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39 years in the making…

“What the f%ck is wrong with you, you f#%kin idiot?”
Loving words from my Uncle in response to a question I asked him about a broken garage door.
Verbal abuse at it’s finest. In the past I allowed it, went along with it, and felt like less than human for hours, sometimes days after.
However, two days ago when this happened, I walked away.
I
walked
away.
I did not mouth off, I did not cry, I did not curse him out and start acting all gangsta, I did not feel inadequate or bad.
What a relief!
Miracles do happen!
Instead, I prayed for him, in my heart I immediately asked Spirit to forgive him for being so angry, mean, unaware, uncaring and not awakened. I said my good bye to my grand mother whose home I was at raking leaves and I left.
Without a scene, I left.
I did not cry in the car as I drove away.
I smiled. I thanked the GREAT SPIRIT that allowed me to love, live, forgive and be genuinely happy, clean.
Positivity and light fill my Spirit and my soul is cleansed, finally.
39 years old and I can finally not let negative and abusive words from family hurt me.
(from my uncle)
My brother or father saying these words to me may not be as easily handled. I am a work in progress I am not perfect.

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Mondays Mourning for Menasha

Mondays Mourning for Menasha
Written by M.K.Spryte (B.S. Psychology)

Since I heard the news early this morning I have been saddened, heavy, deep in prayer, and thought. My prayers are towards the mother, Erin Stoffel at the hospital recovering from three gunshot wounds, mourning the death of her husband, Jonathan, and her daughter Olivia(11).

I love to walk on trails in Green Bay and the Fox Valley, I have been on the Trestle Trail many times. The wrong place at the wrong time seems to be the feeling of the sad and tragic deaths in Menasha, Wisconsin.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel started an article with these words: “A father and his 11-year-old daughter were among the three people killed when a man upset over a broken engagement opened fire Sunday night in Menasha, police said at a news conference Monday (Jones,2015).
I watched the news conference in the sitting area at the Westside YMCA with about five other women in Green Bay, Wisconsin about 30 minutes from Menasha where the incident happened. We were standing around the television in the corner, silent, quiet, hanging on every word the Dr. spoke and the Chief of police spoke. Fear, shock, the age of innocence over? Words were mixed together in my mind as I immediately placed myself in the ex girlfriend of the shooters heart and gave her strength, whispering to her spirit “this is not your fault”. A moment later I rushed in Spirit to the hospital where Erin is recovering, whispered strength to her and the nurses who are caring for her. Another silent prayer left my lips to the two surviving children Ezra and  sister Selah who were unharmed, thank you Heavenly Father.
I know in times of darkness and tragedy we come together and we must now as a community and not allow this incident to cause fear to keep us from our trails. There is a go fund me account set up by the families that has raised over 40,000 dollars in 9 hours.
I have had tragedy in my life the five girls who were struck by a car in October of 1988 were friends and the feelings are the same. The why, the how could this happens and the fear….

Prayers to the Menasha Community, I lived there for three years when I attended school at the University of Wisconsin Fox Valley.
#stoffelfamily #Menashapd

The audio of the police conversation is professional, well handled and within five minutes dispatch had on call coming.

http://www.mnpoliceclips.com/police-audio-multiple-victims-shot-on-fritse-parks-trestle-trail-bridge-in-menasha-53.html

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wednesdays writings

Wednesdays Wild Writing
from MK Spryte

ohhhh Baltimore what have you done?

Murder, shootings,death, hurt,anger and pain are all covered too much today on the news. Police brutality and the wrongful death of so many…so sad.
My heart aches for our world, my  eyes water my cheeks for the parents who are attempting to raise better adults.
My soul cries out for death of this body so I can exist in the realms of SPIRIT and eat lunch  with my deceased ancestors, my friend Nicole Watia and my sweet sweet Jodi Prokop.
As I am 39 years into this journey and probably going to be here a while I WANT AND desire to make a difference.
So let us not look at who to blame for the riots but let us look at why these people feel the need to riot.
Frustration? Anger? Absolute disgust with this country?
We claim to be the greatest nation, yet we have the poorest of morals…
the poorest….
We do not allow the rights to a man and a man to marry…but we claim freedom of speech and religion?
We are a nation built on hypocrisy….so sad.
We are not a nation of diversity when we shove the Bible down peoples throats or turn our noses down at someone for being Muslim…
I see we are an accepting country as long as those who are different accept what the leaders put forth as acceptable.
HYPOCRISY
As a woman, a rhymer, a Christian and a WICCAN
I BEG YOU IF YOU HAVE READ THIS FAR INTO MY Wild Writing
please….be the change,
make a difference,
every day find one thing you can do right that is gentle, loving and kind,
STOP COMPLAINING.
just stop….
if you do not like something don’t like it, but don’t spout your dislike off at the mouth to everyone around you, don’t start cars on fire and smash your neighbors businesses because you are emotional or hurt.
BE KIND.
In every step you take and every interaction you have be nice,…
I was filled with anger and discontent and struggled with being nice for many years.
Today I have a degree in Psychology, I am a lover of life and I am extending a hand to you…to join me in making this world a better more livable place.
If you want to talk…need an ear…or just want someone to here you out…
lets chat #1-920-277-2420
if you are struggling with depression,addiction, abuse I am here to hear you…I do not claim to be a life coach or charge you to meet or talk
I am here to assist,,,to listen to bounce ideas off of…
step into the spirit with me…let me help you..

