Be the captain of your emotions not captive to them

by Dana

Emotional stress, discord, confusion, can get so deep and out of control, you cannot find a way out. That torment can lead you to think the only way to end this torment is to end it all.

A person can learn some emotion control.

It’s like learning how to become your own counselor

It’s like a one-step program. You learn to see your emotions, you separate each one, and you start asking, I know I am angry, I’m ok with being angry, why am I angry? Is there a way I can change the situation I’m angry about? … Read more...

Audio version of Diary of a Broken Mind

Voice by Lisa Williams. It took a while but the audio version of the book is out. And of course, paperback and kindle as well. Audible audiobook is on Amazon.

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Twenty-minute podcast for parents who’ve just lost a child

Link to the podcast hosted by Laura Diehl from Grieving Parents Sharing Hope.

There is no training for being a bereaved parent. Those of us who have lost a child do understand, and we want to walk with you, especially through the darkest part of your grief.

In this podcast episode, there will be things shared that are important for you to know. Not in the way of a “to do” list, but more of a “give yourself grace” list.

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How can I help a friend who lost her child to suicide?

One of the most frequent questions I get is, “How can I help my friend who lost his or her son (or daughter) to suicide?” And so I’ll answer that here with some explanation of how those parents feel. I can’t possibly touch on everything. I have a 280-page book that does that.

I remember a friend who lost his Dad to suicide in the 1970s. No one came by. No one called. And then two days after, a neighbor dropped by but didn’t come in. And he brought with him a bucket of chicken and handed it to him … Read more...

The George Clooney of dogs has joined Charles in heaven

Andy pops out of the car with his young owner and runs around the yard. Charles takes to him immediately. They run around together and Charles is conscious that he doesn’t want to look too excited. But I can tell it’s a done deal. Andy will be our dog.

Andy dog is four. Charles is 15.

Years prior in middle school, Charles had made a soul-wrenching appeal in an English paper for a dog. Anyone with a heart would have adopted one in ten minutes after reading it. But I kept my boundary. I had a new business, two kids, … Read more...

Grieving in front of a child

Should you hide your tears? Your pain? Won’t grieving in front of your kids make them more afraid of death and losing you?

You looked this up or saw this on social media and decided to read because maybe your sibling, friend, parent, spouse, or cousin told you that you shouldn’t grieve in front of the kids. They’ve grief shamed you. Maybe they said you needed to be “strong” in front of the kids. In this case, they defined strong as hiding your feelings as if that’s some badge of honor–covering it all up for their sake.

Let’s say … Read more...

Fifty thousand dollars!

Markel representative hands NAMI Executive Director, Kathy Harkey a check for $50,000.

I am a board member for NAMI Virginia and newly appointed fundraising chair. I did a panel event about mental health earlier this year, hosted by Markel Corporation employee Deborah and Mary A. Deborah told her mental health story for the first time and it was incredible and brave and her co-workers were in disbelief that the person they see as so together had struggled with addiction and mental health issues.

Later that year, Markel sponsored the NAMI virtual walk. I introduced Portia, one of the staff at … Read more...

Never is a dangerous word

Photo Credit: Metallica Through the Never Album Cover

We use this word when we are highly emotional. Or when we feel life has not treated us fairly.

“My son died and I’ll never get over it.”

“My daughter has relapsed so many times, she’ll never get her act together.”

“I’ll never fall in love again after my husband left me.”

“I’ll never get that promotion.”

“My life sucks and it will never get better.”

Besides being a self-fulfilling prophecy, it can make others feel hopeless and undermine their potential. But hey, you feel what you feel right?

You can do … Read more...

Do what you can, with what you’ve got, where you are

Many of us beat ourselves up about not doing enough or being enough. Or we allow someone else to imply we could do more.

What we fail to do is tell ourselves is that we are enough.

So while I often hear, “Meet others where they are.” My question to you is, “Are you meeting yourself where you are?”

Because if you are expecting yourself to make a million-dollar house out of ten dollars worth of plywood, you will disappoint yourself. You are creating unrealistic expectations that are bound to make you feel like a failure.

You should be your … Read more...

‘My family wouldn’t be surprised if I suicided’

Dear those who struggle with thoughts of suicide,

No matter how many times you’ve said it, we could never be “prepared.”

It is always a shock if that’s the way a loved one dies. To us, we think you won’t really follow through. Because you love us so much or you made a promise you can’t possibly keep because you are not in full control of your actions at that moment.

That sort of thinking does reflect our gross misunderstanding of what those struggling with thoughts of suicide go through. But we family members and friends tell ourselves you’re not … Read more...