The Dogs of Depression: A Guide for Happy People

The Dogs of Depression: A Guide for Happy People

Saturday, 9 February 2019

Trauma 2.0

Feeling ...... don’t know what I’m feeling. 

Nine years ago today everything was normal. Nine years ago tomorrow, I had brain surgery and everything changed. 

I thought I would be physically the same after. I wasn’t. 

I thought I would return to who I used to be. I didn’t. 

I thought it would take time to heal, but I wasn’t prepared for Malina 2.0. 

No one tells you the damage a ruptured brain aneurysm will do to you physically, mentally or emotionally, or what the cost is to family and friends.

No one prepares you for the rage, anger, depression, suicidal thoughts, wisdom, strength, growth, and passion that can come from getting as close to death and still survive. 

No one understands this journey except for people who walk the path with you. I am lucky I didn’t lose my husband. Most do. I am lucky to have some of my family stay. Most don’t. I am lucky I am employed. Most aren’t. 

The fallout of a traumatic injury is horrendous. I lost so much more than short term memory damage. Every day is still a fight, but it is getting easier. 

What I learned is love and kindness are the only things that matter. Don’t accept or give anything less. Don’t let others determine your self worth. Try new things. Learn new passions. Keep living, and fighting, and breathing. 

People will leave. Let them go. It will hurt more than anything else. It will feel like battery acid pouring on your soul and you will feel like walking over the edge. 


Because everything changes. Even the crippling pain. 

A brain aneurysm changed my life forever. I will never be who I was, and that’s okay. To quote Hannibal, that is my design. 

Lessons Learned: love hard. Love yourself harder. You will survive this pain. The pain will come back and it will change. Depression and anger are normal. Suicidal thoughts are normal. Numbing and isolation are normal. All normal reactions to an abnormal event. 

Get help when you reach the end of your rope. Talk to someone who will listen. Read books. Educate yourself. Know you can survive and it will be the toughest thing you will ever do. Be sad, but do not live there. Find the good stuff and grab on. There is so much more to do, to love, and to experience. The only constant in life, is 

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Adverse Childhood Experience Score and Trauma

Do you know your ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) score? Take the quiz and find out. The score is 0-10.

Interesting fact: having a higher score can cause all kinds of health issues in middle age. The top diseases include liver damage, Fibromyalgia, IBS, GERD, muscle pain, chronic fatigue, cancer, kidney damage, ulcers, high blood pressure, insomnia and more.

What happens is glucocosteroids trigger the sympathetic nervous system without you knowing it. That sore shoulder that never seems to find relief from pain could be from tension spiked by a chemical response in your body while you sleep. Without treating childhood trauma, life does not get easier. Studies have shown childhood trauma takes an average of 19 years off life expectancy.

The positive side is having one person who loved you, listened to you as a child, someone who helped you can also lower the risk and side effects.

Tenets of Trauma Treatment

1. No Judgement:We are all on a journey and we all have a past. Thoughts and beliefs are examined in a non-judgemental way to allow for change and growth. We look at things from a neutral and rational perspective, and take it everything as it is, including ourselves and others as they are, which leads to;​

2. Curiosity:We become curious about behaviours and analyze them based on what the intention, or what was the decision based on what our experiences were at the time, which leads to;

3. Acceptance:We learn things as they are and drop the assumptions, or the stories we've told ourselves. We stop the tapes running through our heads, and reframe them with;

4. Positive Action and Thought:We move forward through positive action and thought, and re-wire the brain to stop the stories, and to become;

5. Objective: We look at beliefs, thoughts, patterns, decisions and actions, and examine them objectively, and how our emotions tied into those beliefs, and then we;

6. Reframe our World View: Finally, we show different thoughts and beliefs giving us a different perspective; examine the issue and problems in a new light, which can allow us to move forward, and then we;

7. Set Realistic Expectations: Being realistic means that patterns can change from negative to positive, and we may have set backs, however, we also have the power to change the set backs and move forward. We have realistic expectations so when set backs occur, we have the tools to stop the spiral and create healthy coping mechanisms.

The beautiful experience that comes from working with these basic principles is Post Traumatic Growth, the positive creation that comes from trauma. Create growth with these five pillars:

1. Build Mental Toughness

2. Search the Good Stuff

3. Look at our Character Strengths

4. Build Strong Relationships

5. Assertive Communication