Tag Archives: Catherine Cleveland

What I Like About Myself

By Ellen Edmond

This week I welcome and thank our guest blogger, Ellen Edmond for her insightful narrative. Please enjoy, share, and feel free to comment. And, don’t forget to subscribe (lower right).

Homework?!

Simple request [from my counselor], if I remember: write 10 things I like about myself. And you added, write it in a narrative. Busy week & out of state family still here but will try.

Hmmm, this is more difficult than I thought. It shouldn’t be. I have family and friends…perhaps I focus on taking care of them instead of me?? Well, it’s time for me. Relax, breathe slowly and gently. Enjoy how it feels physically. My shoulders are relaxing, now my tummy. I uncross my legs and think about me…

I can’t change overnight…

I am becoming more patient. I can’t change overnight but I can accept this now. When I start becoming impatient and angry, I am learning to stop and breathe slowly, feeling my shoulders relax. “Patience is a virtue.” 

I have an inner strength/courage, which I sometimes don’t think I have. Who took care of Dad when he was failing, then dying? Who was at his deathbed by herself? And I cherish that moment as Mom left to seek another sister while knowing that’s what Dad wanted her to do. I am still grateful I was there no matter how many tears I shed. I now take care of Mom and relish every good day.

What I like bout myself

I am a good friend. I keep secrets, hate rumors. I cook and bake for them. I listen without interjecting, well, most of the time. 

I try to be an open book; I cannot pretend to be someone I’m not, and I trust others to do/be the same. (I wonder if this is true since apparently I don’t think that much of me as others do.) But I did say “try”.

I am trying hard not to blame myself for things I have no control over. I did not cause the car crash that killed my baby brother. #1…I was only 3 or 4. I did not start World War II. I do not start the fires in California. Absurd!

I know how to throw a good (if not great) party where everyone enjoys themselves. (It’s a talent…) 

I have been managing our budget and our real estate budget (when we had the agency) for years and kept it afloat even with unforeseen financial challenges. This stresses me out. But when one of us is satisfied paying late fees and the other isn’t, then the other had to take over. Now the other, me, is going to share the responsibility. I like being in control but I am learning how good it feels to have someone to share the load.

I am there for our children and their families. So I am a mom, grandma (nana), caretaker, tickler & friend. Our son’s wives call me for advice, to share family moments and activities. They call me Mom.

Ultimately,

I may be feeling weak, but, ultimately, I am strong when I have to be. This homework assignment has become self-reflection and, although I could go on, I won’t. I will continue internally.

Maybe I like myself better than I thought I did. I DO.

Thank you, Ellen!

If you would like to be a guest blogger, please email me your submission at clevelandemotionalhealth@gmail.com. If you would like to schedule an appiontment, register on the secure portal or call me at (585) 432-0313

WHY WE SUFFER FROM PSYCHOLOGICAL DISTRESS

If you are trying to figure out why you are anxious, depressed, have relationship issues, or are worried about what others think about you, this video can give you some clarification. Don’t forget to leave a comment and share your thoughts. You never know how you can help someone else!

Asking for Help

If you need help, reach out and ask. We cannot change our attachment but we can change our authenticity! Please click the link to learn more https://clevelandemotionalhealth.com or call me directly (585) 432-0313

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The Difference Between Pain & Suffering

Pain

Pain is a physical or psychological event that happens to you. According to Meerwijk, Ford, and Weiss (2013), neural networks for psychological pain overlaps to some extent with brain regions involved in physical pain. For example, if you break your leg or a loved one dies these are events that happen to you and can be very painful to experience. Expereincing pain is a part of being human.

Pain is Inevitable

Suffering

On the other hand, suffering is how we react to the pain. Suffering is the interpretation or story that you tell yourself about the pain. For example, if someone is treating you poorly and causing you emotional distress, you have a choice of how you react to their behavior. Your reactions to physical or psychological pain, through your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, are what is or is not causing suffering.

Suffering is Optional

Click on the video for further explanation:

Reference
  • Meerwijk, E. L., Ford, J. M., & Weiss, S. J. (2013). Brain regions associated with psychological pain: implications for a neural network and its relationship to physical pain. Brain imaging and behavior7(1), 1-14.

