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Back to Center: I have lost confidence in our healthcare system, including my own personal doctors

Posted by Sarah Perron, Certified Coach

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Wed, Mar 30, 2022

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00:46 AM

'In the past, I never questioned the advice of any doctor'

Back to Center: I have lost confidence in our healthcare system, including my own personal doctors

The purpose of the “Back to Center” advice column is to provide perspectives for personal realignment and empowered living in the COVID era. Sarah encourages you to reach out to her with requests for advice about self-development and emotional and mental well-being in these complicated times. Please send your questions to advice@aflds.org. Looking forward to hearing from you!

For all other inquiries, please direct your questions to info@aflds.org.

 

It’s been a while since the last lockdown in my area, but what my family and I went through during those times still really haunts me. The mental health effects were so negative for all of us, adults and kids alike. We fought so much of the time, and it killed my kids to not be able to see their friends or just get out and run around. My husband already suffers from high blood pressure under normal circumstances, and the stress of the lockdowns sent it even higher, adding to our worries. Anytime I hear the slightest hint that we might have to go into another lockdown, my anxiety goes through the roof. It feels like PTSD, or something. How can I deal with this? 

I can hear how heavy this is for you, and rightly so. Lockdowns have been extremely traumatic and destructive for so many people all around the world. You are carrying a lot of stress around with you about this. Let’s see what we can do to lighten the load.

The first thing I’d suggest that you do when you hear the word “lockdown” and feel this anxiety flooding your system is to breathe. Breathe in deep breaths of peace and calm and blow out fear and stress. Do this as often as you need to. Breathing can help take you out of that fear of what could happen in the future and bring you back to this present moment where lockdown is not the reality. 

Now, we don’t know what’s going to happen in the future, or even in the very near future of tomorrow. I wonder if it could be helpful for you to develop a “lockdown sanity plan” of some sort for yourself and your family. You might not need it, but just going through the process of creating a plan may give you more of a sense of confidence and control.

Your plan might include things like a list of activities your family could enjoy together at home; purchasing fun, new books you’d like to add to your collection; picking up favorite must-have snacks to have on hand at home; a list of family and friends you’d love to talk to on a video call if you can’t see people in person, and so on. You could even prepare a little de-stressing kit for each family member – a personalized box of items that make them happy. Maybe your family will have some other fun ideas to add to the plan!

I’ll also put out another, very different idea here, and you can see how it lands with you. Here it is: You can choose whether to comply with a lockdown or not. I know that when the government says a lockdown is needed or imposes any other COVID mandate, it may feel like there’s no choice but to do what they say. But we do have a choice, always, about everything in life. There may be consequences that go along with the choices we make, but just know that the power to decide is in your hands.

So, to what extent are you willing to comply with a lockdown mandate at this point? If a lockdown comes around again, are there things that your family could choose to do that would help maintain sanity, like slipping out to take a walk in nature or quietly going to see friends who are open to a visit? How much of “you’re not allowed to…” are you willing to take, and what are you willing to risk for the sake of your family’s health and well-being? 

I hope these ideas and perspectives are helpful to you. Wishing you and your family safety, sanity, and happiness!

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My 22-year-old son was diagnosed with a mental illness - bipolar disorder - in June of 2021 and has been on 2 mg. of risperidone daily. The main side effect for him has been increased appetite, causing weight gain. I am not sure if the medication can cause a loss of interest in activities, but my son always had a passion for the arts, both creatively and musically, and seems to have lost interest since taking the medication. I am a huge believer in dealing with problematic health conditions using a holistic approach with natural alternatives. I am looking to find out if there are ways to control his mental illness without taking these prescribed medications…I am fearful that the medication is just masking a problem, rather than finding the root of the problem and addressing that issue instead.

With what has happened over the past two years with COVID and learning of the deception that has gone on over the past 50 plus years, I have lost confidence in our healthcare system, including my own personal doctors as well as for my children.  In the past, I have never questioned the advice of any doctor, just assumed what they said was in the best interest of me or my family.  However, now I am more skeptical than ever and basically, I don't know where to turn. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.

I hear you – the feeling you’re describing is rattling, to be sure. So many of us thought we could fully trust our doctors and believe that they knew best…and now, it’s a different world. It’s unsettling, confusing, and can leave us feeling lost.

What I’m going to do here is address the mindset aspect of what you’re going through. I want to suggest a different perspective, which I hope will help as you navigate these new times and try to determine what is best for your son. 

Please ask yourself: Is there a way that my disillusionment with the medical system could be a good thing? How could this be an opportunity for me to grow and expand myself?

I’ll tell you what I believe: Having the blindfold of blind trust ripped off by COVID is ultimately a good thing, even though it feels bad. Why? Because it means that we now have the chance to reclaim our health care for ourselves – something that we’ve been obliviously outsourcing for a long time. 

