to your family members, please let us help.
We can offer consultation that could lead to on-going therapy to teach new methods and techniques so that you may feel confident that you are dealing with your stress in a healthy manner.
We want to share our knowledge of mental health issues with the public, knowing very well that many people cannot afford counseling or fear the stigmatization of going to see a counselor. By using this space, we reach out to the public and you may come across an article that rings true for you. Perhaps you may learn something from an article. That would be our greatest hope.
Lincoln Behavioral Health Clinic, Inc. is a place where individuals, families, and couples seek counseling for a variety of issues. The Clinic is the home to different psychotherapists, each providing a different style of counseling and services. Throughout the year, you will read articles written by the different therapists. This will offer you a chance to get to know some of the counselors at the Clinic. Perhaps it may help you feel more comfortable choosing the “right” counselor if there should come a time when you or someone you know is ready to go in that direction.
If you would like information about seeing a
counselor, just call 402-489-9959.
The following essay was written by a young woman who was diagnosed with mental illness in her teen-age years. She spent many of the succeeding years locked into a silence that was only briefly breached when in the company of other patients or with her trusted therapist. In the ensuing years, she has attempted to journal her thoughts, in an effort to identify and express the blocked emotions that have kept her a virtual prisoner of her mind.
THE COIN PURSE
I feel really, really bad about something. I suppose the proper word is guilty, extremely guilty about something for over twenty-years.
I think most people would think it's stupid. Or I'm extremely stupid for feeling so guilty, for so long over it.
A little over twenty-years ago when Cym and I were best friends, we still hung out together. I must've been in the fourth grade and Cym in the fifth, because we were still in the same school. Anyway, we had this favorite teacher Miss X. We both thought she was so cool. Miss X was also a pilot and promised to take us flying sometime. Only she never did. But that's not important.
Cym and I decided we would like to take Miss X out to lunch sometime. Of course it had to be on a weekend. I don't believe it's summertime, but I'm not sure, I'm pretty sure though.
In those days there was still a McDonald's downtown. Cym and I hung out downtown all the time. So we took Miss X there.
At McDonald's both Cym and I bought Miss X her lunch. Then individually bought our own food, and went and sat down. Now the McDonald's downtown had a section which was considered the cool place to sit. So of course we sat there. Only I ended up going back to stand in line.
I went back because Miss X wanted something else or I did. I really don't remember for sure. I do remember being unsure if I was going to have enough money.
Now at the time McDonald's was advertising big time that their ice cream cones were only twenty-five cents.
So I'm waiting in line to order and I notice this little old lady standing in line next to me. I had reached the register before her. I was paying for my food when she got to the register and ordered an ice cream cone.
(This may be a little confusing and out of order but stay with me.)
This old lady is pulling out a quarter from her coin purse. Only then the McDonald's employee says it's twenty-six cents. But the woman only had a quarter.
I wanted to give her the penny she needed, but I didn't.
At first, I wanted to finish paying for my food. I did so. As it turned out, I had a little extra money and could've given her the penny. I don't know why I didn't. At least not totally. I know I was having serious shyness issues. Even then as a youngster I couldn't approach people, even when I wanted to do that.
I wanted to give her the penny. I couldn't. I don't know if I was just too shy or if I was too selfish in keeping my change.
I saw her face when she put her quarter back in the coin purse. The woman looked devastated when she couldn't even buy an ice cream cone. I really thought she'd cry.
I saw the woman leave, looking beaten down and ever so disappointed. The saddest woman I have ever seen. And all she wanted was a simple twenty-six cent ice cream cone.
As I remember now, it was winter or near it. I still see the back of the woman as she left. Her grey, curly, thinned a little, out of order hair with her head down. And her tan, dirty winter coat she wore as she went out the door.
I, believe it or not, think of that woman, that sad little old lady. Who all she wanted was a cone, a lot. How could I ever be so unable to talk to people to do that to her? How could I not give her the penny? I don't know if I was being selfish and trying to save money. If I was ---------- it was just a penny. What in the hell was I thinking? I'm relatively sure it was because I can't talk to people. Only that's no excuse.
I think of her often, very often. For I've never gotten over it. I've never been able to forgive myself. I doubt I ever will. There is nothing I can do to make up for it. That woman is probably dead now. I can never make it up to her. I couldn't anyway. I know nothing about her. No name, no address, nothing. I don't deserve forgiveness from her, anyone else, or me.
You know, I've never told anyone, not really. I told my mom a little but not everything. Maybe I shouldn't of put it in here. Now others will see it and know what scum I am.
I can still remember the woman's face. But what I remember best is the coin purse.
Seeing her open her coin purse, pulling out the only quarter, the only money she had.
Her coin purse was a little tattered. And her hands, I see her hands. Little old lady hands. They came out of the sleeves of her coat. Elastic bands around her wrists up to dirty sleeves right around the hands. And little dirty sleeves from a tan coat.
I still see her dainty old woman hands sticking out of the dirty sleeves of her tan coat.
She deserved better!
Grieving: A healthy process for dealing with loss...
By Mark Schwaninger
(article taken from the Star City Health/June 2005)
Forty years ago, Judy Byrns gave birth to a daughter who lived only 28 hours.
When a newborn infant dies nowadays, the parents may hold the child, dress it, take pictures of it and spend hours with it to acknowledge the child and begin the grieving process - a process of letting go.
Not so back in 1965.
"Out of love for me and a desire to protect me from feeling too terrible, my family and my husband's family took away my ability to deal with this loss," said Byrns, now a psychologist who owns Lincoln Behavioral Health Clinic.
"They didn't allow me to see the body. They had the funeral without me, while I was in the hospital. They cleaned out the nursery and anything that might remind me of my daughter."
Seven years later, Byrns drove to the cemetery and spent a day at her daughter's grave - letting herself remember her. She recalled watching her daughter, who had a respiratory problem, through the nursery window and feeling angry because the infant was not trying harder to breathe.
"Recognizing that you are angry with the person who is dying is the hardest thing to accept," Byrns said. "It seems wrong. A lot of my clients get stuck there in their grief process."
"After you get past all the anger, you get to the grieving - the sadness, the crying, the full realization of the loss - and then you can get to your acceptance of that loss."
In the book "On Death and Dying," Elizabeth Kubler-Ross identified five stages of grief:
1) Denial (this isn't happening to me!)
2) Anger (why is this happing to me?)
3) Bargaining (I promise I'll be a better person if...)
4) Depression (I don't care anymore)
5) Acceptance (I'm ready for whatever comes)
While we may feel those emotions, there is no script for grief - we can't expect to feel our emotions in a set pattern or time period, Byrns said. "Each individual has to deal with the loss in their own way, in their own time."
People grieve over many kinds of loss - a job, children leaving home, even an unfulfilled life goal established during adolescence.
Grief groups, such as those offered by many churches and funeral homes, can
help take the place of rituals that people had in pioneer days.
"Pioneers built the coffin, dressed the body in the home, spent time with body and dug the grave," she said. "There were lots of opportunities to work through the grieving process."
"People used to wail by the grave and experience their grief publicly. In our society today, we don't like that sort of thing. We celebrate people's lives at funerals, and I think it gets in the way of grieving because the unspoken suggestion is that there is no need to feel bad. He has gone to a better place."
With today's mixed messages, people often don't know how to grieve, Byrns said. She recommends giving yourself permission to find what works for you.
"Keep asking for help until you don't need help anymore," she advised. "Grief is not about forgetting the deceased person. It's a process, and you have to work your way through it to reach your acceptance."