I love you! Now, Change…..

Guest Post:

I love you! Now, Change…..

by Darcy Flierl
The question is not what the other person can do differently, but rather, “What can I do differently?”  Once the honeymoon phase ends and we begin to fully be ourselves- because let’s face it, we can’t help it- we begin to notice all the annoying habits of our once beloved partner.  We begin to ask them:  Please don’t do that, please do this, if you don’t mind- when you do this… and do it my way.  Many requests are of reasonable measure and couple’s need to work together to find those little compromises. I will use the dishwasher for example.  My husband and I moved in together in our late 30’s.  When I say late, I mean I was 39 and he was 40.  We both had already spent a decade each living with our former spouses and we had lived in many situations in which we loaded dishwashers.  He insisted the silverware all be faced up in the rack because he believes it will not be thoroughly cleaned if not.  I want to load it all down with handles up, because I don’t want to stab myself while putting everything away.  This power struggle went on for our first few weeks living together until we reached THE compromise: Knives down, the rest will be placed up.  How did we come to that conclusion?  We talked about what we wanted and why it was important and found a solution that honored both partners’ perspectives.  Okay, so many issues effecting relationships aren’t as simple as “how to load the dishwasher” but they all can come down to the same process.

Unfortunately, sometimes we find ourselves in a relationship with someone who is…. Unreasonable…inflexible……selfish.  It’s no fun to be the individual who is always conceding, compromising, surrendering.  The person whom gives up on everything from how to load the dishwasher, to their friends, careers and for many, even their families, is the person who will do anything to avoid conflict.  This person loses not just the things they value, but in the most extreme cases, they lose themselves.  The Co-Dependent is born.  They no longer exist.  Their purpose moves beyond avoiding conflict, but their purpose becomes the purpose of their partner.  For the person this happens to, they begin to have self-talk that goes like this:  How did this happen?  Things use to be so good.  Isn’t there anything I can do to make them change? Is there anything I can do to make this stop?

As people willing to have relationships, we have an obligation to accept people as they are  OR not.  We do not have the right to love them, welcome them into our lives, build lives with them and then ask them to be different than how they were when we decided to love them.  It is an act of spiritual violence against them and you.  If we cannot accept an individual for all they are, the fair choice is to set them free.  However, most of us lack the courage to be fair.  Instead we say, “I love you, now change”, “become the person I need you to be so I can feel safe, cared for and confident”.  If this injustice has been done to you, you may be faced with a bold decision to take responsibility for you own happiness, stand up to conflict, make choices that will displease your partner, love yourself in the face of adversity.  Love yourself at all costs.  The best case scenario, your partner will see the evil of their ways.  They will ask for patience while they work through their emotions, demands, and fears.  Sometimes, two people stay together yet live separate.  This never seems to allow either individual to find the joy that is available.  In many cases, the partner expected to change, starts to demand the other change too.  And sometimes, the only road to happiness is traveled separate.

“I can’t do this anymore”, “Enough IS Enough”, “I’ve tried and done everything and nothing works”, are things many couples say after the smallest disagreement and to the big stuff, as well.  It’s a natural reaction to have that Fight or Flight reaction when we are in conflict.  Just because one feels that way or says those things from time to time, doesn’t mean it’s time to jump ship.  If your partner wants you to change, maybe accepting their inability to accept you IS the fair and compassionate thing to do.  If you are faced with whether you should stay or whether you should go, here are few questions you might ask yourself to help you make a move in becoming responsible for your own happiness: Are there more bad days than good? Is there emotional, physical or verbal abuse? Is my partners an active addict (the world is full of addicts, the important question is if they using), Are you going to regret leaving?  Will you regret staying? Am I honoring my personal values in the relationship?  You already know, we can only change ourselves.  You can change yourself to save a relationship or you can change the relationship, to be true to yourself.

I wish people were naturally fair.  I wish we always operated with a deep level of self awareness and that we didn’t behave in ways that caused conflict in our relationships.  The sad truth is I’ve made the choice to leave every adult relationship I’ve ever had because either my partner couldn’t accept me or I couldn’t accept them.  Being on our 2nd marriages, My husband and I, operate very different with each other than either of us ever had before.  We love with our hearts, minds and eyes, open.  We love with care, respect, patience, compromise and acceptance.  In just 5 years, some big sacrifices have been made, but they’ve been made by the person making the sacrifice, or compromise, not because it’s been asked of them.   When I think of my husband, I think… I Love You, because I Love YOU and because I’m free to be the totally beautiful, imperfect ME.

