For Valentine’s Day, I’m having my throat slit while awake

And what’s more, I’m excited about it.

The benign brain tumor next to my brain stem in the cranial nerve area is finally fried and won’t cause more problems. But it paralyzed one of my vocal cords. Socially, it’s debilitating because if there is background noise, no one can hear me.  On microphone I do fine but I have had to limit my speaking engagements because the vocal cord gets tired.

The tumor was first discovered by Charles in 1999. Two craniotomies, one in 1999 and the other in 2000, a cranial reconstruction in 2003, and then radiation in 2017 … Read more...

How did I get the courage to speak out about suicide and addiction?

Three years ago, I wrote this newspaper article following Charles‘ death. I’ve referred to it several times before. 

Charles died by suicide June 5, 2015 and I started writing it in August of that same year. We were moving at the same time since the house sold four days before his death. 

It took six months to write 1,200 words. Earlier versions were so angry they would have spit at you from the page. Other versions were a complete mess like I was. But I kept at it and by December 2015, I had sent it to the editor … Read more...

Buffalo plaid memories

Today, while packing away holiday stuff, I decided to consolidate Charles’ three boxes into two to make room. Some of the items have no memories attached. I actually sent a number of items to his friends after his suicide.

Still other articles of clothing carry strong memories–his blankie, the little leg cast from his fall down the stairs at eighteen months old. And this shirt. It’s what Charles wore the day he came home from rehab. He was scrubbed clean, beaming and so like the boy I remembered–the child that had been buried inside addiction just three weeks prior.

I … Read more...

Ambivalence meets the new year

As a person who looks forward more than backward, I have always enjoyed the new year. But since Charles died by suicide there is the conflicted feeling I’m leaving him farther behind with each change of the calendar. I want to put on the brakes and stop the year from advancing.

But I can’t stop time no matter how much I deny it’s happening.

This year has been rough. On January 2, six months after radiation for a benign brain tumor, I lost one of my vocal cords and my once robust voice was no longer that.

Trouble swallowing came … Read more...

How I forgave myself for not taking Charles’ last call

by Tiffani Borello

Trigger warning: Strong Emotional Content.  

I have so many memories of Charles and 99.9% of them are amazing and most of the memories are of him just trying his best to put a smile on my face and get a little giggle out of me, which he would never fail to do. He was so special and he was my best friend and I loved Charles.

But there is one memory that sticks in my mind and bothers me a lot. I’m slowly learning how to deal with the emotions that come up when I talk … Read more...

Happy holidays from my family to yours

I want to spend time with the fam watching stupid movies and digesting turkey so I went for the easy cliche. That empty seat does hurt but it helps to be surrounded by family. And all during our Charles crises, they were there for us. After, they were there for us. No one in my family blamed anyone else or avoided the subject. For that I can be thankful.

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Halloween was Charles’ favorite holiday

I made my children’s Halloween costumes for the first six years of their lives. Later, when they wanted more mainstream costumes, we bought them or put it together with things we had in our all popular dress up box.

Charles is showcasing a few of the ones I made over the years. They chose what they wanted to be, with the exception of the leopard since Charles was only six months old in that photo.

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My husband’s reaction to my manuscript

With my husband’s permission, I posted the message he sent after finishing my book. It took him a few months. It was understandably hard for him.

I get it.

Last week there was more editing that needed to be done on the most difficult chapters which involves putting myself in the back of that police car and living it again–hearing the news about Charles’ suicide. The chapters are much better but that came at a cost. The process left me emotionally spent.

Recovery happens more quickly now. And there is healing for having done it. It is my choice to … Read more...

Why would you buy and read my book?

OK. I need your help.  Before you answer that question, I want you to know that you guys are the reason this book got written.

For the last three years, you have been asking me, “So when are you going to write a book?” Or, “Anne Moss, you need to write a book.” So I did. And when I needed encouragement to keep going, you guys were my cheerleaders. You are part of this book.

So while I’m not broadcasting the title, I can at least share the title with my tribe.

I’m calling it:

Diary of a Broken Mind

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Mourning the loss of proud momma moments

Once Charles started down the path of drug addiction, I struggled with the loss of normal but even more than that, I grieved those moments in life that are rewards for having raised a child.

Who doesn’t love when a child accomplishes something that makes us feel proud? After all, it’s those highlight reels what still dominate the Facebook feed.

There were moments I can now look back on that make me smile but as the drugs took over my child, they became rarer events.  Slowly, I had to adjust my expectations. With each police run in or failed drug … Read more...