A bipolar diagnosis doesn’t mean I’m a serial killer

by Jon Farrow

The moment you’re diagnosed, that’s what you become, a psychopath. You are a witch in a society fascinated by the thrill of a hunt. To even utter the word bipolar brings cogitations of whether you could be a killer. So you bury the new explanation for the pain you’ve always felt. The answer you’ve always been searching for is considered a vulgar word.

Bipolar is an adjective thrown around to describe anything inconsistent, such as the weather. To even speak of it in anything but a satirizing tone is written off.

That pain of being written off … Read more... “A bipolar diagnosis doesn’t mean I’m a serial killer”

Why I can’t own my story

by JL

Why I can’t own my story--a story of sexual trauma
JL’s self portrait

Scratchy white tulle, a silky pink ribbon wrapped around my waist, two little pink bows in my short brown hair. This is how I remember, the first time. I wrapped my skinny arm around Pooh’s neck. I couldn’t go anywhere without him.

It was Easter Sunday and everyone was arriving. My mother, always the hostess, was pouring drinks and toasting to Jesus’ resurrection. The doorbell rang once again and I knew it was him. He was my absolute favorite person. I ran toward the front door and wrapped my skinny arms around his neck. He … Read more... “Why I can’t own my story”

There is nothing you can do until they ‘hit bottom’ #MythBustingMondays

by Teresa McBean

I have few commitments; I have a host of good intentions.  One of my commitments is weekly attendance at our Family Education Program on Thursday nights. I attend unless I am out of town or sick enough to require an IV and suffer from a fearful expectation that I should be getting my affairs in order.  This is how committed I am to busting myths about Substance Use Disorder and providing hope and healing for families struggling with this dread disease.

These educational meetings support recovery by educating family members and loved ones of folks who have … Read more... “There is nothing you can do until they ‘hit bottom’ #MythBustingMondays”

I lost my sister, Lindsay Pollack, to suicide

by Ren Bell

Lindsay started suffering depression as early as middle school according to friends

About 12 years ago, my life shattered into pieces. My sister and her boyfriend killed themselves in my dad’s car. The same Nissan Altima that I gleefully drove at age 16, earning a speeding ticket on Powhite Parkway.

When my mom called with the news of my sister’s death, I slumped on to the floor in a jumble of gasps and hot tears. All I could say was “no, no, no” over and over again. I pounded my fists on the carpet, my vision blurred. … Read more... “I lost my sister, Lindsay Pollack, to suicide”

Radical acceptance of my mental illness

by Anna Wieder

This morning I laid on the floor. And cried. And prayed. Which for me is just talking to God.

I didn’t feel like I had the strength to go on. I told God I hurt. I didn’t have the words for how much I hurt. I was glad He knew anyway. I felt shame and defeat. And I felt so tired.

“I hurt and I’m fighting.”

And then I realized, there is a lot of fighting in me, too. 

Maybe this is where I am at this moment – in the midst of fighting my story. … Read more... “Radical acceptance of my mental illness”

Where was God when my child died?

by Tamara Rollison and Lloyd Braswell

Where was God when my child died?

Where was God when my 19-year-old son Logan died from severe bleeding and broken bones hours after he slammed his truck into a tree?   I think God went on vacation that summer morning and left no miracles behind, at least not for Logan and me.   Against my will, my soul was deposited on the grief trail, a journey no parent should ever have to experience…but many of us do. 

Even the most perfect of parents and best of kids draw the short stick in life and bad things happen.  I used to have high … Read more... “Where was God when my child died?”

Breathing strategies to quiet anxiety or manage grief

By Karla Helbert

Breathing strategies to quiet anxiety or manage grief

We breathe all the time, right?  So, what’s the big deal?

Most of us are not breathing properly for optimum health and well-being.  We have poor posture, we sit for long periods of time, stare at screens, and move very little.  Many grieving, anxious, or traumatized people have the sensation of being unable to breathe fully. Sometimes you might unconsciously hold your breath until you find yourself gasping for air, not even realizing you weren’t breathing.

If we have been hurt, are grieving or have experienced trauma, we may feel like we want to be slumped down, … Read more... “Breathing strategies to quiet anxiety or manage grief”

Pawn shops and addiction

by Stas Novitsky

Pawn shops are predatory. They knew I wasn’t in a good place pawning my TV, jewelry, computers, and bike every week, but they made the transaction anyway.

I would go to countless pawn shops multiple times a week and do the weekly shuffle there. After the pawn shop to my dealers and then to hustle money to buy my stuff back plus drugs. At one point I sold them a stolen bike my 65-year-old homeless using partner had “given” me.

My addicted self thought nothing of it, I just wanted to get high. Needed to get high. … Read more... “Pawn shops and addiction”

The Opioid Crisis: Together, We Can Help Each Other

by Don Holman
Don provides current events updates regarding national policy on the addiction and opiate crisis in the US 

The Opioid crisis is such a complex problem and reminds me of solving a Rubik’s cube.

On October 7, 2018 I attended the FED UP Rally at Freedom Plaza in Washington D.C. FED UP is an advocacy group that focuses on keeping the Pharmaceutical Companies and the FDA accountable for their part in creating the Opioid Crisis and ensuring that they do not continue on the same path. The Rally each year in D.C. is an opportunity for those who … Read more... “The Opioid Crisis: Together, We Can Help Each Other”

What it’s like to have an eating disorder

By Evelyn

I’ve always struggled to explain what it’s like to have an eating disorder.  Words never seem to do justice to the torment and havoc eating disorders wreak in a person’s mind and belief-system.

Years ago, in the midst of a 10-year battle with an eating disorder, I wrote this as an attempt to explain my twisted, inner reality. It’s my hope, sharing it now, that it will help friends and family, of those suffering from eating disorders, better understand the inner turmoil.

It’s a blessing to be able to say that this isn’t my reality anymore

To any … Read more... “What it’s like to have an eating disorder”