Won Finalist in the 2020 Best Book Awards

Diary of a Broken Mind is an Award-Winning Finalist in the Health: Addiction & Recovery category of the 2020 Best Book Awards sponsored by American Book Fest.

The book listing is live on AmericanBookFest.com and will remain active for an additional ten months.

Thank all of you for buying the book, for leaving reviews at Good Reads, Barnes& Nobles, and Amazon. They mean a lot. If you know someone who has lost a child to addiction or suicide, someone who has a child who is currently suffering from those, or a young adult who would like to see the perspective … Read more...

Is suicide a choice?

At first, I thought it was a choice. Those who do see it as a choice, take it personally when someone suicides. And when you look at it from that simplistic point of view, that can seem like a betrayal of our love.

Part of my grief meant educating myself about suicide. To take it apart piece by piece, throw away the myths, and really understand it. In that journey, I also needed to understand depression and addiction and how all of it fit together. As I read my son’s lyrics, I saw page after page about how much he … Read more...

I thought ‘I don’t want to do this’

I thought this when my son started misusing substances and when I found out he was addicted to heroin. I thought this before I went to bed after news of my son’s suicide. And there were other times in between where I just didn’t want to be the one who had to make a difficult decision and wished a fairy Godmother would sprinkle pixie dust and make it all better.

But the night he died, I so wanted to get out of having to grieve the loss of my child. Wasn’t there a detour I could take? And escape … Read more...

Why do people cut?

People cut to:

  • Help them feel something when they are numb inside
  • Be able to physically see the pain they feel inside
  • To punish themselves
  • Push their pain away
  • Feel a sense of control, joy, or excitement
  • Communicate their emotional pain to others
  • Distract themselves from emotionally painful issues

To those who can’t fathom it, cutting is a mysterious practice. Why would anyone do that to themselves?

People cut to cope with any number of situations–grief, rape, thoughts of suicide, an eating disorder, depression, sexual abuse, relationship disruption, and more. Cutting is a way to turn intangible pain into tangible … Read more...

Grief is making me angry and irritated

Charles is in the middle wearing a white shirt.

I am not accustomed to angry, irritable grief. It’s visited a few times but lately, that’s the emotion that has taken up residence. I’m not a pure joy to be around. Imagine that. Covid-19 has been, if not solely responsible, at least partly so. Because I am sick of it. I know everyone else is, too. But right now I don’t care how anyone else feels about it. I just want my two minutes to complain.

It feels as if I am a bumper car running into obstacles in a limited … Read more...

EP39: RESCUE RUN (P3): Erin Ivie – Executive Director of SpeakUp ReachOut

I was in Colorado in late August as the keynote speaker for SpeakUp Reach Out for their annual walk and butterfly launch. It was an incredible event and a beautiful day and I met Alex Minting there who was very dedicated to the cause of suicide prevention.

He has just started a podcast called the Builder’s Journey. In this episode, the executive director, Erin Ivie talks about how she started as executive director and what the organization is doing locally. The ladder metaphor is incredible. And they do talk about my book and I appreciate Alex mentioning that and … Read more...

Transitions that challenge student mental health

Given that it’s close to the holidays, I just wanted parents to know that transitions are moments of intense stress for students and can be danger zones for suicide risk. And that mini-transition from school to home for the holidays can be a period of distress.

You might not be aware that your child is vulnerable. I didn’t. Most don’t until it happens. In writing my second book, Emotionally Naked: A Teacher’s Guide to Suicide Prevention and Recognizing Students at Risk, we interviewed Dr. Victor Schwartz, Former CMO of The Jed Foundation, who provided more detail on transition periods.… Read more...

Book Club Questions for Diary of a Broken Mind

New York Book Award Winner-MemoirInternational Book Award Finalist, 2020 Library of Virginia Literary Award Nominee, and Reader’s Favorite Award Winner.

After many requests, I finally wrote up these questions for book clubs. If you want me to attend your club (by zoom right now). Use this contact form.

The download is at the end of all the questions.

Book Club Questions for Diary of a Broken Mind: A Mother’s Story, a Son’s Suicide and the Haunting Lyrics He Left Behind?

  1. What were your impressions on the writing style of this memoir? Was it
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We need to get our kids back to school

Before you draw out your swords and muskets, hear me out. Starting in June, a record number of young people started posting comments on articles and reaching out to me. I used to reply to about 5-9 messages per week from youth struggling with thoughts of suicide. Since June of this year, it’s about five per day.

What are they looking up? They are searching for specific ways to die, how to write a suicide note, and how to tell someone they are thinking of suicide. So they are coming here to this website, on a video I have on … Read more...

How do I help my loved one with an addiction?

how to help your loved one with addiction
Thank you to my friend Connie for posting this visual on Facebook and inspiring this article.

So many parents reach out to me and want to know what to do about their child with addiction. I also hear from others about their parent, spouse, sibling, friend, or significant other. For the most part, I hear from distraught parents so I’ll use those pronouns but know this is applicable to anyone dealing with a loved one who is addicted.

People are always disappointed when I tell them the answer is to get help for themselves. That can’t be the answer right? … Read more...