Stop, Breathe, Think, Act

Drive On Podcast
Stop, Breathe, Think, Act
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Mark Weisman has spent over three decades researching religion throughout the world. He has combined his experience with religion and psychology to offer hope for those suffering from depression, and PTSD by building successful coping mechanisms that lead to happier lives.

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Transcript

Scott DeLuzio    00:00:00    Thanks for tuning into the Drive On Podcast where we're focused on giving hope and strength to the entire military community, whether you're a veteran active duty guard reserve or family member, this podcast we'll share inspirational stories and resources that are useful to you. I'm your host, Scott DeLuzio. And now let's get on with the show. Everybody. Welcome back to the Drive On Podcast. Today, my guest is Mark Weisman. Mark has spent over three decades researching religion throughout the world, and he's combined his experience with religion and psychology to offer hope for those suffering from depression and PTSD. He spent countless hours working with returning veterans to overcome the symptoms of PTSD by building successful coping mechanisms that lead to happier lives. So welcome to the show. Mark, why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?  

Mark Weisman    00:00:55    Well, thank you. And thank you for inviting me and having me on your show a little bit about me. I, 30 years I've gone through, originally part of the Christian Church, where I was ordained as a chaplain, did countless hours of work with our brethren and coming back from conflict. I was a formerly active duty Marine, a long, long, long time ago. And, so I understand the conflict. I also spent about 30 years in the private security industry, all around the world, doing all kinds of crazy stuff. And, when I came back, tried to wrap my mind around what worked, what I understood, what made sense, what felt right. I struggled, struggled quite a bit, as my, website will outline, ultimately I came to a crossroads where my ancestry, my personal ancestry, heritage, and culture combined with my theological and psychological studies at that point.  

Mark Weisman   00:02:10    And then I became, even for lack of a better phrase.  But what I found when that struck me was the understanding of how the guilt and shame that I've like everyone else I accepted as part of my growing up, If you will. But then I found that those thoughts and those pieces kind of resided still in my brain so that when really bad things happened, I didn't have the processing capabilities to do it with. My brain just locked up because we were trying to fit five pounds of stuff in a two-pound bag and it just locked up and it wasn't until I started clearing away some of this guilty shame, things that were hiding in the background that I'd begin to have kind of that headspace at the top. Now I could kind of start to tackle this big, big animal that had just walked into my life and was kind of driving everything bothered. So I sat down and wrote everything down that I thought worked for me. I started giving it to friends and, and, one thing led to another,  I found a process that really worked for me. It's working now for hundreds of other people. I've been so honored to have passed this knowledge along. So it's, it's really worked out very well.  

Scott DeLuzio     00:03:52    Yeah. And that's great. And I'd like to maybe dive into some of that, that, that stuff that you're just talking about there and, and try to maybe unravel some of the stuff that was holding you back and, keeping you from being able to process some of this stuff and how you've, you've ultimately gone in. And,, you've worked with other veterans and, and people obviously haven't been having trouble coming back and making sense of some of the things that they've seen or done and, and stuff like that. So,  maybe we can talk about that and how, and how you work with these veterans to help them overcome these thoughts and these feelings and beliefs.  

Mark Weisman    00:04:35    That's great. Yes. And absolutely the first critical key that we need to understand is how your emotion and, and it's the raw unbridled emotion, how that can create. Unfortunately, it can create more problems because of the chemical composition that it creates in your brain, kinda fight or flight, if you will, and get this just a raw reaction. So that is the first key that we have to work on, when, whenever we're talking about dealing with something like this, we have two programs to just stop. And that's, that's, that's a big key is getting people to just stop once they stop.  

Mark Weisman    00:05:40    My, my, my thinking is that we then take a breath. This allows us to, to kind of clear, hopefully, gather a little headspace. If not, at least we can hold fast, w we're not slipping back. Right. We're fast. If we stop, we breathe once we've gotten those two steps program, and this is, we're talking about coping mechanisms here, right? So we're talking about methods. We can feel the trigger coming on, can feel this, this, type of reaction, an almost necessary reaction that we know is coming. So we've got these two steps so far, we've got stopped all in. We know we've got to just stop, breathe. This is going to allow us to create, even if it's a minuscule amount, it's still Headspace that we can now use to kind of redirect and refocus our energies. My next step is to think, and this is where we're going to use that little bit of headspace to break this down, to decide if we're going to walk away or engage in.  

