To all of you

What I didn’t expect from all of you was the outpouring of support when I write publicly about all the stigmatized illnesses we suffered through with Charles– as well as my own grief. And I didn’t expect to be encouraged to keep writing about it.

I was not rejected or ostracized. I was not “unfriended” for bringing up unpleasant subjects. Maybe some have unfriended.  But I’ve gained more than I have lost.

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But I’ll be honest with you, I did not think it would be that way. I was fully prepared to be written off as the person always posting depressing … Read more...

Is tough love the right way to treat an addict?

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This is such a hard question. But one thing’s for sure, you’ll get an answer one way or another when you set your boundaries.

Someone asked me if I felt like I should have approached my son’s depression and addiction differently?

Is tough love the right thing to do?

Keep in mind that I encouraged her to ask the question she was wanting to ask because she hesitated. It’s a good question with no “right” answer. Given that my son’s rock bottom was suicide, I’ve asked myself this a hundred times. But here’s what I can tell you.

No addict makes a change unless

Read more...

How could I resent your child’s cancer fundraiser?

Part of my grief process is to let go of such insane resentments and just do something about it instead.

It sounds crazy. It sounds inhuman. But there were times when I felt jealous that others got such overwhelming financial and even emotional support in their struggles to get medical help for a child who was ill. My resentment was never directed at a specific family. It was resentment that society could turn their backs on mental health while embracing physical health so passionately.

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Send a card, reach out, listen w/o judgement

The outpouring of support when your child has a physical ailment … Read more...

Why did he kill himself? Answering the why

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I learned a lot about Charles after his death by suicide from his RAP diary where he wrote his songs. You can see his notebook in his hands in the picture on this page. Many of his friends know what I’m talking about since he carried them with him. They were his lifeline.

Charles in Wilderness Program for troubled teens. It was here that we finally got a great diagnosis. He did embrace the program after 4 weeks or so.

It’s in those pages I saw just how much he hurt. Every single day.

And why he ultimately gravitated to … Read more...

This new year, take the taboo out of suicide by talking about it

Those of us who have lost a child CRAVE pictures and memories about our child more than ANYTHING in the world because it’s all we have. One of the things people will tell you is that once someone dies, you find out all these things about your loved one that you never knew and it makes you smile.

But I have to tell you that those of us who have lost a child by suicide from stigmatized illnesses like addiction and depression, just don’t hear as much. We hear a lot of silence, awkwardness and change of subject and we Read more...

Do you really know the signs of heroin use?

Updated August 15, 2016

I didn’t. There is something called the “nod” where someone using heroin will nod off.

Sometimes an addict will sleep 24 hours straight due to heroin being laced with Xanax. In many areas now, they lace heroin with (fentanyl). Last drug test I gave my son indicated multiple drugs mixed in there, at least 9 out of the 12-panel tested on the screening test.

After using the drug, the addicted person has upset stomach, diarrhea and vomiting.

Heroin is snorted or injected so you might not be aware your son or daughter, husband or … Read more...