Real Strength 

  It’s not feeling confident, calm, or hopeful in the face of adversity.  You can feel like quitting.  You can feel overwhelmed.  You may even walk away for a while or give up.  That’s life.

Real strength is continuing or returning.  You face what you fear.  Get back up when you fall.  Admit when you’re wrong.  Make amends. 

With brain injury and/or mental health issues, strength is facing every day with determination and hope it will be a good day-while recognizing it may be a day you don’t function well.  Then getting up the next day.  Strength is acknowledging you need help and getting it.   It’s taking time for self care.  It’s accepting there are days that you won’t function as well and do the best you can.  

Real Strength is recognizing your weakness and embracing it. In accepting yourself where you are, you have the chance to grow. 

Three Goals

I went to the creative writing course at the VA today.  It’s not exactly a journaling. We have a topic we write about.  Some are more therapeutic topics than others.  Today’s topic was “three goals.”


I have no goals; none at all

Look inside to find the call.

When there is no focused life

Heart and soul are filled with strife

Finding hope in darkness lost 

Breaking free from chains’ high cost;

Maybe I will a path find

From fear’s chasm to faith sublime.

To grow my goal is to try

To revive what inside died

To hold to the future fast

To leave behind what has passed.


Goals come in all forms.  Mine are getting prepared to identity and strive after goals.  It’s funny: my goal is to have a goal.  

Quite Lucky

Just tell yourself. Duckie, you’re really quite lucky.”

This quote is from Dr. Suess:”Did I ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?”

I frequently don’t recognize how lucky I am to be alive and able to participate in life as much as I do.  The brain injury changed my life and I am often overwhelmed by the changes and how much they really suck.  Yet, I am lucky.  The injury could have been devastating.  I rolled a car three times down an embankment and hit a tree. 

No matter how bad things are, there is something good- no matter how small.

Perhaps I’m lucky because I experienced brain injury.  I had to reassess my life and make changes.  Because I have difficulties, I’ve learned that I have to allow people to help more.  I can’t be as self-sufficient.  Is this lucky?  Yes.  Simply because I didn’t let people into my life very much.  I have more insight into mental and physical health disabilities.  I live it.  These experiences will make me a better social worker if I ever get to the point that I’m able to work- or volunteer.  

I’m lucky to have supportive friends and family: to have a wonderful cat and be able to foster three ferrets for a family.  Brighid and the ferrets always bring smile.  Brighid is also a little healer.  She’s responsive to pain, both physical and emotional.  I’m lucky to have a solid income and a place to live.

I have so much more than others.  I’m lucky.

Happy Birthday Dr Suess

March 2, 1904

Dr. Suess reaches into the hearts and minds of generations of people with their honesty, insight and simply fun rhymes.  He shares wisdom expressed in a unique manner.  I’m going to share several of my favorite Dr. Suess quotes over the next few days.  

“If you never did you should. These things are fun, and fun is good.”

This quote has meaning to me because it encourages people to have fun and quit being so serious all the time.  It encourages stepping outside the comfort zone and society norms and expectations.  I always tended to be very serious in some ways.  Acting goofy or drawing attention to myself was (and still is) uncomfortable.  There were many things I wanted to do but chose not to because of how I thought I was supposed to act in my life roles.   Sure, I joked around and did fun things but I limited myself in several ways.  

In honor of Dr. Suess, I stepped out of my comfort zone today.  For years, I wanted to do something fun with my hair color and style.  While I was in the Army Reserve, I couldn’t have a “different” hairstyle due to regulations regarding personal appearance.  It seemed like too much change after I was retired.  It was an uncomfortable risk and a break from what was “correct.”  So, today, I stepped out and did something fun and different.  I’m glad I did.

I challenge you to do the same- do something fun and outside your normal routine.  

Not Better Off Dead: My BYU Rape Story

This is a difficult topic dealing with sexual assault on BYU campus.  The statistics of sexual assault are alarming: one in six women will experience a rape or attempted rape in her life time. Every 98 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted.  Victims are male, female, and transgender (RAINN)  Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network provides support for sexual assault victims.  RAINN also has educational resources and information.  it’s anonymous. If you are a survivor, family member, friend or community member, visit this site.



trigger warning.


Today’s guest post is from Colleen Payne Dietz. Her interview with Elizabeth Smart is here, and her interview with Natasha Helfer Parker is here. I am a BYU alumnus, one of a heartbreaking nu…

Source: Not Better Off Dead: My BYU Rape Story



Run intervals on the track I was told.
I head out in the snowy, foggy cold.

I toe the line to start the workout 
Two hundred meters to crank out.

The first 100 meters went well
Then the workout went to hell.

Where is the track? Where did it go?
It’s buried under a foot of snow.

I follow what I thought was the turn
My thighs starting already to burn.

The footing is rough; obstacles hidden 
My common sense was overridden 

I kept stumbling over uneven terrain
Until I landed on my ass-again.

It will do no good if I break an ankle
The recovery time will surely rankle.

I needed to finish the workout still
To the gym, dear runner, and the dreadmill.

Buried track


Run from demons of mind and emotion

Seeking safety in body’s motion

Temporarily retreated 

But not defeated

Find strength inside 

Lift the head with pride

Fight the ogre of the mind

Until true peace you find