Mark Weisman   00:06:58    And most often than not, once we've, we've stripped off the uniform. And when we're out in public, it's really a matter of, we need to walk away if nothing else, just to let us clear ahead, make sure we're thinking straight, but we need to walk away. And so that's, that's challenging. So stop, breathe, think. And then obviously once we've had that thought, we can now act whatever that act is that we need to do. So walk away, engage, do something else, redirect that energy to something else. One of the big things, Scott, that came to me as I was going through my learning cycles with figuring out what worked was the understanding of, separating for the first time in my life, separating theology, from practice. Okay. What I mean by that is that we find with typically with monotheism, we have kind of two faiths of, of the the whole idea of monotheism is that there's this theology, which says, I believe in a singular God, I, he is the almighty does all the powers of the universe are contained in that, that entity, that's a monotheistic theology.  

Mark Weisman   00:08:31    What everyone knows to be monotheism is not theology. It's the practice. Okay. So we say, thou shall not sin just as one of the tenants that are, but it's programmed in human psychology from before we're born. And we, I guess in my case, didn't put any merit into that. I just kind of say, well, yeah, it was the way we all grew up, but there is a difference. There's a difference between a theology, believing in a God, believing in, polytheism is believing in multiple gods. However, you want to believe there. When we talk about separating the theology from the practice, the practice is when your grandmother told you that doing those kinds of things as a stint, and you're going to help, and grandma's going to enforce it, she's standing there pulling your fingers. She's got that angry face, all of those things, most of us kind of, we may shuffle it off.  

Mark Weisman    00:09:42    We may, try to, yeah, okay, grandma, we got it. But that she has now been embedded in your head that you have to reconcile. And what most of us do is that we don't reconcile it. We just leave it there. It's not doing us any harm and keeps moving forward. What we don't understand is that our baseline of anxiety and stress is just slowly throughout our life cycle. They're just slowly growing. Okay. So if we had say a four-lane highway to start this game with, we're going to start shutting off lanes of traffic through the brain. Ultimately, we're going to wind up with one. Now we've got a Jackknife with a semi-truck and nobody is going anywhere. And that is a really good analogy. When we talk about those events that occur, that causes us to just lock up the brain.  

Mark Weisman   00:10:51    That's really what we're trying to get through here. And we're trying to understand how grandma's for lack of a better phrase. Now, I don't mean disrespect to grandma by any means, but her self-appointed importance of assigning a guilt factor to you, whether you knew it or not, that you've carried now for X amount of years. And it only becomes important when the rest of the brain accepts this huge trauma, whatever it is, whether it's,, death or dismemberment or whatever, whatever kind of horrible view it was that created your traumatic event. Now your brain just doesn't have the throughput for lack of a better word to process it all because of those nuggets of guilt. And so we have to go in and we have to look at those and kind of go,, is this something grandma told me that I shouldn't read those magazines where the girls don't have clothes on? Okay. My father used to say, I only read it for the articles.  

Mark Weisman    00:12:14    Okay. So ultimately, have I learned my lesson about what grandma said about those magazines? Yeah. They've got a really good truck layout this month and talk about something, a truck or something else. Right. But I have to address grandma's guilt by figuring out if I learned the lesson that she tried to impart if I did, or if I determined that the lesson that she was trying to teach is unimportant in my modern-day life. It's we can, we can release that. We're releasing all of these. And a lot of people say, when we're going through this, oh, that's so trivial. That doesn't mean anything that, oh, I didn't, I've never even thought about that. Well, then why are we talking about it, here it is 25 years later and you're still able to tell me about it, whatever it is, you're holding onto something.  

