I’m so tired I can’t even fully express how grateful I am it’s close to bedtime and I can pack in some restorative z’s. So this one is super short. It was the number one activity I focused on after my son died. A good night’s sleep is the foundation of healing,
The gift of a good night’s sleep is one for which I am truly grateful on day #7 of the #thegratitudeproject.
What are you grateful for today?
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We started as a book club and became a group of moms going through child-rearing, jobs, teenage issues, and more. Decades later, there is more dancing and talking than book club activities but we always have fun together.
These were the people with whom I confided that my son, Charles, was doing drugs, eventually addicted to drugs, and whom I called right after he killed himself. To say we’ve been through a lot together would not really come close to the love and support I find with these ladies.
This gift of friendship is one for which I am truly … Read more...
I remember sitting at a dinner party hosted by a neighbor, one of whom is my walking buddy. The first course was a salad. As I was eating the salad, I noticed that it melted in my mouth it was so tender. So I asked the host and cook, Neil, where he got it. He said, “I grow it in my basement.” “In this house?” I asked.
He has a whole hydroponic system down there with lighting and watering systems. It’s a self-sustainable scientific wonder and produces the tastiest, tenderest heads of lettuce.
I led a “Make Friends with Anxiety” workshop at Cosby High School in Midlothian, Virginia. We had some tears and a lot of laughter. This is where my sons went to school. The highlight for me was the game, “Name one thing you wish your parents knew about you.” The answers were so honest.
The throwing sound game was fun, too. Because there was so much laughter. I’m grateful that I get to go back, work with the high school kids, open up conversations about mental health topics, and see the … Read more...
Today I am grateful for being sent new photos of Charles I had never seen before. I know they are not smiling pics but it doesn’t matter. It shows his melancholy side, that which he rarely revealed to us. I discovered these on an old device so they are intimate photos I don’t think anyone else ever saw.
Once I posted one of these new photos and stated how parents who’ve lost a child are so thrilled to get any new photos, it reminded an old neighbor to share photos of Charles on a fishing trip with his brother and … Read more...
Sometimes it all piles up, and I need to step back and think of coping strategies to reset my brain which is hyper-focused on the negative aspects of what’s going on in my life, shutting out what’s good. I call this the “oh woes me” brain and it can get stuck like a needle on a vinyl record listing a litany of sorry stuff that’s happening.
I have been underwater for the last few months with so many things not going in the direction I want. For one, it’s the holidays. My first without my mom, my second without my … Read more...
My name is Katherine and my friends and I used to watch your son, Charles on YouTube religiously when we were 13. Like every day, we were watching Timeboy1408 and would laugh until we couldn’t breathe.
A lot of our inside jokes were and still are things your son said in those videos. I’m now 25 years old and something made me think about those laughs we had so I went to see how he was doing. My heart broke when I saw that he had killed himself.
These are examples of two conversations, one with a high school student and a parent and then one with a college student and a parent. While it’s not likely it would go just like this, it is an example of how you ask open-ended questions, not judge, listen with empathy and remain calm, and figure out next step.
The bottom line, is trust your gut and do not freak out if your child admits to feeling suicidal. Take a deep breath, and be thankful they are there right now with you on the phone or in person. And you are … Read more...
Our relationship has come to a decision point. Although we have been spending a lot of time alone with each other, and have gotten to know each other quite well, I have decided it’s time you moved out.
You have become too demanding, too possessive, and too unhealthy for me. Others that I love more than you will no longer stay with me if I stay with you. So, I am moving on and you are moving out.
I know I have done this before and always welcomed you back, and each time it was … Read more...
by Goutham Yegappan, Data Scientist, Center on Education and the Workforce, Host of the “Re-Educated” Podcast, and Graduate Student, at Georgetown University
What gives my life meaning and purpose that makes the suffering that I currently and will eventually endure, worthwhile? This is perhaps the most pressing question a person must answer at some point throughout their life. For every time we inevitably struggle, our reasons for trekking forward are shaken and thoroughly questioned.
Similarly, with love (episode 25), our education system fails us when it comes to contending with death and meaning. Western education seemingly over-values that which … Read more...
Most of us who’ve lost a child to suicide never saw any signs until after. Many parents will say there were no signs but most are shocked and think our kid “wasn’t the type.” We can’t know what’s going on in someone else’s head. And while nothing is guaranteed, these tips will help lower the risk. Because knowing what to say, and how to respond helps parents and caregivers have the tough conversations with more clarity and confidence.
Who is this for? Two-page report of tips for those who want to prevent youth suicide.
A number of people blame the surge of mental health problems and youth mental health issues on mobile phones, social media, bullying, the pandemic, and all kinds of external issues.
But honestly, it’s all of these plus one another big one that is the result of the digital explosion.
Youth don’t feel they are being heard
The digital era made everyone aware that we were a society of billions. That made a lot of people feel like a grain of sand on a very big beach. Not feeling heard has made our young people (and many adults, too) feel more … Read more...
If your child confesses to thoughts of suicide or an attempt, shore up everything you have and remember they are there in front of you now and alive. Not all of us get that opportunity. Because nothing scares kids more than their parents losing it.
2. Listen more, lecture less.
Meet them where they are and allow them to feel heard. The magic phrase is, “Tell me more. I am listening.” Don’t suggest fixes but ask questions instead. “How long have you felt this way?” “Did you have a plan?” “How … Read more...