Thank you for supporting my birthday fundraiser

The goal was $2015, representing the year Charles died. Thanks to all of you, we exceeded that by over $200. The funds will go to NAMI Virginia. NAMI stands for the National Alliance of Mental Illness.

It’s an organization that provides programs for those who live with mental illness and their families. In times like these, what they provide is so important and I know they need the funds more than ever.

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The Bereaved Parent’s Pledge with Worksheet

pledge from bereaved parents
Hand on heart. Icon on a white background. Vector illustration

For July, bereaved parents month

This starts with a pledge from a grieving parent. Then some information about how friends and family might perceive your well being. They don’t know what’s healthy grieving or unhealthy grieving and often mistake perfectly healthy grieving practices as warning signs or even grief shame you.

Pledge

While I, the grieving parent/guardian/grandparent, know that friends don’t know what to say, I will give them credit for talking to me because saying anything takes courage.

Friends are afraid of saying the wrong thing but my pledge … Read more...

Your child said he is suicidal: Say this, not that

I get hundreds of messages and comments from children, teens and young adults monthly about how parents respond to “mom/dad, I have been having thoughts of suicide.” I then advise these kids to tell a teacher or a school counselor when a parent isn’t responding.

So if you hear that confession, respond with, “I am so sorry. Tell me more. I am here to help in any way I can.” Then do more listening and no lecturing. Many parents respond appropriately but some do not.

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Culturally specific therapists

I’m often asked for gender, culture, or ethnic-specific therapists. I know it makes a difference but I often don’t have an answer. This list is so those who have a specific ethnicity can find a therapist that understands your culture. Given recent protests, it’s more important than ever to seek help if you need it.

Source: This list from Araya Baker, writer for Teen Vogue.

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Recording of Emotionally Naked with Ryan Hampton

  • Shame keeps those in addiction sick and using
  • Ryan’s mom did set boundaries. He was not allowed in the house. No dropping off money or paying rent. Those were her boundaries.
  • She was always a phone call away. Always would listen no matter how absurd his conversation. Allowed him to vent and encouraged him to get help. Always willing to be there. Took him meals, met him for lunch. Always let him know he was loved and there to help him find recovery 
  • Recommends looking locally for treatment. Don’t go for Vacation Riviera setups. Ask to talk
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I’ll give you this cupcake if ….

If you leave me a review, I give you this cupcake. That’s if you read my book, of course. The rest of you can just buy one if you have not already. You see, we new authors need those reviews. They are so important. So yeah, I’m offering a cupcake. A picture of a cupcake, actually.

Imagine what this would look like if I tried to mail it to you especially since it’s so warm here. But a picture of this cupcake! What a prize. That’s better than a trip to the Caribbean. It’s not like you can’t google one … Read more...

7 steps to finding purpose

Some event in your life has forced you to take stock of yours. Now you are in a desert with no compass and wondering, “Which way do I go?” Finding purpose is how you add meaning to your life. And it can be a business venture, passion project, or social justice pursuit. These are the steps I took to find my purpose and I hope it helps you find yours.

1. Have faith you will find it.

You want it. It will present itself to you and then you can shape it like cookie dough.

2. Identify your passion.

What … Read more...

Virtual Turning Pain into Purpose Recording

speaker for drugs and addiction

Click here to see the recording of the above event.

And for more drug, mental health, and suicide prevention educational events from Johnny’s Ambassadors, visit here. These GoToWebinars allow you to attend with more anonymity than zoom meetings or live events.

Since they are a nonprofit, here is the donation link. Laura also lost her son to suicide as a result of drug use. Laura’s story is below.

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5 Ways to Cope with an Unsettled World

Robert E. Lee, Confederate General statue on Monument Avenue in Richmond VA

Some of you will look at this picture and be very angry that this statue was vandalized.

Others will see it as a beautiful expression of anger and pain that has long been bottled up.

COVID-19 hit us like a blunt force trauma, stunned some of us into isolation and others onto a frenzied front line. That was followed by the senseless death, or murder, of an African American man named George Floyd at the hands of police.

A lot of people have asked, “Why did this … Read more...