*this is not a gimmick nor a sales pitch this is authenticity at its finest,,,so please enjoy me

Mary Kay Elsner
B.S. Psychology
“spryte”
#madeithappen #globalunity #spiritofspryte
#abrunettespreadingsprinkles

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Crime IN America

Crime In America

Mary Kay Elsner

Social Problems 220

Grand Canyon University

Crime in America has been a part of our history since the first person lived here. There are many theories as to why crimes are committed; however the Choice Theory fits them all. A person chooses to rape, murder, steal a car, or break into a house. A person obviously makes a poor choice in acting upon the desire to commit a crime because when caught there are consequences. For the purpose of this assignment let us look at some of the possible reasons why a certain crime may be committed.

Let us first look at violent crimes such as rape, murder or aggravated assault. Of course choice theory fits as to why these crimes happen a person chooses to harm another. However, developmental theories could also apply because they state that over the course of a person’s life traumas occur and this causes the person to resort to crime. Looking at the developmental theory it states the extended family that use to be present early on in society to help raise a child is no longer present as much in today’s culture. Children are more likely to be independent and I think to fall through the cracks by parents with two jobs and different struggles of their own. Development and growth of a child is crucial to how they will react and behave once of legal age. If a child is exposed to a trauma at a young age they may turn to drugs to ease the pain or block out memories, which could lead to stealing to support the horrible habit. In turn being under the influence of a drug may cause violent behaviors leading to rape, murder or abuse to another human being.

Another theory which could be applied to violent crimes is Strain Theory, this combines trait theory and social conflict theory, the thinking behind this is people steal, kill or are violent because they are angry at their life style or status within society. Although these theories can be applied in different situations, choice theory is relevant in all crimes. Simply stated a person always has a choice as to whether to act on their feelings or desires.

Next let us look at economic crimes which happen as well in our society. Theft, robbery and stealing happen also because a person chooses to steal what does not belong to them. Whether it is because of the thrill of stealing or because the person is poor and needs food, money or goods the individual has a choice. However, social conflict theory can also be applied to these types of crimes. Under the thought process that poorer communities are more likely to have less police and less enforcers of the rules more crimes will be committed. Nicer neighborhoods are better patrolled and well it at night therefore making neighborhoods safer. This is cause for disorganization and more crimes being committed. Social Process Theory can also be used when looking at and trying to understand economic crimes. When social interaction happens in neighborhoods that are racially unequal or exclusion happens among people more crimes are committed. In my opinion when a poor man feels a sense of entitlement he may resort to breaking into another person’s home to take what he feels he deserves, Once again this brings me back to the choice theory.

Solutions to all of these types of crime are education and equal programs for the wealthy and the poor. If a poor man has a drug problem and a rich man the same problem money should not be the factor in getting them help. As unlikely as it is that we will start to distribute our wealth and treatment equally I think it would be a fabulous start to less crime. Legalization of marijuana would alleviate all kinds of problems with crime. Because it is illegal and criminal in some states to possess it we fill our jails wit people who get high, who in turn get angry get out of jail and commit more crimes. We waste billions of dollars a year trying to stop people from smoking a plant, when we should be spending that money on educating the public on holistic ways of living, why cigarettes are killing us, how to raise your children morally and bringing cultures together. Solutions lie within bringing people together and removing the reasons behind why crimes are committed, not punishing or attempting to take away things the government wants to regulate.

In conclusion, helping crime to lessen in this country is a moral issue. I believe it starts in the homes with the mothers and fathers, how they raise their children and what their children are taught. Crime has been a problem ever since Cain and Able, we are humans and we have the right to make choices. These choices have consequences and crime happens mainly because we all have a choice.

