Note from Anne Moss: While some of this post is focused on resources in Richmond, VA, a lot of it can be useful info no matter where you live.
Today’s guest post is from Tom Bannard, CADC, MBA, the Administrative Director for COBE and Program Coordinator for Rams in Recovery at Virginia Commonwealth University, and a person in long term recovery.
Tom is a board member of the JHW Foundation and Co-Founder of the Family Education Program, a free, weekly, education focused group for family members of people struggling with substance use disorders. The group meets Thursday Nights … Read more...
Guilty as charged. Part of my charm.
This one is for those of you who turn away because the subject of suicide is too much.
You don’t want to read my posts.
You do sometimes with one eye shut.
They make you squirm.
They make you uncomfortable.
They make you sad.
They make you cry.
They are too raw.
You don’t want to be reminded that this awful thing happened to someone. It’s your worse nightmare and you fear the same might happen to you.
Or you think it couldn’t possibly happen to you. It doesn’t touch your life so … Read more...
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.
I just wanna reach out and thank you for posting what you do because most … Read more...
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...
This is from April 16 until May 28. I started the blog at the very end of January.
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...