In April 2020, my life almost came to a halt

by Jessica Donovan Amend

Sitting in my bathroom, with my then fiancé asleep in our bedroom just a few feet away, I sat with tears streaming down my face. I literally fell to my knees praying that God would help me figure this out, help me through this agony that I felt so deeply in my soul.

Now I’m not going to say that YOU need to believe in God and I’m also not going to say that I know anything for certain, but what I do know is that this night, God showed up for me. That night I … Read more...

I lost my brother Matt to suicide ten years ago

by Shannon Geary Weisleder

Trigger warning: Strong emotional content and suicide method mentioned.

Ten years seems like a long time – a decade – but at the same time just yesterday, too. Ten years ago January 12, I lost my big brother to suicide. He was 41. I was 38. I had three young boys and he had five children – four boys and a girl.

It was a Sunday morning and I was eating breakfast and reading the paper

My mom called and was worried she couldn’t reach Matt. He had just moved into a new home the day … Read more...

Finding hope after losing loved ones to suicide

by Joyce

finding hope
Finding hope after a suicide loss

In 2015, I lost my brother, Doug to suicide. 

It was a very complicated relationship.  He was verbally and physically abusive to me when we were growing up.  He needed help so badly but he didn’t ask for it and “handled things on his own.” I felt so much anger, maybe even rage at times.  I don’t know where all this anger came from.

Then, on June 23, 2018, I lost my husband to suicide as well.  I felt totally numb and in shock.  I know that there’s a lot of anger … Read more...

My son relapsed after ten years

by Cathy

When we think of drug addiction we often think of people who have thrown their lives away; they may be homeless, hopeless, made poor decisions have no support system, or they may be like my son. He was an altar boy, a boy scout, played sports, won academic awards, and has an extended family who loves him and continues to want the best for him.

It could be, and is for many, a dual diagnosis; mental illness and addiction or a legitimate introduction to opioids after a diagnosis of a chronic illness or an accident. Many times the … Read more...

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...

Search and Rescue Song

This is a lovely song written by Tony Andrade, John Droese and Bennie Droese and with permission to share here.

Castaway
Are You Drowning in despair
If you want, Just reach out
You know that I’ll be there
Tie the line, I’ll pull you close
From your sea of blame
A thousand miles, a world away
I’ll find you just the same
I’ll search I’ll Rescue
However far, how long the day
Whatever wrecks you
when your lost, alone and you drift away
I’ll be your lifeline the one that won’t let go
I’ll … 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.

Read more...

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...