#MythBustingMondays – Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem

Implying suicide is a cop out is a lazy and a flip comment from a limited point of view. We say it to try to make sense of something we don’t fully understand. It dismisses the fact that the thoughts, for many, can be pervasive. The intense, irrational part when someone is in danger of following through is temporary.

But when someone completes a suicide, we don’t always know how many times someone has suffered through it or what trauma, mental illness, or life event may have triggered it. Over time, they can be difficult to fight and wear someone … Read more...

Tell me three positive things about yourself

Many of you will balk.

Some of you may even claim there are not three good things about yourself. So for those of you who struggle the most with this kind of thing, I want you to dig the deepest. Ask someone else if you need to.

But there are three things. And today I want you to list them. It’s not bragging if I’m asking you.

So since I started this, I’ll go first. Here goes.

  1. I am persistent in reaching my goals – I don’t give up easily, I am OK with being bold and sticking my neck
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I will always come get you

charles and mom

I remember telling my children this. “If you have had too much to drink, I will come get you and I won’t ask questions.” And I followed through with that.

But when Charles wanted me to come get him in that last phone call, although he didn’t literally say, “come get me,” I didn’t. At first this was a huge boulder to carry and I punished myself constantly for it. And while I have forgiven myself, it will always sting.

The disease of addiction and all of its chaos scrambled my brain. The fear of the disease consumed me … Read more...

What stops a person from killing himself?

My son, Charles, wrote this as part of his rap song, Hell on Earth.

Live with meaning before death forever
Eternal darkness,
peace at last,
no more hardships
Hard to comprehend in the human mind
Impossible to envision leaving yourself behind

Many people comment here about suicide and some while they are feeling the worst hurt of their lives and contemplating how to end their own life.

The two reasons people don’t kill themselves fall into two categories.

Life reasons.

Fear reasons.

The life reasons have to do with children, spouses, parents, pets, and friends. The suicidal person doesn’t want … Read more...

Momma llama love—#griefheart number 292

When my boys were little, we’d walk into the library to get books related to certain holidays and in February, they’d have valentine-related books on top of the bookshelves. Both my sons loved books but Charles didn’t understand why we couldn’t take twenty or thirty books home.

This llama llama book book came out when he was a teen but I remember he had a saying  about momma llama love and I can’t recall the context in which he used the phrase. He would pick out pretty much all that would be on display and more and I would attempt … Read more...

For Valentine’s Day, I’m having my throat slit while awake

And what’s more, I’m excited about it.

The benign brain tumor next to my brain stem in the cranial nerve area is finally fried and won’t cause more problems. But it paralyzed one of my vocal cords. Socially, it’s debilitating because if there is background noise, no one can hear me.  On microphone I do fine but I have had to limit my speaking engagements because the vocal cord gets tired.

The tumor was first discovered by Charles in 1999. Two craniotomies, one in 1999 and the other in 2000, a cranial reconstruction in 2003, and then radiation in 2017 … Read more...

Does childhood trauma cause mental illness?

by Jody B.

A close friend asked the other day how I think my trauma has contributed to the variety of mental illnesses I live with which got me to thinking that not only did it contribute to mental health issues, but it started so young that it in fact changed my entire development and personality. I never had a chance to develop properly, especially on the emotional side, because for me, there simply was never a time I wasn’t traumatized.

My birth mother was a cigarette smoking, drug addicted alcoholic who gave birth to me, a drug addicted, drunken … Read more...

#MythBustingMondays If your child is addicted, it’s because you didn’t put your foot down

Why was my child abusing drugs?

Was it because we didn’t punish enough, take away enough privileges or otherwise let our child know who was boss?

Maybe we coddled him too much, let him hang out with the “wrong friends,” or worked too much when we should have stayed home.

Or perhaps we didn’t go to church enough, get Charles more involved with activities, or do enough random drug tests.

The truth is, drug abuse and addiction happens to good parents, bad parents, happily married parents, divorced parents. It happens to working moms, stay-at-home moms, dad’s who are involved, dad’s … Read more...

You know that family–the one that appears so happy

by Sonja Dawn
You know that family--the one that appears so happyNobody knows what goes on behind closed doors? That was my family.

We appeared to be a happy family, with loving parents and three happy, healthy
daughters. I am the middle child and I appeared to be a typical middle child who felt ignored and left out, but really I just wanted to be left alone. The attention I received from my family was frightening no matter how hard I tried to change it.

I did want what any person wants, a loving family, but that is not what I got. I remember one particular day very … Read more...

The drug dealer I thought I hated

by Jenny Derr

I attended a program at Godwin High School this week, which was organized by Project Purple, of which I am a member.  The ORBIT program, which stands for Opiate Recovery By Intensive Tracking, is a Henrico County Sheriff’s office initiative, which serves to help inmates battling addiction to opioids.

This particular program is called In Plain Sight, and the residents of the program set up a typical teen bedroom on the stage and then ask members of the audience to come up and see if they can find the 50 items related to drug use, … Read more...