Mark Weisman    00:13:26    So what are you holding onto and why? And we have to address those as soon as we clear all those out and people come face to face with some, some of them are going to be painful. Yes, it is what it is. But as we clear those away, it now gives us more headspace to now address the elephant in the room and say, all right, I saw horrible things, those horrible things I saw don't reconcile against what I've been taught as an American, predominantly American. Although there are no other first-world countries that experience it as well. And that is, I've had this monotheistic practice enforced on me since before birth. And so now I have to reconcile acts of conflict, acts of violence, acts of war against those practices, not the theology. And this was, this was where I think the, my discoveries, as far as myself, that's where the light really came on is to say not the theology, believing in God, great believing in all the texts and all the holy texts.  

Mark Weisman    00:14:44    Great. But the practice where mother said, that's a sin where grandma would not allow us to do this, that, or the other thing girls held their knees together because otherwise, it was a sand, all of these little bits that we've kind of accumulated over the centuries or decades anyway, they, they all play a part, particularly those things that you remember as, so you sit down with your therapist and I'm going to use an example, sit down with a therapist and we start talking about it and you get these little nagging thoughts there. It's like, oh, well what about this for the month? Why are we even talking about that? Well, it happened when I was a kid. Okay. So you're holding onto it because we can still talk about it today. And if you can bring it up today, there's something that you think you need to learn from this. The big, the other big key Scott that I'm critical about is that I think all of our brothers and brothers and sisters need a port network that is so important, so important for so many reasons. Being able to do, to have them understand, even if it's a 10,000-foot view, having them able to understand what the veteran is going through, which mindset is, is just critical in the growth and, and how that can be super beneficial for all parties involved.  

Mark Weisman    00:16:33    Sorry, I got up on the soapbox. Didn't step down too much.  

Scott DeLuzio     00:16:38    Okay. I'd like to know if that's okay. I wanted to kind of hear some of the background and your, your thought process and things that you've gone through. And I kind of want to circle back a little bit. And one of the things that you started off with was talking about those, those four steps to stop, stop, and breathe and think and act. And, and so I kind of want to, maybe get a little, you say, we, we just need to stop. And so, so what does that look like? describe maybe a situation and what does that mean when we, when we just stop and, and, and go through those steps? What, what would that situation kind of look like? 

Mark Weisman    00:17:27, a great example, I have a gentleman whom I've worked with, it's been a while now. He's doing great now. Thank, thank the gods. But, when, I guess in his job, he was essentially accepted by the helicopters. So he would hear the sounds of particularly heavy to led, or heavy, loaded birds, coming in and he would trigger. He would get very, originally it would be agitated. , Then ultimately he would get violent and would just lose his, really his context with reality. And, so, we, we talked and, and my, my big thing was with him was he could feel the trigger happening. He could, he could identify, yes. I can hear the chopper. I have this phobia and it's starting to spin up. My programming was to just stop and wait. We acted out, we acted out a physical, display or demonstration of just stopping. And that's, putting our hand up, or out, like we're saying things, to stop traffic. Just in his case, I told them that they closed his eyes, closed his mouth, and just shut down just, but don't move don't you, you have to stay absolutely still.  

Mark Weisman   00:19:31    And so this programming, and that's what it took. It took a lot for him to program himself to his first action when hearing that chopper, cause now he's billion, right? And so the chopper itself is not producing, obviously whatever affects the individual hand, but, and, and in his case, he also had a wonderfully supportive wife whom,  Worked with us to when she identified him going through this steps that stopped breathing her job if you will, was to kind of clear the path to, to kind of, if there was other people standing around her job was to kind of advise them, Hey, hold on. Kind of set the stage so that they could retain relationships. Right. Nobody was getting freaked out or anything like that. So,  but his job was to just physically, mentally, intellectually shut down, just stop, arrest, everything, and stop.  

