As much as I want you to get well, I love you even if you don’t

killed himself

This is what I wish I had said to Charles.

I was so stunned when I found out he was addicted to heroin. And while I know I felt that way, I didn’t express it just like that. I needed to. Our loved ones who suffer addiction need to hear it.

What kept Charles from ending his life before were thoughts of his family.

He pinned up pictures of us wherever he went including that awful trap house place where he was staying in the end to remind him that he had a family who cared. They were reminders during … Read more...

I need your stories

Your stories are important and some of the top performers on Google when others are struggling. I’m looking for stories about grief from loss of a loved one by suicide or addiction, mental health challenges, innovative strategies for either, stories of lived experience and creative ideas I’ve not thought of.

Guidelines and submit here

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Open mic nights?

I woke up last night freaked out. How am I going to do live readings of my book? I am not a worry wart but I was possessed with this at 3am. A few tears is fine, but I can’t have a crying meltdown which is what happened multiple times yesterday when I gave it a go.

You would think since I do so many speaking engagements that reading from this book would be easier. For whatever reason, it’s not which surprised me.

A blubber fest is not what I want to put on display. So I’m thinking I go … Read more...

It’s not shame you see in the eyes of your loved ones

To those with substance use disorder-

You see the faces of your loved ones when you use or relapse and you translate that look on their face as shame. Because you feel shame.

But it’s not that. It’s fear. We are gripped with mortal fear that you will die from substance use disorder.

We want to understand it as a disease. But it’s hard because it is so different from our usual definition of disease. We are not tempted to throw cancer patients out the door because we’ve had enough.

When you steal from us, we struggle not to be … Read more...

Speaking at Virginia Center for Addiction Medicine Family Program

Families, community members, professionals that are educated about addiction have the best outcomes. It’s as simple as that. I hope to see you at this VCAM event.

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Addiction: It’s not Personal- They behave the way they do because they are not well

Takeaways:

  • It’s not your fault
  • Perpetuation of shame and how it figures into recovery
  • The importance of connection
  • Signs of suicide and what to do
  • The importance of finding support
  • It’s not just their recovery, it’s ours, too

My time slot: 12:30-1:30pm
Audience: Families who have a loved one with SUD, community members and professionals.

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Supporting a 1:250 counselor ratio in public schools

by Kathryn Haines and Anna

Note from Anne Moss. I’m supporting candidates, red or blue, who support mental health, including addiction support. Kat Haines is running for Chesterfield County School Board in Virginia. I hope you will support these candidates, too. Because nothing is going to change if people who don’t get it are making the decisions.

They say you know more people when you have kids in school than you do at any other time in your life. As I collect people’s stories, their struggles with mental health emerge as a theme, not only in my own family, but … Read more...

What to say to a friend who tells you they want to suicide

What Do You Say Concept

First, tell your friend you are honored they trust you enough to tell you. And the number one most important thing you can do is listen with empathy.

So what does that mean? Listening with empathy means you listen without passing judgement or offering advice. You can’t “fix” this but you can prevent a suicide simply by sitting and listening to someone.

So what do you say exactly?

When they say they want to suicide, you can say. “Tell me more, I’m listening.” If you can’t remember anything else on this post, you can remember … Read more...

My teen just lost a friend to suicide. How can I help my child?

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Unresolved loss is an underlying reason for a lot of substance misuse/addiction as well as a contributing factor for completed suicide.

We think of children as resilient but that doesn’t mean they “get over it.” Grief is not something that just goes away, you simply learn to live with it. If you love someone, it hurts to lose them. Unresolved loss is the result of trying to avoid the grief or going silent on the subject altogether.

I couldn’t avoid the pain of losing Charles when he died by suicide And no other hurt I ever experienced was … Read more...

Challenge doctors that hand over opiate prescriptions without questions

Speak up.

If someone prescribes an opiate when you have explicitly asked for it not to be prescribed, or a medical professional just hands you the scrip without asking if you are in recovery or suffer from addiction, don’t ignore it. Say something.

Ask the nurse, PA, or doctor, “You know those are highly addictive and we are in a crisis in this country. Don’t you think it’s a good idea to ask people if they are in recovery or suffer from addiction?”

You can ask it politely. But don’t let it go.

If more of us asked, more doctors … Read more...

Paying it forward gives another hope

letter by Christopher Doyle

Scott Zebrowski died from overdose and a scholarship fund established by his twin sister, Jill, has given Christopher a chance at recovery

“About four months ago, I was in such a dark place that I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it out alive. To be hones, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to. Thirteen years of heroin addiction and failed attempts at getting clean had brought me to a place of such hopelessness and despair that giving up seemed like a viable option.

Scott Zebrowski didn’t die in vain. If his family can … Read more...