Email at darcy.flierl@gmail.com

Darcy Flierl is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Certified Addictions Professional, and Certified Yoga Teacher currently offering individual and family psychotherapy in Stuart, Florida.  She also enjoys teaching in the Human Services Department as an Adjunct Instructor for Indian River State College and is Consultant for Non Profits along the Treasure Coast.

She has held board positions on for a variety of local and statewide agencies from the Department of Juvenile Justice’s State Advisory Group to CHARACTER COUNTS! and others.  Darcy has received a variety of awards for her community work such as;  Soroptimist’s Rising Star Award, the Community Champion Award from the United Way and for community advocacy from the Tobacco Free Partnership and was a 2013 Nominee as a Woman of Distinction.

Besides working to make Martin County a healthier place, she donates her time doing River Advocacy for the Indian River Lagoon and raising awareness about many issues effecting young people and families.  She treasures her time with her husband, and children attending local events and enjoying Martin County’s recreational opportunities.

For more information about Darcy you can visit her website at:  http://www.darcyflierl.com

My Martin County: Ground Floor Farm

My Martin County: Ground Floor Farm

This is where I went on my Black Friday.


Ground Floor Farm is our local urban farm. In 2014 they raised over 20,000 with a kick starter campaign with 144 backers.


Share a hug!

This is the Martin County I love. People with wonderful ideas interact with the community. Together the community is nurtured. We become a better place. Together.


“Co-founders Micah Hartman, Michael Meier, and Jackie Vitale together conceived Ground Floor Farm as a space that combines food, art, and civic engagement in ways that benefit and help strengthen our community. Ground Floor Farm is part of a hometown renaissance, in which individuals focus their energy and creativity on the places they come from and through which the importance of a vibrant community center is reclaimed and revitalized.


We accomplish this by growing and producing delicious food on a small urban farm and giving others the tools and resources to do so themselves; by showing that productive agriculture can take place in small spaces in urban centers and that it can be economically sustainable; by providing the space and resources for others to use their talents, skills, and interests to engage their community; and by curating an exciting and diverse program of cultural and social events that engage the hearts and minds of this community.”


This is the Martin County we want!


Next week they will have an event called DSC_0002

Make.Share.Do. is a weekend skill-sharing conference exploring homesteading, self-reliance and interdependence.


Saturday, December 5th WORKSHOPS

20 one-hour workshops, taught by experts from around the state on topics including:

rain water harvesting, meditation, power tools, sprouts, herbalism, bike maintenance, seed saving, gardening, soap making, and more.

There will be a Seed Swap all day

5-9 Night Market

Dinner from Fruits and Roots, Crust Vegan Pizza Kitchen and other local food producers.

Sunday, Dec 6 all day

Hands on intensives. Explore fermentation, herbalism, vegetable productions, beekeeping and brewing beer.

For more info on the summit, the farm and an upcoming schedule


to connect on Facebook







How to dispose of unwanted medications

How to dispose of unwanted medications.

This is a huge issue. It’s HUGE! Not only is it an issue for us, our St Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon but its an issue everywhere people flush their medications down the toilet. This is also true for your pet’s medication. This is true for all medication.



“”While the concentrations of these substances found in our water bodies are hundreds or thousands of times lower than the therapeutic dosages found in the medications that we take, research has shown that there can be effects on aquatic organisms like fish and frogs.”

Here is some advice. If your starting a new medication gets a weeks worth and a prescription. Many people get large quantities of medication and they do not really know if they can tolerate it.

Transfer unused medicines to collectors registered with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Authorized sites may be retail, hospital or clinic pharmacies, and law enforcement locations. Some offer mail-back programs or collection receptacles (“drop-boxes”). Visit the DEA’s website or call 1-800-882-9539 for more information and to find an authorized collector in your community.

