If my loved one stops doing X and starts doing Y, all will be well

by Teresa McBean

#MythBustingMondays – Watching someone die a slow death as a result of an unremitting and cruel condition like untreated Substance Use Disorder is the WORST.  It is frustrating, frightening, and trauma inducing. 

All sorts of pro-addictive and anti-recovery thoughts will enter into the mind of loved ones. This is normal and expected but it cannot go unaddressed without serious consequences for all involved.

“If only she/he would stop using!” is an example of pro-addictive thinking that creates a certain mythology around how to deal with the disease.  The myth is this:  If my loved one stops doing Read more...

I will always come get you

charles and mom

I remember telling my children this. “If you have had too much to drink, I will come get you and I won’t ask questions.” And I followed through with that.

But when Charles wanted me to come get him in that last phone call, although he didn’t literally say, “come get me,” I didn’t. At first this was a huge boulder to carry and I punished myself constantly for it. And while I have forgiven myself, it will always sting.

The disease of addiction and all of its chaos scrambled my brain. The fear of the disease consumed me … Read more...

#MythBustingMondays If your child is addicted, it’s because you didn’t put your foot down

Why was my child abusing drugs?

Was it because we didn’t punish enough, take away enough privileges or otherwise let our child know who was boss?

Maybe we coddled him too much, let him hang out with the “wrong friends,” or worked too much when we should have stayed home.

Or perhaps we didn’t go to church enough, get Charles more involved with activities, or do enough random drug tests.

The truth is, drug abuse and addiction happens to good parents, bad parents, happily married parents, divorced parents. It happens to working moms, stay-at-home moms, dad’s who are involved, dad’s … Read more...

The drug dealer I thought I hated

by Jenny Derr

I attended a program at Godwin High School this week, which was organized by Project Purple, of which I am a member.  The ORBIT program, which stands for Opiate Recovery By Intensive Tracking, is a Henrico County Sheriff’s office initiative, which serves to help inmates battling addiction to opioids.

This particular program is called In Plain Sight, and the residents of the program set up a typical teen bedroom on the stage and then ask members of the audience to come up and see if they can find the 50 items related to drug use, … Read more...

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

suicide story charles rogers
This screenshot was a day or two after it posted. I only wish I would have screen-shotted the comments as those original ones are now lost. I found such comfort in reading all those other stories

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 … Read more...

I need your stories. Because this kind of message never gets old

Names have been removed to protect the identity of the sender of the above message but these are the kinds of messages I get in response to both my story and yours. That’s why I need and want your emotionally naked stories. That’s why they are important.

Stories about managing a life with a loved one who suffers from substance abuse, how you cope after a loved one’s suicide or suicide attempt, how you manage thoughts of suicide or a mental illness, a memorial about your loved one that suffered from mental illness/addiction, your grief after loss of a loved … Read more...

Racist photos in Northram’s yearbook shines a spotlight on prejudice

I’m not going to debate the picture in Virginia Governor Ralph Northram’s yearbook. But it got me to thinking about prejudice in general which goes way beyond race.

It’s prejudice I’ve been fighting for the last nine years for the topics of both substance use disorder and mental illness.

Every time we say “commit suicide” we are making a prejudiced remark that those who die by suicide are criminals. Here in Virginia, we’ve been unsuccessful in eradicating the ancient 1600s law that suicide is a crime despite that  government agencies and scientific studies having declared it a public health issue.… Read more...

There is nothing you can do until they ‘hit bottom’ #MythBustingMondays

by Teresa McBean

I have few commitments; I have a host of good intentions.  One of my commitments is weekly attendance at our Family Education Program on Thursday nights. I attend unless I am out of town or sick enough to require an IV and suffer from a fearful expectation that I should be getting my affairs in order.  This is how committed I am to busting myths about Substance Use Disorder and providing hope and healing for families struggling with this dread disease.

These educational meetings support recovery by educating family members and loved ones of folks who have … Read more...

Emotionally Naked Speaker Demo Reel

I don’t have the TEDx yet but I needed to do a demo reel so this is mine. This was not easy for me to put out there. I hope, going forward, it is easier.

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