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The Power of Kindness

by Michael L. Renner

The power of kindness can not be truly measured. We do not always know how we impact others around us and we would be surprised if we knew how much kindness helps others grow.

It was not my plan it was not my thought
But when the time came it was not for not
I spoke a kind word to a student not mine
I spoke of future and good day wishes divine

She looked at me but could not grin
She looked scared and shattered from thoughts within.
She spent all night not trying to … Read more...

Making peace with regrets

Charles thought we’d given up on him.

There is no putting lipstick on that thought to make it pretty. And denying it won’t make it not true. I drowned in guilt over this for years. And it has resurfaced after a dream in which the phone rang incessantly and I woke up in a cold sweat that something awful had happened.

It had of course. In 2015, my son had taken his life. Why was this coming up now?

Right after he died, I was obsessed about that last phone call.

But it wasn’t the last phone call. There was … Read more...

The Ten Psychiatric Ward Stays in Fourteen Years

shared by guest author, Kevin Hines

An excerpt from CHAPTER 6 of Kevin Hines’ NEW book:

THE ART OF BEING BROKEN, HOW STORYTELLING SAVES LIVES

My first three psychiatric hospital stays were involuntary.

I was forced in against my will. However, the last seven stays up until 2019 were voluntary. I walked into the emergency rooms, head held high, turned to the intake nurse (with a loved one present) and said, “I need to be here, or I won’t be here. I am thinking of suicide.” Each stay was vastly different while simultaneously feeling the same. The difference festered … Read more...

Best of the Emotionally Naked Blog: Find what you need

This website is part of MentalHealthAwarenessEducation.com and was started in 2016 as a blog of over 2k blog posts of my grief journey after losing my son, Charles, to suicide.

This page is a guide for those who want to find specific information for themselves, a friend, or a loved one since there is so much here and hard to find.

Free eBooks are here.

Use this menu to jump to the right section:

Suicide | Grief | Addiction | Mental Health | Charles

Suicide

For those who want to help:

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Charles’s 28th Birthday, April 26, 2023. Year 8 since his death.

Late last year, I spoke to a class of high school students locally. The teacher said she had been a friend of Charles’s which shocked me. How did she get to be the teacher? Wasn’t she too young? I couldn’t speak for a few seconds. The teacher even shared old pictures I had not seen.

You see I have Charles frozen at age 20.

All those who went to school with him are kind of frozen in my mind, too. I do see his friends, I get that they’ve graduated from college, some have married and his best friend had … Read more...

The day my naïveté left me stranded

Almost everyone can mark the day their innocence walked out the door and harsh reality took its place. It’s that day when your vision of what the world is, where it’s going, and how you are moving through it changes course. Can you remember yours?

Awareness had been stalking me for weeks but had successfully been shoved out of the spotlight by denial, leaving it panting at the periphery of my conscience, anxious to break in and give me news I didn’t want to hear.

My naive mind didn’t want the pieces of the puzzle to fall into place but … Read more...

A perfect life is made up of imperfect days

And success is made up of a bunch of lessons learned from failures.

The screw-ups, break-ups, surgeries, traumas, illnesses, natural disasters, losses, and accidents, are all woven into the tapestry called life. They are not events we want to happen but they do. And the best way to come back after any one of them is to learn and grow from it, not bury the feelings that go with these experiences.

Because if your feelings are covered up and buried, you get stuck in a really raw place for a lot longer than you need to.

This is where we

Read more...

Podcast: You’re Living to Prevent Suicide, What Now?” with Anne Moss Rogers

preventing suicide podcast

In this episode, Marci Nettles and Anne Moss Rogers have a conversation about Suicide, losing a loved one to suicide, and HOW to travel through the grief with the pain.

Anne Moss shares her personal story of losing her younger son, Charles, to suicide and the aftermath for herself and her family… How she turned this Tragedy into a Triumphant Purpose in Living to Prevent Suicide. Other mental health podcasts Anne Moss has been on for grief, addiction, mental health, coping are here.

Find this podcast on:

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My child has been suicidal. What do I do now?

A what to do, what to say guide for caregivers.

20 pages

Click here for the eBook: My Child Has Been Suicidal. What do I do Now?

These bonus eBooks are included in your email!

This free 20-page eBook is for a parent, guardian, foster parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, etc. It focuses on how you manage the conversations and turmoil of emotions you are experiencing after a child you love has confessed he is suicidal, has attempted suicide, or is coming home after an inpatient hospital stay for suicide risk or attempt. How you react and support does help. Find … Read more...

Trigger or red flag?

A trigger is an event, sound, sight, smell, or touch, that elicits an emotional response or prompts the memory of a trauma or unpleasant event.

A red flag is a warning sign of danger ahead.

A friend of mine, Alissa says that whenever she burns something on the stove it reminds her of a time when her mother cooked crack cocaine on the stove, a period in her life when she and her sisters went hungry, felt unloved, and neglected. While it has taken years, she has learned to appreciate that she endured this journey, is no longer in this … Read more...

Talk About Suicide with Your Family to Save Lives

Explore Two Important Questions for Suicide Prevention

This article is Published in Richmond Family Magazine

Let’s face it, when it comes to communicating with your kids, you’d probably rather talk about sex than suicide. But as a mom who lost a son to suicide in 2015, it’s a conversation you need to have with a young person – even if everything looks okay on the outside. 

My son Charles was the funniest, most popular kid in school and the last person you’d ever expect to take his life. When I looked back later after learning more, I saw obvious signs … Read more...

Must be nice

must be nice

Whether you are chatting with friends or scrolling through social media, we’ve all paused and had that thought, “must be nice” in response to something someone else has or has posted. Maybe we have that same stab of jealousy when someone has a swanky car or an enviable handbag.

We tend to dive into this mindset when we are feeling low and have a hard time seeing anything great in our lives due to our current situation. (Which, by the way, is the worst time to be scrolling through social media.)

“Comparison is the thief of joy,” is the saying … Read more...

I Quit! I’m done….

There are many times I feel insignificant. Like I just don’t matter or no one hears me or sees me. Have you felt that way?

I’ve recognized that the digital world seems to foster that feeling more often so I’ve learned how to manage it and what to do.

This YouTube short is all of 39 seconds. My YouTube #shorts channel.

Let me know what you think. 🙂

Read more...

Don’t let your brain talk you out of what you know in your gut

You get a feeling and then you “logic” your way out of believing your gut. Either from fear, denial, disbelief, or something else.

You don’t want to trust something so kumbaya.

So many times in my life, I allowed my brain to talk me out of what I knew to be true. At times the universe had to present hard and fast evidence for me to believe what was happening right under my nose while my gut had been telling me for days or months.

The most difficult episode was when I didn’t answer my son’s last phone call one … Read more...

Happy Valentine’s Day grieving hearts. My favorite #griefhearts

Valentine’s heart— #griefheart number 217

Valentine’s heart— #griefheart number 217

Several years ago, the pain in my heart from losing my son Charles to suicide was so intense, I needed a way to manage the pain and lessen the suffering. This is a creative exploration of my grieving heart through pictures.

While it didn’t make the pain go away, it helped to have something to scan for daily. From this idea, the #griefheart project was born. That task alone really did give me purpose and meaning.

Here’s what I didn’t expect

Unexpected was the outpouring and sharing of hearts across … Read more...