Starting Thursday, April 7, 2016, support mental health with the hashtag #imnotashamed. You can post a picture or post a message and a quote you found. But say WHY you are not ashamed. It doesn’t work if you just post the hashtag and don’t say why.
The purpose is to say something. The purpose is to talk so we can get rid of stigma. And that has to start with all of us. Examples below.
Share it with @BeaconTreeFoundation on Facebook or @Beacon_Tree on Twitter, beacontreeorg on Pinterest. Or share with whatever organization you want to … Read more...
There is nothing like the suicide of your child to inspire you to look at life differently than before. Life is now defined by “before Charles died” and “after Charles died.” Recently I’ve noticed myself adopting new behaviors. Below are the ones that stand out.
1. I tell my friends I love them
And I tell kids that were friends of Charles’ that I love them. I’ve always said this to my husband, family and children but expressing that to my friends is new. I want them to know.
2. I reach out to others more
It’s like I’ve become … Read more...
This is probably a familiar scenario. You are with a group of friends who know you’ve been struggling with a child’s mental illness or drug abuse–and absolutely no one asks about your child.
You’ve been through hell and back. You are emotionally spent and wrung out trying to maintain some level of functioning.
You hope someone will ask. But they don’t
It hurts. It hurts so much, you want to cry. You want to break down. You feel so isolated and alone like no one in the world cares.
Then you feel very very small all of a sudden. It’s almost … Read more...
Ahhhh. It feels so good to let go of that baggage, simplify my life and bond with those who are genuine. While some of these have always grated on my nerves, now I cannot bear to be around it. Here goes, stuff I can no longer tolerate.
- I can’t tolerate judgmental people – If you have not walked in someone else’s shoes, you have no right to judge. I can be polite but those who are critical of others due to lack of experience or just plain “judgy” types have no room in my life.
2. People who veil prejudices in religion – This makes me … Read more...
So many times I would pass by Charles’ room and sometimes I would notice a smell. I would go in, try and identify it. Open the window to air it out.
No one else could smell it but I could. It was very different. Very distinct.
At first, I thought it might be drug related. But Charles didn’t smoke things in his room. And it was a smell that I remembered from before there were drugs involved. Only it got stronger as he became a teenager.
Not unpleasant just different and a little bit alarming for some reason. Hard to describe … Read more...
These might also apply to a death of a loved one that is not a suicide.
However, my grief experience is with the suicide of my son, Charles so I wrote from that point of view.
I will never get over it
A suicide, or any untimely death, is not something you “get over.” It’s a journey that changes over time. You’ll always miss your loved one but you learn to carry them with you. Saying something as dour as “I’ll never get over it” merely brings you down emotionally. It shatters your hope of having a life and finding joy after the untimely … Read more...
You’re probably thinking, “Why would I want to make a dour, gloomy, depressing subject like suicide a household word?”
Talking about suicide does not give someone the idea.
The idea is already in their heads.
By repeating it, taking it out of the dark and putting it in the spotlight, we give people permission to reach out, we remove the secrecy and stigma and make the idea look like a less logical solution.
Just as important as talking about it, is the listening part
Listening is a skill we don’t do enough of. We tend to lecture our teens for … Read more...
Here’s how I understand the why of his suicide. His brain telling him he wanted to go, had to go. It would be better somewhere else. It was too painful here.
It is through these songs, as painful as they are to read, that I understand his depression. I wish he would’ve given life here another shot.
Problems just pilin’ all around me
Wish I could just wilin’ in Hawaiian islands
Taking shots of crown
Let the alcohol drown
Take a look around
All this bullshit surround got me down
Wish I could just run free fun free, … Read more...
I sit in this warm room surrounded by the bravest, most passionate people I have ever seen. I am now a familiar face and certain gentlemen greet me and ask me questions which I welcome.
Just a short time ago the man speaking had been sleeping under a bridge. Hard to imagine. He is articulate and emotional. This guy could be a motivational speaker.
He’s about 45 and moved to tears he’s so thankful to be alive.
He expresses how grateful he is to the other brothers in the room, fellow addicts, for taking him in once he made that step to find recovery. I can … Read more...
Charles loved sweets. Loved snacks. Loved little convenience stores. He would stand at that aisle and take forever to make a choice.
His earliest addiction was sugar. I can remember finding a bunch of packages of candy under his bed when he was around 8-10 years old and then sitting on the bed crying. I knew it had to be a precursor to addiction. Then I thought I could do something about it which I couldn’t.
Although he was the funniest human being I ever met, he doesn’t have many funny or lively songs.
The Rap Diary after all, was … Read more...