Charles’ Diagnosis from Wilderness

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05-21-12 CR
By this time, Charles had softened a bit. He was showing us the picture we sent of his dog Andy. Still our dog.

Many of you are currently dealing with a child (however old) with an mental illness. It was difficult for some reason to get a diagnosis in writing.

Time and again someone would start to treat him without a true assessment. Wilderness, 2nd Nature in Clayton, Georgia gave us that.

During his stay there, we had weekly one hour meetings by phone with his counselor. We also received letters from Charles … Read more...

Grief and daylight savings time make me a noodle head

Is my new normal about being stupid?

14787bfee610be209d37056b46883436Nothing is worse for your grief than lack of sleep. You know if you don’t sleep you are weepier and more prone to sinking into the black hole of grief despair.

And nothing kicks that up like that “spring forward” time of year. Not that I have any past experience with grief and spring forward.

I had started to get up earlier and felt a little lift with spring coming when seeing that sunshine come through the blinds. That was prior to Daylight Savings Time (DST).

Adjusting for me has always been hard. … Read more...

Grief: Is that a visit from a ghost?

I feel like I’ve gotten weird and I know some of you might think that my experiences are desperation by a grieving mom.  Maybe they are. But I don’t really know how to explain some of them especially this one.

So here goes.

I’m walking the dog on Wednesday around noon this week, and it’s like 80 degrees F and suddenly out of the blue I feel this very cold, concentrated breeze for lack of a better description. Probably more like a blast. And then it’s gone.

So I look around to see if I’m on a grate or near … Read more...

Grief and Suicide: It was not my choice to reinvent myself

Since Charles’ death June 5, 2015, I am a different person. With a different life. And a different purpose.

I have always been passionate. But I am propelled forward now in a different way than ever before.

For years we suffered with Charles through his struggles with depression, anxiety, ADHD, addiction and the sleep disorder. And I wondered what my purpose was. I always had faith there was one, I simply didn’t know what it was.

I wondered if it was to get this young man to adulthood as a stable adult who could take care of himself.

Unfortunately, that … Read more...

The lollipop land of shiny faces and perfect families is a dangerous facade

perfect-family

We have created a fake world presenting only the best side of our families and friends and rarely sharing pain or struggle.

We created it in social media, in person and at social events.

I’m not proposing we go all newspaperish by being negative and presenting only bad news. But it’s time to strike a balance.

We are a society obsessed with accomplishments

We are quick to pass judgement on those whose children are not currently succeeding by our standards. And our current fast-paced society breeds anxiety, depression and dysfunction.

We are a sharing society. Only we choose to share only that which is … Read more...

Upcoming speaking, workshop or panel events

microphone_318-50712Scheduled speaking events are now located on this page.

If you know of someone looking for a speaker for mental health and suicide prevention, contact me.

My speaker proposal is here. … Read more...

Young people, you are not alone. Here’s what you have been sending me

feedbackHere is what I am hearing from young people 17-25 about what I am writing and you are sharing from Emotionally Naked.

The fact is these young people have suffered through a system so broken and in a society so unaccepting of their struggles, is heartbreaking. And reading these brings tears to my eyes.

It’s utterly amazing they have done as well as they have. So proud of all of you. One day you will get support and acceptance. Help me work on that by sharing these posts.

I am honored you wrote me and I thought you’d be … Read more...

Is your child or spouse using? Signs of drug use

2agryx3

Thank you Stas Novitsky from VCAM and McShin Academy for much of the information on this page. I wish I had this back in 2010. 

Keep in mind that it’s a combination of many of these signs that illustrate a drug habit.

This is not a complete list as substances to abuse are all over the place and around your house.

We could use the help of those in recovery to add to this. Use the comment box. You can use another name and only admin can see your email–no one else. Your privacy is respected.

Download the Signs of
Read more...

4 things you should never say to grieving parents

Man shouting, pulling hair

I made a pact that I was not going to get upset with people regarding what they said after Charles’ suicide. After all, it’s hard to know what to say and I was thankful when someone said anything. However, there are some classic zingers you should know to avoid.

1. Say nothing

I think this is the worst. If your child had stigmatized illnesses, you are used to nothing. No emotional support. No conversation. No resources. Saying nothing appears as though you are erasing this child because mention of him/her makes you uncomfortable. Many times people make excuses like, “I … Read more...

To all who have lost a loved one to suicide or overdose

use-your-voice

I’ve made a commitment.

I need one from you.

On behalf of my son Charles who died by suicide, I am carrying on a tradition he handed down to me and that is to reach out.

Survivors of suicide loss and those who have lost a child or loved one to overdose need to say the words suicide, mental illness, addiction and drug overdose.

Don’t soften it, sugar coat it or hide behind it

If we do, we carry on a tradition of shame instead of acknowledging our loved ones struggled from an illness. Those illnesses will continue to carry stigma if we don’t … Read more...