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Today was an amazing day, the first of many Sherapy: Therapy with Sherry Amatenstein. Sherry is an NYC-based psychotherapist and author. Her podcast is a little unconventional for some. Still, it is becoming more traditional, especially to Millennials, as well as working professionals who want to participate in therapy but are limited on time and travel. Each episode of Sherapy is a 50-minute therapy session. The aim is to demystify and destigmatize psychotherapy. Too many people in distress still suffer silently. None of the participants are her private patients. On Sherapy, a person can receive complimentary therapy and remain anonymous. If interested, please contact Sherry at firstname.lastname@example.org
I am so excited to have Sherry Amatenstein on our podcast show real she may be heard by clicking on https://newclevelandradio.net/sherapy-real-therapy-with-sherry-amatenstein-3/real-therapy-with-sherry-amatenstein_podcasts/ – choose a streaming service to listen to this podcast.
Sherry Amatenstein (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) is the author of The Complete Marriage Counselor: Relationship Saving Advice from America’s Top 50+ Couples Therapists; Love Lessons from Bad Breakups; and Q&A Dating Book.
She writes advice columns for www.womansday.com, www.thirdage.com andwww.brides.com, and is frequently called upon to give relationship advice on many national radio and TV programs, including The Today Show, Early Show, Inside Edition, GMA Live, CBS News, and HuffPost Live.
I hope you will enjoy the show and learn more about yourself by listening to others share their journeys.
For my friend Amy:
The post below from a few months ago. Bella is now at the Vet/hospital, getting ultrasounds and x-rays and all sorts of tests because she’s begun to disappear right in front of our eyes. I’m hoping for a miracle, but more than anything – I write with tears falling on the computer keys – I want her to be at peace and no longer in pain.
Here, the post from back when, a little about the beauty named Bella:
She chose us.
Ken wanted the sexy blonde cat. I was partial to the misfit. The crazy-ass misfit with a beauty mark right on the tip of her nose. Ken tried everything in his power to get the blonde cat chick into the cat carrier; promising her a cat collar made of catnip.
I told him he was wasting his time.
“Really?” he asked.
“She’s just not that into you,” I said, paraphrasing/borrowing a great line from Sex in the City, or another HBO series.
While we were bickering the misfit walked into the cat carrier and sat down as if to say, “Hey humans, I’m yours now and I’m not letting you go.”
Her name is Bella, and she is struggling right now with her health and Ken believes it’s because we’re all struggling so very much and she is, after all, named after the great and amazing and feisty as all fuck Bella Abzug, and he believes she – our Bella – is fighting for all of us.
Would you please send her some good love.
Thank you so much.
A lot of my friends – tons of friends – are alone this year, this Thanksgiving. Many folks are estranged from their families; from friends or from a life they once had & held.
I know this feeling. Estrangement.
And I will tell you that there were many days – many days – more than I care to count – where I’d rewind, replay, re-adjust, re-calibrate, recall, & review all the crazy ass-shit that went down, all the shit that went sideways & just blew up. Imploded. The pain was unbearable. And what I can tell you, what I know – most of the guilt & shame & regret we carry around – schlep around – is not our own. It’s not. We inherited it; a collection – a greatest hits album – an entire lifetime of family history: the anger, the shame, the guilt; years of he said, she said, they said. Fuck you, no, no fuck you. fuck you more. Years of crap. Years of garbage piled on top of more garbage.
Years of mistakes & wrong turns & rebellion that are treated like felonies instead of misdemeanors – without forgiveness, or acceptance. There is nothing worse than having the past thrown up in your face over & over & over again. To be reminded of all the crazy crap you did when you didn’t know better. When all you wanted was to be seen, to be heard, to be held – when all you wanted was to be loved.
And the truth is – the rub is – everyone has their own shit.
Everyone has their own guilt.
Everyone has their own crap that they have dealt out, that they spewed, that they tossed into the heap.
Everyone has stuff that they need/want to hide, keep secret. Everyone has stuff they want hidden deep – way deep – kept in the darkness.
