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What am I grateful for? Day #10

As hard as this time of year can be from the standpoint of loss, once I get closer to the actual day, I zone out and enjoy some downtime. This year I’m not putting on the big spread and that leaves me with a bit more chill time to relax and just stop going, going. going. It feels good.

That’s my feet in the photo above covered with a blanket. Because this is one lazy picture. No judging. I’m chillaxing.

Some downtime at the end of the year is something for which I am grateful on day #10 of the … Read more...

What am I grateful for? Day #9

Love flew in from Los Angeles and we picked up my oldest son, Richard, from Dulles airport in Washington DC. That’s a 4.5-5 hour round trip and totally worth it. This is a late-night photo.

This is the kid who just weeks after college graduations said, “You are great parents…” 5 minutes into our breaking the news about his brother’s death by suicide.” He said more than that and you can read all about that here in this post.

No one else could have said anything that would have mattered more than that statement did on the absolute worst … Read more...

What am I grateful for? Day #8

I love college basketball and always have. My team is the UNC Tarheels and I was watching games starting at the age of three.

My family would gather around the TV watching, yelling, and jumping up and down together. I watched with friends, my Episcopal Young Churchman group, college chums. Earlier in 2022 when my mom was still alive, we enjoyed the game still together when I would visit. Or we’d chat after a really good one and go over the assists, the three point shots, the defense, or ball handling and steals.

UNC was where I dreamed of going … Read more...

What am I grateful for? Day #7

Sleep.

I’m so tired I can’t even fully express how grateful I am it’s close to bedtime and I can pack in some restorative z’s. So this one is super short. It was the number one activity I focused on after my son died. A good night’s sleep is the foundation of healing,

The gift of a good night’s sleep is one for which I am truly grateful on day #7 of the #thegratitudeproject.

What are you grateful for today?

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What am I grateful for? Day #6

We started as a book club and became a group of moms going through child-rearing, jobs, teenage issues, and more. Decades later, there is more dancing and talking than book club activities but we always have fun together.

These were the people with whom I confided that my son, Charles, was doing drugs, eventually addicted to drugs, and whom I called right after he killed himself. To say we’ve been through a lot together would not really come close to the love and support I find with these ladies.

This gift of friendship is one for which I am truly … Read more...

What am I grateful for? Day #5

grateful for good lettuce

I remember sitting at a dinner party hosted by a neighbor, one of whom is my walking buddy. The first course was a salad. As I was eating the salad, I noticed that it melted in my mouth it was so tender. So I asked the host and cook, Neil, where he got it. He said, “I grow it in my basement.” “In this house?” I asked.

He has a whole hydroponic system down there with lighting and watering systems. It’s a self-sustainable scientific wonder and produces the tastiest, tenderest heads of lettuce.

Now those who know me know my … Read more...

What am I grateful for? Day #4

Anne Moss and the students from Cosby High School

I led a “Make Friends with Anxiety” workshop at Cosby High School in Midlothian, Virginia. We had some tears and a lot of laughter. This is where my sons went to school. The highlight for me was the game, “Name one thing you wish your parents knew about you.” The answers were so honest.

The throwing sound game was fun, too. Because there was so much laughter. I’m grateful that I get to go back, work with the high school kids, open up conversations about mental health topics, and see the … Read more...

What am I grateful for? Day #3

Today I am grateful for being sent new photos of Charles I had never seen before. I know they are not smiling pics but it doesn’t matter. It shows his melancholy side, that which he rarely revealed to us. I discovered these on an old device so they are intimate photos I don’t think anyone else ever saw.

Once I posted one of these new photos and stated how parents who’ve lost a child are so thrilled to get any new photos, it reminded an old neighbor to share photos of Charles on a fishing trip with his brother and … Read more...

What am I grateful for? Day #2

This is a picture of my husband chopping up vegetables for dinner. He is cooking dinner like he does most nights. I probably cook the late-day meal maybe 2-3 times a month.

All the years I did make dinner for my family, I can’t say I relished the task. And then….my husband decided it calmed him and declared himself the family chef. Then he got good at it.

This, my friends, is definitely a gift for which I am eternally grateful on day #2 of the #thegratefulproject. What are you grateful for today?

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What am I grateful for?

Sometimes it all piles up, and I need to step back and think of coping strategies to reset my brain which is hyper-focused on the negative aspects of what’s going on in my life, shutting out what’s good. I call this the “oh woes me” brain and it can get stuck like a needle on a vinyl record listing a litany of sorry stuff that’s happening.

I have been underwater for the last few months with so many things not going in the direction I want. For one, it’s the holidays. My first without my mom, my second without my … Read more...

Child abuse, shame, and recovery

by James

Content warning: Strong Emotional Content.  

I was born in a beautiful little town in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The first nine years of my life were wonderful. However, in 1967, my childhood was abruptly ruined by my best friend’s older brother. 

Often, when I would go to play at my best friend’s house, his older brother would be home hiding in the shadows waiting for his opportunity to abuse me. I remember being there and hearing the sound of a door locking and knew I was in trouble. I would get this sinking feeling in my gut, knowing what … Read more...

Why are our kids feeling insignificant and what can we do about it?

A number of people blame the surge of mental health problems and youth mental health issues on mobile phones, social media, bullying, the pandemic, and all kinds of external issues.

But honestly, it’s all of these plus one another big one that is the result of the digital explosion.

Youth don’t feel they are being heard

The digital era made everyone aware that we were a society of billions. That made a lot of people feel like a grain of sand on a very big beach. Not feeling heard has made our young people (and many adults, too) feel more … Read more...

Tips for checking into the psych hospital. Checking yourself in or someone else

by Tammy Ozolins

The Mental Health epidemic is on the rise and I know many people of all age ranges are dealing with mental health issues. I know trying to get help can be quite challenging and this unfortunately is a reason why some people do not seek help. The realization of this came true when I was helping a friend who needed to check into a facility.

I have been hospitalized twice in my life due to bipolar disorder. One was for a suicide watch and the other time because I was having a manic episode and had been … Read more...

Soul exhaustion as a result of my son’s substance misuse and mental health

tired heart

Soul-sucking exhaustion. You know the kind of tired. So tired, you feel it in your bones. Facing the day seems insurmountable and all-consuming.  When you’re in this state of mind, being around others drains all your energy and you may even withdraw.  

I hit this point when our family was participating in intensive outpatient treatment for Charles’s substance misuse. He had broken into a store, out of his mind after mixing sleep medicine and alcohol, and everything came crashing down. Nothing was going right. I was at such a low point, every task took so much energy and … Read more...

Free Self-harm Safety Box eBook for self-harm treatment

16 pages. A thoughtful and nonjudgemental look at a behavior few understand and helpful tips on using this to stop self-harming.

By Jody Betty and Anne Moss Rogers

Get your ebook

A few years ago, I met Jody Betty a trauma survivor who reached out and wrote a post on this blog about the self-harm safety box, also called the self-harm safety kit. She used this strategy to help her end years of self-harming. That post became one of the top ten posts and over the years and many therapists, teens and adults have reached out to say how important … Read more...