In the aftermath of your child’s suicide, the world definitely looks different

by Margaret Thomson

Ten years ago this August my son Kieran, a medic in the army, died by suicide. Needless to say, our family was devastated as we unwillingly took up membership in that most terrible of clubs, the one you never want to be a member of.

For almost a year, Kieran’s deployment had been repeatedly delayed, which may have increased the anxiety my son was almost certainly feeling, even though he vehemently denied in a suicide note he posted on Facebook that his impending deployment had anything to do with his decision to take his life. 

As his … Read more...

Submit your emotionally naked story

I need your story. If you have lived experience with mental illness, addiction, or suicide if you have lost someone to suicide. Stories from veterans, about veterans, about LGBTQ individuals or indigenous people.

If you work with schools, teach coping strategies, or have an upstream strategy to share. The guidelines are here.

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Suicide, Trauma, Foster Care, Adoption

by Carla A. Carlisle

Carla A. Carlisle

On March 22, 2010, my life was forever changed when I became a first-time foster parent to a beautiful premature 10-day-old, two-month baby boy.  I knew that becoming a foster parent would mean major lifestyle changes, I didn’t know that my connection to this child would change the essence of my being.  I was told that 99% of children taken at birth don’t go back to their birth parents, but this one fell in the 1%.  At six-months-old, this dear sweet baby boy was returned to his birth mother. In the six months, I had interacted … Read more...

Students looking after one another

by Dave Matthews

I live in an older neighborhood.  I used to know everybody and we looked out for each other.  All the neighborhood kids played together, we collected mail and newspapers when a neighbor was away. That sort of community.  We didn’t have a “Neighborhood Watch’, though.  We didn’t really feel like we needed one back then.  We genuinely cared for our neighbors.

Some 40 odd years later we still look out for each other. But now, in the era of  “Me Too” and BLM and wearing masks to protect one another, it seems to take on a new … Read more...

My emotional pain

by Ben Eden

As I share my story, pay attention to how you think and feel.  These realizations will be important in your path to overcoming your own emotional pain. 

As you read my story, don’t compare and think, “That was no big deal” or “Oh my! That is so much worse than mine!” Rather, see how we can relate.  Our experiences may not be the same, but we may relate in how we have felt during our experiences.  We are all dealing with something and maybe we can learn from one another.

My story comes from when I was … Read more...

Parents of Addicted Children

by Donna Marks

There’s a 12-Step program for just about everything. Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACA) has been around for a long time. It was a spin-off of Al-Anon (significant others of alcoholics), which evolved from Alcoholics Anonymous. ACA is a 12-step program that offers help to adult children who have been emotionally traumatized by a dysfunctional family.

According to Claudia Black, a dysfunctional family operates under specific rules: “Don’t think, don’t trust, don’t feel, and don’t talk about it.” The secrets and silence are generally related to shame-based behaviors, usually addiction-related. 

I’d like to see a 12-Step program for … Read more...

Why?

by Tammy Ozolins

Tammy Ozolins

Why me? I often would ask
Why did I have to deal with all this pain in the past
Surgery after surgery, sickness after sickness
it all happened so fast

But now I must deal with a mental disorder that is here to stay
You see Bipolar Disorder just doesn’t go away
Another illness I must deal with
More meds I must take every day

Why me? Have I not gone thru enough?
Now, I must deal with this mental stuff
Going through days of highs and lows can take its toll
But I always … Read more...

Strength means having the courage to ask for help

by Tammy Ozolins

I have four brothers and no sisters. So, as you can imagine I had to be very tough at a young age. This is what I truly pride myself on, my toughness. Well, even though this is a great quality to have, it did have some negative to it. See, everyone expected me to be this tough woman all the time. Well, deep down inside that was not the case all the time.

When I was I high school I was just starting to deal with Bipolar Disorder

I was not medically diagnosed until my mid-twenties. So, … Read more...

Grieving while pregnant

by Barbara Rubel, MA, BCETS, D.A.A.E.T.S.

The doctor held up my newborn and said, “It’s a boy.” A moment later, he held up the second arrival, and announced, “It’s a boy.”  Only a moment passed. My heart filled with anticipation as he held up the third arrival, and proclaimed, “It’s a boy . . . triplets!” I told him that Fred MacMurray would be proud referring to the television sitcom, My Three Sons.

Due to the high-risk level of my pregnancy, I was on bedrest for three weeks in a private room on the maternity ward in a section of … Read more...

My family’s frustration with my mental illness

by Nida Fatima, India

I have fought every day for 10 years. I also had physical trauma previously. So I fight mentally and physically, too.

Since I was born I was treated as if I was ignorant and not mentally ill. I felt the boycott from my community and suffered isolation from my family.

My bipolar disease was diagnosed when I was in a teenager. At that time my father had to handle me and tried to keep negative people from me. Because my father was told by a psychiatrist. I don’t know how I understand things without knowing or … Read more...