We have an opportunity at this time to envision what it would look like to really take responsibility for our lives. In many areas of our lives, there are people we can turn to who have had more training and experience than we have and seek their expertise and advice. I will fully admit that I don’t know how to perform open heart surgery on myself and would certainly seek out a qualified doctor if I needed one! But what could it look like to be the driver of that experience, rather than the unquestioning passenger? 

What you shared about your belief in a holistic, natural approach to health tells me that you are already thinking for yourself. Don’t let this feeling of not knowing where to turn now cause you to doubt the power of your own intuition. You are your son’s mother, and mothers have an inherent wisdom about who their children are and what they need. Use this opportunity as a springboard into empowerment, a taking back of your right and responsibility to live your life with eyes open, for yourself and your son. It takes energy and sometimes a good amount of leg-work to find your own answers, but what it means in the end is that your life is yours – you haven’t given it away to anyone else. This is the opportunity that is before us all, in this time when others are trying to own and control us.

I truly hope that you find the right treatment for your son through compassionate caregivers who honor your wisdom and intuition, and that you can give that honor to yourself as well. All the best!

****

My workplace is no longer requiring employees to wear masks. I’m having mixed feelings about the change. On the one hand, I’m happy that COVID seems to be clearing up and more normalcy may be on the way…but on the other hand, I’m having trouble taking my mask off. I don’t really want to be wearing it, but something’s holding me back from letting it go. I don’t know what it is. What are your thoughts?

I want to acknowledge the awareness you have of your conflicting feelings and your willingness to find out what they’re all about! Many people are not willing to dig deep and understand their inner discomfort, so please know that you are already heading in the right direction.

Okay. So, you’ve been given permission to take that mask off…but something is stopping you from joyfully flinging it out the window. 

What I’m about to say is ugly. Please know that it’s not at all personal; it’s just the reality of the situation we’re living in right now.

I would like to suggest that that “something” may be brainwashing.

You probably didn’t want to hear that. No one wants to be told they’ve been the victim of brainwashing…but the truth is, brainwashing tactics have been employed on a massive, worldwide scale ever since COVID appeared on the scene. Mainstream media wants you to think you need to keep that mask on, need to constantly get tested for COVID, need to get that shot…and another shot…and another…and that if you don’t do those things, you’re endangering your life and the lives of others, and you’re just plain stupid.

And now, you have the chance to take off your mask, but maybe that programming is playing subconsciously in the back of your mind. Maybe it’s winning out over the logical part of you that sees masks are not necessary, and the part of you that wants to let the mask go and be free. 

I’d like to suggest that the first step in winning this battle is to recognize that the COVID-brainwashing program you’ve absorbed is just a program. The machine churning out this program is a powerful one, but it’s not the voice of truth. You can choose to delete this program from your system if you wish and replace it with a new one.

So, what program do you want to be running within yourself? Can I make a few suggestions for you to consider? 

How about a program reminding you that you’re intelligent and capable of thinking and observing for yourself? That you never have to take anyone’s word for it about anything, and that you can ask as many questions as you want and find out for yourself?

If it feels right for you, there’s also the program of self-forgiveness. This has been an extremely complicated, confusing time, and we’ve all just been trying to figure things out. When did any of us receive training about how to behave or what to think during a worldwide “pandemic” that is about so much more than people getting sick? You’re not alone; many smart, amazing people like you have been convinced by the lies we’re being fed. Choose to reject any self-deprecating thoughts about what you’ve bought into that may pop up in your mind and replace them with thoughts of understanding and compassion for yourself and others.

And then there’s the “What would I do if I had no fear?” program (a personal favorite of mine). If you didn’t feel that fear or hesitation about taking off your mask, what would you do? From what you said, it sounds to me like you want to let the mask go. What would that feel like? What kind of person would you have to be to overcome the fear programming and remove that mask? Find out and run that program. In fact, run that program for all of your fears, and you will be amazed at what you can do! Nothing will be able to stand in your way.

I recommend using writing as a tool to help you through this. Write down your fears and any thoughts about things you’re “not supposed to do” related to COVID. Then write down the thoughts you want to replace them with, those new programs you want to install within. 

I truly hope you will soon be breathing fresh, clean air with confidence and clarity!

****

I’m worried about my kids going to school these days. Every time the bus picks them up in the morning, and I see their masked faces through the window before the bus pulls away, I feel a stab of pain in my heart. I don’t want them wearing masks, but the school absolutely requires it (even though I see mask mandates being lifted in other areas of life, which is confusing…). And in general, it seems like the kind of worldview the school presents to the kids is not one I feel on board with. But switching them to a different school doesn’t seem like an option for many reasons. I feel like I’m losing my say as their mother. Sometimes I just want to pull them out of school altogether, but I’m also not sure I can homeschool them – I don’t know if I have it in me. I feel like I have no options, and just feel lost…

As a fellow parent, I deeply feel the pain and conflict you’re expressing. It’s a really tough time to be raising children, and to feel confident that the choices we’re making are the right ones. 