We are all broken. We are all filled with shards and jagged edges and sharp pointy pieces that can hurt like a motherfucker. We are all imperfect creatures. Each & every one of us, and my heart breaks, cracks, for all my friends who will sit alone this year wishing for forgiveness over stuff they said or did when they were younger. Foolish. Over mistakes they made because all they wanted was to be loved or liked, over actions they took, words they said, because they wanted a piece of a memory, a token of a love from someone they once cherished, adored. A reminder to hold. Wishing to hear the words: I’m so sorry. To hear the words: I was wrong. To hear the words: I hurt you, abused you, mistreated you.
We treat our own so unkindly and we wonder why the world is so deeply chaotic, so deeply troubled, so deeply wounded, so deeply steeped in pain & suffering; so unforgiving, so horribly mean-spirited.
So for all my friends and all the folks out there who are deeply, deeply pained, who are sorrowful during the holidays because they have been discarded, dismissed, forgotten, left out – please know this – we get to choose who we wanna share our lives with. We get to choose who we want in our lives. We get to choose the folks who lift us, inspire us, make us feel like we swallowed the sun. We get to choose who we walk side by side with, and stand with. We get to choose who we love. Blood may be thicker than water, but water is so much easier to clean up.
So, please, love yourself.
Please, forgive yourself.
Believe in the greatness of your own life.
Believe in your beauty.
Believe in your own amazing, stunning, messy, complicated, gorgeous life.
And if anyone – one soul – makes you feel that you are not worthy, not enough; if anyone makes you feel small, insignificant, less than – they do not deserve the privilege of you.
I hold you tight.
I am so proud and excited to be introducing you to a new podcaster who will begin with us in January 2020. Her name is Sherry Amatenstein, LCSW, who is an NYC-based psychotherapist and author. Sherry will be creating SHERAPY, and you can read all about this right here on the website.
In keeping with the theme of awareness and finding the path to travel or detour in life, this nationally known psychotherapist will be sharing your stories with our listeners. Sometimes it is easier to be anonymous (faceless, nameless) when you begin to open up. I agree with Sherry; we must not be afraid of what we think our frailties are; instead, we must strengthen our inner selves to love life to the fullest.
If you have a story or want to share issues, please contact us here at newclevelandradio.net, and your information will be sent on to Sherry Amatenstein. You need not reveal any information to us other than a name and email so Sherry may connect with you.
2020 is going to be a big year for all of us at newclevelandradio.net, and you don’t need to be in Cleveland, Ohio, to become part of the big picture, your PORTRAIT!
For the last four days, I have been playing with the website, or attempting to and spending most of my time on the phone with GODADDY, who is helpful, but the situation has been annoying. The first REP tells me that I am accessing my website incorrectly. However, I have been accessing it in the same manner for almost three years and had no real problems until this weekend. Although he initially got me into my site, it stopped working.
Call #2 instructed me that WordPress had issues and that since I was not paying for a secure website I was encountering these errors and it would only get worse. They want on to explain viruses, etc., and scammers who debug and bug the media and if I had a secure website with them, they would be responsible for the fixes and if anyone got infected visiting my site. Another insurance policy needed, and $1000 plus spent that newclevelandradio.net doesn’t have but we had to find it!
OOPS – Call #3 site still not working and now I am told the server we were on had problems, therefore, denying me access to my pages. I was kindly told they would inform me when the site was repaired. Did you get that email or phone call, I didn’t but it appears to be working. Also in the URL address, there is a lock for security so my money is going to good use – I hope!
newclevelandradio.net is now venturing out to add sponsors to our webpage. We will have their adds link to their websites and or Facebook page or phone # whatever works for them. It is important for us to continue to support individuals, like yourself, to have the strength to follow your journey through the challenges of life. We also hope to bring you more podcasting that will assist you to face your daily challenges.
If you or anyone you know would like to sponsor our website and or podcast with us, we would like to hear from you, WE ACCEPT PAYPAL.
August 2, 2016, I received a call from my brother Joel. Just shortly before he called me, he learned that our mother had suffered a stroke. That morning still stands out in my mind, as Rich left for work, I went out on our back patio and decided to dig up and transplant a spider plant. The plant was barely growing between two well-thriving hostas. As I freed this struggling plant and replaced it in front of my patio doors, I felt as if I had just completed a decisive action. With a feeling of satisfaction, I smiled, knowing that it was going to be a good day until I received the phone call. That plant today is growing and sprouting new baby shoots each year.