References

Crime and deviant behavior/substance abuse. (2010). Informally published manuscript, Grand Canyon University, Grand Canyon, Phoenix Arizona, Retrieved from https://lc-ugrad1.gcu.edu/learningPlatform/user/users.html?operation=loggedIn

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Why we should live by a Moral Code

Moral Code

Why we should live by a Moral Code

Mary Kay Elsner

Grand Canyon University

A moral code is defined by the dictionary as, “the quality of being in accord with standards of right conduct (Collins, 2013). My question is who decides what is right conduct? My answer would be the one with the most money or the biggest army. A moral code should be quite simple, one of the most respected thinkers ever to live in my opinion, Albert Einstein says, “If you can’t explain it simply then you don’t understand it.” He states this about anything someone tries to explain. It seems that the topic of a moral code is anything but simple to explain, does this mean, as humans we do not truly understand it?

In my opinion I think it is important to live justly, honestly, kindly, and in the open. Is this a moral code? To me personally it is my moral code. I would like to think that the way I live my life today is pleasing to my God and to the community in which I live in. I think people who break the law and find discord with others are not honoring or living by the moral code that God, Himself instilled in every human being He created. I have a hard time arguing about morals today because my life has undergone such a drastic change within the last four years. I am a survivor of a drug overdose, I died. I came back to live after 57 seconds and a conversation with a dead friend and the Archangel Michael. Morals are simple, be nice, do not cause harm and respect one another.

Simply stated, as humans it is important to live by a set of morals in order to have a peaceful existence with one another. There are billions of people on this planet and if we all did not have rules or a sense of what respecting one another was we would be extinct by now. I truly believe we can take a great lesson from Sodom and Gomorrah; these two cities had no sense of morals and were destroyed. If we, as a race of human beings, had no set of moral codes to follow left to our own divisiveness, we would all be separated from one another. Morals, once defined and agreed upon, are almost as valuable as the air we breathe and the water which sustains our very lives. Murder, theft and abuse are not moral codes to live by and yet we have criminals in our midst. Addiction kills thousands of people every year and mental illness has caused mass shootings in public places, where innocent people are slain. A moral code is the best defense we have against this kind of darkness. I am a believer in the grace and love of Jesus Christ, and I feel if more people sought a relationship with Him, we would have a race of human beings, living by a moral code which was designed to give us a happy existence. Jeremiah 29:11 states, “ 11 for I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (NIV). This one statement defines God’s plan for us, to prosper! What more of a reason would a person need to live a moral life and follow God’s example?

A moral life comes with rules; the Bible is full of them. 10 commandments God gave us to follow, not 100, not 1000 but 10. If a moral code is needed and we want to keep it simple, I truly believe following those 10 commandments would make the world a much better place. Now for the non Christian a set of commandments setup to align with the person’s faith may be needed. For example, the Torah, the first five books of the Bible, are right in line with the Quran, which is the sacred book of the Muslim world. A universal moral code can be found and achieved as soon as we as humans understand each human wants a happy and peaceful life. In order for us to prosper as a race we need to be united on the definition of moral, this is the first barrier which must be overcome.

In short, morals are important to this world as a whole. Having a belief in a power greater than you is needed to respect and love one another. Therefore, a moral code is needed so we have a way of living which is easy to follow and prosperous for us spiritually and physically. Existence in this world can be a very enjoyable journey if we find out what we believe, define it and then live by it. This is why a moral code is so important for us to define and then align our actions with.

References

Clark, K. J., & Poortenga, A. (2003). The story of ethics fulfilling our human nature. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

(2013). Dictionary. (2nd ed.). Harper Collins.

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Experimentation review Future of God in recovery from drug addiction

Review Paper

Mary Kay Elsner

Grand Canyon University

April 19, 2014

Experimentation Review Paper

As a researcher one must understand the differences in independent variables, extraneous variables, and how to conduct research. The articles I included in my research discuss God in Recovery and the need for group membership in the recovery process. As a recovering addict I understand the dynamics of the 12 steps and have a unique experience with the entire process of getting clean and maintaining a life style which is drug free and God centered. An independent variable is the variable you have control over, what you can choose and manipulate. It is usually what you think will affect the dependent variable. In some cases, you may not be able to manipulate the independent variable (Myers, 2012). Research has a methodology called the Scientific Method which outlines how to go about proving a Hypothesis and as a researcher our job is to be non judgmental and keep our own personal preferences out of the process.

