Thank you for supporting my birthday fundraiser

The goal was $2015, representing the year Charles died. Thanks to all of you, we exceeded that by over $200. The funds will go to NAMI Virginia. NAMI stands for the National Alliance of Mental Illness.

It’s an organization that provides programs for those who live with mental illness and their families. In times like these, what they provide is so important and I know they need the funds more than ever.

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Culturally specific therapists

I’m often asked for gender, culture, or ethnic-specific therapists. I know it makes a difference but I often don’t have an answer. This list is so those who have a specific ethnicity can find a therapist that understands your culture. Given recent protests, it’s more important than ever to seek help if you need it.

Source: This list from Araya Baker, writer for Teen Vogue.

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Out of the evil, dark and painful, our job is to make flowers grow

It is in the little things that we do, that we shape the lives of our children – without realizing the impact. Once done, these actions can never be undone and all we can hope for is that they will find it in their hearts to forgive us – eventually. We pass the stage when “sorry” just doesn’t cut it. They’re angry for they’ve carried the heavy burden of adult sin with them since the age of, in our case, 10.

I used to think that our sequence of events (like a plot in a horror movie) began approximately five … Read more...

5 Ways to Cope with an Unsettled World

Robert E. Lee, Confederate General statue on Monument Avenue in Richmond VA

Some of you will look at this picture and be very angry that this statue was vandalized.

Others will see it as a beautiful expression of anger and pain that has long been bottled up.

COVID-19 hit us like a blunt force trauma, stunned some of us into isolation and others onto a frenzied front line. That was followed by the senseless death, or murder, of an African American man named George Floyd at the hands of police.

A lot of people have asked, “Why did this … Read more...

Don’t revoke belonging

Sometimes we think this approach pressures a loved one into compliance. But I’ve learned from experience that it does just the opposite. Consider our loved ones with mental illness or substance misuse. Pushing them away from the love of family leaves them feeling untethered, unsupported, ashamed, resentful, and rejected. And what does that do?

Our loved ones need to know we’ll meet them wherever they are and love them even if we don’t agree with where they are in their journey. It doesn’t mean letting someone with addiction use us like a doormat and allowing them to abuse or steal … Read more...

Best Anxiety Apps

Trying to find the best anxiety apps is an exercise that promotes more stress than it solves because there are hundreds. Which one do you pick? Are the ones asking for money worth it? Do they work? A while back I posted suicide prevention apps, even harder to find and you can find those here.

No one from any of these companies asked me to review these and I get no kick backs if you download one so this is an unbiased review based on research and professional reviews.

The anxiety apps included here have been reviewed by licensed … Read more...

I was molested starting at the age of three

by Donel Raum

donel
Donel and her husband

I was molested at the age of three by a boyfriend my mother exposed me to. She went to the store and left me with him. I remember after, thinking I can never ever tell anyone.

He didn’t tell me not to tell. In fact, if I am honest, I would have to say, he probably didn’t even remember doing what he did in his drunken stupor. But I remembered.
I remembered the fear I felt when I realized what was about to happen. I remember the taste I could not get out … Read more...

Improve your relationship with your loved one

We fall into habits of talking to family members over time that doesn’t include listening. We predict what they’ll say and intervene with our own opinion and advice. While it may be good advice, our loved ones rarely appreciate it.

Think of how powerless someone feels when they’ve been put in a mental institution against their will? And then later told what medications to take and that they are doctor’s orders. Pretty soon they feel they are not in charge of anything. What’s more, loved ones don’t take medication because they truly … Read more...

A special thank you to school counselors

School counselors do more than most people think. Often confused with guidance counselors, school counselors don’t focus on college admissions but on the emotional well being of students at school. They are often our unsung heroes. School counselors, social workers and psychologists often team together to meet students’ needs regarding mental health. Most of the time this group would be referred to as Student Services.

If a student is homeless, a victim of abuse, being bullied, lacking food or clothing, the school counselor is the one who manages the situation or refers that student to the right social services. If … Read more...

Books at no charge

DJ Viglis

I get requests, especially from young adults and those in recovery, for a free book. If I am at an event, I often do have at least two copies to give away that were gifted. However, giving away hundreds ends up costing me a lot of money because I have to pay for books from my publisher and then ship them. And right now I’m not making much with most of my paid event having been canceled.

So when I get a request, I know there are people in my tribe who can help.

Recently, a young man … Read more...