I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

Helping out a Friend in need

Helping Out A Friend In Deep Distress

A true friend is not only there for you during the good times but also the bad. A true friendship is being at your worst and still be loved unconditionally. When your friend is in need during a distressing time of their life, here are ways you can be their true hero.

Meet your friend where they are and do not try to push them into your own agenda. Allow them to open up with their processing in their time. Be an avid listener by learning to just listen without interruption. Resist the urge to relate to their story, such as, “ Oh yeah, I went through this and here is how I handled it.” Do not make any part of their processing about you or your experiences. Be fully present and be able to reflect back what your friend is trying to relate to you.

Try not to be a tough guy with statements of “you’ll get over this soon.” There is no set time limit for grieving especially when it is fresh. Remember it is o.k. to not fill the void with words to prevent an awkward silence. Sometimes the most important part of the processing is pausing for a moment just to breathe. When your friend is trying to discuss their distress, make it a safe nonjudgmental place for them to process. A kind touch, a nod of understanding, or even a soft kleenex allows your friend to know it’s perfectly normal to cry as much as needed.

It will be beneficial to let your friend know you will be there for them when they need to talk and if for some reason you are not available, you will collaborate with other supports they will be comfortable with until you are able to be present. The main part of assisting one in distress is to let them know they are safe and not alone. Even if you can’t take away their pain, or always be present, you can promise you will not let them handle this painful time in their life, by themselves.

Recovery time is different for everyone. What might take you a short time to recover and go back to your norm, may take your friend much longer to get back to their norm. Although there isn’t a set time for grieving or distressful event processing, it is important to know your limits. If you find you are not able to offer the amount of support that your friend needs, offer to help them find the right type of professional who specifically specializes in their type of crisis. Always offer to go to their first appointment with them for support or collateral assistance.

Going through the difficult times with your friend will strengthen your relationship for years to come. Make sure you save time to process yourself and to detach from your friend’s crisis when you are alone so you can take care of your own mental health as well. Being a good supportive friend does not mean you have to take on your friend’s pain by vicariously living through them. Keep in mind your own self-care and detachment will allow you to be the best supportive friend you can be.


Angela Tennyson, Crisis Clinician, MHP, CADC, Life Coach









Money Can’t Buy Me Love


10 Things Money Can’t Buy


True Love

Companionship compatibility is one of life’s true blessings. Being able to live through good times and bad with someone to laugh and cry with. Accepting the fact that even though I am strong, I am stronger with you. I am a better me with you in my life.

Self Respect

An earned attribute that only you can give yourself. Believing in yourself and witnessing the trials and tribulations you have been able to learn from. Knowing that life will throw you more hardships and happiness and you will be able to take them on with confidence and grace.

Life Lessons

Having awareness and humility to grow through the pain of your own life’s choices. Taking the negative out of the consequences and using them for a chance to mature as a person. The true way to navigate through life.

Self Esteem

Having the courage to look in a mirror and see all the good in yourself and accept what is not perfect or notable to others who may not have your best interest in mind. Loving yourself and seeing your uniqueness as a gift.


Having a generous heart to help others with your God given talents. Receiving those for whom and where they are without judgment.

Peace Of Mind

Having mental peacefulness without a constant negative ruminating inner voice disturbing your presence. Being able to have acceptance of what has happened and letting go of the “what if’s’” in life.


The recognition that you are human and will make mistakes. To realize that if you were blessed that you should never take this for granted and share it with others as often as possible.


Having the capacity to be in the right now. Not to allow the past to define you and not to let the future have you fearful.


The gift of being able to put yourself in another’s position and offer solace for their peace of mind without judgment.


Loving and trusting someone and knowing they have your best interest in mind as you have theirs. Knowing that even though you are not biologically related, there is a family bond that can’t be broken. Finding peace in the fact that you will not have to live the roller coaster of life alone.


I Got The Window!”