Please share this post. You never know how you may be helping some in need! To contact me, Catherine Cleveland, about mental health counseling services please call me at (585) 432-0313

I Now Respect Myself

The author of this post, Dawn M. Stone, has given me written permission to publish it and use her name. Thank you, Dawn. Your words will effect change in someone’s life!

Mom

So here we are after major surgery number 2. She is in Eastside nursing home and rehab center. I was feeling very upset that she is basically in a nursing home. Then I worked through my feelings about it. Anger towards her and her boyfriend for not taking the time she needed to heal in the first place. And that always presents guilt…that I didn’t do enough to help her.

I Remember, I am enough

But then I remember that I am enough. I do my best every day to be a good person, a good daughter, mother, sister, etc. And I am forgiving my mom as she was doing her best too. I bought her a card and she loves it and has shown it to the rest of the family. The card says that when tough times are happening we do our best to get through them. I hope that when this is over, you can see yourself as I do, a strong, brave, and amazing person. And I will be here doing everything I can to support you and care for you, and hope for the best for you. She loves it so much. And I was able to Express to her how I really see her, as my strong, independent, and brave mom who takes problems head on.

I Thank You

I thank you, Catherine, for helping me to see past guilt and shame, and become the person I am today. I know I did a lot of the work, but you have given me a lot of tools to use. I am almost constantly mindful of how I am feeling and how I am handing what ever is going on.

I Look Forward to Every Day

I look forward to every day and I think this whole situation could have really had me an emotional and physical mess, but instead i know when i am overwhelmed or when the negative feelings try to take over my mind and I deal with it in a healthy way. And I even joke, boy it would be a good day to get drunk, but I know that is not how I chose to deal with life and all it throws at me anymore.

I am Strong

And, I love that my daughter believes I am strong and amazing like I do my mom. Because i believe i am too. More and more people respect me and i know that is because i now respect myself. I know I am not perfect. Far from it. But i am ok with that today. Everyone is a work in progress, and I love that i can walk this journey with confidence and joy now. Have a wonderful day, my friend.

Thank you, Dawn. You words are deeply touching and I appreciate how hard you work especially in the face of difficulty. Respectfully, Catherine

Mental Health in Farm Culture

In a recent meeting with my mental health research colleagues, I brought up the topic of the epidemic of the unresolved depression that farmers and members of the agriculture community experience. My colleagues’ responses were, “I had no idea.”

Significance of Depression

“Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and will come forth later in uglier ways.”  ~ Sigmund Freud

If you Google farmers and depression (or suicide) you will soon realize this epidemic is actually a pandemic of global proportions. However, when looking for statistical resources on the emotional health issues on the farm, much of the research is being done outside of the US. Although this research may be generalized, it is not currently addressing the emotional health problems we have here, in our own agricultural community.

In our WNY rural culture, it is normalized to avoid negative feelings and “push on” because it is what the job demands. For some, talking about “feelings” feels vulnerable, which is often considered a sign of weakness. And, when you do try to talk about your emotional pain and sadness, you may get responses such as, “everything will be okay,” “suck it up,” and “prices are bound to get better.” Although these sentiments are well meaning, it can feel very isolating and make things psychologically worse for the sufferer.

Here is the Problem..

When you do not open up about your emotions or your depression and anxiety, these emotions will continue to plague you. Your unattended negative emotions will always surface inappropriately in ways you may not realize including lashing out at loved ones, avoiding close relationships, deprecating self-talk (for example, calling yourself worthless), and severe depression to the point of attempting or completing suicide.

What is the Solution?

If you or someone you know is experiencing emotional health problems relating to stress on the farm or ag business, your first step is to begin by being vulnerable (only to safe people; if you are a Brene Brown fan you know what I am talking about). Vulnerability is having the strength (not weakness) to talk about your sadness, pain, anger, and despair. My colleague Jodi Lathem and I have been working closely together to develop an affordable local resource to specifically address the needs for improving emotional health on the farm. Beginning October 29, 2109, Jodi and I are introducing a small group counseling programs offering a safe space to talk specifically designed for farmers and ag business owners, managers, and laborers. Also, included in the programs, is a women’s specific group for women suffering or supporting someone who is experiencing severe emotional distress. 