Mark Weisman    00:20:52    And then once we were able to program that, then we programmed the next step, right? As we said, all right, we've stopped. Now. We want you to breathe. And I want you to concentrate on your breathing. Don't worry about the chopper. Don't worry about your wife. Don't worry about who's around you. Your wife's job is to, kind of soothe the ruffle, the feathers, or a smooth, the feathers of all those around us. So our job is to stop. And then I want you to take some deep breaths, even rhythmic, nice even breaths. And so all we're doing is building coping mechanisms. That is one of the things that I want to say for you, and for all of our brothers, there is no cure for this.  

Mark Weisman   00:21:56    You will never, you will always retain a very small fraction of this in your brain. It has changed your brain and your processing forever. Our job now is to figure out how we work, so how do we change? Right? It's no different than becoming a high schooler from begin of a mill or becoming a college student in Louisville, high school students. We're changing the fundamental way of how we do something, right? So instead of getting mom to drive us to hockey practice, now we can drive ourselves. That's, that's a fundamental change, obviously at two ends of the spectrum here, but nonetheless, that's what we think. So I use the word coping mechanism, but the coping mechanism is that this is a temporary product, and that's not what it is. Then, the stop breathing thought act. That is a permanent way that you're now going to deal with how your brain is trying to reconcile whatever you saw or good to what you were raised or leaving if that makes sense.  

Scott DeLuzio     00:23:30    Okay. Yeah. So I, going through that process and kind of getting a better visual of what that looks like for, the people who on their own, so I think I, I like, I like that,  that little process that you walked us through, now you talked about a,, like a shame or a guilt cycle that, that people work is that cycle kind of all about, and how, how do you kind of see people getting through that cycle?  

Mark Weisman   00:24:13    And again, that's kind of what I was working at in pieces. Fewer out is your guilting cycle, more or less. This is grandma, guilting you into, behaving in a different right. And so that's right, right. And so guilt means, all right, scratch that shame is done publicly. So that's where everybody stands across the parking lot and points at you and says, you're ugly, you're bullied essentially. Right. So guilt is that how you do the privacy of your home? Okay. So that's the difference between guilt and shame. Shame is more of a public thing. Whereas guilt is more of a private thing. And when you talk about controls, this is, this is really almost a geniuses of the way, the architects of modern monotheism, how they kind of made things stick in that, and they would use this, this shame, guilt cycle thing, and that if you were in a public market, and there were more of the earlier followers, they would point out and say, that person's not a follower and they're going to go and, and all of these things and a public type of shaming type of effort.  

Mark Weisman   00:25:36    And then that person would go home and sit, do their own home. Maybe have a perfect relationship with God, but, in a private relationship and now you get, but yet the guilt of what those people said and acceptance, this goes to our social order of, of, of society, right? Is that, oh, I want to be included. Yes. I believe the same thing they do, but they don't understand it because I've never said anything. All of these guilt pieces are then embedded in our brain. Some we're able to filter out and we can say, oh yeah, okay I'm not going to even think about that. Out it goes. Other things we essentially process, and we don't take time to learn the lesson of whatever it was. And so we just file it accordingly. And then with the aged old posted on the wall saying, we'll make sure we get that done sometimes. And we never come back. So these are the things, those things that we've got post-its for those things are the things that build up in our lower part of our consciousness.  

Mark Weisman   00:27:01    Increasing the chemical imbalance, essentially the pH balance of your brain is being altered by these things, setting your base level of anxiety at a higher level. So again, once the big trauma comes in, whatever that is, whatever that looks like now, all of a sudden the brain just, it doesn't have to get the lead, do this. And so you find you, so many things can be, can happen, right? You can cause we've now just completely botched the brain with massive overload of chemical imbalance one way or another, and the brain doesn't know what to do with it at all. So we can start seeing actual physical symptoms. And this is, as I mentioned, this is where you will get twitching or seizure-type activities. You can get sick, you can physically get sick. Again, all of these things are because the pH balance in the brain has just fallen off the beam one way or another.  