If no disposal instructions are given on the prescription drug labeling and no take-back program is available in your area, throw the drugs in the household trash following these steps:

  1. Remove them from their original containers and mix them with an undesirable substance, such as used coffee grounds, dirt or kitty litter (this makes the drug less appealing to children and pets, and unrecognizable to people who may intentionally go through the trash seeking drugs).
  2. Place the mixture in a sealable bag, empty can or other container to prevent the drug from leaking or breaking out of a garbage bag.
  3. Make sure you scratch out or remove the prescription label. (Do this with empty prescription bottles that you throw in the recycling bin.)

I really do not like the idea of throwing your medications in the garbage. What if someone’s dog got loose and ate it and got sick and died. Or some wild animal got a hold of it. This is last ditch effort. Better than flushing but not better than dropping off.


I really like the idea of bringing it somewhere and having it disposed of correctly.

Click here for a drop off places in Florida.

Here is a list of our local places.

Brevard County
The Prescription Drug Take-Back Initiative
Citizens of Brevard County can drop off medications at any of the BCSO precincts.
Find addresses here:

Indian River County
The Sheriff’s Office provides this service at 4055 41st Avenue, Vero Beach. See this website for more information: http://www.myirchd.org/ClinicsandServices/Medication_Disposal.html

Palm Beach County
“Operation Pill Drop” has several drop-off sites listed here:

Martin County
Permanent Drop Box Location:

Martin County Sheriff’s Office
800 Southeast Monterey Road
Stuart, FL

There is also one at the substation in Indian Town

16550 SW Warfield Blvd, Indiantown, FL 34956
(772) 597-2101


St. Lucie County
Permanent Drop Box Location:

Port St. Lucie Sheriff’s Office.
Prescription Medication Disposal Box

Check out this great program by Lake County. I think all of us that live near the Indian River Lagoon can do this very easily.

Lake County
Tavares, Florida has established a “Don’t Flush” campaign that resulted in an overflow of unused medications being turned into the Tavares Police. It’s not unusual for the collection box to be filled to capacity several times a day. The low cost campaign consisted of 50 posters and 2,000 bookmarks. The posters were supplied to local doctors and other medical providers. Bookmarks are distributed to our local library and to doctor’s offices. A City staff member, when available, will stop by nursing homes and assisted living facilities to drop off a supply of bookmarks or to informally speak to staff members about the program. The campaign was initiated by our Water Department and our message emphasizes the harm these pills can do to our water supply and our local wildlife if disposed of by flushing or pouring them down the drain.


How to Dispose of Unused Medications.

Florida Department of Environmental Protection


The Other Mom

Guest Blog

The Other Mom

by Darcy Flierl
I can’t express the strangeness of knowing my daughter calls her step mother “mommy” more than I can express the emotion provoked by this occurrence.  When I’m found in the same vicinity as my daughter and her younger half-brother, she introduces me as her “other mommy”.  The whole experience of my daughter having another mother has been a mood challenging event to say the least and has afforded me the opportunity for reflection and self-growth.  Yay Me! Not!
Self growth isn’t easy and it doesn’t feel real great.  Sometimes I have to grin and bear the emotional pain until I find the right coping skill to get through the uncomfortableness of it all.  You never know what life event can throw you into a tail spin.  The complexities of your daughter having another-other mommy- presents a multitude of issues that extend beyond what this other woman is called.