It is our goal, not only to recognize the problem, but to offer a solution that may not have been previously available to the hardworking farmers in our community.

Catherine Cleveland is a former farmer, a mental health counselor, and the founder and director of Cleveland Emotional Health in Geneseo, NY. She is currently researching the interaction of physiological responses and emotions as a doctoral student at the University of Rochester. For more information, please email me at clevelandemotionalhealth@gmail.com

Jodi Letham is an agriculture colleague and organizer of Women in Agriculture and Group Counseling for Farm Owners and Managers

Women in Agriculture​​ Group​ Session

Please share this blog post on social media or directly with someone you think will benefit. You never know, you could be the catalyst to improve (or save) someone’s life!

Is your voice being heard? Are you getting the help and support you deserve? Women in Agriculture Group is a safe, supportive, collaborative, and confidential space for you to get the emotional help you deserve.

Women in Agriculture Group Session Details

  • Dates: every other week beginning Tuesday, October 29, 2019
  • Time: 6:00pm – 7:30pm
  • Location: Cleveland Emotional Health, 61 Main Street, Suite 4, Geneseo, NY 14454
  • Group Size: 6-8 members (additional groups will be made available to accommodate interest)
  • Cost: $20/group (less than your co-pay!

Register Today

Contact us with questions. We are here to help! (585) 432-0313 clevelandemotionalhealth@gmail.com

An Argument for NOT Taking Medication

Skills over Pills!

This video is part of what I am studying as part of my contemporary trends class in my University of Rochester doctoral program. Please comment.

Get help now. Your mental health is priceless! Please click here to schedule an appointment. Call or text (585) 432-0313

Is Your Worrying Affecting Your Wellbeing?

Are you someone who thinks and worries about what may or may not happen in the near future? Are you worrying to the point of perpetuating a problem that doesn’t actually exist in the present moment?

Here is a common example of what I mean:

“I am worried that my partner is going to leave me.” 

The problem… 

If someone is going to leave you, there is nothing you can do to control their thoughts (and sometimes their behavior). 

However, if they are not going to leave you, and you are obsessing about it in your mind, you will act accordingly. 

For example, you may follow them, check their phone, constantly text them, ask them accusing questions, accuse them outright, forbid them from social engagements, or seeing friends and family without you, and so on.

If you have ever been on the receiving end of these untrusting behaviors, you know what it feels like. It is draining, exhausting, and distressing to the point that you want to get away from it any way you can. And when you try to get away from the accusations, the accusations get worse.

What is happening? 

If you are the accuser, you are making up scenarios that do not exist in the present moment. And then you are acting on your mentally constructed future scenarios as if they are actually happening in the present moment. Keep in mind, there are a lot of people who do these behaviors and are not even aware of it.

If your partner is really going to leave you, you have two choices. 1) you can accept it and move on; or 2) try to get a person who doesn’t want to be with you to stay. 

Why would we try to get someone to stay who does not want to? Maybe because we are afraid to be alone and maybe we are trying to make them be someone they are not? When we try to control other people’s behaviors, it only prevents us from focusing on your own issues.

Remember, worrying is your anxiety (that has an underlying cause) that is experienced as a physical symptom in your body, leaving you, at times feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and even physically ill.

Here is another example:

“Why would I do that if you could get [psychologically] hurt?”

When you are always worried about getting hurt and acting as if you would get hurt, you might not have the life that you desire. This is a depressing behavior that could lead to a depressive disorder. It also limits your human potential and sense of joy.

So, if you construct and act on future (that does not exist) negative scenarios, ask yourself this question:

“What are the real, present moment, intrapersonal issues that I am trying to avoid?” 

Are you interested in reading more articles on mental health and wellbeing? Click now on the Wisdom Room. For more information about Catherine Cleveland go to Why Consider me as Your Counselor. Click here to register on your secure portal and make your appointment today!

And as always, thank you for reading!

