Grief: Music can help you heal

music fills my empty and makes my hollow float

You can write it, perform it, listen to it but there is no denying that music can heal a battered soul.

It turns out music is connected to the pleasure center of our brains and is a great coping tool because it allows us to release feel-good neurotransmitters without resorting to booze, pints of ice cream, or shopping till we drop.

When grief renders words inadequate, music gives a voice to overwhelming visceral emotion.

Sad songs make us feel less alone, happy songs elevate our mood. My son, Charles, used writing and performing rap to help him through his … Read more...

Desperation breeds vulnerability

Everyone is a bit panicked, uncertain, anxious, and some are holding on to their mental health for dear life during this pandemic. And if you are not feeling like this, then a friend or relative you know probably is.

When we feel desperate and stressed, we are at our most vulnerable and tend to make decisions based on fear and not practicality or science. That makes us targets for scams, schemes, and making rash decisions, and irrational desperate moves because our thought processes are compromised.

You may have noticed more emails from companies that tell you your account is in … Read more...

Get a personalized signed copy

“Months later, I am still feeling the effects of Diary of a Broken Mind….I lost my own son to suicide 15 years ago, and although I have read so many books about this kind of loss, nothing has touched me as deeply as this.” —-Mea

Want a personalized signed copy of my book?

This will be a signed copy plus a personalized message with your name, or the name of someone you list. And you can say what message you want if you want that. Where it say’s “Name for personalization” below the paypal button is where you … Read more...

On Saturday night, a miracle happened

This note is published with permission from the parent who sent it. Her daughter also gave consent. Trigger warning: suicide attempt method mentioned.

My 27-year-old daughter had decided that the pain was too great, that she was a burden on everyone, and that since she was going to die anyway, might as well do it that night.

She went to google to find a site to learn how to hang herself. When she clicked on the link, she came to your site and a video with your son’s spoken word. It had such a big impact on her that she … Read more...

Will meds make me a zombie?

If you’ve ever watched “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” you see the worst-case scenario of what the wrong mix of psychiatric medication can do. This horror story has frightened more human beings out of much-needed medication than any movie ever made.

It was my son Charles’s fear that antidepressants would rob him of his creativity and strip him of his personality. At one time in our history, this was often the case. Today’s medication, however, is prescribed with the intention to help a person live as normal a life as possible. And as most who live with mental illness … Read more...

The thing about failure

by Danny Gautama

Failure has the ability to become your enemy or your friend. If you let it become your enemy, you are giving it the power to stop you and make you quit.

It can discourage you, make you feel like you are a failure and then it sends the negative thoughts to take over the rest.

If you make failure your friend, then it can help guide you, help you learn and become a better version of yourself. Let it become a platform for your ultimate success and happiness.

Every champion in the world will experience failure, including … Read more...

COVID-19 pledge

The safety of our tribe members and employees remains our top priority at Emotionally Naked. Except that we don’t have employees but that’s beside the point because I want this pledge to sound exactly like all communications you have received of late in your inbox from t-shirt to light bulb companies.

Hundreds of companies have sent you links to the CDC COVID-19 Pandemic page because you are so anxious you cannot possibly find those resources by yourself. (CDC= Center for Disease Control in the US)

As concern for the Coronavirus grows, we will continue to monitor and evaluate the situation … Read more...

I am really pissed

by Jenny Derr

Our youngest on the left, daughter in the middle and Billy whom we lost in April 2016 to overdose

Another young life was taken this week–death as a result of an unintended overdose. 

He was a close friend of our youngest son.  I last saw him at the Celebration of Life for another young man who also died of an overdose this past summer.  What the f**k?  How many more lives will we lose before we all wake up?

I speak as a part of an initiative driven by the US Attorney’s office.  Our program is called … Read more...

How to talk to kids about COVID-19

It’s important to invite kids to ask questions and give them age-appropriate answers. If we don’t, then kids and teens will fill in the blanks with something far scarier. (Resource guides from credible sources are listed below.)

For example, when I explained my brain surgery to a three-year-old Charles in 1999, I don’t think I gave him the opportunity to ask more questions. Even after I explained it, he thought once I came home, the wound would be open, the brain exposed, and family members would have to take turns putting towels on my head to prevent losing all … Read more...

The feeling of eerie isolation

Isolation and I have met. We’ve spent years together. Because grief does that to a parent who has lost a child.

The weight of isolation for me was far worse when my son was struggling with substance misuse and later his addiction to heroin. It was off the charts after his death by suicide.

As the historic Coronavirus disrupts our lives and social interactions, all of us are getting a dose of unwanted but voluntary isolation in an effort to prevent overwhelming our healthcare system.

The difference between that isolation and this one is that I’m not alone. Almost the … Read more...