I remember feeling a sense of disbelief; my mom was a strong woman who was 96 ½ years young. My brother had to have his information wrong. However, after promising him, I would get myself together and drive to Michigan to be with mom, I followed up with the hospital to learn her condition was concerning. (Now what does that mean?)
After getting my family situated, Rich, Alex, and I set out for Detroit. All we knew at that time was she had suffered what appeared to be a stroke, was blind, and had no idea what happened, or if anything happened. She had no concept of being blind; she saw what she wanted *in her mind.
Arriving hours later as I approached her hospital room, I feared the worst and hoped for the best. Mom was sleeping, as I slowly approached her and woke her up. She sounded like mom, although a bit confused as she began asking questions about why she was in the hospital. She said she felt fine and wanted to go home. I reassured she would be staying at the hospital for at least the night we had to identify what may have happened. Again, she still had no idea she was blind.
August 2, 2016, took us all on a journey we never expected or planned.
From August 2, through October 11, 2019, I was blessed to spend my mother’s last weeks with her. It was during this time I was able to talk to my mama in a manner I never thought I could. We went from what I depicted as a love/hate mother-daughter relationship to a loving, trusting, mother-daughter experience. I grew up during those weeks, even though I didn’t feel ready for the challenges I faced.
I have not felt the same since the transition from Summer to Fall in 2016. I have held on to the good memories from those weeks, the stories my mama told, some over and over again, while others were in fragments that I may never know the full meaning. During this period, I felt like I was in limbo just as much as my mom. Although there was no hope for her recovery, we also had no time table of her fate. Each day was a blessing and a miracle until she died.
I have been told by the rabbis and the scholarly Jewish community that my mother’s death on the Eve of Yom Kippur, October 11, 2016, was a mitzvah. My mother was absolved of all her sins in 2076, written into the book of life, and with 2077 on the horizon, she would leave this earthly world in the presence and acceptance of G-D. However, ever year, Yom Kippur rolls around as I pray for life,I now remember my mother’s life and the love she shared.
August the 2nd will always remind me of the opportunity I had to care for my mother and create a heartful of loving memories!
For some families, the 4th of July is for family, picnics or cookouts, and others it is still another workday. Even if it’s not another workday, you may find yourself alone with no plans either by choice or not. This holiday like so many others, can breed depression. If you are one of the millions suffering today (or any day) face your demons and take a step forward into the light!
Depression is more common than you might want to acknowledge, and you are not the only with these symptoms. Yes, indicators that may be causing you to feel down, worthless, empty, and utterly despondent. Statistically, 1 out of 15 adults experiences this sense of sadness annually. If you are one, it is essential to acknowledge it, embrace it, and get the assistance you may need.
I have been experiencing depression most of my life. However, while I was still living at home under the roof of my parents, their answer to this malady was to keep my chin up. It is easier said than done, and without the proper tools, it may be impossible. For me, it was all about reliving my feels and crying over my woes. Once I was cried out, I was too exhausted to feel miserable, so I put on my happy face and attempted to find the smile behind my mask.
After suffering for almost 64 years, I began to acknowledge my demons in the winter of 2014. Many of those demonic fears were self-imposed and yet I was unaware of that at the time. My journey began by acknowledging I was ill as I took sick leave from my corporate job that I loved; however, the environment was toxic for me. It was with this acknowledgment that I sought help.
Help came through therapies, including psychologically, medically, and spiritually. What I have learned is I am OK! Being OK does not mean perfect. It is the imperfections that make me special, unique, and astonishing. The opinion of others is not what should define me. This five plus year journey has taught me to be true to myself. It is not always comfortable.
Stepping out of my comfort zone was difficult, but I wanted to witness the amazement of loving life. These words are spoken and sung in various ways. Demi Lovato sings about finding the love and self-confidence inside yourself before you seek acceptance from anyone else. https://youtu.be/cwLRQn61oUY
Join me as I continue to share my journey, tell me about yours, and let’s create a safe and loving world. It’s time to become more aware of our needs while accepting that we are not alone. Hold out your hand and acceptance the guidance.
Depression is not a cookie cutter illness, nor is the treatment.
