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.
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...
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’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...
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.
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...
Rams in Recovery offers space for recovery meetings, organize events and trips, offer recovery housing and scholarships and this group is doing a service project with the goal of creating care bags for the men at The Healing Place.
The opioid crisis in this country is alarming. Every single day I read about another person dying from an overdose.
I used to believe drug overdoses happened to “those people” and definitely not anyone in my family. We grew up in a strict Catholic household, attending mass weekly and had dinner together every night as a family. My parents were tough, but loving and I remember my childhood as a happy one filled with long days playing outside with my twin brother, Scott.
And then life changed
Those happy days turned dark quickly when I lost my … Read more...
Every single day in the United States, 130 lives are lost to opioid overdoses. Children will never see their mommy or daddy again and go into foster care, parents will bury their adult children. Families will pick up the pieces. Partners will left behind to face the brutal realities of this world alone.
The dark day my mom overdosed on morphine
I was 12 years old when my mom started taking pain pills for her chronic back pain that was caused by an extra vertebra in her spine. It didn’t take long for her medication to become … Read more...