Mark Weisman   00:28:17    Right. And it just doesn't know what to do with it. You can also get to where the brain says, no, I don't want this. And we essentially black it out. Right. We can just say, Nope, I don't want that memory. The downside with it there's two real levels to blacking out a memory. If there's a one to the physical blockout, which is we, we literally cut it off Denise and throw it out the door and that's it literally even under hypnosis or under any biological memory scrape, you could not get this memory back. So it's a block-out you told a block. The other end is that, yes, we still do have the visual memories of whatever this is. We have the audio, we have the, maybe the smells, the feelings, whatever, and we're going to disconnect them from each other, right?  

Mark Weisman   00:29:20    So we may have a vignette, maybe a daydream, or maybe even a nighttime dream where we see a part of these visions, but the smell is not there. Or,  we get just this random feel and there's no sight, there's no sound there's, none of the memory is painful. It's only when you start connecting these sensory pieces together that you can start really, probably putting that memory back together to a point where it could be dangerous again. And that's where a lot of people try to get through. Whereas what they,  we often see more often than not is, as we clear away, those other things, as I mentioned out of the brain, we can now tackle this dragon and say, all right, how do we reconcile the death and dismemberment involved in combat to the monotheistic beliefs that we grew up with you're in the United States? Well, first and foremost, I'm here to, I guess what it is when they tell you that they tell you the end of the movie, whether they call that we get a chance to watch it.  

Mark Weisman  00:30:50    Okay. So the spoiler alert on this tier is that you will never reconcile war to monotheism, to any religion for that matter, because religion and spirituality, in general, speaks to harmonious coexistence, right? That's what religion is all about. So for coexistence with our Deity, our gods are the spiritual world whatever you believe or whatever gives you comfort in believing, those are the kinds of things that you're going to see really come to fruition. Once you start nipping all these other little things way, and we can address the big, the big dragon in the room, and this was the SB TA or, I call it the sabata, but that's just me because I'm horrible with acronyms. , and again, military, you couldn't have life without acronyms. So the SBA,  is for tackling that big dragon in a room, and we got to get, you just stop because what's happening is when, when I'm calling you to stop is you were starting to try to associate sounds, maybe, maybe smells in the air, maybe, maybe even tastes in the air, right.  

Mark Weisman    00:32:27    You're starting to associate multiple senses with what you're seeing or hearing or whatever, right. And this is what's triggering you. So we have to now look at it and go, all right, I want you to stop. And I want, Hey, I want you to stop connecting those senses, but B I want you to just stop because this is why I'm a very strong supporter of an immediate support network. Because even, even children, people, a lot of the people don't, don't give kids credit that they, they get it, they get it more than we think they get it. They can help us when we're talking about,, this kind of thing happening in public, where I've got a gentleman who's just needed to stop his six-year-old daughter. Wonderful little girl. Of course, she's a little precocious. So I'm just going to put that out there upfront, but she will, she'll do it.  

Mark Weisman   00:33:38    She'll put her hands up in front of her dad and say, he needs a minute and he needs a minute and, and, she'll just kind of wait it out. And then dad takes his time. He does his breathing, and once he can do that breathing, then, he can kind of touch base again with, with reality, if you will, and allow himself to think through an act. And of course, act, as a spiritual leader, I try to always encourage our actions to be more of a,  if you will, if nothing else, to evaluate the situation, to see what we need to do, but the ultimate goal is to stop that, just roll that raw reaction. And that's, that's really what the stop is about. And it's been very successful. I've been very proud of the men and women whom I worked with, predominantly,  military returning. I've certainly done first responders work with first responders, police, law enforcement, fire, even some, some empties and just getting kind of that PTSD, if you will, under control.  

Scott DeLuzio     00:35:00    Yeah. And it, it really just seems like it's about just kind of grounding yourself and, and, getting, y in that more present in the moment and just really thinking about what the situation is going around, like the person that you're talking about with the helicopters and the noise from it and things like that. Maybe there was an experience where the helicopters had a traumatic experience for this person. but now when you're home, and a helicopter flies overhead, that's not something that's going to be a threat to you or, whatever. So, so if you, if you can stop and, and just kinda remember where you are, think about what's going on around you and be like, okay, what,, helicopters have flown over,, hundreds, thousands of people and never been an issue.  

