#MentalHealth and #Alcohol

Jake has been an ambassador for change at VA

President Trump selects Jake Leinenkugel to lead VA commission focused on Veterans’ mental health treatment

[Well that nice but did you know – In cases where a person has a genetic predisposition to alcohol, underlying emotional or psychological issues can easily become a driving force behind excess alcohol consumption. While drinkers may not start out with a full-blown psychological disorder, alcohol’s effects on the brain can cause psychological dysfunction to develop. Unfortunately, mental illness caused by alcohol abuse is a common occurrence. According to the Medical University of South Carolina, nearly 40 percent of alcoholics suffer from one or more psychological disorders.]

Today the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that President Donald J. Trump has selected former VA White House Senior Advisor Thomas “Jake” Leinenkugel to lead a key commission focused on the department’s mental health care programs.

“Jake is a veteran; two of his children are veterans. He certainly knows first hand the challenges and opportunities men and women who leave the military face,” Dick Leinenkugel said Monday. “This will allow him to impact the policies that will impact veterans.”

“Jake has been an ambassador for change at VA, working to implement President Trump’s policies throughout the department over the past year and a half,” said Acting VA Secretary Peter O’Rourke. “As leader of this important new commission, Jake will continue to advocate for better care and services for his fellow Veterans.”

At VA, Leinenkugel has been instrumental in the creation of the department’s “ChooseVA” branding campaign and the implementation of November’s National Veterans and Military Families Month. He has also worked to promote VA’s efforts to reduce Veteran suicides.

Lastly – Leinenkugel’s #brewery in Chippewa Falls was built over natural springs in 1867 but now uses about 70 million gallons of water a year from the city. In the past eight years, the brewery has spent more than $12 million on improvements that, said Jake Leinenkugel, the brewery’s president. The company is also donating $500,000 to help preserve wetlands in Chippewa County.

That’s right the man overseeing the Mental Health of #Veterans owns a brewery!

Why Am I On The Bus

The second lady – was a vision of what God had shielded me from in my active addiction. God just showed me how much He loves me even in the muck and mire.

I had decided to turn my life around after using drugs for many years and decided I would really give it my best shot after the other 2 times didn’t work.  So here I am leaving the rehab facility and I’m on the bus traveling downtown and the bus stops to pick up a traveler. A young black girl gets on the bus and she has these long braid extensions in her hair and she’s very loud!  I used to be very loud or, so everyone always made it a point to let me know how loud I was – and I’m still loud today when I’m passionate about some topic or when I’m not.

Any who, I find myself unable to stop watching this young lady and listening to her rant and rave about an incident with her son.  She goes on and on with no regard for the other passengers on the bus.  Just yelling and screaming and it occurs to me I can’t see who she’s talking to or if she is even talking to anyone on the bus.  Well it would appear she is not talking to anyone or maybe no one is listening.  The most puzzling thing that happens next is she get off the bus at the very next stop – I mean one block away!  I said to myself, geese she could have walked that distance and save us from hearing her rantings about her son.  Yea! she’s gone and off we go to our next stop – the drama some folk have with them!

At the next block the bus makes a loud machine-like noise and my first thought is, oh no the bus is breaking down, I don’t feel like walking or waiting for another bus.  Much to my surprise the bus has a hydraulic system that allows the driver to lower the front end and allow the steps to convert into a ramp.  In my infinite wisdom I had no idea this could happen – well I had not been a regular bus rider since I was in high school – scratch that since junior high.  I was not aware of what was going on with the bus until I saw someone enter the bus on a wheel chair with a little boy.  I thought to myself wow – technology sure has changed.  You see when someone is on drugs their world becomes composed of about a 4-block radius.  The place to purchase the drugs and the place to use the drugs – anything else that goes on in the world is of no or little importance.

The woman in the wheel was an older black woman and she had a look on her face that caused me to stare.  I found myself unable to turn away from her face –  much like I did with the screamer.  Something about this woman drew me to her.  At first I had no idea why, I’ve seen many folk in wheel chairs before and have felt sad, disconnected or have had great empathy for them.  This day, this day is very different.  As I continued to try to assess why I was so engaged with her I noticed something amazing.  I looked at her and I thought  based on her face alone, this woman was not born with this affliction, this was something that happened to her somewhere along her own “bus ride”  whatever it was, however it happened it was well with her soul.

The odd thing that happened next was we traveled to the very next stop and she too like the loud girl got off the bus immediately. I’m thinking what is this, The One Block Bus Tour?  Don’t these folk know I’m trying to get home, it’s a lovely day, it’s Friday and I have things to do,  folk are getting on and getting off the bus when they could have ridden or walked one block!  Why didn’t they walk or ride the one block?

I’ll tell you why, remember how the first young lady reminded me of myself just before I decided to turn my life around – loud and saying nothing of any relevance.  The second lady – was a vision of what God had shielded me from in my active addiction.

One evening, I was at a friend’s  house and folk were playing poker after the poker games were over I collected the “house” money (money for each game of poker played) which was mine to keep.  I was ready to go and do that which I had become accustomed to doing – use drugs!  My friend was very opposed to this idea, he was so angry that since his tone was not a deterrent to my desires –  he thought he would reach in the nightstand  and take out the gun and shoot at me.  I suppose he thought that would deter me – no not really,  I am a former Marine, if you can’t aim don’t shoot was my motto.   That  coupled with forces I was unfamiliar with at the time – I felt I had to go, in the works of Frears, S. (Director). (1988). Dangerous Liaisons [Film]. USA,It is beyond my control” is what addiction feels like.  At that point in my life nothing short of death was going to sway, hinder, deter or stop me from achieving my goal.

…meanwhile back on the bus, I thought to myself – God has just showed me how much He loves me even in the muck and mire. I was so very glad I had to opportunity to get on that bus to get a mirror image of me before and after if I had chosen to stay on that dangerous path a – Bus to No Where

 

King James Bible
Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink: let me be delivered from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#Cellphone #Addiction

But smartphones can also foster anxiety and undermine performance. Even hearing one ring or vibrate, produces a welter of distractions that makes it harder to concentrate on a difficult problem or job. The division of attention impedes reasoning and performance. One study found that when a person isn’t able to answer a ring or vibration, blood pressure spikes, the pulse quickens, and problem-solving skills decline.

The evidence that our phones can get inside our heads so forcefully is unsettling a lot like drug addiction. Smartphones have become so entangled with our existence that, even when we’re not peering or pawing at them, they tug at our attention – much like drugs when one is not using them they are thinking of ways and means to get them, diverting precious cognitive resources. Just suppressing the desire to check our phone, which we do routinely and subconsciously throughout the day, can debilitate our thinking.

Nearly all drugs, directly or indirectly, target the brain’s reward system by flooding the circuit with dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter present in regions of the brain that control movement, emotion, motivation, and feelings of pleasure. The overstimulation of this system, which normally responds to natural behaviors that are linked to survival (eating, spending time with loved ones, etc), produces euphoric effects in response to the drugs. This reaction sets in motion a pattern that “teaches” people to repeat the behavior of abusing drugs.

As a person continues to abuse drugs, the brain adapts to the dopamine surges by producing less dopamine or reducing dopamine receptors. The user must therefore keep abusing drugs to bring his or her dopamine function back to ”normal” or use more drugs in an effort to try to achieve a dopamine high.

cell phone addiction

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