Thrive | Emerge™


My Journey: Healing Stories 


The Sandwich Generation: Alyse Struggles To Care For Her Kids And Her Parents

I've always been close to my in-laws. When they couldn't live independently any longer, my husband and I thought it would be a great idea for them to be nearby - so we could help with shopping, doctor's appointments, getting them to friends' houses.

Not to be mean about it, but I never realized how much taking care of your parents is like raising another kid. Which is tough when you work full time like I do and the job is really demanding.

Forget my free time When I'm done with my kid's homework and cooking dinner and driving my in-laws, it's way past time for bed - Yoga, exercise, time with my friends - I just don't see how I'll ever get to do these things again.

I know my life is still really good, but I need some time for myself, some way to balance all these demands on me. Sometimes I just feel desperate and angry, with no way out.

Alyse's THRIVE Journey

It took me awhile in therapy to figure out that one of the reasons I get so overwhelmed is that I never ask anyone to help me out. I guess my husband and I don't have the best communications about who does what around the house.

We've been doing couples work now for a few weeks and already things are starting to improve. We listen to each other better and he has figured out how to pick up some of the work with my in-laws and the kids.

My husband realizes that he's really struggling with his parents getting old and is seeing Cynthia Matsakis for that. I know we have a long haul ahead but, at least now, my husband and I are trying to make a better go of it and to work together as team.

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Elementary School Kids: Noah Deals With Bad Grades And Bullying

Sometimes I don't know why I do the things I do. I feel really bad for my family because I'm always fighting with them. But they make me really mad. They're always telling me what to do like about school I'm afraid my parents won't stay together because of me.

I got kicked out of class again yesterday because I threw a book at the guys who were teasing me for being fat. Not a lot of kids like me because I'll do stupid stuff just for attention.

Everybody else seems to be having fun growing up except me.

Noah's THRIVE Journey

I really liked meeting Dr. Bajaj. She pretty nice and lets me talk about stuff I don't tell anyone else. We did some tests and she thinks maybe I have food allergies that are making my ADHD worse.

Next week I'm going to a class with Joanna Balz.  She’ll teach me and a bunch of other kids my age how to eat better so my brain works better. Dr. Bajaj says I have to start exercising too.

'Yesterday my family and I met with Dr. Marks. She's helping us learn how to talk with each other home. Sometimes I meet with her by myself and we talk about how I can get along in school and not act so angry. She also went to my school and talked to my teachers, so they understand what I'm having problems with. She also has really good ideas about how to study for tests and do my homework.

'I'm starting to feel a little better about myself. I can focus in school and my grades are going up. My parents and I don't fight as much. I know there are still a lot of things I have to work on. But now I know that things won't always be as bad as they were.

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Young Adults With ADHD: Jake Gets Ready To Launch To Independence

The next time Dr. Silver told me I had ADHD, I didn't believe him. I thought doctors like to throw labels at people and just give them medication. But the more I thought about treat he said, the more everything began to fit together – my troubles in school, the depression and feeling bad about myself, my using alcohol and weed as a way to get rid of hard feelings.

He wouldn't even give me meds the first session. We talked a lot about now I took care of myself – what l ate, how I slept, whether I did things to relax myself, if I exercised enough. He said if I was pomp to use medication to change the way my brain worked, he wanted me to start working hard on taking care of rest of my body, including learning how to feel more grounded – maybe yoga or meditation of acupuncture.

I started with the Young Adult ADHD group – and saw that I'm not the only person in the world with these problems. What a relief to not feel so lonely for once in my life. Next weekend, we're headed out to a Ropes Challenge Course to learn to work together as a team.

Jake's THRIVE Journey

l want to go back to school in the fall but I'm afraid I'll run into the same problems as before. So the Study Skills Coach, is helping me set up a good schedule and hone some of my study skills. It's nice to finally think of myself as a different learner, not a bad learner. And the psychological testing I get at THRIVE will help me get academic accommodations at the college.

Then there's the drinking. I kind or underestimated how much I used, but Dr. Silver figured it was more then I said and recommended that I start going to an AA group. I'm still thinking about it – it's hard to make all these changes at once, especially changing how I hang out with my friends.

So we'll take it slow. I want these changes to stick, to last a long time. For the first time, I think I have a really good shot at finishing school and doing what I want to with my life.

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Adults: Carl Battles Depression And Childhood Trauma

It wasn't easy growing up in my house. My Mom really raised all four kids because my dad drank so much. There was a lot of yelling when I was younger, but it finally stopped when I stood up to my Dad when I was fifteen. I don't think anybody ever said "I love you" or hugged us kids.

My friends never knew. High school, college, even now. You put on your best face, look good for everyone around you, put your head down and get your work done.

I've talked to my wife about it some, but I've never told my kids. I want their life to be better than mine.

Lately, I've been feeling kind of down, sad a lot, not really wanting to do anything or be with anybody. I keep thinking about being a kid and it just tears me up. I wish I could talk to my wife and my friends but it just doesn't feel right.

Carl's THRIVE Journey

I've seen Dr. Bajaj for four sessions. I feel like she's really taken the time to get to know me as a person, not just as a bunch of problems. It's interesting how all the parts fit together – how my brain works, how I learned to deal with my emotions as a kid, how well I take care of myself now.

We ran some labs and it looks like my low thyroid might be contributing to my depression. It's only been a month, but I'm already feeling a lot better from the thyroid medicine and the anti-depressant.

We talked about how my lack of exercise and my irregular sleep patterns were making it harder for my brain to function. Last week, I started a program with Joanna Balz that will help me improve my eating habits.

I've started talking about how hard it is to let myself feel certain things, like sadness and fear, and how locking up my emotions makes my life more difficult. I've been trying to talk more to my wife and close friends. It really helps to just have someone listen and to get things off your chest.

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Women In Transition: Divorce And An Empty Nest Challenge Suzanne's Sense Of Purpose

Once my husband was gone and the kids were off to college, things kind of fell apart for me. My whole life was wrapped up in my family.

My job is okay, but besides making me money, it doesn't do much for me. I have a few co-workers I like but I feel like an outsider a lot. I was never much of a joiner.

The work sure doesn't hold my interest. I guess that dream of opening my own bakery got lost a long time ago.

I feel so lost most of most of the time. I don't even know where to turn next to get out of this situation.

Suzanne's THRIVE Journey

It wasn't until I worked with Cindy Matsakis that I realized I wasn't the only person in this situation. It was so important to hear about other women's stories, to know that I wasn't alone. I'd never done any art therapy before, so I was a little skeptical at first. But using art to explore the whoI am and who I want to become, really clarified some of what I was struggling to understand.

I'm thinking of seeing a Thrive staff member for Life Coaching and Career Counseling – I think she'll help me get a better focus on what I want to do next. Maybe that bakery isn't as far off as I thought.

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