The first perspective I want to offer you is that you do have options, even though you can’t see them. As long as we’re alive, we have choices. Even when it feels like there’s a dead end in every direction you look, you can always choose your perspective and attitude.

I hear that you’re feeling lost and helpless when it comes to your kids’ situation at school, and your feelings are valid. Let me remind you of a truth that I hope you’ll find empowering: You are their mother. You have the power to make choices on their behalf according to what you think is best for them and for your whole family. I can tell you really love your children. Let that love and your innate intuition as their mother be the place from which you make choices, not from your feelings of helplessness.

I imagine it must seem like there are these big forces coming between you and your kids – the school, the worldview, the masks…but if you remember your own power as their one and only mother in the world, and lead with your love for them, there is nothing that can separate you. 

This includes your own self-doubt. When you mentioned homeschooling, you said “I’m not sure I can…I don’t know if I have it in me.” But you know what? In reality, every “I can’t” is really “I won’t.” Think about it: We as human beings are capable of incredible things. We can achieve so highly and dare so greatly. Sheer strength of will can take us almost anywhere we want to go. So, “I can’t” really equals unwillingness – “I won’t do that.” See, we’re back to choice again. You are making a choice not to pull the kids out of school and homeschool them, which is fine, if that’s what you really want. Just recognize that it’s a choice. If you decided you wanted to do it, I am 100% confident that you could! When we passionately decide we want to do something, we’re the only ones who can really get in our own way. I would suggest taking another look at the situation and asking yourself, “Why am I not willing to homeschool my children?”

I think your statement of, “I feel like I’m losing my say as their mother” is one that bears looking at. What does this mean to you? What areas do you feel you’re losing your say in? What kind of say would you like to have? Don’t let that one go. The world we live in today is challenging parental rights and family unity more fiercely than ever before. We have to remember the sacred responsibility we’ve been given to raise, teach, and protect these precious little people, and never lose our say, as far as it depends on us. They are too important. 

I truly hope that you can actively make the choices you feel are best for your children and come to a place of peace and happiness about the way you’re raising your family. All the best to you!

****

I have been at my current job for the past ten years. It’s familiar and comfortable in its way, but I wouldn’t say it makes me happy. I often think about looking for something else, but the one thing that stops me is these times we’re in. My workplace is pretty reasonable about COVID stuff; I don’t feel any pressure to do anything I don’t want to do there. I worry that if I get a new job, it will be uncharted territory with COVID, and that I’ll end up in a bad situation where they’ll require me to get vaccinated or go through a ton of testing every week, or something like that. I’m not sure what to do.

What you’re describing is a tough situation. Should you stay with what’s comfortable and safe but not fulfilling, or step out on a new journey that is unknown and potentially hazardous, but could bring you to higher levels of happiness and meaning? Completely apart from COVID, I think this is a conundrum many of us face at different stages of our lives, and of course, COVID adds another layer of complexity. Let’s get into it.

“Comfortable” can be a very, well, comfortable place to stay! It can be very tempting to stick with what you know, because doing something different would require more energy, courage, new skills, and the possibility of discomfort. Sometimes, it makes sense to stay where we are, but there are other times when doing so would be playing small, denying what we really want and are capable of.

There is something within you that wants to be happier. You said you often think about looking for a new job, and that the only thing stopping you is your worries about the approach to COVID in other workplaces. Listen in to that voice that is saying, “I could be happier.” What would make you feel happier and more fulfilled at work? What kind of work do you wish you could do but maybe haven’t dared to let yourself imagine it could be possible?

Yes, there is COVID. But how long are you willing to put your life on hold for it? What could it be like to have a look around at other options, to just begin the process of considering other jobs?

Also ask yourself if COVID is really the only thing holding you back. Is there anything else? Are you worried about your own abilities to step into something new? Is it possible that you could be using COVID as an excuse to cover up deeper insecurities within yourself? 

I know I’ve asked a lot of questions! I don’t know the answers to them; only you do. If you look into them, I believe you will know what to do. And if there’s fear, just remember that feeling fear about doing things that would cause you to grow is a good kind of fear to have. If you walk toward that fear, and do those things even though you are afraid, you’re going to expand yourself immensely. 

All the best to you!

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Sarah encourages you to reach out to her with requests for advice! Please send your questions to advice@aflds.org

Sarah Perron is a Certified Transformational Life Coach. Her passion is to help people create a powerful vision for their lives, identify and eliminate anything that holds them back, and step into their own unique greatness and mission in the world. She believes deeply in the power of coaching to bring fresh perspectives, ideas, and motivation to anyone who wants to thrive in life. Sarah works with clients one-on-one and in group coaching programs and presents exciting workshops on self-development topics. You can follow her on her YouTube channel Find Your Fire.

You are invited to book a complimentary coaching call with Sarah! Please visit https://calendly.com/sarahperroncoaching/45min to choose a time that's convenient for you. She looks forward to meeting you!

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