Guest Post: Guidance in Times of Turmoil by Patrick Bailey #guestpost #addiction #mentalhealth


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Credit: Matt Collamer via Unsplash

It’s been a long and winding road for me in the city where I was raised. The city has pulled me back after each venture away. This road has gone many places and resulted in something of an archeological dig into myself and humanity at large.

Overall, I’ve noticed a consistent thread for those in severe and notable distress in the community. It has continued for decades, having taken on various symptoms over the years.


When the Street People Were Dispatched.


I was in my early teens when the de-institutionalization of psychiatric hospitals first impacted my area of the city. The ‘street people,’ as we called them, appeared suddenly. They had been dispatched by the state mental hospital. Some had not been in the world outside for decades. I can’t imagine what that release into society was like for them. From their outward appearances, it seemed terrifying, upsetting, and disorganized.

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Credit: Provided by Author

The laws had changed. It wasn’t easy to put someone ‘away’ anymore. The world would have to deal with people more directly even if there was something seriously ‘off’ in a person’s thought, emotions, and (or) behavior. Even ‘mental patients’ had rights, and the state mental hospital had to open its doors. More inner-city areas also offered cheaper rent as ‘the dispatched’ arrived in large numbers to find their way in the world. I was an inner-city kid, so I was there to receive these ‘street people’ and many mental patients too.


A Kid Wonders How to Fix The System.


In youthful curiosity, I found the city streets enlivened by these folks. I was curious about them: how they lived, what they did, and why they suffered. I was fascinated by illness, and what caused it; how illness needed to be healed.

I’d seen more than a kid’s share of severe problems by the time the hospital discharged all its wards. Of course, I wanted to heal the suffering; I loved my family. My father’s alcoholism, and then his unnamed PTSD which needed remedying. We all needed a remedy. Undiagnosed depression and mania peppered my mother’s family, taking her off into highs and lows.

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Credit: Ben Hershey via Unsplash

Life wasn’t easy in my house, and it wasn’t easy for the people I saw in the streets. I read the paranoid scrawls on the bus stop bench. I listened to the lady who’d recite the wrongs of the world to everyone and to no one in particular. I worried about the ‘bike man’ who wore a woolen coat as he peddled through the summer heat.

Surely all this madness inside my house and outside of it could be fixed.


Talking Out the Turmoil and Walking Alongside It.


All of these things brought me towards obtaining several degrees and a career. I wanted to know more about how people living on the streets and dealing with mental illness worked and how these conditions could be fixed. I worked in the state hospital that at that time, kept patients for thirty days not thirty years. I specialized in addiction and PTSD. My father was long gone by then, but I found peace with him through my work.

I talked with hundreds of people who lived in turmoil, waking to it every day. I formed relationships with them and walked with them through the most intimate details of their struggles. They came to me for help and guidance; I did my best. Although I had personal turmoil and needed a great deal of help myself, somehow my patients and I did well more times than not.


My Take on the Addiction Epidemic:


My career wandered but no matter where it went, I’ve always come back to working in addiction and trauma. I’ve found these are conditions far more common than most people would ever imagine, and they are almost always constant companions. I believe that if we could heal trauma faster, we’d not have an addiction epidemic.

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Credit: Provided by Author

As many people, I’ve followed news on the addiction epidemic in the U.S. for years now. In particular, numerous persons have a deep concern about opioid use. America and my city have meandered these streets, as heroin addiction has caused a devastation of lives. In my city, we’ve never seen such a crisis, not in all my time in this world.

Heroin addiction is a costly tragedy among those who are addicted, their loved ones, and communities. The economic costs alone are staggering—an estimated 50 billion dollars a year, but the human costs are immeasurable and immense.


“How did we get here? How did my city get here? How does a person end up here?”


As time passes, I’ve watched subsequent addiction and a mental health epidemic arise for the entire city where I live. It has a direct trail back to prescription painkillers and their medical use. Pain management clinics sprung up in and around my city as the painkiller epidemic occurred. Many of those were ‘pill mills’, caused people an addiction to painkillers.

Changing laws closed these clinics, and also resulted in the placement of monitoring systems. The prescribers of powerful pain-management drugs were closely watched. The consequences of this system? These prescriptions were harder to come by, despite countless people addicted to them. Pain pills available on the illegal market were terribly expensive and people suffered.


The Solution? Heroin.


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Credit: Hush Naidoo via Unsplash

Heroin became, and still is, the affordable solution to painkiller scarcity.  For every dollar spent to obtain illegal painkillers, heroin packs the same punch at one-tenth the cost. Drug cartels met a need in the population when the prescription painkiller epidemic gained the attention of legislators and the medical boards. Their marketing strategies cut a path straight towards my area of expertise, and into my home city.

There’s more to a ‘painkilling’ addiction than chronic and debilitating physical pain needing to be managed. There is also psychological pain which people are seeking respite from. So, the drug and mental health epidemic is a pervasive one in people’s lives and the lives of their loved ones.

