My dad was an addict because I wasn’t the ideal daughter

Self blame. Confusion. Loss of self esteem. Those are the results of silence. This letter is from a friend of a friend who is about 20 years old. Young people do want to talk about mental illness, addiction and suicide. But they won’t if you don’t. 

My best friend growing up was Jaimie Smith.* I’ll consider her my sister always. So I see you on her page often and read your blog here and there because I know how much your son’s death affected her.original

I just wanna reach out and thank you for posting what you do because most … Read more...

Take Mental Illness and Suicide out of the Silos of Silence

My family suffered the triple stigma with our son – depression, addiction and death by suicide. Stigma can exist only in an environment where judgment and lack of education thrive. Which is precisely why we need to talk about them. Openly and without judgment.

I am stripping away the façade and hitting taboo subjects head on. The death of my son Charles Aubrey Rogers by suicide in June of 2015 taught me that.

Everybody has a story. Everybody has struggles. A visible success does not make any life perfect. And you know by now what can go on behind closed … Read more...

Top 10 posts in the last 6 weeks on annemoss.com

This is from April 16 until May 28. I started the blog at the very end of January.to 10 taboo posts

Here is the list from last time.

These are ranked by the number of visits from Google analytics so it’s basically your top ten.  I added a bonus #11 because although it’s Charles’ work which is important to me.

The one that ranks #1 is the one I thought no one would ever read or want to read. It was so cleansing for me to let go of it and not have it swirl around in my head all the time.… Read more...

Should you let your teen smoke pot at home?

No. And they shouldn’t be drinking in your basement either.

I remember when we caught Charles with marijuana. He insisted he needed it to sleep and to quiet his anxiety. It had been so tough up until then to figure a treatment plan for him.

We said no after listening to his argument and we were firm but we actually did think about it. Trying to find the right medication to help your child is very difficult. So difficult you actually consider things that later you realize is nuts.

There is stigma with medication for mental health even though some … Read more...

I know what will wipe out mental health stigma

More people are speaking out–Suicide survivors, suicide loss survivors, overdose survivors, those who suffer with mental illness.

Parents are motivated to seek help and are risking the fallout of reaching out because the risk of losing their child outweighs their fear of living with shame.

Then there is the awareness, rising suicide rates, media coverage and the opiate epidemic which has cut across all racial and socioeconomic groups including politicians.

All of this works in tandem together to raise awareness and educate millions.

But that’s just part of it. It’s not the secret sauce

The one thing that has been … Read more...

Dear Heroin, I F-ing HATE you!

You are the sorriest, most vicious, demonic son of a bitch in the world.

You took over my child at his most vulnerable and you lured him into your lair of deceit. Then wrapped your evil talons around him, leaked into his brain and never let go until he was dead.

You told him that he was the greatest human being in the world–and then the most worthless. You ostracized him from his family and his friends and made him do things he would not ever have done without your influence.

You made him lie, cheat and steal for you. … Read more...

Drug addiction is like a diet. Sort of

I know recovery from addiction is far more difficult with a much higher price tag than a diet. But there are similarities from my point of view.

Think about it. You go on a diet and you cut things out that you identify as the culprits to being overweight.

You might deny yourself chocolate, for example.

But at some point, your resolve starts to wear away and you crave chocolate. It’s ALL you can think about. You dream chocolate.

After several weeks of denying yourself this treat, you have a little

A week later, you lose it, break down and binge on chocolate.… Read more...

Addiction: The broken reward system

I went to the COBE event at VCU, Virginia Commonwealth University and saw Dr. Kevin McCauley speak (the dude seriously needs a decent online bio).

For many years, Charles and I had a discussion about his “thrill seeking” which I never felt was quite the right phrase since he wasn’t skiing backwards down black diamond ski slopes.

At one point Charles and I had a discussion that perhaps his brain didn’t make endorphins and made too much adrenalin (since he suffered from anxiety).

When Dr. McCauley said “broken reward system” in his presentation, I thought I hit the … Read more...

Impromptu Recovery Speech for JHW Foundation

I went to a donor reception for JHW Foundation and heard from three success stories. I am sorry I didn’t get the young ladies on video. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house as they told their stories about how JHW Foundation provided the resources that saved their lives. Their pictures are below.

I caught Chris’ impromptu speech here

IMG_1823 IMG_1827 IMG_1831 IMG_1840.

 

Addiction: What is rock bottom?

Everyone tells you that tough love is the way to go with those with substance abuse disorder (aka addiction).  What no one tells you is when to help your addict.

Rock

No one defines “rock bottom” or when it might be time to actually help your addict.

Everyone’s bottom is different. But everyone concentrates so much on the boundaries, which you need to do, few consider when they might reach in and help their addict get into recovery.

What might that cry for help sound like?

What would make a cry for help different than the multiple calls you’ve gotten before? How do … Read more...