Last night I had the pleasure of being part of a great event, “Don’t Forget to Laugh” organized by Melinda Smith of Heart Mojo, https://www.spreaker.com/show/heart-mojo-with-melinda-smith. The entertainment consisted of four amazing comics all with heart and soul; Bill Benden, Tim Folger (no relation to the coffee), Mike Conley, and Michael Gershe. This talented group of individuals donated their time, energy and passion for an evening to support the Alzheimer’s Association.
Melinda Smith has a walk team to support the important message that only money for continued research will help eliminate, cure, or reduce the incidents of this mind altering disease. It is not just the individual that experiences the loss of memories that suffers but all that engage with them. Although this disease is not life-threatening, it destroys the nerves that connect in the brain that makes it difficult or impossible to do common every day things like, dressing, eating, and worst of all living in a fog of confusion. Like many of us, Linda had the experience of watching her grandmother live out her life with this disease. In fact, not only did her mother become a caregiver but Linda did as well, out of love and need for a family member.
Last night’s event is just one of several Melinda Smith will be coordinating to raise awareness and financial support for Alzheimer’s and Dementia which is kin to this disease. “Don’t forget to Laugh,” was held at the Funny Stop in Cuyahoga Falls. Owner Pete Barakat of the club graciously provided the space for this comedy event. Watch for more information on “Don’t forget to Laugh” coming to Cleveland, and other areas where we can come together to support ourselves and others to help in finding a cure.
On a side note, I want to share that studies show that laughter and music help heal parts of the brain. So keep laughing, do not lock it away.
Laugh to Keep From Crying Madonna
I can’t lock my door
Oh, I don’t have no privacy
The only thing that’s mine
Is what’s inside of me
When I’ve had enough
A little voice inside
It says you’ve got to be tough
You’ve got to take it in stride
Sometimes I am foolish
I let it get the best of me
At least I know that my mistakes
Are my responsibility
I just have to laugh to keep from crying
I just have to laugh to keep from crying
I don’t have a dime
Oh, to buy those pretty things
But I hear all the evidence
You know it all sounds the same
But I’m still waiting
I’ve got my hands open wide
You know my dream isn’t fading
I keep it hidden inside
I just have to laugh to keep from crying
I keep on trying
My friends don’t understand
Oh, they think I’ve lost my mind
And I’m choking back the tears
I’ve got to swallow my pride
I just have to laugh, ah
Songwriters: CICCONE MADONNA L / BRAY STEPHEN PATE
Laugh to Keep From Crying lyrics © WB Music Corp., Webo Girl Publishing Inc., Momma Hattie’S Muse, COPYRIGHT CONTROL (NON-HFA), WEBO GIRL PUBLISHING, INC., WB MUSIC CORP. O/B/O WEBO GIRL PUBLISHING, INC.
Please do not ask someone why they are anxious or depressed, often they cannot provide themselves with an explanation so why assume they will be able to communicate with you? Anxiety is normal it is part of the flight or fight process. Without a touch of anxiety, we could place ourselves in harm’s way walking up to roaring Lion or crossing the railroad track as a train comes towards us at full speed. However, anxiety that produces dread for seconds, minutes or longer can interfere with our normal routines. I know I went through this five years ago. Up until that time I pushed and prodded through often with tears and mood swings blaming it on trivial things like a broken nail, I gained a few pounds, or I was not included in an invitation. Oh whoa was me! However, those situations were just the triggers, they weren’t the reason, and sometimes we never figure out the whys!
Anxiety can affect us all in different ways including irritable bowel, obsessive-compulsive needs, and migraines, just to name a few obvious ones. In my case IB and Migraines are my malady and recently (over the past few weeks) I have had an increase in Migraine attacks along with this on again, off again of foreboding. My fear is my anxiety will deepen and take me into depression and I won’t and can’t have that as part of my journey.
The series that I am planning for 2019 will not only help me face the demons that invaded my thought pattern, but it will bring me closer to others while I share my story I will listen to theirs. It is only in this common thread of true and open communication that we can face this disease head-on. Yes, anxiety and depression by medical terminology are diseases, and although they do not need to be terminal without support, understanding, and acceptance, for some, it is life-threatening.
This week has been difficult despite the love, friendship and support of family and friends. However, please know there is still a brewing demon called anxiety living within in me, and I must become more intentional in my thoughts and living to extinguish what is not needed for survival.