I thought I would be sharing bits and pieces of what we are learning here at the summit, but it's like drinking from a fire hydrant. . . I can hardly take it all in, let alone be organized enough to spit it back out in an intelligent manner. I am processing the information bit by bit. It's been worth all the hours sitting in the ever changing temperature.
The room is too hot, so they put on the air conditioning. Soon it is so cold you half expect to see snowflakes coming from the ceiling vents. Then they turn it off and in an hour or so, it is so blasted hot we can't stay awake. It's an all or nothing system.
The first 16 hours of classes were training for the Nedley Depression and Anxiety Recovery Program. The subjects included: Identifying depression and it's causes, Lifestyle treatment for depression, nutrition and the brain, how thinking can defeat depression, positive lifestyle choices, stress without distress, living above loss, and how to improve brain function.
I am now a certified facilitator. Tom is here and he was certified as a Director. I don't think either of us had any plans to do this as a program in our church, but it just may lead to that. I know that Mel is also certified, so if we got a few more facilitators we could be set. My intentions were to use the principles and the program with our foster kids' families as opportunities arose. In fact, Buddy's family has a few members interested... Tom had intended to use it to improve employee health and wellbeing and productivity in his workplace.
So, I had to fill out a test to find out how depressed I am. I don't have the results yet... but I can say with certainty I had a few flashing lights on the hit list. It wasn't until today in Dr. Nedley's lecture did it strike me just how set up I was for major depression just a few short months ago.
Here is the hit list:
Then here is the list of the major symptoms of clinical depression:
Weight or appetite changes
Lack of concentration
feelings of worthlessness
So you take a busy 40 + year old woman with 5 kids - two of which come from a history of trauma and loss and take a ton of energy and daily interventions, you add a toddler getting into EVERYTHING, making messes EVERYWHERE, and then a super needy newborn affected by "whatever" it was he was affected by, so that he is not an easy, calm or peaceful child, but needed constant nurturing. You add in the lack of sleep because said baby does not sleep well, has stomach issues and wants to be held even in the night and because this person doesn't sleep well anyway, plus the usual summer work of canning and caring for gardens and even a market garden. This mommy then finds herself no longer exercising and finding herself gaining weight, cooking less, making do... Then her best helpers leave town for a month.
It's almost a given, pretty soon this gal could really relate to extreme fatigue, weight gain, sleep disturbances, crying for no reason, slow and sluggish movement, inability to make decisions, less tolerance towards annoying behavior from the kids, and the VERY WORST ONE OF ALL... lack of concentration. This inability to read and retain, pray a whole prayer without forgetting what she was doing, remember people's names, or remember WORDS at all becomes frightening to say the least. There follows some sadness and cognitive distortions....... And wallah ~~~ it doesn't just go away just as soon as the helpers return and the baby and toddler are given back to their rightful parents, either.
I really wouldn't reverse the situation if given the chance. I don't regret being a foster parent. BUT somehow some of those lifestyle hits and stress points need to be guarded on the next time around. Exercise can't stop. Nutrition must be a priority, etc....
The last day and half has been a different program. The EQ Summit. Hopefully, I be able to share more on that in a bit.
The food is vegan and fabulous. Food is served like a banquet every meal. I'm enjoying the beautiful hotel, the enjoyable company, a lot of interesting people, and the lectures. I feel like I'm on a vacation.
And some asked. Yes, the little babies were returned to their foster parent early in the week so we don't have a placement at this time. This event was well marked on the calendar even at DSHS. I'm wondering if they'll give me any hours for my license hours. So much of what I am learning on the brain and such applies to my work with kids.