Survivor & So Much More *First Posted 4/21/2014*

I am alive, happy, productive and helping other Survivors. I’m very blessed. My childhood and teenage years were so difficult I truly believed suicide was the only answer. My first attempt was at 9 years old, I took all the pills in my dad’s medicine cabinet. I got a buzz then my stomach pumped. Suicide was always on my mind since the abuse was every day. If it wasn’t physical abuse, it was constant mental abuse by my mother. At the same time, I saw my mother physically and emotionally abused by my alcoholic stepfather. At 13 years old I left my abusive life behind. It sounds great but you are so wounded you don’t want to look anyone in the eye, they may hit you or call you names. My mind stripped down and filled with trash, my mother took every drop of confidence I had. Over time my confidence grew and I started building who I am today. I did get called names and had a couple good fights. Sounds like any teenager trying to spread their wings. I have many unresolved emotions, responses, and fears. Who doesn’t? What I can say for sure, I’m a survivor and so much more. Survivors have to dig really deep after being kicked down. It took years for me to discover what I liked and longer to get over my fear of failure. My mother told me I was stupid all the time. I know better […]

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Dementia Thoughts

Dementia sucks, it’s fucking life sucking. I watched my granny die from Dementia, you don’t wish that type of death on anyone. Once she no longer knew who she or anyone else was it was crushing. I don’t want to die that way and have been vocal about it to the surprise of my husband, Therapist and Psychiatrist. My decision […]

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I had a Brother

we played with bubble wrap and watched the stars we swam and skipped rocks in the creeks near our house at nine years old we were separated we saw each other at the holidays no longer knowing each other he saw me drown in drugs he knew I was sent somewhere for a year no telling what he was told we didn’t […]

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When a Patient Dies by Suicide — The Physician’s Silent Sorrow

New England Journal of Medicine January 24, 2019 Dinah Miller, M.D. We talk about the toll suicide takes on families and the tragedy for the people who’ve died. What we don’t openly talk about is suicide’s toll on the doctors who have treated these patients. But when a patient dies by suicide, it leaves us profoundly changed. The news came by text as we drove home from brunch. My patient had died that morning by suicide. I read the text and wailed. My husband was driving, and our adult children happened to be away, traveling together on an exotic journey. I struggled to gather words, and my husband held control of the car through those excruciating moments when he thought something horrible had happened to our kids. I calmed down enough to tell him that the tragedy involved a patient. He was relieved. I was not. U.S. suicide rates increased by 25.4% between 1999 and 2016.1 It’s been estimated that at least half of psychiatrists will lose at least one patient to suicide during their career.2 There are no estimates on how many primary care physicians will have the same experience, though they often treat psychiatric disorders. Among people who complete suicide in the United States, 46% have been diagnosed with a mental health condition, and many more people have undiagnosed mental illness. We talk about the toll suicide takes on families. They experience grief, guilt, regret, anguish, anger, and stigma, […]

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Did Daddy know he was “Crazy”

My father committed suicide in 1992, put a shot-gun in his mouth. I was 28 years old, we were estranged since I was a teen. A trigger hit me like a hurricane this week. I’m having memories, not the worst. You put the the pressure on my shoulders to arrange everything, who to call. I had to face the chore of the house, a man living out of touch for many years. Worst was going to morgue, hand me original note and his bloody shotgun. Could you not see your friends were different? They were thieves but not in the same universe. They all took advantage of you, move in move out and steal what they want. One roommate committed suicide with your gun in your house. Down on their luck, will make payments on car, he was lucky to get three payments. He would have to track down and repo the car. They would come back begging and he would do it again. His friends were people at the bar he parked cars at. All the ladies got special attention, my father walked the lot to make sure the cars were secure. They all flirted with him, fake flirting, trashy bar, easy women going to bar in the hood looking for love. One night feeling the black dog, I went to the bar where my father parked cars. We played a game of pool, sitting at the bar he […]

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Dementia and Suicide

Second Stage Dementia   As dementia progresses, the symptoms first experienced in the early stages of the dementia generally worsen. The rate of decline is different for each person. A person with moderate dementia scores between 6–17 on the MMSE. For example, people with Alzheimer’s dementia in the moderate stages lose almost all new information very quickly. People with dementia […]

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Darkness Overcomes Me

I stand watching the darkness settle in. The black dog comes to torture me. Emotions, negative feelings left behind are brought out like dolls in a toy box.  I fight, fight hard not to fall in the abyss. Mask are taken out of their resting place, the mask are for me, which one will I need today. Lies and hurtful […]

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Bring Change To Mind

My daughter lost her battle with mental illness on March 19, 2013. She had just turned 23 years old. She was studying for the MCAT, and planned to cure cancer. She was curious and gentle and loving. She was too young. The pain of losing Emily is indescribable. And, I truly did not know how I would ever be able to move forward. In some ways, I do not think that I ever will be able to really move on from it. But, I knew that I had to try. Two weeks after we buried Emily, my sister saw one of Bring Change to Mind’s PSAs on television and told me that I needed to check out the organization. A month after my first conversation with the Executive Director, I joined the BC2M Board of Directors. After weeks of seemingly insurmountable heartache, I finally had a place to channel all of my emotions into something that felt productive. I had an opportunity to work with an organization dedicated to erasing the deadly stigma that surrounds mental illness. I had a chance to try and prevent another parent from going through what I had experienced. After Emily passed away, it felt as though I had become a member a club that I never wanted to join – a club for people who have lost a loved one to mental illness. No one wants to be a part of this club. And, I think that I speak for all of us who are united by loss […]