The article I would like to discuss is Future of God in recovery from drug addiction.  This was a Qualitative study and there was no statistical threat, the authors of the study examined different literature on the subject of God in Recovery and the need to have a relationship with a higher power. This study was particularly interesting to me because it looked at the topic which I believe is so crucial to an addict staying clean. The study did not set up a test retest or any groups to look at this question. However, the article was an in depth look at the different religious denominations and how recovering addicts use God to find themselves. Personally, I would like to conduct a study of 100 people in various ages that are in recovery and over a one year period use questionnaires and surveys to see how important God is in their life. Also, keeping track of who relapsed in that year and how deep of a working relationship they have with a higher power to prove or disprove the need for God in the 12 step program.

Another study I included in my research was Group membership and Social identity in Addiction Recovery this was a cross sectional correlation design used to examine the relationships between recovering addict identity, self efficacy, diet identity and number of month’s drug free (Buckingham, Frings, & Albery, 2013). The study included 61 participants between the ages of 19 and 77 years with clean time from one month to 360 months. The study handed out questionnaires to people who regularly attended AA or NA meetings and the study was looking at the associations between identity preferences and evaluative differentiation (Buckingham, Frings, & Albery, 2013). The independent variables are outlined in the hypothesis and the surveys were the way to determine the results of the tested variables.  The hypothesis is if group membership is strong and addicts identify with the group of recovery then we should see less relapse. The independent variable (what we are changing) is the amount of group membership and the dependent variable (what they are measuring) how many non group members relapse. When getting the surveys back the researchers look at how people identify with the group and if there is a strong correlation between identifying oneself as an addict and the need for the support groups.

Threats in the second study could be people lying when taking the surveys, or not being completely honest with where they are at in the Recovery process. With statistical regression there is a thing called regressing towards the mean which means those who test very low or very high on a test may do better or worse the next time by trying to identify with the average or the mean. I do not think this could be a problem if the participants were not allowed to see how the other people are answering the questions. If we would go back and re test these same people in a year they could have relapsed or had a breakthrough in their recovery which would cause them to either identify more or less with the AA groups. The whole basis of this type of study is in hopes that the people answering the surveys are being honest so the conclusions can be correct. Unlike a physical test, of let us say a prescription drug where one can measure the effects of the drug on a person; a qualitative study can be observed but not measured (Myers, 2012). I think that Quantitative studies seem to be more valid yet I prefer quantitative studies because each person is different and we should leave some room for circumstances of people’s lives and journeys. There was no test retest in this study and I believe that one should be done as a follow up on any study which asks questions of a person. As we grow in recovery our lives change dramatically if we are truly being honest and working the program. A survey such as this one should be re done in my opinion.

References

Buckingham, S. A., Frings, D., & Albery, I. P. (2013). Group membership and social identity in addiction recovery. Psychology Of Addictive Behaviors, 27(4), 1132-1140. doi:10.1037/a0032480

Cronin, C. W. (2010). Review of ‘The War of the Gods in Addiction: C. G. Jung, alcoholics anonymous, and archetypal evil’. Journal Of Religion And Health, 49(4), 638-639. doi:10.1007/s10943-010-9388-x

Myers, A., & Hansen, C. H. (2012). Experimental psychology (7th ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth.

Rehm, J. (2011). The Risks Associated With Alcohol Use and Alcoholism. Alcohol Research & Health, 34(2), 135-143.

Sellman, J. D., Baker, M. P., Adamson, S. J., & Geering, L. G. (2007). Future of God in recovery from drug addiction. Australian & New Zealand Journal Of Psychiatry, 41(10), 800-808. doi:10.1080/00048670701579074

Traber, R., Würmle, O., & Modestin, J. (2009). Two types of classification in female alcoholism. Archives Of Women’s Mental Health, 12(5), 291-299. doi:10.1007/s00737-009-0075-4

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Group Membership and Social Identity in Addiction Recovery

Mary Kay Elsner

Research Report

Experimental Psychology 452

Grand Canyon University

April 20, 2014

Research Report

Group Membership and Social Identity in Addiction Recovery

Introduction

Social identity is an important factor in the way people react to one another, socialize, behave in society and recover from addiction (Buckingham, Frings, Albery, 2013). The hypothesis is the understanding of the relationship between group membership and recovery from alcohol and drug addiction. In the rooms of Recovery there is a saying “Meeting makers make it” and all though it may be just a catchy slogan there is an undeniable amount of truth to this statement. Studies have shown it is beneficial to be involved in a group and have accountability through the use of a mentor or sponsor (Buckingham, Frings, Albery, 2013).  This study was set up and designed by London South Bank University.

