I had finally surrendered

When Charles called me that last time and maybe when I found out he was addicted to heroin 4 weeks prior to his suicide, something in me changed. I have wallowed and bathed myself in guilt for having felt defeated and not being on the top of my game during that time. There were multiple layers of issues, all of which we tried to resolve. It was all so much.

For the three years prior to his death, it was all about desperate attempts to save his life. What parent wouldn’t want to do that? Historically, he never gave any … Read more...

How to find hope

pilot light of hope

How do I know you will find hope? Because you came here, started reading this and wanted to find it. 

Hope is a little pilot light that dims when you are down, brightens, and flickers when you are up. There are always going to be extremes but most of life is spent somewhere in the middle.

While hope is anticipation for the future, it influences how you feel in the present.

So when you are in despair, take a step outside your comfort zone, or practice an act of kindness. No matter what, don’t let the flame of hope die.… Read more...

Thank you for supporting my birthday fundraiser

The goal was $2015, representing the year Charles died. Thanks to all of you, we exceeded that by over $200. The funds will go to NAMI Virginia. NAMI stands for the National Alliance of Mental Illness.

It’s an organization that provides programs for those who live with mental illness and their families. In times like these, what they provide is so important and I know they need the funds more than ever.

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The Bereaved Parent’s Pledge with Worksheet

pledge from bereaved parents
Hand on heart. Icon on a white background. Vector illustration

For July, bereaved parents month

This starts with a pledge from a grieving parent. Then some information about how friends and family might perceive your well being. They don’t know what’s healthy grieving or unhealthy grieving and often mistake perfectly healthy grieving practices as warning signs or even grief shame you.

Pledge

While I, the grieving parent/guardian/grandparent, know that friends don’t know what to say, I will give them credit for talking to me because saying anything takes courage.

Friends are afraid of saying the wrong thing but my pledge … Read more...

Your child said he is suicidal: Say this, not that

I get hundreds of messages and comments from children, teens and young adults monthly about how parents respond to “mom/dad, I have been having thoughts of suicide.” I then advise these kids to tell a teacher or a school counselor when a parent isn’t responding.

So if you hear that confession, respond with, “I am so sorry. Tell me more. I am here to help in any way I can.” Then do more listening and no lecturing. Many parents respond appropriately but some do not.

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Culturally specific therapists

I’m often asked for gender, culture, or ethnic-specific therapists. I know it makes a difference but I often don’t have an answer. This list is so those who have a specific ethnicity can find a therapist that understands your culture. Given recent protests, it’s more important than ever to seek help if you need it.

Source: This list from Araya Baker, writer for Teen Vogue.

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Out of the evil, dark and painful, our job is to make flowers grow

It is in the little things that we do, that we shape the lives of our children – without realizing the impact. Once done, these actions can never be undone and all we can hope for is that they will find it in their hearts to forgive us – eventually. We pass the stage when “sorry” just doesn’t cut it. They’re angry for they’ve carried the heavy burden of adult sin with them since the age of, in our case, 10.

I used to think that our sequence of events (like a plot in a horror movie) began approximately five … Read more...

Recording of Emotionally Naked with Ryan Hampton

  • Shame keeps those in addiction sick and using
  • Ryan’s mom did set boundaries. He was not allowed in the house. No dropping off money or paying rent. Those were her boundaries.
  • She was always a phone call away. Always would listen no matter how absurd his conversation. Allowed him to vent and encouraged him to get help. Always willing to be there. Took him meals, met him for lunch. Always let him know he was loved and there to help him find recovery 
  • Recommends looking locally for treatment. Don’t go for Vacation Riviera setups. Ask to talk
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I’ll give you this cupcake if ….

If you leave me a review, I give you this cupcake. That’s if you read my book, of course. The rest of you can just buy one if you have not already. You see, we new authors need those reviews. They are so important. So yeah, I’m offering a cupcake. A picture of a cupcake, actually.

Imagine what this would look like if I tried to mail it to you especially since it’s so warm here. But a picture of this cupcake! What a prize. That’s better than a trip to the Caribbean. It’s not like you can’t google one … Read more...