Category Archives: Personal Development

Learning to cope with various situations with friends, family and society and over all self-improvement.

No High School so no Future

graduation cap and diploma

Wow, who would say such things that anyone would believe such a cruel statement? It is not the truth but a huge lie. I think the better question to ask should be, ‘where’s their heart at, to say such things vs offering truly helpful advice?

Unfortunately, today’s world is full of cruel and unkind people who do make such statements. There’s lots of people who are educated and just as equally cruel and unkind and, maybe more so. Others will refuse to ‘share’ information to help change your life. In a psychology article, it states that we can all easily fall into this behavior and is ‘an identical underlying cause to acts of murder and war’.

The worst part is when cruel advice falls upon the ears of our Youths. They are young, inexperienced, and still somewhat dependent upon advice of their ‘elders’ and vulnerable to those they greatly admire. Again, psychology has found abusive people will ‘seek’ out jobs that give them ‘authority’ over others. They will ‘pick and choose’ who does and who does not get ‘benefits’ of such knowledge. It’s always good practice to listen but always ensure your personal safety. People’s actions does reveal their true character.

Quest for Education

Well, there is such a thing as ‘second opinions’ and no shame in keep asking people for help. Rather than ask your neighbors, stop and take a peek in the phone book. Look under ‘Schools’ and you will find lists of local schools but also, ‘alternative, adult or continuing education‘ schools.

For my local area and I’m Indigenous, we have our local Friendship Centre that offers GED classes. I can’t speak for other Friendship centres but they may have people who can help direct the way to a School so you can get a General Equivalency Diploma (GED). It is available for all Canadians, 18 or over and, upon completion, you do get a diploma, and chance to go to college or university. Masters and PhD’s are available with further University courses.

The opportunity to seriously change your life is available and one can also get their GED in prison. Once you’ve got your diploma, second step is deciding, college or university. They do but not all, will accept GED students into their various classes and there’s so many options to choose next to anywhere around the world. This is where you may enter one dream course but over time, we all change jobs, and careers.

The beauty of some courses, such as mine, Nursing. I can use my credits from that program to enter another ‘health’ field. I can build upon my existing higher education for other job areas that may be health related. Doors are not shut on just one career once you get that higher education.

Payhip platform for selling digital products

Path to a new future – jobs, skills, careers and knowledge

Secondly, maybe you want a future in a Trade skill. There are jobs in technical and trade skills such as ;

  • welders
  • brick masonry
  • heavy equipment operator
  • crane operator
  • carpenter
  • wind turbine technician
  • plumber
  • electrician
  • millwright
  • air craft mechanic
  • and many others

Some trade skills can be learned quickly, and then enter an apprenticeship to earn your ‘papers’. These just certify that you have greater skills in the trade and qualify to earn higher pay. Not all apprenticeships are easy to find either especially for entry-level jobs with decent pay.

Graduate silhouettes

Go online and browse college and university programs. Check the subjects you will learn, the time it will take. Some college courses can be 2-3 years depending on the course. Pay attention to the other types of jobs you can get with that education background. Try to set your future to be open to other job fields. Don’t depend on one job.

Explore job sites online for your planned ‘dream‘ job. Take a look at the pay, job duties, skills required, education requirements, etc. This is to boost your knowledge in building your future.

Today’s world is unpredictable. One may love a particular job field but find their employer is unbearable. Pay attention to employers with high turn-over and always hiring as there’s usually a reason for that to be happening. Nobody wants to find themselves in a ‘toxic‘ work environment.

Entrepreneurship and the Mature Student

Third, you can take a business course, and learn how to start your own business. They are the ones who provide jobs for others. They provide services or products for the public, other businesses, or to the government. Again, do your research. You may find a business that succeeds and will survive for the long term.

Due to this pandemic. Classes have been held online. This may still be ongoing and available, and you may notice options for full or part-time classes. Sometimes, as a student, a part-time job is needed for the extra income. Also, if you fail a class or classes – this isn’t the end. You can re-enroll in those classes to complete your diploma requirements. 🙂

study or work at home options

Fourth, enter college as a mature student. You’ll take a test that basically measures your educational level to check if you are able to finish the program. If you’re unsure of your ability, go online and find free courses that will help build your educational knowledge. Yes, there are FREE courses online too.

College to University and Funding

Fifth, you’re able to use your college credits to transfer to University courses too. There are agreements between college and university institutions that accept transferring credits. All you basically need to start is a copy of your transcripts. Many students and graduates have taken advantage of this option for their higher learning journey. You can too!

A search for funding your education journey can be intimidating too. We hear about school debts, the starving student, rent rates, etc. Don’t let this scare you away. Learn to step up to those ‘unknowns’ and seek for answers. There are government loans, grants, bursaries. Monies are available once you know where to look. Speak with a college representative to find out what financial aid options are available. Never let fear stop you from building a new future. Only You are the Captain of your own destiny.

