Breaking free of opiate pain medication

by Kimberly

I had brain surgery in 1999 for a brain stem tumor at Johns Hopkins and was in the hospital for a month. The doctors prescribed only Tylenol because they did not want my brain affected. I had to have my liver tested monthly because of how toxic Tylenol codeine is.

My doctor then switched me to Oxycodone and after a short time, I asked to be taken off that and the doctor prescribed Neurontin 600mg for nerve pain, which worked for a little while.

I had to keep increasing dosage to get the same effect and in two … Read more... “Breaking free of opiate pain medication”

Getting Comfortable with an Uncomfortable Conversation

Date: Thu, 03/21/2019
Time: 7:00pm-8:30pm
Cost: Free
Who can come: This is a Community event in Midlothian,VA. Mostly parents but teens are welcome. There will be emotional content.

Details on the event and takeaways on the registration page. And we are asking for registration so we can follow up with resources based on Q & A after. This is the neighborhood in which Charles grew up and the middle school he attended and the community is struggling with the loss of another young man.

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Read more... “Getting Comfortable with an Uncomfortable Conversation”

Not staying quiet on addiction

by Stephani Morris

stephani

I am a 31-year-old single mother to a beautiful 8-year-old boy.

In 2016, I worked at a gym, competed in fitness competitions, was working to get my nursing degree, had experience working at Georgetown Medical School, worked in a local hospital as well as a doctor’s office. To top off my own successes, which I soon learned meant nothing, my son was diagnosed in 2015 with high-functioning Autism.

With the help of my family, I helped him get the therapy he needed, volunteered at his school, coached his sports, volunteered on his field trips, lobbied for rights … Read more... “Not staying quiet on addiction”

Can a Blog Save Lives? TEDxGraceStreetWomen

Can we save people who are Googling, “ways to die?”

People Google how to do lots of things– including how to kill themselves. How can we leverage what we know about suicide and the internet to save lives? After my son Charles killed himself, I sold my digital marketing business, started this blog, Emotionally Naked, and used my skills at search engine optimization and content marketing to reach those most in need to help prevent suicide.

Doing this TEDx was a transformative experience

I made the intentional decision to focus solely on enjoying the moment. I didn’t and still … Read more... “Can a Blog Save Lives? TEDxGraceStreetWomen”

Bonding with others who’ve lost is therapy

Anne Moss Rogers; Jill Cichowicz; Omar Abubaker, DMD, PhD
Anne Moss Rogers; Jill Cichowicz; Omar Abubaker, DMD, PhD

So recently my friend, Jill Cichowicz, whose twin brother died from Substance Use Disorder, arranged a meeting with me and Omar Abubaker, DMD, PhD who lost his son to addiction as well. We talked about pushing forward our agenda on substance abuse education and how, we, as people who have lost someone precious to this drug epidemic can make a difference and educate people on this disease–starting with presenting it as a disease.

Dr. Abubaker is a seasoned speaker. As head of the VCU Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, … Read more... “Bonding with others who’ve lost is therapy”

The Fighter!

by Danny Gautama

the fighter against ocd
Danny is the fighter

As a 5-11, over 240-pound man, if you saw me on the street you would not think anything is wrong with me. The truth though is far different — I have endured Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, depression and anxiety for most of my life.

My first incident occurred when I was just four years old

I watched Thriller and saw Michael Jackson turn into a werewolf. It traumatized me. When I started kindergarten, I would hide underneath tables because I was afraid my teacher would turn into a werewolf. I started seeing a psychiatrist … Read more... “The Fighter!”

If my loved one stops doing X and starts doing Y, all will be well

by Teresa McBean

#MythBustingMondays – Watching someone die a slow death as a result of an unremitting and cruel condition like untreated Substance Use Disorder is the WORST.  It is frustrating, frightening, and trauma inducing. 

All sorts of pro-addictive and anti-recovery thoughts will enter into the mind of loved ones. This is normal and expected but it cannot go unaddressed without serious consequences for all involved.

“If only she/he would stop using!” is an example of pro-addictive thinking that creates a certain mythology around how to deal with the disease.  The myth is this:  If my loved one stops doing Read more... “If my loved one stops doing X and starts doing Y, all will be well”

Comment that make me laugh

So the quote below in response to a speaker job to which I applied and you are allowed to laugh. I did.

“Hi Anne, I don’t think that we need a speaker on mental health and suicide for our Wine Tasting and Steak Dinner fundraiser.”

So yes, I brazenly submit my speaker topics to wine tasting functions. Why not? And she brazenly implied it was inappropriate in her response and I fell off the chair laughing. Charles would have made a hundred jokes about this.

It’s such a normal subject for me now. And obviously not the case with someone … Read more... “Comment that make me laugh”

Living with unanswered questions

Charles left a lot of writing. He left a computer. He left a phone.

The writing was very revealing. Enough so, I wrote a book to include it.

The computer did not have much. But I was able to get into his facebook account and that answered some questions.

We never got into the phone. I held it in my hand after his death and that thin screen between me and my son’s last pictures and texts might has well have been a twelve inch steel door.

Every time I punched in a code I thought might be the one, … Read more... “Living with unanswered questions”

‘I Don’t Understand.’My Journey Through Suicide Loss

by Chrissy Lowery

Jake Lowery
Jake Lowery, 07/16/1999- 06/15/2016

“Another one…?” I couldn’t help but hear it repeat in my head. “Really, another one?”

My body shook with chills and my stomach knotted itself, just as it does now remembering the story. I wondered if hearing these stories will always affect me this way, and if they would always jolt me back to that instant gut-wrenching fear that I felt on June 15t, 2016.

I’m an RA for a freshman residence hall at Christopher Newport University in Virginia. We have weekly staff meetings in which my boss updates us on … Read more... “‘I Don’t Understand.’My Journey Through Suicide Loss”