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The Surviving Spirit Newsletter October 2021


Healing the Heart Through the Creative Arts, Education & Advocacy

Hope, Healing & Help for Trauma, Abuse & Mental Health

Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars”. Kahlil Gibran

The Surviving Spirit Newsletter October 2021

“Don't Quit” by John Whittier

When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don't give up though the pace seems slow
You may succeed with another blow,

Success is failure turned inside out--
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit

Please note Edgar Albert Guest wrote “Don't Quit” [with extra verbiage] a few decades before John Whittier. I suspect Guest did not have a copyright on his poem -

Hi Folks,

I first became aware of the poem, “Don't Quit' back in 1993 when the horrors of my childhood and teen-aged years came back to devastate my mind, body and spirit. Throughout my life I had always found a way to keep moving forward no matter how many times I was knocked down – but this time it was different. The “Energizer Bunny” was unable to keep marching and banging on the drum and the Timex watch had finally met 'a licking that kept me from ticking.' I thought that PTSD was only for soldiers and major depression wasn't in my vocabulary. My whole being was finally telling me I had to face my demons from the past in order to really live life – work-a-holism was no longer going to sustain me.

During this time of despair and confusion my oldest daughter gave me a little card that had the poem “Don't Quit” printed on it. I placed it on my bureau dresser so I could read it every day, later taping it to my bathroom mirror. Sometimes I would read it several times a also let me know that I was loved .

I did not want to quit but the harsh reality of the trauma, abuse, grief and mental health injuries I was dealing with was a constant whirlwind of turmoil and being over-medicated on psychiatric drugs did not help. Reading every book and article on healing from trauma, abuse and depression I became aware of and the support and friendship of peers I met at peer support centers, conferences and in support groups for those impacted by mental health or in childhood sexual abuse survivor groups have gone a long way in helping me to find the means of thriving in life. I have come to believe that it is a lifetime journey of healing for many of us.

I'm not quitting, but I'm going to take some time off over the next few months to rest, regroup and reflect. There will be a pause in the sending of the Surviving Spirit Newsletter – but it shall return.

Thank you & take care, Michael

When you rest, you catch your breath and it holds you up, like water wings…” - Anne Lamott

Sometimes you need to give yourself a break when you’ve had a lot of life change.” - Barbara Freethy

Newsletter Contents:

1] The Chronic Stress Survival Guide: How to Live With the Anxiety and Grief You Can’t Escape by Elle Hunt

2] How Gratitude Helps Your Brain and Mental Health by Debbie Hampton @ The Best Brain Possible

2a] Beat Depression And Anxiety By Changing Your Brain: With Simple Practices That Will Improve Your Life: by Debbie Hampton

2b] Trauma Changes Your Brain - So Does Healing by Debbie Hampton @ The Best Brain Possible

3] Study confirms how profoundly the brain is affected by major depression @ Medical Life Sciences

4] Call for Poetry Submissions - - Jyl Anais

4a] Soft Out Spoken the collection - Jyl Anais

5] Richard Bentall Articles on Mental Health @ The Guardian

[1] Has the pandemic really caused a 'tsunami' of mental health problems? by Richard Bentall

[2] Mental illness is a result of misery, yet still we stigmatize it by Richard Bentall

[3] Too much coercion in mental health services by Richard Bentall

[4] Do we need a diagnostic manual for mental illness? by Richard Bentall and Nick Craddock

[5] Diagnoses are psychiatry's star signs. Let's listen more and drug people less by Richard Bentall

6] International Peer Respite/Soteria Summit

7] Betrayal Trauma Can Having Lasting Mental Health Effects-What to Know by By Claire Gillespie

8] 10 Ways to Support a Loved One Who Has Lost Someone to Suicide - American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

9] How People with Rough Childhoods Grow Up to Beat the Odds by Edward [Ned] Hallowell M.D.

9a] How Childhood Trauma Saps Joy and the Ability to Cope by Iskra Fileva, Ph.D

9b] 8 Reasons It's So Hard to Overcome a Tough Childhood by David Sack, M.D

10] Treating Patients with Traumatic Brain Injury - SAMHSA Publications and Digital Products

11] A Brief But Spectacular take on the disability rights movement by Judy Heumann

12] Women Unsilenced - Our Refusal to Let Torturer-Traffickers Win by Jeanne Sarson & Linda MacDonald

Closing thoughts of Wisdom - If Even 1% Could See it - Maya Angelou On Finding Courage

Keeping your body healthy is an expression of gratitude to the whole cosmos - the trees, the clouds, everything.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

'There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about.' – Margaret J. Wheatley

You read the Newsletter in its entirety here -

or via the PDF - http://newsletters.survivingsp...ter_October_2021.pdf

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