Scott DeLuzio     00:35:58, I'm Okay, I'm safe here. And then you can go through your processor, then you can act appropriately and not overreact to the situation and let that get out of control. So, I liked to stop breathing, think and act. It's short, it's for short steps and, and I think that's easy enough for people to remember. And I think that's a key point too, is that it's not a long drawn out, 10, 12 step process where we're now I'm on step four. I remember what step eight is, but I forgot everything else in between. And, it could be a much more anxiety-producing situation that way. 

Mark Weisman  00:36:57    And I will, I will admit to you, I have all the people I've worked with and, and, the struggles, the first step is the hardest to get, but I can tell you, I've had people, hundreds of people and, and we'll go through and just struggle, struggle, struggle, struggle, struggle, struggle to get, to get the stuff. and it's just so hard because you've got visceral raw emotions that are powering us, and it's still, I, I get it, but I can tell you of all the people whom I worked with. And over the years, once they get step 1, 2, 3, 4 happened in like a week, it's done., it's just like, oh yeah, cause now it's, it's just arresting that a Neushul gut visceral reaction, putting that in check, and then, stop, breathe, breathe is an obvious thing.  

Mark Weisman  00:38:01     and what I always tell people is, or what I teach is to exaggerate. So when we talk about stopping, Teach them to do, put your hand up and put clues in any support. Folks you were close to realize, oh, okay, we've got a situation here, but it's an indicator to you that this was what we're doing. We are consciously going to stop. And then again, you're going to take big breaths, big breaths, a couple of different reasons. I want you to take big breaths, big breaths, obviously time, right? You're, you're getting some time to kind of process through, but more importantly, you're getting oxygen to your brain almost to overload the brain with oxygen, which is going to help us to re-establish the pH balance within the brain. So our chemicals or chemistry is going to go back online.  

Mark Weisman   00:39:04    Right. We haven't tipped it one way or another. So that's, that's the other reason that we're going to take those big breasts and I don't stipulate, or I certainly don't dictate, oh, you need eight steps and eight breaths. And, no, I want you to take as many breaths as it takes for you to feel like now you can think whatever that means. Some people, I know one other gentleman I worked with, gave him a hard time about it because I guess he was in the seals and one of the things they, their tests or whatever, is that taking hold their breath for like ever, they take a breath or they're serious. They could put out forest fires with those breasts.  , it was just like, no. And I told him, I said, all right, that's what I want you to do, I want you to take just as big a breath as you can.  

Mark Weisman   00:40:02    This was before I realized what was going on. And he took a breath and he kept inhaling. He kept inhaling it and kept inhaling. I'm like, okay. Oh, okay. That's enough., I'm sure you got enough air in here. Okay. Let that one out. Let's try it again.  okay. That's all you need. You only need about half of that. Again, the goal is, is that we're, we're consciously going through, and I think you, you hit a very good, very positive part of what this was about. We're going through very quick steps to get from panic mode to a conscious decision to move forward or back or whatever we've decided. And that's, that's really my hope when I work with the people I've worked with is, okay guys, just what all I want you to do is every time you start triggering, anytime you start feeling this way I want, here are your steps.  

Mark Weisman    00:41:08     I worked with people, on the same note who start feeling very sad or they're depressed. They have a lot of them who have survivor's guilt., lots of buddies who we left over there., I understand being there, done that, but here's the thing in much the same exact way we need to do the same exact steps we need to stop. When you tour arrest, all of our feelings just stop. We need to breathe. We need to put oxygen back in the brain. Because what, what happens in some cases is you get into a cycle where you can hyperventilate, right? You get that quick breath, that quick shallow breath, because you're, you're starting to stress out. We need to wrap. We need to stop that. We need to take those big, long exaggerated breaths, just calm ourselves, get into our thoughts and, and recognize that those guys who, who, who didn't get home are counting on us to retell their story.  

