Sunday, October 11, 2015

Daniel Kaye Wows Us at the Giant - Excellent Attendance - Thanks to Giant and Doreen for the fab food!

We love candid talks!

Hope many people who were there - both individuals and family members - attend out group, New Directions. 

After Ada sent me the Inquirer story about Daniel Kaye's disclosure - he suffers from anxiety and depression - and has a job he loves as Director of Life Enrichment at Rydal Park, I called my friend Helene Ryesky

Helene in her own home in Maple Glen, PA, before moving to Rydal Park.

"No way!" she exclaimed.

Daniel, who's 47, told us that his boss at Rydal Park is very impressed that Daniel disclosed and told him that when he meets people in the hall and they wanna talk, DO IT! These people are too important in the last chapter of their lives and need someone who's a good listener to tell their troubles to.

Men came up to him, with tears in their eyes, after they read the story. His Facebook page ballooned and he got many new friends.

He never talked about his illness as a child. He was so anxious as a kid he couldn't eat before school and would often vomit.

"I've been lying for 40 yrs," he told us. He'd walk into the nurse's office and stay there as long as he could. After the noon hour, he would feel better, tho he prayed the teacher wouldn't call on him and he wouldn't throw up.

He would scratch the palms of his hand to divert himself from his anxious thoughts.

"Can I get through today?" he thought every single day during his sieges with anxiety, panic d/o and then depression, before he got on medication.

His anxious symptoms included the room spinning when he awoke in the morning, couldn't catch his breath, and he was afraid of the dark when he went to bed b/c he felt creatures would jump out at him.

These symptoms got worse as he got older.

Medication, he once thought, "was for losers."

His mom, Yvonne Kaye, originally from London, UK, was a great comfort to him. We've gotta have her speak at one of our Tuesday evening meetings.

View her website here. 

As a teenager, Daniel's friends would invite him out. Oh no! He would obsess about it. They invited him to the shore five days hence.

Bad. Very bad. Five days to obsess.

He chose a college which was close to home. He finished in two years, but was unable to get a bachelor's degree at the time.

He held many jobs. He was a columnist at a newspaper, which led to job as asst editor, which led to editor. With each promotion he would think the same thoughts, "I can't do it. I'll fail. I'll embarrass myself."

He won many awards, but it didn't reassure him. 

He also wrote comics

Image result for daniel kaye comics  Never underestimate a Hermit Crab turned into a book.

He worked for a travel agent and delivered tickets.

Driving to the nearby Willow Grove mall was difficult and into Philly was a nightmare. He was a nervous wreck.

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When he was put on meds, which he was positive would not work, he was shocked to find out that he could drive in relative peace.

He noted the irony of working for a travel agent and not being able to travel.

When he met his wife Wendy - I took a great pic of this lovely woman but it's not there - the two of them had a lot in common. "We were both terrified of the same things."

She sought help first.

When he finally got help, the therapist challenged him. Wouldn't let him get away with anything. "How dare she challenge me?"

Other therapists thought he was too fragile, challenging him would make things worse.

"It was a great charade, a great lie," he said. "The problem was with the world, not within him."

Halloween 1998, when he was 30, Daniel hit bottom. He paced his bedroom like "a wild animal" feeling he was coming unhinged, sure this would be the day he would die.

Wendy did her best to comfort him.

"Be sure I go for help tomorrow," he said.

When tomorrow came, he told her it wasn't all that bad.

He did go for help, driving and turning the car around several times before getting there.

He voiced his emotions w/his therapist.... he'd laugh and cry and get angry.

When she went on vacation for a month, he thought, How dare she leave?

Then he went on meds.

He discovered he's a "What Iffer?"

And was taught, "So what if it happens?"

Through therapy he learned to talk nicely to himself, rather than telling himself he was a loser, would never get a good job or amount to much.

He began to talk to himself the way he would a friend.

There were many nights when he was younger that he'd pray God would take him. He'd have suicidal thoughts - still has em occasionally - but would never do the deed b/c of his family.

He has a young son, Aiden, 11, who also suffers from anxiety.

When Daniel was a kid, his mother could comfort him. One day when Mom wasn't home, he went to his father when he had severe anxiety.

"What does Mom do?" asked his dad.

"She hugs me," he replied.

"You'll be all right," said Dad, touching his arm and leaving the room.

In other words, "I was a bother," said Daniel.

He and Wendy know what to do to help Aiden through anxious moments.

What a fool he'd be to run for the School Board. Parents think you're responsible for everything. You take everything personally.

What's the worst thing that could happen? They could dock your pay.

It's an unpaid position.

Here he is, an elected official.

He'd like to have educational programs for the Abington students but where would the kids go for follow-up?

As Sharon Katz said yesterday, there's a dearth of "providers" though her agency does see kids.

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Two and a half yrs ago he got a job at Rydal Park Continuing Care Facility.

His thoughts: "If I'm abused there, at least I'll be helping some people."

My late friend Betty Williams, once active in the mental health group NAMI, was a great friend.

The first week he was there, "I watched two people die. How can this be happening to me?" he asked himself. "I had no training."

Image result for reporter taking notes The Inquirer reporter came out to his house. The interview lasted two hours. She said she would not publish it until she talked to Daniel's boss at Rydal Park.

The boss was fine with the story.

The reporter said to him, "Now that you're cured...."

Daniel said there's no such thing. He still struggles but things are manageable now.

"My life is stable now," he told her. "How could I not admit all these various problems?"

Many people with mental health problems "wait for the other shoe to fall," said Daniel. We well know this!

One day he was helping his brother paint his basement.

"How are you feeling?" asked the brother.

Daniel looked at him.

"I feel dead inside," he said.

The brother looked at him and walked out of the room.

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"Helping people is important," said Daniel, "but you've got to be careful they don't set you off. Have to learn which people you can talk to."

One thing Daniel realized when he finally got help was "I've got mental health issues! I'm now one of them!"

 The woman on the right mentioned a funeral she attended. A young black woman with a brilliant future had killed herself. Yet the word "suicide" was never mentioned. Carole and Greg, leaders of our Family Member Group, had attended the funeral.

I wrote about it in my "September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month."  

Email me if you wanna read the entire article. RuthDeming at
"We all need soldiers to help us out in this battle."

His presentation blew us all away.

However, his old habits returned and he thought briefly of canceling the event.

I said, You didn't wanna speak today, saying the Eagles were playing.

Saul Miller said the score was tied at 7 - 7. 

Hope Daniel and his family enjoy our gifts

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Image result for vermont cheddar cheese

Image result for pellegrino water

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