Learning in Motion

Reading Resources

Adult learning: General Education Development (GED) certificate

Canadian General Equivalency Diploma (GED)

Confederation College Programs and Courses

Do you still believe there’s no future? It’s not true. It will begin with you and only you. Once the first step of classes and passing the tests, and your Diploma is in hand. You get to plan your future and make your world as wonderful as you. Don’t be shy to look in the mirror and tell yourself, ‘we got this’.

I hope you found this article informative and gained some new insight. Please feel free to Share with others! Use the ‘Ask a Question’ form to make a request on a topic of your own interest. I hope you visit again for more informative articles coming soon. Stay safe!

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Sibling Grief -Finding Solace between Grief vs Suicide

Sibling Grief

One Parents Journey

A death in the family usually remains within the family unit, and an announcement is made in the local paper, so friends, and colleagues may join in paying their final respects . It’s a difficult time when family members pass on, and as a parent, it’s worse when a child passes on, regardless of age, and survived by parents, and the effects upon surviving siblings.

The normal stages of grief takes place, as follows:

  • Anger, as reality sets in, pain rises again, and it can be overwhelming. We turn it away aka ‘deflecting‘ it, and ‘redirecting‘ it, and expressed as anger. Towards others, or inanimate objects, strangers, friends, and family. Some will be angry at the one who passed away. Some will feel guilty for their anger which makes them angry yet again. It also isolates them from others trying to bring comfort.
  • Denial and Isolation , we stand in disbelief denying this event has occurred. A well of pain rises, the first wave, to the surface ,and we cry. Denial is a defense mechanism, and normal reaction. Self-isolating allows the release of the pain, with crying. in privacy. It is better to ‘share’ your grief with another sibling. Don’t shoulder this loss, alone.
  • Bargaining, we ask ourselves if there’s more we could’ve done to prevent the loss? This is called ‘Bargaining‘. We make ‘ if I did this …that… or the other thing‘ statements. Normal reactions to feelings of helplessness, and trying to regain a sense of control, and avoid the pain, and the true reality of death. Guilt will follow bargaining. We genuinely believe there was something more we could’ve done.
  • Depression, this emotion comes in two parts. One is sadness and regret while making funeral preparations, and worrying about not spending time with closer family members, such as the surviving children. The second type of depression, are those feelings of guilt towards preparing to ‘separate and say good-bye‘.
  • Acceptance, a quiet withdrawal and calm but not depression. This stage of grief is not always reached at the same time for anybody, and there is no time limit for the stages of grief. We may move from one stage to another then move back again. Acceptance is reaching that stage where we know that we cannot change the reality, and stop trying to make it different.

The loss of a child for parents is painful. All the dreams, hopes, and plans shared with this child vanish in an instant, leaving one to almost feel hollow. The pain will be great and when other children are affected, your own grief goes on hold, to help your surviving children. This particular duty will take great effort because you must juggle between your own grief, and the grief of your surviving children. Your emotions and energy levels will feel as if on maximum overdrive. It’s very important to keep an eye on maintaining your self-care, and your surviving children.

Sibling Grief

Surviving siblings of the one who’s passed away, will go through the stages of grief also but seen from their place in the family. Siblings are re-known to have a somewhat ‘tug-of-war‘ relationship. It’s not perfect but each day they eventually grow, to have a peaceful rapport going on between them. They have a closer bond separate from parents since they spent a lot of time together than with their parents.

Siblings share a history and experiences, again, separate from their parents. They know each others antics, good and bad. They’ve shared conversations, had arguments, learned something from each other, and most of all, they are family.

I lost a daughter. She has siblings, all brothers, from both her bio mother and father’s sides of her two families. I can only speak for her siblings here with me, and my experiences to help her brothers through this major life event.

Siblings lose their Hero

The major shared symptom that arose with my sons was ‘survivor’s guilt‘. They were packed and ready to move to the city and get an apartment with their sister. They were a mix of excited and nervous but ready. Then the ‘news’ arrived. We all stood in disbelief, as we had spoken with her, night before last, and I had been waiting for her about a particular conversation, and her return call. The emotional fallout is intense, and a journey that can be done. Your love is going to be your strength to get all of you, through the loss.

A change in behaviors is going to be first to surface, of course. Two of my sons went on immediate suicide watch. Each one telling me, ‘I wanted to protect her, she always protected me, and now my chance is gone. I feel so alone.’ I understood their position and agreed. They each were in different roles, one as the eldest, a middle, and the youngest brother, and a tight-knit bond between all of them. Their bond was shredded and hanging on by a thread. I had to figure out how to find solid ground for them, and to help keep their life moving forward vs feeling like they got ‘shot out of orbit’ and adrift in their grief.