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As most of you are familiar with childhood memories which at that time were the norm for you and your siblings, today I recalled one for myself. I am the fourth child of five who grew up in a rural town with divorced parents. My dad had a passion for driving and so when he would get us five kids the best way he could keep things under control was to take us for a drive. This was a time where there were no electronics to keep us busy or videos to preoccupy our time until we reached our destination. It was just free road driving in the country and being mindful of our surroundings. If I was lucky enough to hear dad say we were taking a ride before my siblings, I would holler out, “I got the window!” This was an entitlement to not be stuck on the hump of the middle somewhat called backseat where you sit higher than everyone else. Most would think I would want that seat since I was the shorty of the family, but the window seat was the imagination station for my little mind.

I remember when we took our night drives especially in the winter time around Christmas. I would peek into other people’s opened shaded windows and imagine how they lived. I could put my own take on it if they were a happy rich family with no worries or to be grateful for what I had at my own home. Either way, it was a way for me to escape my own life and pretend I was a part of someone else’s. The main fantasy I would have at the time was, being an only child at that house and getting all the presents under that Christmas tree. Thankfully, when my own Christmas came I was more grateful for my own reality of going to midnight mass and listening to my big brother play the trumpet then going home to open presents and marveling in what all us kids were blessed with. I enjoyed watching my siblings open their presents as much as I did my own.

Our day drives were just as special. We would drive out to the local Dairy Queen and get vanilla soft served ice cream cones, dipped in chocolate if we were lucky, then go drive through Lowell Park. Lowell Park is a three plus mile, curvy, heavily wooded park, on the river. Dad used to be a midget car driver in his youth and would drive us down the “hairpin” taking the corners at a scary speed, feeling like we could fall off the cliff at any time. In reality, he just let the car coast down and that was fast enough. Self-taught to be mindful before that therapeutic buzz word was so popular, was a true blessing. I would pay attention to the beautiful scenery of tall blue spruce trees, wild flowers of all colors, stone cliffs, wildlife and in the fall the most beautiful array of colored maple trees you could ever imagine. The park had small stone cabins with opened doorway and windows and large fireplaces inside if you wanted to get out and have a picnic by the river. I would imagine living out in the park off the land before I was old enough to realize the amenities I would miss such as water, food, electricity to name a few.

Walking up and down the shore line looking for treasured items was another fun thing we enjoyed at the park along with playing on the slides and swings. At this time I realized I really didn’t want to be an only child as we five kids would have a swinging contest to see how high we could swing before we felt that bump you get from the heavy metal chain rapping on the top of the swingset. We’d adjust our height to a comfortable level then jump off the swing and usually land on our butts.

I grabbed my window seat as we prepared to head home never realizing that these trips would be forever embedded in my childhood memories. Being a kid without anything to occupy my time but life itself was a blessing I will always treasure, however getting the window seat on a drive with dad was the ultimate gift a kid could ask for.

-Try and meditate on a great childhood mindful experience that makes you grateful today. If you have siblings, call them up and share a few smiles and laughs with them as well.


**This blog is a tribute to my dad whose birthday is today. I hope they have a big birthday cake with a side of soft served vanilla ice cream for you in heaven dad.



Listening Without Reaction

I must admit, when I was younger I didn’t do myself or the ones I loved, any favor by showing my emotional reactions on my sleeve. As I have gotten older and wiser, thankfully, I have learned to stop the “drama reactions” and pay attention to helping others with their problems when asked for advice. I learned by being on the other end of the spectrum. Whether it was a great idea, an “aha” moment or a new entrepreneurial change, there is always someone around to give you that “what the hell are you thinking about, you can’t do that” advice. As you crawl back in a hole and think now you really have shown your ignorance, your spirit is broken. First of all, how dare you to let anyone take away your spirit. Take that spirit back, if you asked for others opinions, listen and filter out the helpful pros and cons, and move on. You will notice that when others give their opinions, it is based on their life experiences, their values, and their insecurities. They are not you and only your authentic self will be there for you for the rest of your life. Start trusting your own judgment and learn your own lessons when you fail. One life and one right to be the best you can be. Quit trying to be perfect without mistakes, it only creates road blocks and stuck points of disappointment.