When getting a divorce, it is natural to think about what kind of effect your x’s new partner might have on your child. Mostly, you hope the new influence will be a positive one.  In my mind, this woman was going to be a friend to her; an extra loving adult that would listen to her, support her and ultimately step aside and let me and her husband, parent our child in the way we always had, like “business as usual”.  I lacked the foresight to consider the fact this extra parental figure was going to have opinions about my parenting, scheduling needs to be considered, or that financial decisions concerning my daughter would concern her.  My daughter did get the type of step mother I wanted for her.  I, however, was not emotionally prepared for the negotiating, the opposition, and the resistance that would become a common way of “doing business” with the other side.
It’s been a battle of the wills, two families, one common daughter- with both sides willing to fight till the bitter end.  I’ve come to learn that this war creates long term, chronic stress that is detrimental to everyone’s well being.  Yet, the disagreements, lack of commonality and cooperation linger from year to year.  I’ve given up hope that harmony and understanding will ever be cultivated.  I had to come to accept that I wanted my child’s dad and “other mommy” to trust me as a parent, to respect me as her mother, and allow me to parent my only child the way I had always dreamed and the way I had, pre-divorce.  Once I accepted what I was truly fighting for, I then had to let it all go.  I say that like it was easy or as though it’s been accomplished.  In fact, it’s a constant process of letting go.
A few nights ago I watched the movie Hector and the Search for Happiness, in which a psychiatrist goes on an international traveling expedition to understand the meaning of happiness.  One insight Hector achieved was, “Avoiding unhappiness is not the road to happiness”.   I spent a lot of time thinking about this concept.  My most recent co-parenting coping skill has been to avoid contact at all cost.  Of course, avoiding is not a viable option when your daughter spends 10 days a month with her “other family”.  It occurred to me that I’ve been confusing acceptance with avoiding.  I’ve been preaching detachment and acceptance to my clients as well as personally using this framework, long before I became a Mental Health Therapist.   Understanding the philosophy and experiencing it are two distinctly different things.  My emotional reaction to certain stimuli is proof I have not yet mastered this idea called, Acceptance.
All the latest research as to how to manage depression and anxiety is shining the light on something called Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy.  The theory, developed by Philip Barnard and John Teasdale in 1991, states the mind as two main modes that include a “doing” and “being” mode.  The “Doing” mode drives us towards our goals and is bothered when things go differently than how we believe they should.  The “Being” mode doesn’t care so much about our goals but focuses on accepting and allowing circumstances without the need to change anything.   The level or degree of emotional dis-ease is based on which mode the individual primarily relies.  For good mental fitness, Barnard and Teasdale say that the goal is to achieve something they call Metacognitive Awareness (MA).  MA is the ability to experience negative thoughts and feelings as mental events that pass through the mind, rather than as a part of the self.  This is detachment and acceptance in action! There is finally research behind what Buddhist and Mystics have known for centuries; to separate oneself from one’s own thoughts and opinions in detail is to not be harmed mentally and emotionally by them.  In short, human suffering is a result of our attachments.
The reality of co-parenting post-divorce is not at all what I had envisioned in my divorce fantasy.  It turned out that the things that caused me so much upset are events that I didn’t predict.  There was only so much “prevention” I could have done to decrease my discomfort to the life changes.  Sometimes I’m able to maneuver the conflict was confidence, ease and even a glimmer of grace (The Being Mind).  Other times, I’m defensive, thoughtless and reactionary (The Doing Mind).  I’ve been fairly successful tapping into my Metacognitive Awareness at different times in my life where the discomfort is sudden and quick.    The ongoing conflict of co-parenting with another family in which there is so much discord, is like being exposed to a continuous state of trauma.
I’m mindfully aware of just how much I can’t stand the fact that another woman is indirectly making major decisions effecting my daughter that range from health, religion, and behavior, beliefs and life experiences, based on her value system.  It’s unlikely that one day I will wake up and be happy about the fact I have to battle to parent my own child.    Here lies the opportunity for self growth…..I don’t have to like it, I just have to accept it.  I have to accept that my daughter has an “Other Mom” who has different ideas and will attempt to impose these ideas and at times, she will succeed.    My “being” mind says, “It is, what it is”.  It doesn’t mean I give up being the mom I dreamed of being, rather it means giving up the divorce dream of how I thought it should be.  It means that I acknowledge that the “other mom” has provided a rare opportunity to master becoming a mindful mom.

If you would like to learn more about mastering your mind as part of the divorce recovery process, please contact Darcy to learn about upcoming workshops.  Email at darcy.flierl@gmail.com

Darcy Flierl is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Certified Addictions Professional, and Certified Yoga Teacher currently offering individual and family psychotherapy in Stuart, Florida.  She also enjoys teaching in the Human Services Department as an Adjunct Instructor for Indian River State College and is Consultant for Non Profits along the Treasure Coast.

She has held board positions on for a variety of local and statewide agencies from the Department of Juvenile Justice’s State Advisory Group to CHARACTER COUNTS! and others.  Darcy has received a variety of awards for her community work such as;  Soroptimist’s Rising Star Award, the Community Champion Award from the United Way and for community advocacy from the Tobacco Free Partnership and was a 2013 Nominee as a Woman of Distinction.

