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Depression has many faces. What are the signs?

My son rarely looked sad

We are often conditioned to look for the sad person when we think of depression. The above picture is what I saw, a happy-go-lucky kid with a revolving door of friends. When we finally got a depression diagnosis for Charles after a psychological evaluation I was shocked. I had thought about it but he did not seem to fit the criteria I had been reading. People rarely do.

Charles would live with untreated depression, become addicted to heroin and die by suicide.

Men who live with depression are often irritable and angry during a depressive … Read more...

From suicide loss survivor to post traumatic thriver

They call it post-traumatic growth. I say that with a cringe. Because I didn’t accept this descriptor without denying it and pushing it away because I worried it sounded braggy.

Over the last two years, many have pointed out that I was more than a survivor at this point in my journey.

Post-traumatic growth (PTG) is a theory that explains transformation following trauma

This theory, developed in the mid-1990s by psychologists Richard Tedeschi, PhD, and Lawrence Calhoun, PhD, posits that people who endure psychological struggle following adversity can often see positive growth afterward.

This evolution from survivor to thriver does … Read more...

Lisa’s story. You really can stop suicide with your ears.

youth feel they are not being heard

I told the story about Leo. Now it’s Lisa’s turn.

This one has a whole different outcome, one that still has me in deep reflection months later. It wasn’t without twists and turns. It would be my stomach and my heart that took that journey.

Lisa: “Hey, im a 16 year old girl, im done living it’s too hard, and I don’t just want the pain to end i wanna die im so tired of being here. im planning on doing it this week. before you tell something ive already heard like ” it will get better ”

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Loving Someone With Suicidal Thoughts Webinar

If you or someone you love is in crisis, call the suicide prevention lifeline at 988 or text the crisis text line at 741-741.

Anne Moss Rogers interviews Stacey Freedenthal PhD, LCSW in this webinar Q&A style. At the end, we answered audience questions.

If you want to see the questions and pick and choose which parts you want to hear, go to go to YouTube and the “chapters” are laid out.

  1. Visit the video here
  2. Click the description and you’ll see the time stamps next to the questions
  3. Click the time stamps (the numbers like 28:30) and it will
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Cleaning out the house or room after death

Circa 1942- My Aunt Peggy is on the far left, Grandaddy in the middle, and my dad, age 12, on the far right in the aviator’s hat with goggles and knickers.

Each time I have done this, after Charles’s death by suicide, after my dad died, and then after my mother’s death, it’s been a different experience.

It’s both an emotional and intimate experience going through someone’s things after death

I admit to also feeling somewhat voyeuristic as well as insatiably curious. I could still catch the scent of my mom on her clothing which I also experienced when … Read more...

Grandparent grief over the loss of a grandchild

Grandparents from both sides arrived at our home the day after Charles died by suicide. I was underwater emotionally and I needed to offload some of that grief onto my loved ones who were ready to hold me up at a time when I didn’t know how to exist, move forward, or even think. It was such a relief to fall into their arms. I’m fortunate to have had both sets of grandparents at that point.

My dad’s mind was going and dementia had set in which in the long run would provide some cushion for his grief because he’d … Read more...

Leo, the French kid

Leo

When I first messaged Leo, he revealed only an “L.” He first landed on this blog from a google search on how to kill himself. He was filled with despair and claimed he needed to get on the bus.

I had not ever heard anyone put it that way. I wonder now if it’s a French saying. In short, Leo was suicidal. For the record, my blog has never offered instructions on how to die but I do offer a listening ear and resources for those who want them.

It was a couple of weeks before I would figure … Read more...

What am I grateful for? Day #15

The Richmond Spider mascot was silly, fun, and had a lot of dancing fun with the audience and especially the kids.

A fun mascot is something for which I am grateful on day #15 of the #thegratitudeproject.

What are you grateful for today?

Want to keep up with a daily dose of gratitude?

Subscribe below by choosing “daily.” If you are on our email list, this list is separate and will auto-send daily posts that are published keeping you engaged with #thegratitudeproject. I have no idea how long I will do this. I just know I need it

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What am I grateful for? Day #14

Sounds can be very soothing and bring moments of peace. Today’s grateful post is the sound of a brook that feeds into the James River by the lake at Forest Hill Park.

The sound of running water is something for which I am grateful on day #14 of the #thegratitudeproject.

What are you grateful for today?

Want to keep up with a daily dose of gratitude?

Subscribe below by choosing “daily.” If you are on our email list, this list is separate and will auto-send daily posts that are published keeping you engaged with #thegratitudeproject. I have no

Read more...

What am I grateful for? Day #13

We’ve been playing Scattegories. Not the actual board game. We found an online version and we use notepads.

This got started as a new tradition after the death of my son, Charles, by suicide. He loved games. So we make an effort to play one in his memory to bring the family together and create a new tradition. I’m grateful for the fun, laughter, and connection that my younger son has inspired in his memory.

A game with the family is something for which I am grateful on day #13 of the #thegratitudeproject.

What are you grateful for today?… Read more...

What am I grateful for? Day #12

It took me about a half hour to dress to walk today because it was 19 degrees Fahrenheit. With the wind chill factor, it was 5 degrees. Thank goodness for old ski clothes. because that is cold for this Southern girl.

This little husky pup was waiting for me. Now I don’t normally pet strange dogs but this one and I go back a ways. He greeted me, anxiously expecting some attention which I gladly gave. I didn’t see many people or dogs today because saner folks were staying indoors where it was warm. But there was sun and I … Read more...

What am I grateful for? Day #11

It rained all day today. But instead of staying inside, I went out in it. I put on my raincoat, rain pants, boots, and umbrella. That’s my umbrella in the photo. It’s the kind that doesn’t drip on you when you fold it up.

I am not going to say I love dark, dreary rainy days. But they sure do help me appreciate the sunny beautiful ones.

We do get a good amount of rain. It’s not too much but there are so many areas now that are drought-stricken. So our plants are nourished and our water is not restricted. … Read more...

What am I grateful for? Day #10

As hard as this time of year can be from the standpoint of loss, once I get closer to the actual day, I zone out and enjoy some downtime. This year I’m not putting on the big spread and that leaves me with a bit more chill time to relax and just stop going, going. going. It feels good.

That’s my feet in the photo above covered with a blanket. Because this is one lazy picture. No judging. I’m chillaxing.

Some downtime at the end of the year is something for which I am grateful on day #10 of the … Read more...

What am I grateful for? Day #9

Love flew in from Los Angeles and we picked up my oldest son, Richard, from Dulles airport in Washington DC. That’s a 4.5-5 hour round trip and totally worth it. This is a late-night photo.

This is the kid who just weeks after college graduations said, “You are great parents…” 5 minutes into our breaking the news about his brother’s death by suicide.” He said more than that and you can read all about that here in this post.

No one else could have said anything that would have mattered more than that statement did on the absolute worst … Read more...

Connections with Tavia Avila and The McClish — 12/18/2022

I tell some stories I’ve not told before in this radio show. We talked a lot about the link between addiction and suicide. It’s an hour. And you can take us on your walk.

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