Behind the Hoodie

by Jackie Utley

A poem inspired by a mother who lost her daughter to suicide. One of the contributing factors to her suicide was bullying.

behind the hoodie
Photo by Brandon Mathis on Unsplash

Stepping on the doormat
Doesn’t feel like my home
The familiar smells from the kitchen
Don’t excite my tastebuds anymore.
Dreading the welcoming voices
Whose pitch pearce my ears

I don’t want to know they are happy
My low life has no highs to share
I’ve nothing nice to say anyway
They’ve no idea my world is fractured.

I don’t belong here now I know
Pulling my sleeves over … Read more...

What is ‘gray area’ drinking?

by Kari Schwear

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. 

The Beginning

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...

A suicide attempt survivor speaks out

by Jeff Watts

Jeff and his kids

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 also left the support I had … Read more...

I feel guilty for passing my mental illness to my son

by Gor Rivenshield

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...

Holiday Survival Tactics

by Jenny Derr

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. 

We lost Billy in April of 2016 at age 24.  Billy loved Christmas, our whole family does!  I used to … Read more...

No words to describe the grief

by Kerri Jenkins Rhodes

William “Taylor” Rhodes

There really are no words to describe the pain of losing a child.

To wake up each day and find a way to get through it, to find a purpose for the pain, a way to give all the love you want to give to your loved one and to others that need it.

To find a way to make a life for yourself with a huge part of your heart missing.

Unfortunately too many of us are in this awful club. We will all survive this because one day we will meet … Read more...

I need your end of the year stories

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...

Soul Sisters – Losing my friend to an eating disorder

by Jessica Lucas

Jessica Lucas

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...

Grief is like a chronic disease

by Omar Abubaker, D.M.D, Ph.D.

Dr. Abubaker and his son, Adam, on the left who died from overdose.

By 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...

Traumatic brain injury can trigger suicidal thoughts

by Beth Tucker

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...