4 things that are special about people who suffer with depression

We usually think of it as a weakness or a curse. It is a brain disorder but what if we started recognizing those with depression as gifted? Would it help sufferers see themselves as worthwhile if we collectively saw it differently?

1. Extraordinary gifts

At the therapeutic boarding school where Charles attended for about a year, the talent there was unlike anything I had seen before, particularly in the areas of art, music, writing and humor.

Most of these kids struggled with various mental health issues including substance use disorder but when you saw all of them together, I couldn’t … Read more...

Sweaty heart— #griefheart number 232

This one reminded me of Charles because he always made me laugh and I think this one is funny as hell. It’s right where the heart is which makes it that much more hilarious. It was fun having a built-in comedian in the family and I really miss that.

I have to wonder what my friend Laurie told this guy when she took the picture! So this is a project about grieving and sometimes that grief journey includes laughter.

What is the #griefheart project?

I explain my #griefheart project here.

See all #griefhearts so far on pinterest or on … Read more...

I didn’t find Charles after his suicide

I was not witness to that final scenery.

That vision is not forever burned in my memory.  And while I regret that the young men who did find him had to endure it, I have to admit, I’m selfishly thankful I didn’t see it.

I feel intense sorrow for a parent that does find their child that way. A few of those I know have. Others, like me, were spared that vision.

It would be a day later before I would find out. Panic, shock, screaming, an emergency call all happened without my knowledge a day before. A handful of … Read more...



Why do we think we have to go it alone? Gut out our losses with no support? Suffer troubles without reaching out or sharing?

For some reason, we’ve become a culture that thinks asking or looking for support is weak. Why is that weak?

Connection is a key human need.

Denying that need is false bravado.

While I consider myself a strong person, having survived a brain tumor and two surgeries from it, an attempted rape and murder attack at knifepoint, a broken neck and a loss of a child by suicide, I have learned it’s ridiculous to go it … Read more...

Thirty days is not enough

addiction research

For decades, insurance pays for 30 day stay for addiction recovery. If they don’t boot them out at 3 weeks.

But when it comes to addiction, science has proven it takes 18 months for the brain to rewire itself. And while I understand insurance won’t pay for that long, 4 weeks is just not enough to let anyone suffering from addiction to even get their footing. So why is 30 days still the standard?

Money for one.

Acceptance as addiction as an illness is another.

We’ve been in the war on drugs for over a decade now. The war we … Read more...

How many ways to say ‘dead?’

“Hard to comprehend in the human mind
Impossible to envision leaving yourself behind.”
–Charles Aubrey Rogers

kick the bucket

Nobody wants to actually say the word dead.

We say “passed on,” “passed away,” “kicked the bucket,” “passed,” “gone to heaven,” “deceased,” “expired,” “gone,” “departed, “fell asleep in Jesus” and a whole host of other phrases. Despite the fact that it happens to 100% of us, we are not the least bit comfortable with that subject and push it away.

Read the obituaries and see how many phrases are used to put lipstick on death. So entertaining to read some of them. Rarely does … Read more...

Breakup heart— #griefheart number 231

When you drop something and it breaks, you have this feeling that you want to reverse what just happened. Like there is something you could have done to prevent it from shattering on the floor. Even in that brief second before it breaks you feel that sense of panic of, “What can I do to stop this from happening?”

Sometimes when you catch it before it breaks, you feel a sense of victory and you breathe a sigh of relief. There are times I so wish I had had that opportunity to save my son. Seen in coming and prevented … Read more...

My favorite of Charles’ quotes

music fills my empty and makes my hollow float

Not all of these are sunny and positive. And we tend to avoid darkness. But I think for Charles, writing about the darkness helped him find light–until he found dope. There are so many rap songs and I have so few. Here are some of the quotes from those stanzas that I am sharing.

“…if you make it through today,
you can make it through the next”
——Rap Song: Find Beauty

“Life can crush your perfect world in under a second.”

“As dark as my life’s like, I can still smile at the bright side and see the

Trashed heart— #griefheart number 230

Sometimes it feels like my heart is in a dumpster.

Crumpled, disposed, smashed, beaten up, ugly, dirty and stepped on. In short, trashed pretty much sums it up some days since I lost Charles to suicide. Fortunately, not all days are this bad.

What is the #griefheart project?

I explain my #griefheart project here.

See all #griefhearts so far on pinterest or on this blog by#griefheart category.

Suicide Prevention: Ask the Question


6 things you need to know about social media and your kids


social media

There are good things about social media. And bad.

It’s the over utilization of it that is the problem for kids. And parents are having a hard time getting a handle on it.

Kids who suffer from mental illness are at risk for reacting to the bullying, exclusion and fictitious perfectionism and altered reality of social media in a negative way including suicide. Here are things you need to keep in mind as a parent.

1. Social media is an algorithm-based feed

Say what? Just so you know, an algorithm is simply a math equation fed to the social … Read more...