Name: Inge Halliday
From: Tucson, AZ
43 yr old woman/ Former Malibu Horse Riding Instructor/working towards being a Psych Nurse Prac
Goal: Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner that uses horses to facilitate healing.
I am a 43 yr old woman that is entering the last semester of the University of Arizona’s new Integrative Health Nursing Bachelor Program. I have had a lifetime of experience helping my family battle with abuse, mental illness, and substance dependence. I raised my two younger sisters from the time I was a teenager myself through my late 20’s when they went off to college. I have 5 siblings and I am the only one who hasn’t had a serious mental illness diagnosis and/or a substance abuse problem. The only difference has been that I have had horses and other animals in my life since I was 9. I saw this as a beacon of Light and sanity outside of my alcoholic run broken home of violence, chaos, and instability. I always sought out help from healthy people that were outside of my family. I always was safe in the truth with the horses.
I actually was a resident of Malibu, CA for 15 yrs and had a horse riding company called Malibu Horses both teaching the art of riding and facilitating couples trail rides. In the last 30+ years I have seen how horses have kept me healthy and honest as well as how it restores people from the stress of civilization and the rapid internet based society.
I came to Tucson, Arizona to be with my boyfriend after I had a car accident on PCH at Morningview Drive, when a woman on Ambien ran into me while I was stopped at the light there. She was rushing to her therapist early in the morning after having doubled up on Ambien late at night. After being here for a while and desperately missing the ocean I figured I should use my time wisely and decided to go back to school. My goal is to become first a psychiatric nurse and then a psychiatric nurse practitioner. I would like to continue to help people to return to the healing world of horses and nature. To return to a slower pace where we can hear our hearts beat and feel whole again. To be healed by the much slower pace of nature we are and long for.
Nursing School has been very expensive so I would appreciate this scholarship
to be able to continue working towards my goals of helping people with psychiatric and substance abuse issues.
Inge C. Halliday
Continued on next page to answer your questions:
Why do you believe we as a nation are dealing with an addiction crisis?
As a horse trainer/riding instructor and survivor of abuse and trauma due to living with parents with mental health issues and substance abuse problems. As well as living in areas of widespread poverty which has its own levels of abuse to it I have observed a lot in myself as well as others. I have observed pain and anxieties in children who I taught riding to in Malibu that I had never seen in other children. I have witnessed a dissociation with life in many of my adult female students who had everything in the world available to them they wanted. Many of whom had pharmaceutical crutches to cope with the emptiness they felt.
I believe across the board that there is an addiction crisis because with the Internet and social media being the center of the majority of people’s lives we have lost both the slower pace of our natural physiological existence. Our need to rest mentallly, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. As well as we are being inundated with marketing that says you are not good enough. This internet world divides people while it is supposedly connecting us. We long to just sit with others and be. To slow and not hear the buzz of electricity. To have another person really listen to us. Really acknowledge our existence as important. Then there are the physiological and economical portions. Eating well takes knowing how, as well as being able to afford it and access it. You can’t feel good if you are eating McDonalds daily. So a cheap way would be to shoot some meth.
Addiction is how we cope when we don’t know what else to do to feel better.
I mean it is complex and has many factors and is different for different people, but it is a disconnection from nature and others as well as a divorce from truth.
What are the consequences of this addiction for the individual and society?
Well all I can say is what I have observed watching my brother do meth, heroin, alcohol, fentanyl, etc. for the last 4 yrs. It hollows out your existence and drags yourself family through hell. It ravages the body. He has numerous comorbidities now that are not helping him. He is lucky to be alive at all. He has very little ability to emote at this point and is suicidal because of it.
On a societal level it is the removal of many people that could be productive. It is incredibly expensive to keep them in jail and or psychiatric units. They can be damaging to many people around them by robbing and injuring strangers and their families. One of the women who runs the rehab my brother was lucky enough to get into out of jail said she decided to do that work because her son had been killed by someone on meth. I have seen Tucson double, if not triple its homeless/drug addicted population. I have heard Los Angeles is the same.
How can we remedy the crisis on both the individual and societal level?
Educate people who judge them for one. People in Malibu who complain about the homeless all around Ralph’s and want them out. What you resist persists. Legislation that addresses the mental health crisis of the individual as well as the community mental health crisis of stigma around those who use. I would love to see some kind of mentor type program for people to stay connected to at least one person who is successfully functioning in society. I think we have to address the housing crisis as well. There is a tiny house community in Austin that is really working which is drug free and they have places you can work for money and you have your own tiny house. They tried to start something like that in LA and the idea was shut down by the building dept. I think also improving people’s nutrition will help with substance cravings as well. There is a great book called 7 Weeks to Sobriety by a nutritionist who has a rehab with an incredible track record. Then, emotionally we need to connect with who people are. Really see people and listen to their stories. Take time. Stop running to our next thing.