5 Mantras that kept me sane during Charles’ addiction

When I was losing it and started to make myself crazy by projecting all kinds of scenarios that had not happened, I would pull out my phone and read my mantras out loud to myself. I picked these up from others and from the literature in Families Anonymous meetings over the years.

1. Enabling, rescuing or weaving a safety net blocks recovery

Figuring out read more

Is addiction a disease or a choice?

Some people believe that using drugs is a choice. That it’s the person with addiction who is at fault because they dared to try drugs in the first place.

Most of us have abused a drug at some point in our lives–whether that’s a cigarette, alcohol, marijuana or  a prescription read more

Those who clam up have the hardest time

Everyone grieves differently. Everyone struggles with adjusting to a family member with addiction/mental illness differently.  But the one constant I have noticed is that people who don’t talk about it at all tend to get stuck and fold up within themselves.

I’ve been in that place read more

Inspiring comments on emotionally naked

These are the comments that make me cry. Crying from joy. These are people who found this blog from Google searches. Unbelievable messages of hope that I wanted to share. There are now thousands of comments. So many good ones.

The name will take you right to the comment. The headline will take read more

Annual campaign in memory of Charles

This site is not about fundraising. But if you were going to give an annual gift to a mental health organization and you follow Beacon Tree, then this is the time to do it. Or you can share.

Newman’s Own Foundation will be matching dollar for dollar until January 3, 2018.

That means if you give $25, Beacon Tree gets $50. So where does the money go?

Family Grant/OnRamp Program

We help fund childhood evaluations read more

Thinking of parents who have children still using or incarcerated this holiday

It’s a different kind of grief.

Knowing that the child you love is behind bars or in them. Still struggling with that demon known as addiction. There is a lot of stress in families this time of year that they are not the ‘Norman Rockwell’ painting of togetherness.

I remember how we’d read more

Dear people who are tired of me

You must be so bored with all my posts about suicide, addiction and mental illness. Why on earth would I continue to assault you with my tirade of posts, presentations and videos about these awful subjects? Why can’t I just get the hell over it? I mean all this shit is not going to bring read more

My son died in a hell hole

I can only imagine where he was staying

Charles was found dead in an apartment on Monument Avenue.

Not the gorgeous part lined with million dollar row houses and manicured little yards on cobblestone streets. I’m talking about the seedier part–the part I didn’t even know existed until we got news he died.  Obviously, a read more

4 things to consider if your child is using drugs

 1. Get support

Don’t try to go this alone. Whether your child is addicted or not, if you suspect serious misuse, join a support group or find a therapist. Watching your child destroy him or herself and finding out you can’t wave a magic wand or pray your child’s way out of it can be agonizing and read more

My ‘Eyes on Richmond’ Presentation Video

I did appreciate the opportunity to present on this topic, “Addiction and Mental Illness: Injustices to our youth” to share why Virginia ranks 46th for treating youth mental health.

That means 7 out of 10 most at risk for dropping out of school, struggling with relationships, ending up read more