It’s traumatic to watch someone suffer from drug addiction. It’s more traumatic when medical ‘permission’ is taken out of the equation. The pure force of addiction became tangible when those addicted had no choice but to trade prescription painkillers for heroin. Heroin was the only reasonable alternative to prescriptions — if it can be seen as reasonable.


Heroin Addiction.


Moreover, Heroin addiction is a powerful and destructive force that most people can’t fathom unless they’ve experienced it in their daily life. I see it in the streets every day. The street people have changed. They seem to be dying faster, and I say prayers for them as I drive past them on the roads.

If you or a loved one is struggling with heroin or other drug addiction reach out. People can recover, but the right kind of help is crucial. Heroin is more powerful than anyones strongest willpower. Also, people can’t help others experiencing addiction when they can’t help themselves. Nonetheless, friends and family can aid those who can’t help the addicted people they love.

Don’t wait to act; the support of friends and family is crucial to stop the use of heroin and other lethal street drugs.


©Mandibelle16. (2018) All Rights Reserved.

Notable Quotes: Part One August 2018 #notablequotes #pinterest #quotes


Hey! I’m hoping these are newer quotes. I think the part two from July were all repeats. Sorry, about that. My error, as I set some of quote posts to publish ahead of time.

I hope you are all well, and had amazing summers or pleasant winters. I love summer, but Fall’s my favourite. Despite how short the summers feel here, that in-between chill and warm air from summer, create the best weather. Not to mention, the fashion, the and wonderful colors in the river valley!

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©️Mandibelle16. (2018) All Rights Reserved.

Photo Challenge/Tale Weaver: Poem – Free Verse – “Stairway from Forever Winter” #amwriting #poetry #TaleWeavers #PhotoChallenge #MLMM


Thanks to NEKNEERAJ from MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting photo challenge #220. Also, thanks to Michael from MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting the Tale Weaver prompt on the them of a voyage of discovery.


Credit: Silvia Grav


Shivering as if I’m shedding,

As if I’ll never know heat;

Or a belly without ache.

Crisp bacon and sausage sizzles,

French toast with cream cheese;

Clouds of whipped cream,

Maple syrup flowing in valleys;

Sweet strawberry jam,

Tart on my tongue,

The crisp-softness of toast;

Homemade bread devoured.

Orange juice with champagne,

Sweetness and fizzing bubbles.

Chatter, hands passing,

Sniggers and giggles;

Raising the bar; the bets are laid —

Who can eat the most pancakes?

There is plenty in this dream,

Richness and generosity abounds —

Reality’s barren and frosted.

No warmth of hugs or arms over shoulders,

Until a burning stillness settles.

The sensation of hovering above,

Until your firefly soul lifts.

The memory of family, breakfast with ice-cream,

Strawberry sauce and flaked croissants;

Of food so boundless that all gnawing hunger’s abolished.

No daydream with clawing pains,

Only serenity, path into a place —

Where loved ones suffer not.

Where there’s no war to justify —

No battle to survive;

Nor land that will not thaw to grow.

Above, there’s glowing prosperity,

A joyfulness that never pales.

No ice-white skin preserved in chill,

No forever winter.

A flame that flickers and overwhelms,

Sparks and heat spread,

As butter melts on fresh bread.

Reflecting on golden streets,

A feast as none knew before.

Temporality extinguished,

The relief of a forever home

Not hunger nor strife.

It’s unimaginable,

But after all the misery —

This stairway’s an easy flight.


©Mandibelle16. (2018) All Rights Reserved.

Notable Quotes: August 2018: Part One #pinterest #quotes #notablequotes


Happy August! Here’s some Wine and Words too soothe your soul and make you laugh. If you’re like me, most wine you’re having in summer is in your sangria, but a sweet bottle of Rose, Red, or hey, even Red, is wonderful chilled in the summer evening.

Hoping everyone’s been enjoying themselves if you’re off on summer vacation or break, and if you’re in the middle of another season, I hope you’re enjoying some cooler weather as in some places (Australia or Italy for example), summer can be miserably hot.


I’m off to my first Writer’s Conference in a week or so, and I’m excited to be among Writer-folk in person for a bit, and not only online. I enjoy both, but a change of scenery is nice, as is spending some time with a great friend, Psychologist, and Steeped Tea Sipologist. Also, back to house sit and chill with my puppy-friend Jenga, while her owners are away a few days before the conference!


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©Mandibelle16. (2018) All Rights Reserved.

Notable Quotes: July Part Three 2018 – Special Edition #quotes #pinterest #NotableQuotes


More Quotes! Enjoy!


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©Mandibelle16.(2018) All Rights Reserved.

Three Line Tales: Poem – Bop – “Golden Haze” #amwriting #poetry #3LineTales


Thanks to Sonya of Only 100 Words for hosting this week’s #3LineTale. The Tale became an entire poem.


Credit: Sharon McCutcheon via Unsplash.


Gold” by Imagine Dragons


Now you’re blessed, so confess all your lost dreams,

Diamonds, emeralds your curse, tearing your seams.

How do you know it’s all real, that you still feel?

How do you cry, when you’re numb and reeling?

Too much gleam of Ag, shallow and false,

You heart doesn’t thump; Midas stilled its pulse.

