Starting Thursday, April 7, 2016, support mental health with the hashtag #imnotashamed. You can post a picture or post a message and a quote you found. But say WHY you are not ashamed. It doesn’t work if you just post the hashtag and don’t say why.
The purpose is to say something. The purpose is to talk so we can get rid of stigma. And that has to start with all of us. Examples below.
Share it with @BeaconTreeFoundation on Facebook or @Beacon_Tree on Twitter, beacontreeorg on Pinterest. Or share with whatever organization you want to … Read more...
This is probably a familiar scenario. You are with a group of friends who know you’ve been struggling with a child’s mental illness or drug abuse–and absolutely no one asks about your child.
You’ve been through hell and back. You are emotionally spent and wrung out trying to maintain some level of functioning.
You hope someone will ask. But they don’t
It hurts. It hurts so much, you want to cry. You want to break down. You feel so isolated and alone like no one in the world cares.
Then you feel very very small all of a sudden. It’s … Read more...
I sit in this warm room surrounded by the bravest, most passionate people I have ever seen. I am now a familiar face and certain gentlemen greet me and ask me questions which I welcome.
Just a short time ago the man speaking had been sleeping under a bridge. Hard to imagine. He is articulate and emotional. This guy could be a motivational speaker.
He’s about 45 and moved to tears he’s so thankful to be alive.
He expresses how grateful he is to the other brothers in the room, fellow addicts, for taking him in once he made that … Read more...
We have created a fake world presenting only the best side of our families and friends and rarely sharing pain or struggle.
We created it in social media, in-person, and at social events.
I’m not proposing we go all newspaperish by being negative and presenting only bad news. But it’s time to strike a balance.
We are a society obsessed with accomplishments
We are quick to pass judgment on those whose children are not currently succeeding by our standards. And our current fast-paced society breeds anxiety, depression, and dysfunction.
We are a sharing society. Only we choose to share only that which … Read more...
Here is what I am hearing from young people 17-25 about what I am writing and you are sharing from Emotionally Naked.
The fact is these young people have suffered through a system so broken and in a society so unaccepting of their struggles, is heartbreaking. And reading these brings tears to my eyes.
It’s utterly amazing they have done as well as they have. So proud of all of you. One day you will get support and acceptance. Help me work on that by sharing these posts.
I am honored you wrote me and I thought you’d be … Read more...
Thank you Stas Novitsky from VCAM and McShin Academy for much of the information on this page. I wish I had this back in 2010.
Keep in mind that it’s a combination of many of these signs that illustrate a drug habit.
This is not a complete list as substances to abuse are all over the place and around your house.
We could use the help of those in recovery to add to this. Use the comment box. You can use another name and only admin can see your email–no one else. Your privacy is respected.
… Read more...
I’ve made a commitment.
I need one from you.
On behalf of my son Charles who died by suicide, I am carrying on a tradition he handed down to me and that is to reach out.
Survivors of suicide loss and those who have lost a child or loved one to overdose need to say the words suicide, mental illness, addiction and drug overdose.
Don’t soften it, sugar coat it or hide behind it
If we do, we carry on a tradition of shame instead of acknowledging our loved ones struggled from an illness. Those illnesses will continue to carry stigma if we don’t … Read more...
- Mp4 – Internal Affairs interview -This has the most accurate account of what happened from Charles’ point of view. Just hearing him on the tape triggers a crying episode of despair.
- Word Doc- Transcript of police stop above on the Mp4
- Word Doc – Charles account of the original arrest
- Mp4 – Police stop with Charles and 6 officers
- PDF – Breathalyzer
One of the incidents I have had a hard time with was one that happened in late February 2015 in Chesterfield County Virginia, just 4 months before Charles died by suicide.
Charles was driving home and was stopped by … Read more...
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.
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...
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...