Mark Weisman   00:42:29   We're their legacy if you will. And so we just kind of get that back into our thought process and say, all right, I'm living for, for this guy, for my, my brother or my sister, whom we left over there, I'm going to go out and do a barbecue, and we're going to invite friends and we're going to do all this stuff, whatever it is, but we need to stop that. The prep to the thought, thinking big breath, big breath, get oxygen back in the brain re pH balance to kind of best represent them.  

Mark Weisman  00:43:14    And then when you do that, that's the act. So stop, breathe, think, act. Um. And after we get past that original stop, to get on with their lives. And one of the things like I say, and I even say it on a couple of my webpages and, and, and certainly the, maybe even the pod match thing, which really drives me crazy because I say it's coping mechanisms and that phrase just drives me crazy. So I'm going to come around and tell you that it's really not a coping mechanism. It's a different way of thinking because of coping mechanisms. Again, as I said, it indicates that the temporary fix is a band-aid and that's not what we need. Right. We need to adjust our way of thinking to adjust for what happened to us over there, over wherever. And we need to adjust our way of thinking so that we can be successful, even with this new knowledge and wisdom, new vision, for lack of a better word.  

Scott DeLuzio     00:44:27    Right. And I think, I think that this is a, it's a good like I said before, it's a good, quick, short process., and, and obviously it takes practice. It's not something that, know, you're, you're just going to snap your fingers.  

Mark Weisman    00:44:46    of all the beautiful ways that I've worked with online in-person wherever. Yeah. And I think you, you, you actually said it very eloquently in the beginning of the show, or a little bit ago in that this was not a 12 step program. This was not a 10-week endeavor of recovery. That's, that's not what it is. It's four quick steps. and again, from your heart, from H of our brothers and sisters who are going through this, their hardest part is going to be step one. But once they make it over that the rest, the rest, they will find, come to much easier. And then the key is a lot of people say, oh, we'll just educate our brother or sister who's coming back. And then they're their support network. Their family is kind of on their own. And that is like the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard because, our family is, literally our lifeline to our, our physical reality.  

Mark Weisman    00:46:05    So to house them as part of the solution and as part of the ongoing mechanism to kind of keep us moving forward, absolutely critical, irrelevant of their role in our world, whether it be a spouse, girlfriend, kids, parents, aunts, uncles, anybody who wants to be involved needs to understand, the paradigm shift that veterans have to make when they come back. Cause that's really what it is, right. We have broken, we go to, overseas and essentially break our belief system that we've had since birth. And now we're coming back and we're trying to reconcile that, but more importantly,  with support networks and the people that are close to us, they don't have that paradigm break. They didn't go and see what we saw. So they're back in the old ways. And so now we're, we're trying to go, okay.  

Mark Weisman   00:47:17    I, okay, how do I talk to those people and still do what I need to do? And so that's kind of where this, this process of getting them in the stop breeze sink act, get them involved in what their roles are when they're seeing, an event that, and again, it's an exaggeration by teaching the veterans, to exaggerate the steps. That way we can get the support network personnel, get them in there, and they know now, oh, Hey, he's doing this. I need to do this. He's, she's doing this now. I need to kind of watch her back while she processes. And that's really how it works. And it, it, I can tell you, I get calls, emails all the time a family that I worked with a long time ago. very, very bad, I guess, because not only did he return from conflict with very bad, PTSD, but she wanted to see an emergency room nurse or nurse.  

Mark Weisman    00:48:43    And so she had her own PTSD, of doing that. And so they came together and it was like world war three, right. It's just one of those nuclear shells going off right. In the middle of that relationship. And they had two children, two very young kids at the time. They just got an email from them a couple of days ago that they were all going to France. That was, they had, they had decided when they had finally got through where they, they felt comfortable being away from their base of operations, their first place they wanted to go was France. And so they were actually able to book the flight. They were getting ready and they were all excited. Kids are much older now, but now they're really going to experience France. So that will be fun for them  

Scott DeLuzio     00:49:34    Or good for them.  

Mark Weisman    00:49:37    It does. I guess long story short. Yeah.  

