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How Can I Help?

The Power of Doing Nothing


In the support group that I facilitate for family and friends of individuals struggling with addictive behaviors, people spill their stories of sadness, of anger, of frustration...

Mary barely introduces herself before describing her struggles. Married for thirteen years, the mother of two little boys, she complains about her husband’s alcoholism. Her in-laws’ get-togethers revolve around heavy drinking, dancing, and singing, often extending into the next morning. Last weekend, after her husband got fired, she took her boys and slept at her mother’s place.

Please Give Me a Hug


I knew almost immediately that I was pregnant, and I knew remaining pregnant was not an option. I scheduled a D & C procedure at a local clinic, telling no one in my family. The only person who knew was the man involved, a man forty years my senior. 

Generations of Givers

My parents spent their lives as givers, not receivers. Buying them a gift that they would graciously accept and use always proved challenging; they, however, never stopped gifting my older brother and me, their grandchildren, and even my paternal grandmother. Whenever I had a problem, my parents always responded with an encouraging “How can we help?” response.

An Editor's Invitation: How Can I Help?


Sometimes, when a patient comes to me with a myriad of thorny problems--"My teenage son is stressing me out...I'm so depressed...My back pain has come back...The insurance won't cover any more physical therapy...None of the medicines are doing any good...My mother's memory is failing..." I'll ask, "How were you hoping I could help you today?"
 
Said unfeelingly, this question may sound like an attempt to shut my ears and cut to the chase. Expressed with genuine concern, however, I hope it comes across somewhat differently--as a wish to make best use of our time together, an invitation to shine a light on a path we can walk together.