Learn to be a good listener without “drama reactions” yourself and you will start to be more aware of when others are doing it to you. Practice with your friends, spouse, or children and offer them opened ended questions so they can process out their own dilemmas with their own values and desires for their own purpose in life. *Open ended questions are questions that will allow others to answer their own questions. It does not have a “yes” or “no” answer, but a dialog of processing. Examples; “How do you think you may proceed with that idea?” “Why do you think this will be a positive move for you?” A healthy relationship is not made on co-dependency where the other person is reliant on your responses for their life’s goals. Don’t allow others to make you their leader of their life decisions. Teach them to accept that role themselves.

May you enjoy your inner spirit, it is a true blessing.


Friend Or Foe And When To Let Go


{My two very best friends I have been blessed with for many many years. Hope you too are this fortunate in life.}
Friendships come and friendships go, however some friendships end up having a closer bond than a family member. As with family members, it isn’t a healthy mental choice to stay in a relationship if it becomes toxic. Setting boundaries and following through with actions of moving on if violated is recommended for all relationships. It is understandable that we value the amount of time we have vested in a friendship and wanting to not have wasted our time and efforts in any relationship. But more important, it is about valuing our self-worth that is most significant when it comes to friendships. Some signs that might present ending your friendship would be, feeling emotionally drained after spending time with your companion.  Finding yourself avoiding texts or phone calls from your friend or making excuses for why you can’t go to an event with them when you really are free. If your friend is constantly trying to “up you’” on any story you share. If your friend is more concerned about their drama or dilemmas and not reciprocating back the open ear. Or worst case scenario, your friend becomes verbally abusive in any way, then it is time to terminate the relationship immediately.

It is vital to remember that a true friend will be the friend you are to them. It doesn’t mean you may not have some disagreements as all relationships do. It’s about giving and taking from both sides, not just all giving and no rewards of a true friendship giving back. Lastly, if a friendship must be terminated it was not a waste of your time, as it is to be acknowledged as a lesson learned.


Angela Tennyson, BA, MHP, CADC, Life Coach



Yesterday Is Gone and Tomorrow Isn’t Here So Be Present Now

out front houseBeing in the moment takes away the stress of trying to control things we have no control over, like yesterday and tomorrow. Learning to detach from the electronics and allowing your senses to be present has such a calming effect. Allowing small moments of quiet meditation to be grateful even for the small things in life such as the kindness someone showed you or the green light that got you where you were going a bit faster. Learn to find small ways to be kind to someone else, brings a peaceful feeling. Taking time to stretch for five minutes while taking in deep breaths and allowing slow exhales out, will calm and de-stress you. It is important not to let hours go by in your day without taking small timeouts to be in the present moment. Being present is allowing yourself to be aware of your sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste and appreciate the gifts you have been given. Allow your mind to be present and find three things to be grateful for at the end of the night before you fall asleep, for a peaceful slumber.


Taking A Risk


What makes a successful person different from a dreamer? The successful person put their ego on the shelf and took a risk of failure to live their dreams to their fullest.  You only fail if you quit trying, is a great way to always have hope. Obviously, there may be a time when you will need to let something go but it is important that you ask yourself, have I tried all avenues or just the ones I felt comfortable with? Stepping out of your comfort zone and feeling some anxiety will give you the adrenaline boost you need to put forth all you have. So many people avoid anxiety because they feel uncomfortable with their feelings. However, your anxiety brings on heightened senses, and if used to your advantage can bring the best out in you.

Be a dreamer who made their dreams come true. Don’t let others discredit your dreams as they probably never followed through with their own.

Dream on!