Scott DeLuzio    00:49:42    Yeah. It seems like it does add, some great success stories that you talked about there. And I think this could be definitely helpful for, for a lot of people. So, hopefully, the people who are listening to this can, can put some of this into, into practice, but for the people who might want to reach out to you and get a little more information or find out more about what you do,  where can people go to get in touch with you and find out about, everything, everything that you do  

Mark Weisman    00:50:15    Actually thank you for asking, , my website,  obviously everything stems around and website nowadays, right? HTTP colon slash slash eight K oof. hefner.com. And that's AK for Alaska E is U L F H E D N a r.com. I'll ask about it. Oof. Hafner.  My web page says please understand that my first love is my first role. My first passion is spirituality. I'm a spiritual guide. And so that's, that's kind of where all that page, a lot of that page will focus on. It will also give you a lot of ways to get ahold of me, a lot of different kinds of formats, whether you have a question, whether you need understanding, or maybe even to book some time with me, all of that's available on that website, it's kind of a center of our universe if you will. and again, if anyone needs any ongoing support and just words of, I guess, encouragement for lack of a better word tweet, Alaska will produce a podcast, comes out every Sunday morning,  speaks to it's it's, again, it's more spiritual-based, but as I mentioned, I am not a monotheist. I am poly feast.  

Mark Weisman    00:51:55    I come from making generations of things. So it is what I am a hundred percent proud and happy about., and, but again, if folks need more information, they can catch me on, um, the weekly show as well. We do an everyday kind of follow-up question from the podcast we do on a platform called wisdom. And the wisdom app is for iOS right now. Andrew Freud is coming, but it's not here yet., But again, we kind of answer the questions that we get about the Sunday show. We answer every weekday on wisdom, but, if people have questions, people have, again, I'm not here to convert you. So if people are coming to my website and hoping that I'll convert them to a pagan or a heathen, that's not what I do.  

Mark Weisman   00:52:56    I recognize spirituality for what it really is. There's a lot of insight on my page. I recognize monotheism. I recognize polytheism, animism, all of the spiritual understandings. It all makes sense to me. I get it. But anyway,  I can go to that website and get tons of information about that.. And, I anticipate we should be having the psychological side of all the discussion that we've had today., I would say within the next couple of weeks, I'm hoping, hoping,  

Scott DeLuzio     00:53:44    All right, well, I will have links to all of this in the show notes. So, anyone who is looking to get in touch or find some more information out about anything that we've talked about or any of this stuff, there'll be those links in the show notes, so you can check it out there. Mark, thank you again for coming on the show and joining me, in chatting about this, it's, it's been a pleasure, and, and  I look forward to kind of seeing more about, what you're up to in the future.  

Mark Weisman  00:54:16    Well, thank you for having me.I know a lot of times, and I'll just call it like it is, a lot of the times when you're outside the mainstream, if you will, with beliefs, particularly with spirituality,  a lot of times you are shunned,  because uncertainty bruise, obviously questions. By folks willing to take a step outside the mainstream, I think there are some definite solutions that, that have worked for me and have worked for many people who might work with, and, and it really doesn't matter what ultimately you believe from a spiritual sociology side, it matters that you're willing to, to do four easy steps to regain your life. And that's, that to me is more important than being right, being wrong and whatever. it's just if I can give somebody hope that they can get to their next objective of whatever that is, that means I went okay,  

Scott DeLuzio     00:55:32    There you go. I think that's a great way to look at it. And with that, I think we'll wrap this one up, but I, I, again, I appreciate you taking the time to come on and you can share your story with us. So thank you.  

Mark Weisman    00:55:46    Thank you very much, Scott.  And so all your listeners, I wish you happy holidays. They're coming up, I guess, here in the states and, just enjoy your lives. You are a gift. You are a wonderful gift and a wonderful intersection between where you were born and where you will end up and you are the perfect place for you. 

Scott DeLuzio      00:56:18    Thanks for listening to the drive on podcasts. If you want to check out more episodes or learn more about the show, you  

Scott DeLuzio     00:56:23    Can visit our website driveonpodcast.com. We're also on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube at Drive On Podcast.

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