5 Mantras that kept me sane during Charles’ addiction

When I was losing it and started to make myself crazy by projecting all kinds of scenarios that had not happened, I would pull out my phone and read my mantras out loud to myself. I picked these up from others and from the literature in Families Anonymous meetings over the years.

1. Enabling, rescuing or weaving a safety net blocks recovery

Figuring out read more

A journey of agony

Every time I hear a parent has lost someone to suicide, I breaks my heart to think of the journey ahead of them.

Those feelings that your love was not enough to keep your child here.

Those feelings that your child made a choice to leave you.

Those thoughts that you could have done something to prevent read more

Headstone heart— #griefheart number 270

Headstone heart

When I started the #griefheart project, it had been my hope that more people would honor their loved ones with this project. To give permission to loved ones to honor the memory of those who died by stigmatized illness such as suicide or overdose. (See examples below)

But few have taken me up on it. read more

What do you say to grieving parents?

1 minute 47 seconds

Phrases like, “What can I do?” or “Call if you need anything,” are too open ended for parents who’ve just lost a child. Try to be more intentional with yes or no questions, such as, “I’ll come mow your lawn on Saturday. Would 10am be a good read more

Is addiction a disease or a choice?

Some people believe that using drugs is a choice. That it’s the person with addiction who is at fault because they dared to try drugs in the first place.

Most of us have abused a drug at some point in our lives–whether that’s a cigarette, alcohol, marijuana or  a prescription read more

How to write a suicide note

This one is written specifically to those who are suffering deep emotional distress.
suicide note

I am sorry you are feeling such pain you want to kill yourself and write a final letter to your loved ones. It must be so awful to feel that bad.

If you are looking up how to write a suicide note, then you must read more

My oldest baby is now 25

Richard and Charles in Disney World

December 7, 1992, Pearl Harbor day, Richard was born. He was a tough birth with agonizing back labor and he came out sunny side up with a true knot in his umbilical cord. That child did flips in my uterus. Literally.

But he was OK. He was an infant athlete and could hold up his head and scrunch crawl read more

Those who clam up have the hardest time

Everyone grieves differently. Everyone struggles with adjusting to a family member with addiction/mental illness differently.  But the one constant I have noticed is that people who don’t talk about it at all tend to get stuck and fold up within themselves.

I’ve been in that place read more

Video note to Alexis who is being bullied and wrote a suicide note

To Alexis in North Carolina, this video note is for you young lady. I am hoping I got to you in time. Thanks for being so brave and leaving the comment you did on my website. That is a courageous first step.

Comment below. Charles, read more

On becoming a stranger

When something awful happens, people are at complete loss for what to do or what to say.  It’s like a switch was flipped and the tragedy changed you. There is little training in how to manage a family member or friendship with someone who has met the most devastating loss of their lives.

Friends read more