Physical distancing instead of social distancing

by Charlotte Moyler

 I started my time of quarantine before the actual outbreak occurred. I had a need to get away for a time of reflection and healing. So, in many ways, I was pre-prepared for a time such as this. Now, after two months, I have learned so much more about myself, family, friends and life. 

I am bothered by the excessive use of the term “Social Distancing”. I feel people are becoming more connected during this time of COVID-9. I prefer to call it “Physical Distancing”. 

This morning, at sunbreak, I sat outside with my tea and the … Read more...

My mental health recovery

by Jessy Rodriguez

I am a graduate student studying mental health counseling at the University of St. Thomas, in Houston, TX. I have an undergraduate degree in psychology with a minor in human services. Education is everything to me; this was not always the case.

My childhood was marked by trauma and abuse

My siblings and I were placed in foster care. I was removed from my mother’s custody on April 3, 1998, a few weeks before my twelfth birthday and placed in my aunt’s custody for about six months. After leaving my aunt’s house, I was placed in many … Read more...

On Saturday night, a miracle happened

This note is published with permission from the parent who sent it. Her daughter also gave consent. Trigger warning: suicide attempt method mentioned.

My 27-year-old daughter had decided that the pain was too great, that she was a burden on everyone, and that since she was going to die anyway, might as well do it that night.

She went to google to find a site to learn how to hang herself. When she clicked on the link, she came to your site and a video with your son’s spoken word. It had such a big impact on her that she … Read more...

I am really pissed

by Jenny Derr

Our youngest on the left, daughter in the middle and Billy whom we lost in April 2016 to overdose

Another young life was taken this week–death as a result of an unintended overdose. 

He was a close friend of our youngest son.  I last saw him at the Celebration of Life for another young man who also died of an overdose this past summer.  What the f**k?  How many more lives will we lose before we all wake up?

I speak as a part of an initiative driven by the US Attorney’s office.  Our program is called … Read more...

Taylor Rhodes was from a normal family

by Kerri Rhodes

kerry jenkins rhodes

Helping to End the Stigma of Addiction and Mental Illness was not part of my original life plan. Life and the universe thought otherwise.

I spent the better part of 30 years thinking being brave meant never letting people see you struggle or cry. I was raised in a “you’re fine, suck it up kind of culture.”

Taylor’s addiction taught me that showing your broken pieces and telling your truth is the stuff real Courage is made of. If you know someone struggling with addiction, their families deserve your compassion and help, not your judgment. They are … Read more...

I hurt those around me who love me

by Gor Rivenshield

hurting

Author’s note: this is neither wholly irrational nor rational. There is a method to my madness, and madness to my method. This is a perspective, a state of mind; not a statement of fact but a report from the shadows most dare not report on.

I am a monster. I am a burden. I hurt those around me who love me. I hurt those around me who don’t even know I exist. I hurt myself. I hurt.

The previous paragraph is not rational in an objective sense. I know this, intellectually. I can and have run rings … Read more...

I Hate Heroin

A poem by Daniel Hlawacz

heroin poem

Sometimes the cruel reality of life hits
That every moment is to be cherished as priceless
Wake up this morning but by the night we could be lifeless
The angel of death came calling to take away another nice kid
The fragile state we live our life in
We succumb to the deadly battles we can’t stop fighting
The disease of addiction is like clashing with a Titan
But somehow makes the path to death look enticing
Caskets filled with broken dreams
Mother emotionally coming apart at the seams
Questioning why the lord didn’t intervene… Read more...

Father’s view: Sex and intimacy after loss of a child

by Gary

sex and intimacy after loss of a child from a man's point of view

Males are different psychologically and emotionally. My wife and I lost our 17-year-old son after he died suicide on Nov. 7, 2019. The grief is overwhelming, strangling, choking, at times.

I’ll not attempt to convey the grief. One understands, or one does not.

The intimacy of coitus with my wife is the deepest of (the many of) my connections with her, encompassing my love, my emotional and psychological attachment, reaffirmation, on every possible plane you could imagine.

Males are always subconsciously tense, on guard. The old stereotype complaint, his falling asleep after making love? Criticized, some women never … Read more...

Remembering Daniel Louis Rafferty

by Teri Rafferty

Daniel Louis Rafferty,
August 1, 1990 – May 14, 2014

I have built a shrine of sorts.

It’s not because he was perfect, I remember all of the faults and why we are here instead of somewhere else. It’s because the thought of forgetting him, as my memories of him slip away, is unbearable.

You know, you think your story is unique until you hear others and realize we could almost tell each other’s stories with a few variations.

Daniel died of an accidental fentanyl overdose 27 days after getting out of jail, where he had … Read more...

The Respected Town Monster

By Don Shetterly

Often, I hear people say, “Why didn’t you report what was done to you to someone?” 

To which, I think, “Who would I have told?” 

A school teacher that seemed to not give me any attention in class, and when I couldn’t do first-grade math would set me in the corner of the room with scissors, paper, and glue to keep myself occupied?

Maybe it would be the person that molested me in the basement of the church while the congregation was singing hymns to God.  No one seemed to notice.  No one seemed to care.  I … Read more...