Methodology

There were 61 participants in this study 34 men and 27 women, ranging in age from 19 years to 77 years. The participants were chosen from 12 step Recovery groups known as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) with clean time ranging from less than one month to 30 years of continual sobriety (abstinence from drugs and alcohol not to include nicotine and caffeine).  Questionnaires with 150 questions were distributed among the participants who regularly attended Na and /or AA meetings and the data collection continued for six months. Participants had diverse back grounds with some of them starting their Recovery in an inpatient treatment facility and others who walked into the rooms on their own. When a person spends a thirty or sixty day period in inpatient treatment with no option to leave the facility they can either fight the process or embrace it. Those who choose to leave the facility do not usually identify with being an addict or alcoholic and may have been forced to stay there based on a court’s recommendation or possibly a group of family members who signed to have the person committed. For this study the participants all identified with being an addict and were working a program of Recovery.

There were four methods of social identification of being an addict or a member of Alcoholics Anonymous which were used. Participants in the study admitted to feeling a “part of” or identifying with the group even when not in a Recovery meeting. There were four statements rated on a seven point scale to measure self efficacy, including “I can remain abstinent” and “I can manage my addiction” (Buckingham, Frings, Albery, 2013).  The questionnaires also included questions about Relapse which is defined as going back to the addictive behavior of using drugs or alcohol again. There were 17 positive and 17 negative traits which were adopted from AA and NA literature in order to identify a participant as a member of the Recovering community. In the questionnaires these questions helped with the results of a positive correlation between identifying with the group and remaining clean. The participants signed consent forms and anonymity was not breached so the addicts and alcoholics who participated where not in jeopardy of losing their own anonymity within society.

Results

Examinations on self efficacy as well identification with the group were conducted. Evaluatative differentiation and identity preference correlated with marginal statistical significance r (58). = .26. p= .06 with greater levels of identity preference being linked to greater evaluatative differentiation (Buckingham, Frings, Albery, 2013). Also see table 1 for a full list of results. The need for a group support system is apparent in the surveys which were handed out. Those who are successful in Recovery and preventing a relapse seem to identify with a group of others who have had the same challenges and problems facing them. In looking at the results overlap did occur with those who identified themselves as recovering from addiction as well as those who felt they were addicts. It was not explicit of one equally the other however, because someone who identifies as an addict may not be attempting to work a program of Recovery and stop the addictive behavior. In the research it also showed that higher levels of self efficacy also showed lower levels of relapse. Self esteem and belief in oneself helped to maintain a state of sobriety and chance of success within the group dynamics of Recovery.

Discussion

This study clearly defines the need for support in Recovery. I believe in the future we need to make it a point to assist those who identify with being an addict or alcoholic find a group with the same struggles that the individual experiences. In the Narcotics Anonymous Literature there is a statement which reads, “One addict can best help and understand another addict”(NA, 1981). The whole basis of the program is built on fellowship. The Alcoholics Anonymous program was the original 12 step program created by Dr. Bob and Bill Wilson who leaned on one another in the beginning to stay sober. Bill Wilson was a pioneer in the recovery program we now have available to us today. Early on in his sobriety before there were AA meetings, before there was an AA organization, Bill would go talk to other drunks just to keep himself from taking that first drink (AA Big Book, 1939).

The need for human interaction and support is shown throughout history with people banning together in villages and civilizations. The old saying there is strength in numbers rings true for the man or woman attempting to recover from addictive behaviors or dependence on a foreign substance. This study is well validated provided those who answered the questions did so with honesty, as in any study that uses surveys to receive information. Of course, some people will not answer honestly because they are either incapable of being honest with them self or they do not know what their truth is at the time of taking the survey. However, the 12 step process of Recovery is a set of principles and tools to assist the struggling addict with finding these truths out for themselves. If a person who truly identifies with the group and the idea of being an addict there is hope from the disease of addiction for them.

References

Anonymous. (1939). Alcoholics anonymous. (4th ed.). New York New York: Alcoholics Anonymous World Service.

Anonymous. (1981). Narcotics anonymous basic text. (3 ed.). San Francisco California: World Service Conference.

Buckingham, S. A., Frings, D., & Albery, I. P. (2013). Group membership and social identity in addiction recovery. Psychology Of Addictive Behaviors, 27(4), 1132-1140. doi:10.1037/a0032480

Myers, A., & Hansen, C. H. (2012). Experimental psychology (7th ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth.