I don’t have the TEDx yet but I needed to do a demo reel so this is mine. This was not easy for me to put out there. I hope, going forward, it is easier.Read more...
I am in a rejection business on two sides. On the one hand I have been trying to secure some paid speaking engagements. And the other is trying to get a book published.
From the speaking angle, I’m often “not right for their event,” “time isn’t good,” “not a good fit,” and “I think it’s fine to talk about all this. Just not around my audience,” and my favorite, “can you make your story more positive?” If I played some of these scenes back on video, they’d see it in themselves. They would cringe and say, “What was I thinking?” … Read more...
How many can say that?
The men and women in the HARP (Heroin Addiction Recovery Program) at Chesterfield County jail are normal people like you and me. They are sons, daughters. They have aunts, uncles, mothers, fathers, and children who are showing signs of addiction. They have a disease called addiction and they volunteered from this program and they desperately want to stay in recovery.
After speaking to the women, to whom I was privileged to address, Sheriff Leonard asked me to speak to the men. So I did!
Men and women told their stories of suicide attempts and regrets … Read more...
Sheriff Leonard of the much admired HARP (HARP = Heroin Addicts Seek Fresh Start) program in Chesterfield County along with Dr. Gay and the rest of the crew has invited me in to speak to women struggling with substance use disorder. This program is saving lives.
Imagine realizing your disease has landed you in jail. And then go one step further and think about how it feels when you realize some action on your part separated you from your children.
Many of these women struggle to find hope but they are attending the classes and they want to get … Read more...
I visited Cosby High School Health Science Students in Chesterfield County and presented on a topic no one wants to talk about: mental illness, addiction and suicide.
I told them my personal story about Charles. Actually, I taught two health science classes. Then we did a skit, “How heroin talked to Charles” and one dr Seuss-like poems on drugs and one on resilience. Voice was still awful but had a grand time.
After, these kids decided they wanted to send me letters to say thank you. Their idea. The most heartfelt, touching letters I have ever gotten. This is … Read more...
I am going to apply at some speaker’s bureaus. Hopefully, next year I’ll get some paid speaking gigs so I can continue my advocacy work. Because I can’t afford to retire yet and need to make a living.
For my applications, I need quotes from people who’ve seen me speak.
I really hate to ask this. But if you’ve seen me, I would love some feedback and quotes in your words. You can comment below or send a message. Thank you.
I am so grateful to have a community partner like McShin Foundation and I’m honored to have been invited to present at the Care Talks event focused on solutions for addiction.
I am still quite hoarse from gamma knife radiation (voice slowly improving) in this video and struggling at times to get sentences out above a whisper. But I got it done! Thank you Tim Alexander and team for shooting the videos.
See other inspirational Care Talks here.
I had hoped to be standing before you today telling you about my success story, Charles.
But 2 years … Read more...
If you know of someone looking for a speaker for mental health and suicide prevention, contact me.