Besides working to make Martin County a healthier place, she donates her time doing River Advocacy for the Indian River Lagoon and raising awareness about many issues effecting young people and families.  She treasures her time with her husband, and children attending local events and enjoying Martin County’s recreational opportunities.

For more information about Darcy you can visit her website at:  http://www.darcyflierl.com

Stay Calm and keep that thinking cap on: It’s Complicated: Septic to Sewer Martin County

It’s complicated: Septic to Sewer

And Senator Negron we’d like your input. No judginess. I want to understand the history and if there was anything that happened to you personally that affected your decision to support no inspections.


So we all went to the meeting and what did we find out?

It’s complicated. It’s not what the headlines said. There are other issues.

The item was 8C1 “Septic to Sewer Conversion.” The presenters were Dr Brian LaPointe from FAU Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute; CAPTEC’s Joseph Capra; and a Financial Specialist Group. In my opinion, Dr LaPointe was clear to state “we have to go after all of the sources,” alluding to releases from Lake Okeechobee many times during his presentation. Septic effluent of course is part of the problem killing our SLR/IRL as Dr LaPointe clearly showed and its pollution and bacteria in the rivers should be addressed. Septic conversion was even an item JP Sasser, former mayor of Pahokee, and Florida One Foundation representative, and I agree upon-/having our photo taken together with Dr La Pointe! . Getting behind septic conversation is something we can all try to agree upon as we advocate for the bigger picture—the destruction caused by area canals C-23; C-24; C25 and releases from Lake Okeechobee. As we here in Martin County continue to “get our house in order” as we did with passing local strong fertilizer ordinances, the state can continue to forcefully address issues of agricultural runoff and excess water forced into our watershed. Thank you to the Martin County Board of County Commissioners.

Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch

Great quote from our future Martin County Commissioner.

Video from yesterday’s meeting

http://martin.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=18&clip_id=3022DSC_0033 DSC_0032 DSC_0028 DSC_0024We have to move forward in the best possible ways. We  have to stay involved and we have to ask questions. What we don’t need is a bunch of buffoons throwing accusations around  and someone writing headlines that will divide the citizens of Martin County. I’m not sure who wrote that original headline but they must be new here. Why? Because you just gave Rick Scott, SFWMD, and the Florida Legislator every reason to ignore us and basically stabbed a knife in the heart of all our hard work. There are people who will  take that headline and ruin us because of their idiocy and this is what we do not need right now.
We need consensus. This is what Jacqui said when she spoke.

Today I spoke in favor of moving forward with the beginnings a of comprehensive septic to sewer conversion, a definite piece of a greater SLR/IRL problem, and asked commissioners never to take their eyes off the bigger, critical picture of destructive forces of Lake Okeechobee and area canals–and lobbying Tallahassee and the federal government to move more water south.”This can be done but what is of utmost importance is the public education. Not politics. Not buffoonery. Education.

We need consensus and we need to work together.  Septic Tanks are an issue. Not THE issue. Hooking people up will help the lagoon.

Ed Fielding, Sara Heard and John Haddix make some great remarks and asked some great questions telling me they know what they are talking about and what they need us to do is be supportive and promote more discourse on this subject.

Discourse. Conversation. Support. Leave your ego’s at home please.

Nathanial Reed was there and spoke.


Marty Baum our Indian RIverKeeper was there and spoke. Mark Perry was in the audience taking notes.

There are federal grants for septic to sewer. Perhaps our commissioners can look into this. Maybe they can call Indian River County and ask.

West Wabasso gets $750,000 federal grant for

The link is not longer there. I’m not sure if it got lost with the new owners of the paper  But they did get a grant.

So far every single person I have pointed this out to has ignored me. I hope they will take some time to consider and not get all political about the federal government. It’s not a time for politics. It’s time to work towards saving our river and lagoon before it’s too late.
There is this Issue of inspections that Senator Joe Negron  was part of being banned.  Some one asked about this at the meeting. People want to sue for the right. So I decided to ask Siri and this is what she told me.

“Newly anointed billionaire arch-conservative Florida governor Rick Scott—along with his all-GOP cabinet and tea-party-led state legislature—will get around to the state’s budget crisis, its mortgage meltdown, its educational woes, its brain drain, its disaster-preparedness services, and its corruption problems eventually. But not until they’ve finished with their crap storm over, well, crap.

