We need to share our stories about addiction, mental illness, grief overdose and suicide. We must talk about our family’s pain as it relates to the illness of addiction and mental illness because it’s a family issue.
The stories shared with me to post here on emotionally naked this past two weeks have been amazing. I had some prior to that that I included on this page.
You think no one cares or wants to listen?
You’d be wrong.
Visitation to the site has quadrupled lately and we will soon reach 200,000 people reached since Feb 2016. People are interested. And the courage of the women and men who have shared their stories so far has reached tens of thousands.
I have more coming. But if you are not quite ready to share yours completely, consider posting a comment here and tell in a paragraph. Just one step to get your feet wet. You don’t have to use your real name or your whole name.
Thank you to those who’ve written their stories so far and I’m honored to have gotten to know you as well as the ones we’ve lost.
I hope one of these inspires you to write that one sentence or paragraph of your story in the comments.
Billy was a lively guy. Funny, zany, smart and full of life. His mom tells his story about how he died from overdose at a time when it appeared he was doing so well. Her advocacy in the face of tragedy will inspire you.
This is a story of hope. Aubrey was not doing well and by all accounts, it seemed he was not going to make it. But he has turned his life around. It can happen.
Dawson who had a heart of gold had struggled and like Charles turned to heroin to ease symptoms of depression. Laurie tells the story of how she lost him to overdose and how she copes with the loss by stepping outside of her comfort zone and tells her story.
Few live through an attempt with a firearm. Neico not only lived he told me he was glad he was alive. While he can’t see, he can walk, eat, talk and I saw him cry.
Diane, who has just recently lost her son Joshua, shares the remarkable videos he left behind. If you’ve never understood addiction and suicidal ideation, these may help you understand that temporary, irrational state of mind and the despair of that moment in time.
Michael was a special needs child and wrote this post for the site. He also wrote many lovely emails about Charles. A truly thoughtful young man who found a way to manage his thoughts of suicide with multiple strategies including a strong faith in God. He tells of struggles with mental health professionals, struggles I can relate to as we ran into that in our journey.
I met Haley Brennan and Charles Shelton at Godwin High School. Both are remarkable in how they have leveraged their experience to help others.
Becca Hagan writes me a message and gives permission to publish it. It is so incredibly brave for someone with lived experience to allow themselves to be so vulnerable.
These teens have formed a student-led group at their school called “No Eagle Left Behind.” I can tell a marked difference when I walk in that school compared to others in terms of how open they are about talking about taboo subjects. I feel it has changed the atmosphere at this school in a positive way.
Alex Chaffee speaks up and takes on mental health at her school to create buzz about the #umatterchallenge.
Luis tells me how he feels at that moment of unbearable and unrelenting emotional pain.
A 15-year-old from Germany who found this blog from Google, writes her story.
Connie tells us how she suffers through her son’s severe substance use disorder and the seemingly endless cycle of this disease.
Tamara tells us how she is coping with the grief of having lost her son Logan who died in a car accident but suffered from an eating disorder.
Devin’s story of how he has struggled with thoughts of suicide and how having no friends impacted his illness.
Carly Stansfield’s naked confession of her struggle with multiple mental health challenges including the most deadly, an eating disorder.
The story of a young lady who appeared to have everything going for her and the shock of her suicide which impacted the entire community of Williamsburg.
Buddy Terrell’s heartbreaking story of losing his son to suicide and the inspiring art he left behind that told his son John’s story of living with bipolar disorder.