The hall of fame comment from Matt’s naked soul

This post is for you Matt.

Those with ‘lived experience’ are those who suffer suicidal thoughts and may or may not have had a suicide attempt. We need to listen to them. We need to honor their struggle. We need to be there for them.

A little background first

In 1995, I became interested in the internet marketing. After my son’s suicide, I sold my partnership in a digital marketing firm I co-owned for 7 years in January 2017 to pursue suicide prevention full time and all that goes with it– addiction, mental illness, and grief.

I have the advantage of knowing … Read more...

Joshua Giannini leaves video suicide letters of love

By Diane Fielder McCormick

joshua

Note from Anne Moss: I sent an email to my most engaged readers and asked if they wanted to share their stories. Diane responded right away and has shared with all of us the final videos from her son. They are a gift. And they are heartbreaking.  But they are also something else. It shows that even in the darkest hour, your loved one loved you.

Suicide, addiction, and depression have a very close relationship. More than 90% of people who fall victim to suicide suffer from depression, have or substance abuse disorder, or both. Depression and Read more...

Adderall abuse normalized among high achievers

Using stimulants or amphetamines like Adderall or Ritalin has become commonplace for students. And they take these in their drive to succeed in high schools and colleges across the US. Prescribed by doctors for students with ADD/ADHD, these drugs often end up on the black market and abused by high school and college students. And stimulants have significantly different effects on those who do not have ADD/ADHD.

From 2006-2011, the non-medical use of “speed” or some other amphetamine (taking the drug without a prescription) rose 67% and emergency room visits went up 156%. Stimulants were used illegally more than any other prescription … Read more...

In the media

Thanks to your sharing and help, we’ve reached a lot of people! I get messages, notes, letters from so many who saw a post on your wall and got help for a friend, recognized signs of mental illness, suicide and addiction. Others have gotten the inspiration to speak out based on the same sharing.

Not for one second do I think I’m doing this alone. And for the first time in my life, I feel support–support that I so craved while advocating for my son before he died by suicide. Support that feels good, powerful and effective.

This is just … Read more...

Overdose Grief Video

One of the readers here, Gina Hollenweger, posted this video on my Facebook page in response to post about refusing to bury my son’s memory.

None of our sons and daughters are immune to this epidemic.  They touch on so many of the emotions you can expect and it is worth watching. I will make it part of the grief page when I update it.

I refuse to bury my son’s memory

Read more...

10 things I learned at ‘Research to Recovery’

Hosted by COBE and the VA Dept of Behavioral Health (DBHDS), this COBE Substance Use Disorder Conference focused on the science behind the disease. This post is inspired by Bill Maher, gentle interventionist, who asked me what I learned from the perspective of a mom who lost a child to addiction.

The conference was great and very informative. Here are my takeaways Well, some of them. Please add yours in the comments.

1. Drug users lives matter

These individuals are human beings, not throwaways. It’s someone’s son, brother, mother, sister, wife, husband, friend or cousin. They are people with … Read more...

The shame and humiliation of having an addicted child

When those in recovery reference the shame that comes with substance use disorder, I get it. Because as a mom, I got that treatment, too.

It was bad when my son suffered depression and anxiety attacks at school. But attitudes towards my family and Charles got much worse once drugs entered the picture.

I expected it from clueless neighbors and uneducated parents.

Surprisingly, the most belittling humiliation came from behavioral health specialists–people I was paying to educate me on what to do. Don’t get me wrong, there are some compassionate, awesome people in the field. But in 2010, finding them … Read more...

Heroin is a filthy rotten liar

Heroin told my son he was invincible and wouldn’t get addicted.

Heroin told Charles it was the answer to his pain, when in fact it made things worse.

Heroin told my son his problems were everyone else’s fault.

Heroin told him just one more hit and then he could stop, but it never let go.

Heroin told him he would feel first-hit euphoria all over again, even though he never did.

Heroin told him to lie, cheat and steal then convinced his brain that was OK when it wasn’t.

Heroin told him his loved ones abandoned him, when in fact it was the drug that made him abandon … Read more...

Thirty days is not enough

addiction research

For decades, insurance pays for 30 day stay for addiction recovery. If they don’t boot them out at 3 weeks.

But when it comes to addiction, science has proven it takes 18 months for the brain to rewire itself. And while I understand insurance won’t pay for that long, 4 weeks is just not enough to let anyone suffering from addiction to even get their footing. So why is 30 days still the standard?

Money for one.

Acceptance as addiction as an illness is another.

We’ve been in the war on drugs for over a decade now. The war we … Read more...

Undependable

When you have a child that suffers from depression and addiction, there are many times you have to drop everything and react to a crisis.

I tried to anticipate things but what ended up happening was never something I planned for. I’m not blaming Charles. Not everything that happened was his fault. And given pathetic resources, we were left to manage something we had no expertise in.

From changing his placement at a therapeutic boarding school because a counselor was accused of sexual misconduct, to a rolling stop that turned into a police assault to when we found out he was addicted.… Read more...