When everything you’ve got turns to cold gold.

Such appeal of golden apples faltered —

You can’t eat metal, push away your faults;

Hide your cursed shining touch, voices hush —

No more lies; who now can you even trust?

Everything you graze turns to gold, gold, gold.

You’re a statue bathed in it, no old —

Friends by your side; ruler of cold and stale.

No wine and meat, it’s as ash chewed, inhaled.

When everything you’ve got turns to cold gold.

Hollow, bathing in liquid gold streaming,

Trying to define it meaninglessness.

Your void in life, as you fade down the corn maze,

A woman hopeless, in a smokey haze.

Life’s no dream when your touch destroys all inane,

You’ll not escape — greed’s your ever-long shame.

When everything you’ve got turns to cold gold.


©Mandibelle16. (2018) All Rights Reserved.

Sunday Writing Prompt: Poem – Italian Sonnet – “Feed Me” #amwriting #poetry #MLMM #SamaritansPurse


Also thanks to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie ‘s Sunday Writing Prompt based on a cause near and dear to our hearts.


If you feel so inclined you can donate towards ending impoverished children’s hunger, and towards their betterment through education at:


Credit: Google – Go Fund Me for Samaritan’s Purse


Feed me, a child starving during last bell,

Give healthcare, no dirty water in the well.

For a coin, a donation receipt dealt.

I’ll help my family, the week will be swell.

Cloth me; I need not Prada, pearls from shells,

I’m suffering in an earthly hell.

So, do as God says, give to those who’ve less —

While you too flourish, and pamper yourselves.

There are parts of the earth — they’re called third-world,

Where baby’s stomach’s bloat, so malnourished.

Where disease’s rampant, and poverty’s a curse —

It’s not their fault, so halt your insults hurled.

Improve their lives; buy pencils, books for school.

Let no child ride the metaphorical Hearse.


©Mandibelle16. (2018) All Rights Reserved.

Photo Challenge: Poem – Free Verse – “Seven Times Seven” #amwriting #poetry #PhotoChallenge #MLMM


Thanks to Sarah of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting this week’s Photo Challenge.


Credit: Gamze Bozkaya via Unsplash


Pumping legs into the azure,

O’r mountains of snow and rock,

O’r the lush valley below.

Sweat dripping, hands clenched,

Thin cord strung to a wooden plank.

Legs bending, back and forth,

Lungs gasping as I fly.

Seven times seven, as fresh mountain air inhaled.

Breath respires,

Wondering if after seven times seven,

I could soar as the hawks or the jays?

Or would I crumple? A boulder colliding with the ground;

A meteor splintered.

Bones snapping, pine’s lashing.

Seven times seven; I’m not afraid.

But, in our cabin above the valley,

They’re yelling, and she screams.

The blows fall; I cringe, heart flutters rapid.

Pushing my legs forward and back,

Seven times seven, how long can she survive?

Each fight’s more grim.

Seven minutes, then she’s crying, and wounded;

I wash away the blood.

Bandage and set the bones beneath purpled orchid skin.

She says to forgive seven times seven,

But, my hate has increased sevenfold;

His fists mutilate her each time.

Seven-years trapped up here,

But, in seven-days we’ll run.

No more soaring, no more crystal skies,

For seven times seven,

For her life and mine.

I must steal her away —

Not to die with each sip of his rye.

We’ll lose ourselves,

Seven times seven million miles away.

He’ll never find us — not in his forty-nine years.


©Mandibelle16.(2018) All Rights Reserved.

Three Line Tales/Music Challenge: Fiction – The Guilt of a Freshmen Love #amwriting #3LineTales #fiction #Musicchallenge #MLMM


Thanks to Sonya of Only 100 Words for hosting #3Line Tales. Also, thanks to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie‘s Music Challenge prompt #29 on the song “The Freshmen” by the Verve Pipe.


Credit: Michal Prucha via Unsplash


“The Freshmen” by the Verve Pipehttps://youtu.be/Jf3pXkBDhiE


When I was young I assumed I knew it all, and not one of us listened to each other; we hammered insults injuring with no thoughts for consequences. Then, we were guilt-stricken, sobbing as we crashed through thin-ice and drowned, as we insisted we weren’t obligated for denying our feelings; as swans plucked clean of feathers — our loves swallowed Valium. We denied them, they weren’t our responsibility because they fell in love first, but I’ll never know why we thought ourselves wise and wouldn’t compromise, washing our hands of our failed relationships — we never talk of dying for our sins; in the end we convinced ourselves, we were only freshmen.


©Mandibelle16.(2018) All Rights Reserved.

Notable Quotes: June Part Three 2018 #pinterest #quotes #notablequotes


Hey, back from Vegas and I’m excited for summer festivals such as Shakespeare in the Park, The Street Performers, A Taste if Edmonton, K-days, and a few others. Summer is such a fun time.

When you’re buried in snow from November to the beginning of May, patio weather, summer festivities, and vacations help many of us through those rough cold times. Especially, if one can’t take a winter vacation. Anyways, whatever you season, enjoy it!


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©Mandibelle16. (2018) All Rights Reserved.