Staying motivated

I was recently asked the question: “How can I stay better motivated?”

Often you will start by setting the goal that you want to achieve. Say for example, your goal is to lose 20 pounds.

The goal is your starting point

The problem is, a lot of things can happen between now and your goal. These problems can easily derail a perfectly good goal along with your motivation to achieve it.

So, what can you do?

Rather than paying attention to the goal, focus on the process. The process is paying attention to the steps involved:

  1. Plan: Start with a plan
  2. Do: follow through with the plan 
  3. Evaluate: evaluate what happened. What changes can be made?
  4. Reward: reward yourself. tell yourself you did a good job following through
  5. Repeat: start back at number 1.

Say for example the first step you want to do is find out what nutritional changes would work the best for you (Plan). Then you would implement the plan. For example, ask around for what has worked for others and/or do a web search for more information (Do)

Next you would evaluate the plan. You found a good nutrition plan you want to implement. Always reward yourself for following through, “I did it!” Now repeat the process.

Or,

“I didn’t follow through with my plan today.” Now you get to choose: 

are you going to take a strengths-based approach (evaluation of the process)? Or, are you going to take a deficits-based approach to reaching your goal?

This next step in the process is what can make or break your motivation. 

There is an important difference between evaluating (what can be done differently) the process to stay motivated (strengths-based approach) or looking at your attempt as a failure (deficits-based approach).

For example:

A motivation response is (strengths-based approach): “I didn’t follow through with my plan. What happened? Do I need to change my plan?”

Or,

The motivation killer is (deficits-based approach): “I don’t have time to find a nutritional plan. I am never going to lose the weight. I have been this way my whole life, it’s not going to change now, I am always going to look like this.”

While evaluating your plan, are you going to pick the motivation response or the motivation killer?

Remember, to stay motivated, focus on the process rather than the goal.

Plan out each step, follow through with each plan, and make any changes as needed. 

And, finally, make sure you reward yourself, every time, for paying attention to your process with your ongoing strengths-based positive attitude.

Authors note:

I wrote this article ad a script to a video. I am still working on making the video will post soon. Please remember to subscribe to this blog, leave a comment, and contact me, Catherine Cleveland for your mental health needs (585) 432-0313

Tip #3: Watch out for the “but”

Here is an excellent thought experiment:

Paying attention to every time you hear someone say the word “but.” But, typically negates (cancels out) everything that is said before it.

“I don’t mean to be cruel, but… 

You guessed it, the next thing that is said is going to be, at the least, insulting.

“I am not normally sarcastic, but…”

The real meaning:  Oh, yes, they are!

“I really don’t drink much, but I like to have a drink now and then.”

The real meaning:  Hmmm, it would be interesting to see how much they really drink…

“I love you, but I need my alone time.”

The real meaning:  I don’t love you or love you enough

“I would really like to see you but…”

The real meaning: I don’t want to see you

Of course, there are times when but does not negate. It depends if there is a follow-up question or statement:

“I would really like to see you, but I can’t this week. Can I schedule for next week?”

If you find that you are a “but” user, there are a few things you can do:

1)   Do not make the judgment statement in the first place. Judgments are likely a reflection on you and your self-worth. If you notice that you are a “but” user when making a statement to someone else, what you are doing is deflecting (an emotion defense mechanism) your attention from your internal struggles. 

“I really want to see a counselor, but…”

The real meaning: I am afraid and really don’t want to see myself for who I really am.

2)   If “but” is not a negation, sometimes replacing “but” with “and” can sound better to the receiver:

“I think you did a great job, but there is room for improvement.”

“I think you did a great job and there is room for improvement.”

“I agree with a lot of what you are saying, but I would like to discuss it more.”

“I agree with a lot of what you are saying, and I would like to discuss it more.”

I hope you enjoy this thought experiment. Remember, it is essential to practice any mindfulness exercise with compassion toward yourself and others, and without judgment.

Take that next step today! Contact me, Catherine Cleveland, for you in office or online mental health counseling appointment! (585) 432-0313 clevelandemotionalhealth@gmail.com or, make set up your appointment on line