The Power of Kindness

by Michael L. Renner

The power of kindness can not be truly measured. We do not always know how we impact others around us and we would be surprised if we knew how much kindness helps others grow.

It was not my plan it was not my thought
But when the time came it was not for not
I spoke a kind word to a student not mine
I spoke of future and good day wishes divine

She looked at me but could not grin
She looked scared and shattered from thoughts within.
She spent all night not trying to …

I Am Not Mental Illness Ashamed (M.I.A.)

Strong emotional content and suicide method referenced. If you are in crisis, text “help” to 741-741 or call 988

david snell

by Dave Snell

About five years ago I read a speech Wil Wheaton gave concerning his dealings with Chronic Depression and Generalized Anxiety.  More importantly, it was about how he is not ashamed of admitting that he lives with those diagnoses. What troubled me though was he only focused on a couple of particular types of mental illness.  Like cancer, there are many types of mental illness, but we seem to focus on a few of them.  I have had a … Read more...

The Ten Psychiatric Ward Stays in Fourteen Years

shared by guest author, Kevin Hines

An excerpt from CHAPTER 6 of Kevin Hines’ NEW book:


My first three psychiatric hospital stays were involuntary.

I was forced in against my will. However, the last seven stays up until 2019 were voluntary. I walked into the emergency rooms, head held high, turned to the intake nurse (with a loved one present) and said, “I need to be here, or I won’t be here. I am thinking of suicide.” Each stay was vastly different while simultaneously feeling the same. The difference festered … Read more...

A perfect life is made up of imperfect days

And success is made up of a bunch of lessons learned from failures.

The screw-ups, break-ups, surgeries, traumas, illnesses, natural disasters, losses, and accidents, are all woven into the tapestry called life. They are not events we want to happen but they do. And the best way to come back after any one of them is to learn and grow from it, not bury the feelings that go with these experiences.

Because if your feelings are covered up and buried, you get stuck in a really raw place for a lot longer than you need to.

This is where we


Podcast: You’re Living to Prevent Suicide, What Now?” with Anne Moss Rogers

preventing suicide podcast

In this episode, Marci Nettles and Anne Moss Rogers have a conversation about Suicide, losing a loved one to suicide, and HOW to travel through the grief with the pain.

Anne Moss shares her personal story of losing her younger son, Charles, to suicide and the aftermath for herself and her family… How she turned this Tragedy into a Triumphant Purpose in Living to Prevent Suicide. Other mental health podcasts Anne Moss has been on for grief, addiction, mental health, coping are here.

Find this podcast on:


Trigger or red flag?

A trigger is an event, sound, sight, smell, or touch, that elicits an emotional response or prompts the memory of a trauma or unpleasant event.

A red flag is a warning sign of danger ahead.

A friend of mine, Alissa says that whenever she burns something on the stove it reminds her of a time when her mother cooked crack cocaine on the stove, a period in her life when she and her sisters went hungry, felt unloved, and neglected. While it has taken years, she has learned to appreciate that she endured this journey, is no longer in this … Read more...

Must be nice

must be nice

Whether you are chatting with friends or scrolling through social media, we’ve all paused and had that thought, “must be nice” in response to something someone else has or has posted. Maybe we have that same stab of jealousy when someone has a swanky car or an enviable handbag.

We tend to dive into this mindset when we are feeling low and have a hard time seeing anything great in our lives due to our current situation. (Which, by the way, is the worst time to be scrolling through social media.)

“Comparison is the thief of joy,” is the saying … Read more...

Don’t let your brain talk you out of what you know in your gut

You get a feeling and then you “logic” your way out of believing your gut. Either from fear, denial, disbelief, or something else.

You don’t want to trust something so kumbaya.

So many times in my life, I allowed my brain to talk me out of what I knew to be true. At times the universe had to present hard and fast evidence for me to believe what was happening right under my nose while my gut had been telling me for days or months.

The most difficult episode was when I didn’t answer my son’s last phone call one … Read more...

Depression has many faces. What are the signs?

My son rarely looked sad

We are often conditioned to look for the sad person when we think of depression. The above picture is what I saw, a happy-go-lucky kid with a revolving door of friends. When we finally got a depression diagnosis for Charles after a psychological evaluation I was shocked. I had thought about it but he did not seem to fit the criteria I had been reading. People rarely do.

Charles would live with untreated depression, become addicted to heroin and die by suicide.

Men who live with depression are often irritable and angry during a depressive … Read more...

From suicide loss survivor to post traumatic thriver

They call it post-traumatic growth. I say that with a cringe. Because I didn’t accept this descriptor without denying it and pushing it away because I worried it sounded braggy.

Over the last two years, many have pointed out that I was more than a survivor at this point in my journey.

Post-traumatic growth (PTG) is a theory that explains transformation following trauma

This theory, developed in the mid-1990s by psychologists Richard Tedeschi, PhD, and Lawrence Calhoun, PhD, posits that people who endure psychological struggle following adversity can often see positive growth afterward.

This evolution from survivor to thriver does …

What am I grateful for? Day #15

The Richmond Spider mascot was silly, fun, and had a lot of dancing fun with the audience and especially the kids.

A fun mascot is something for which I am grateful on day #15 of the #thegratitudeproject.

What are you grateful for today?

Want to keep up with a daily dose of gratitude?

Subscribe below by choosing “daily.” If you are on our email list, this list is separate and will auto-send daily posts that are published keeping you engaged with #thegratitudeproject. I have no idea how long I will do this. I just know I need it


What am I grateful for? Day #14

Sounds can be very soothing and bring moments of peace. Today’s grateful post is the sound of a brook that feeds into the James River by the lake at Forest Hill Park.

The sound of running water is something for which I am grateful on day #14 of the #thegratitudeproject.

What are you grateful for today?

Want to keep up with a daily dose of gratitude?

Subscribe below by choosing “daily.” If you are on our email list, this list is separate and will auto-send daily posts that are published keeping you engaged with #thegratitudeproject. I have no


What am I grateful for? Day #13

We’ve been playing Scattegories. Not the actual board game. We found an online version and we use notepads.

This got started as a new tradition after the death of my son, Charles, by suicide. He loved games. So we make an effort to play one in his memory to bring the family together and create a new tradition. I’m grateful for the fun, laughter, and connection that my younger son has inspired in his memory.

A game with the family is something for which I am grateful on day #13 of the #thegratitudeproject.

What are you grateful for today?…

What am I grateful for? Day #12

It took me about a half hour to dress to walk today because it was 19 degrees Fahrenheit. With the wind chill factor, it was 5 degrees. Thank goodness for old ski clothes. because that is cold for this Southern girl.

This little husky pup was waiting for me. Now I don’t normally pet strange dogs but this one and I go back a ways. He greeted me, anxiously expecting some attention which I gladly gave. I didn’t see many people or dogs today because saner folks were staying indoors where it was warm. But there was sun and I … Read more...

What am I grateful for? Day #11

It rained all day today. But instead of staying inside, I went out in it. I put on my raincoat, rain pants, boots, and umbrella. That’s my umbrella in the photo. It’s the kind that doesn’t drip on you when you fold it up.

I am not going to say I love dark, dreary rainy days. But they sure do help me appreciate the sunny beautiful ones.

We do get a good amount of rain. It’s not too much but there are so many areas now that are drought-stricken. So our plants are nourished and our water is not restricted. … Read more...