I had to think fast, long and hard, and talked with my former husband, who adored our daughter even though she was his step-daughter, she was his ‘daughter’ as far as he was concerned. She always called him her ‘true’ father. She would always have dinner with him when he was in the same city for business trips. We were 1100+ Km apart but she kept near-daily close contact through phone calls, with each of her family here in the Great White North, at all hours. Somebody always answered.

finding Solace

I awoke one day and quickly realized that I could draw upon my own life experience as a 60’s Scoop survivor. I had lost my own mother, not once but twice. First loss, the apprehension from Children’s Aid Society back in the 60’s, and the second loss, learning at age 18, she had died shortly after I was ‘adopted’ out. I had grieved for her, all the years of hoping for our reunion, were gone. I remembered.

While you’re in throes of grief. It’s difficult to truly think straight. You’re emotionally numb, and the world literally feels upside-down, moving too fast, and you wish it would slow down. This is from trying to process the reality of the loss ,and over whelming emotions. Don’t be too hard on yourself for acting rather ‘slowly’. It’s part of the normal grieving process.

I had been adopted to a ‘family’ where I did not feel as part of this family. I eventually learned to live my life ‘in the name of my ‘bio’ parents and do my best to ‘be my best’, and make them proud. I’m an Indigenous First Nation woman and have had to ‘re-learn’ my culture. One major lesson shared with me was, ‘ our dead? only their body is gone, not their Soul, that lives forever.’

One night with my youngest son, telling me, ‘she was my Hero, how can I do that for her now? I want to go, so I can protect her.’ I then shared my own life lesson with him about my mother, and how I live with my loss, since I was 18, even today. I then told him about one of his sister’s ‘last’ conversations with me. I told him,’ She said this just last week, ‘ my brothers are awesome!’ She had shared points about each of her brothers to me that night. I shared them with my youngest son. She absolutely loved and adored each of her brothers even when they ‘annoyed’ her. I did the same with his eldest brother. Their middle brother was also floundering but struggling his way through the grief. They had their eyes opened and found a ‘life raft’. This last conversation, her last words, gave them new purpose.

heartaches from loss

new Arrangements

Today, they have each graduated from high school, and various college programs. They ‘live’ their lives to the best of their abilities with a deep faith that she is there too. Our Indigenous culture does not have words for ‘good bye‘ only ‘see you later‘ or ‘till we meet again‘. We will see her again when our time here, is done.

Yes, we do have our ‘off’ days and do fall into grief but now, each brother can pull each other back up onto their feet, or do their best, to get back up together. We all share the same sorrow, and we’re not alone with this loss. Christmas gets cancelled by my sons, it’s not the same without their sister. It was one of her last visits with us, Christmas. I accept that, not crazy about it, but okay. I hope that will change when they leave home and truly begin to live their own lives.

The other issues where their behaviors would change, are on her birthday and the anniversary of her death. I pay close attention with each of them. A few months of ‘high risk’ behaviors, and second near loss of another child, keeps me on alert. These types of behaviors and scary days are less now, and I can smile but do so tentatively. I hope they will learn to check in with each other on those days, on their own.

We do bake a cake on her birthday, and visit her grave site each year, together, or alone, as needed. Her brothers can talk about pranks they would do, today, and her most likely reaction. They loved getting on her nerves about ‘retarded shyt’ they did, her exact words. They can once again, find and share laughter, and build memories, together.

I think that I’ve helped them reach a level of comfort, and coping skills to handle their loss. They have each learned to share pieces of their own birthday cakes with their sister, and her eldest brother lays a single rose for her, in the city they both love, on her birthday, and half dozen minus one, on anniversary of her death. She is never far from their thoughts and hearts. They are my heart and joy, and I tell them regularly.

It is now going into our eighth year of our loss. I can relax more and believe that I’ve reached the final stage of acceptance. I am calm and some friends have stated, they get ‘spooked’ with my quiet calm and miss my ‘bubbly-ness’. It still comes out but not as often as before my loss and not everybody knows about my loss.

Setting Stepping Stones

Siblings don’t usually get as much focus, as the parents when a death occurs in the family, or community. Some articles online have said they are usually the ‘forgotten mourners‘. I had worked tirelessly over the years, to ensure they had a close bond. We all share the loss, and the same sorrow. I pushed myself through my own grief, to ensure their sibling bonds would remain strong. I like to believe that I’ve accomplished this one hope, and it will hold true throughout their lives.

Parents must remember the five stages of grief are NOT going to be reached at the SAME time between you, and your children. One other behavior that arose was all mine. I was ‘hovering’ always nearby and almost ‘smothering’ my sons with worrying about their safety. It ‘s important that you acknowledge that you too, have changed, and will have your own ‘residual’ behaviors to contend with and find closure. Secondly, let it be okay with your children to point out your behaviors. Open honesty between all of you will help with growing and healing. Remember, you too suffered a loss, and need to finish your grieving stages.