Last spring, outgoing Gov. Charlie Crist signed a landmark bill into law requiring septic tanks to undergo once-every-five-year inspections—the first time in Florida history that such inspections would be instituted. In a state where more than half of its 2.6 million septic tanks are over 30 years old, and 10 percent are estimated to be failing—a state where the water table is usually just a couple of inches below your feet—this didn’t seem like such a bad idea. Not even to last session’s Republicans: The bill’s author was Lee Constantine, a GOP representative from Altamonte Springs. It was a “consensus bill on water policy which the agency involved, local government, environmentalists, business and industry support,” he said

…tea party groups and homeowners in North Florida, where much of the state’s 2.6 million septic tanks are located, have fought against the inspections as costly and unnecessary. The inspections would have included evaluations and pump-outs, with the costs borne by the owner. Septic tank owners who purchased their tank or had it serviced in the last five years would have been exempt from the inspections.

One planning consultant reported that a tea party activist in the South told him, “We don’t need none of that smart growth communism.”

” When criticizing the original septic-tank inspections last year, State Sen. Joe Negron (R-Stuart) went for the red meat. The controlling issue, he said, wasn’t the possibility of raw sewage, sludge, and grease running off into the state’s drinkable springs and aquifers: It was property rights. “Mr. and Mrs. Jones, 78 years old, live in a house with a 30 or 40 year septic tank,” he said. “Do they have to let the government come inspect their septic tank?”

It would be great if Senator Negron would talk about his reasoning. I’m saying this in the most respectful way. I think it order to come to a good place where we can move forward we need to have all the facts.

Someone said that septic tanks come under the health department. I read somewhere that the inspections  was done by a private company and it came with a 120 pump out which is a good deal. I’m not sure how this effects anything but privacy might come into play here as our privacy is protected by HIPPA through the health department. I may be wrong about this but I need to further research.
I did find this “Do it yourself inspection list.”
Another thing was I did ask about pump outs and people told me it made no difference it was pumped out or not. So why make it an issue that no one is pumping out if it’s not an issue? All along this has been an issue. ___________numbers of septic tanks in Martin County ( I can’t find a consensus number it changes daily.) Who knows how many old ones. Never inspected. (Which is not true because I am sure people had their tanks inspected before they bought their houses.) No one is pumping out. Let me see. What else. Blah blah blah. It really did turn out to be blah blah because when I spoke to some folks about helping people that can’t afford to get  pump out no one really cared and all of a sudden this became a non issue.
I’d like to hear from some experts. Does it make a difference to the St Lucie River and to the Lagoon if we all pumped out. Can we get a group rate? Will some company use this opportunity to partner with the county and give people a good price for a pump out?
Can we do one thing without all the BS and all kinds of lawsuits? Can we just begin to fix this one thing?
There is a lot more to talk about and I plan to talk about it.

Marjorie Shropshire speaking to Jon Shainman from WPTV.


Crystal Lucus future state rep for 83 talking to channel 12 news. She walks the walk!

Talk. Conversation. Move Forward. Let’s do it!
Stay Calm and keep that thinking cap on.

Florida Back Roads: The House of Refuge

Florida Back Roads: The House of Refuge

People ask me why I fight so hard for our life here in Martin County. It’s because we are different. Yes, there has been some changes since I moved here and there are some things coming I’m not ok with but for the most part the people who live here really care about our county and our way of life.

This is one of the first places I visited when I moved here.


The House of Refuge at Gilbert’s Bar is the only remaining House of Refuge. It was built as one of ten along the east coast of Florida, it is the oldest structure in Martin County and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Houses of Refuge were designated as havens for shipwrecked sailors and travelers along the sparsely populated Atlantic coastline of Florida. Run by the United States Lifesaving Service, the Houses played a critical role in a time when sailing ships dominated the world commerce.

This week we have big waves and big tides. We had the full blood moon and we have Hurricane Joaquin out there.

Yesterday was the first gorgeous day after a long, hot summer so I went down and took some photos.

DSC_0054 DSC_0050 DSC_0020 DSC_0008

The House of Refuge is located at 301 Southeast MacArthur Blvd, Stuart, FL