As a former gray area drinker, I found myself living a double life appearing to have it all together, but wrestling with my wine addiction in secrecy. In this story, I explain how I ended up in that place.
When I was just seven years old, I asked–“Is this all there is to life?” I wondered if life was really so lonely and empty–a profound thought for a 7-year-old.
As time went on, I never seemed to feel any excitement for life. Some special moments stood out, but for the most part, I dreaded school … Read more...
My name is Jeff Watts. I am a husband, dad, teacher, co-founder of an orphan ministry, diagnosed with a mental illness, a four-time psych hospital patient, and a suicide attempt survivor.
I’ll start the part of my story having left home with an associate of arts degree in psychology from a community college. I wanted to be a counselor. I went to an out of state university and lived in an apartment on my own away from the support of my parents for the first time.
I’m 58 and I’ve attempted eight times, nine if you count the train incident, over a period from 1978 to 2011. So, yeah, I’ve struggled with depression and lost at times. Three of those attempts, and the train incident, occurred while taking prescribed psychiatric meds.
I’ve been on just about every anti-depressant, plus meds to counteract (unsuccessfully) the negative effects of the anti-depressants. I’m talking about two to four months of waiting for any, ANY, positive effects. The last psychiatrist just looked at me after we went through the list of meds I’d been on and sighed. … Read more...
This will be our third Christmas without Billy. Sadly, I know too many people who are in the same boat, or are about to go through their first season without a loved one.
It has made me reflect back on how we got through, how we coped and came back up for air on the other side. I thought maybe some of the things I did (and still do) to get through might help someone else.
I want to present a lot of stories from the tribe at the end of 2019. I’m hoping to get all stories by December 18. You in?
Studies show that telling your story helps move you through your grief. It’s a lot like exposure therapy for PTSD. But those aren’t the only stories I’m looking for.
Are you now in a place where things are going well and you remember a time when it wasn’t? Are you struggling with a child’s addiction? Are you struggling to communicate with a family member who suffers from a mental illness? Is there some … Read more...
It was the day of the Leeza talk show taping. The topic: eating disorders. I walked into the Hollywood studio prepared to talk about the one thing that tormented and tortured me every day, anorexia, and I had never felt so overwhelmed, frightened, and alone – even as I was surrounded by hundreds of studio audience members.
“No one understands. No one gets it. No one can relate. No one will care. I’ll sound crazy. I’m not sick enough. I’m not smart enough. I’m not articulate enough. I’m not thin enough. I won’t make any … Read more...
the definition of the U.S. National Center for Health
Statistics, a chronic
disease is one lasting three months or more, and generally cannot
be prevented by vaccines or cured by medication, nor do they just disappear on
their on its own.
Some chronic diseases include cancer, diabetes, mental illness, cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension or high blood pressure, and respiratory diseases such as asthma, and emphysema.
Despite many advances in medicine over the past one hundred years, and despite better understanding … Read more...
Suicide is not always just an emotional or psychiatric issue. Sometimes it’s a physiological one too.
I am a suicide attempt survivor
That means I have survived a suicide attempt. I’m also thankful to be in a much better place today, emotionally, psychologically, physically, and most importantly spiritually.
Four years ago I underwent brain surgery with extensive complications which resulted in a massive hemorrhage to the left temporal lobe of my brain. We hear so much these days about traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by things such as football-related concussions, military IEDs, as well as other brain … Read more...