Death is not anybody’s favorite topic. It happens to everyone, and all life forms on our planet. I’d prefer to see people living happy lives but it does not exist equally for everybody, around the world, and in Canada for First Nations. It is difficult to have discussions about it but worse to live through it, and especially for our children, no matter their age. It should be discussed, and I highly recommend parents share their hopes, and dreams, with each child. Let it be a ‘gift’ they can hold close and bring it to life, in their own lives with the motto, ‘see you later‘. As parents, would you, or have you discussed this topic with your family?

Reading Resources

Memory-Making Activities, Elementary School Age PDF

Grief Handbook for Teens – Eluna Network PDF

Memory Book Ideas

I hope you found this article informative. Please feel free to leave your comments, link to me, or Share this article, with your Friends. Use the ‘Ask a Question’ form and request a topic of your own interest, for the next Post.

Article(C)2021 +, An Informal Cornr, all rights reserved. Ginsense writes articles on business development, skills, health, science, technology and society and advocate for independence, security and a better world for all of us.

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How to Take the Stress Out of Sober Travel

travel sober, addiction free, sobriety, travel safe, addiction free, stay sober, an informal cornr, caleb anderson, how to

a Guest post by Caleb Anderson

Travel can be exhilarating, relaxing and rejuvenating. But if you’re in addiction recovery, travel can be scary because you think you may be tempted to fall back into old and dangerous habits. It doesn’t have to be that way. Travel can give you a sense of calm and an awareness of the big world around you. It’s also a great way to help heal your body and mind.

A little advance planning can make your trips easier and less fraught with triggers. Here are a few tips to get you ready for this big step.

Try Sober Travel

There are travel companies that offer sober tours, trips and even cruises. Though you might think you need to avoid the big cities that are party meccas, you can enjoy these places sober, too. Sober tours offer companionship with other people who want to stay clean but still have a great time.

Travel with the right people

Don’t bring your party-animal friends along on a trip. Travel with people who understand your situation and who will refrain from drinking and drugs, if that’s what you need. If you’re comfortable with others drinking around you, but don’t want them to offer it to you, communicate your needs ahead of time. Good friends will honor your recovery.

Look for meetings

If you’re in a 12-step program, you can find meetings almost anywhere. They’re even offered on cruise ships, which are typically loaded with alcohol. Plus, meetings are a great way to meet new people and experience other cultures. Keep your sponsor’s phone number handy, and tell him or her in advance of your trip. You might even get some good travel tips.

Manage stress

Travel can often include stressful situations, which could easily trigger a relapse. If you plan ahead, you can ease some of that anxiety. Make lots of plans, lists, and itineraries to keep the guesswork to a minimum. Build extra time into your travel schedule for the unexpected, like a delayed flight. Tell your travel partner that you may need help if you get too stressed, and he or she might need to take the reins and help you relax.

Bring your pet

If you’re planning on being in the great outdoors for a sober adventure, and you have a dog that loves to hike or camp, bring him along! Your dog can help calm you when needed, as well as give you a loving companion to cuddle. Not only will you both be getting some time outdoors, but you’ll get some extra bonding time. Plus, your dog will appreciate the vacay, too!

Continue your self-care routine

Do you meditate every morning? Read a book over coffee? Take regular breaks to clear your head? Keep this up on your trip. Continue eating well and exercising for your health. Just because you’re away from home doesn’t mean you have to give up your goals.

However you do it, just do it. Travel can hugely benefit your state of mind. Just by getting out of your normal routine, you reset your thoughts and experience the world. Travel enhances your creativity, gives you a more “open” personality and relieves stress. Studies have shown that just preparing for a trip can boost your mood. Everybody wants something to look forward to!

As J Henry Hanson put it in Huffington Post, “Waking up clear-headed and knowing where I slept is extremely satisfying to me. Rising with the sun, rather than the moon, enables me to really get to know a place that I am visiting,” she said. “Sober travel allows me to recall sunsets over Volcan Masaya in Nicaragua, Green Turtles laying eggs in Costa Rica, swimming on Starfish Beach in Panama, and participating in a Mayan planting ceremony in Guatemala. The absence of a hangover allows me to savor museum exhibits rather than rush through so I can find my next cocktail.

Extra Reading & Resources

Sober Vacations International 

Addiction.com – Last Minute Vacations for Sober Travelers

Sober Travelers

Read related —->  What’s the Alcohol doing to You?

I hope you found this article informative and gained some new insight. Please feel free to leave your comments and SHARE your new found knowledge with others. Use the ‘Contact’ form to make a request on a topic of your own interest. It is FREE to subscribe by RSS feed.


Caleb Anderson is in recovery from an opiate addiction. He hopes sharing his experiences will help others. He co- created RecoveryHope.org to help people with substance abuse disorders and their families.

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