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What It All Means

This video floored me, it’s real for me, he spoke works to come from my mouth, Jim was able to show the guts, inside, raw communication and how struggles are battled. I ran across this last week, I don’t know who to give credit to. I’ve watched over and over and each time I see one of my dark times, suicidal journeys and crawling back from hell. I hope you will watch and reblog on. Everyone can learn from the inside look of depression.  M

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My Father

In the 1950’s doctors diagnosed my father Hyperactive as a teen, with little knowledge doctors prescribed tranquilizers. I can only imagine how this much-loved teen prankster turned zombie like. What doctors didn’t know was my father suffered from Bipolar Disorder. After leaving home, he never sought a second opinion or took medications. He committed suicide in 1992. I can’t say […]

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Beyond ADHD-Overcoming the Label and Thriving by Jeff Emmerson

I met Author Jeff Emmerson on Twitter, he’s motivating, a tireless advocate for Mental Heath and shines a bright light on ADHD for which he was misdiagnosed. Jeff’s book Beyond ADHD-Overcoming the Label and Thriving is on pre-order at Amazon and with an August release date.           By Jeff Emmerson and Robert Yehling Beyond ADHD weaves Emmerson’s personal story of his ADHD diagnosis, exploring along the way the latest medical, scientific and societal explanations and tools for managing and living with the condition. Including interviews with a number of experts at the forefront of next-generation ADHD diagnostics and treatment, he questions the cookie-cutter way ADHD is commonly diagnosed and treated. Suggesting that the list of symptoms often used to identify ADHD can be attributed to many other disorders and conditions, he explores how and why ADHD diagnoses have increased by 50% in the last ten years. Jeff Emmerson is a mental health advocate, popular video blogger and leading social media figure focused on reframing how we view ADHD, with a passionate mission to prevent mis- and over-diagnoses, and help people whose lives are impacted by the condition. He has more than 600,000 followers on his @IAmJeffEmmerson Twitter account, 15,000+ LinkedIn connections, a large viewership on YouTube, and is currently gaining about 7,500 followers per week. His e-mail list has over 26,000 subscribers. Emmerson is aligned with a number of leading medical, neuroscience and behavioral experts, many […]

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Department of Health & Human Services Grants 17 Colleges $4.9 million

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded $4.9 million in grants to a total of 17 colleges and universities across the United States. The grants, varying in amount from $47,494 to $102,000 annually, will be funded over three years by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) through its Garrett Lee Smith Suicide Prevention Program. The awards support a range of activities for the promotion of mental health, suicide prevention, substance abuse prevention, and more. This includes training faculty, students, and staff to recognize a student at risk for suicide and to intervene. The awardees include community colleges, small and large campuses, and state and private institutions. More… https://www.samhsa.gov/newsroom/press-announcements/201706200200

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Howard school staff, mental health experts weigh in on suicide depiction in Netflix series

Andrew Michaels Contact Reporter Howard County Times The Netflix hit series “13 Reasons Why” has the Howard County school system, and schools in neighboring counties, warning parents about the show’s graphic depictions of teen suicide, rape and bullying. At the same time, many are saying the show opens a doorway into conversations on suicide and other “uncomfortable” topics. The streaming service’s show caught viewer attention nationwide after its debut in March. The show follows the story of high school student Hannah Baker, who commits suicide and leaves behind 13 cassette tape recordings for her peers, who she said contributed to her decision to end her life. Based on a 2007 novel with the same title, the graphic depictions in the 13-episode show – rated TV-MA for mature audiences only – raised concerns among mental health experts, educators, parents and youth. Efforts against the show include that of Oxford High School students in Michigan, who started their “13 reasons why not” project, discussing their uplifting stories about getting help during tough times every day throughout May. Three episodes feature explicit material, such as rape and suicide, and have “viewer discretion advised” warnings. In a statement earlier this month, Netflix said that they added more warnings before the first episode, following critic response. Original messages before the graphic episodes also reemphasized its content. After becoming the “most tweeted show of 2017,” according to Variety, “13 Reasons Why” was renewed for a second season, to […]

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Report: Majority of military misconduct dismissals linked to brain injury, mental health

Mem and Women have given their lives since we landed in the country, we called America. Enlisting to fight for freedom, they knew the cost and it’s not free. With technology, our government is paying for state of the art equipment to protect and defend.  The highest ranks of Military Officials lied to every Soldier enlisted the Military will take care of your health whatever it takes. No war is pretty, nor free, every war comes advances in technology. International Relations is not looking good for America. The numbers of enemies are growing. The past several weeks North Korea is testing bombs and making threats against American. We can’t fight every country who hates America. Who is standing by our side and ready to fight if needed. If we are to remain a free country, the Military needs to quit playing games and using dishonorable discharge for PTSD, Brain Injuries, Mental Illness, the list goes on as you will see in the video. From the President, Chief of Staff and Military decision makers to take away the right to health is the least our government owes them. If you are dishonorably discharged  you loose your benefits. The White House and Military are responsible for this horrific treatment of PTSD, Brain Injury and Mental Illness if they don’t fit another category. Our government has to live with every suicide. Suicide which leaves widows, children left without a mom or dad. Mothers, Fathers, […]

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Texas Senate passes anti-cyberbullying bill David’s Law 31-0

SB 179 is, also known as David’s Law named for David Molak, a local student who took his own life at just 16 years old. His family says he was tortured by cyber bullies from Alamo Heights High School. AUSTIN – It was unanimous. The Texas Senate voted 31-0 to approve SB 179, legislation that will crack down on online bullying in state schools.   http://news4sanantonio.com/news/local/texas-senate-passes-davids-law-anti-cyberbullying-bill-31-0 Xx M

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Friday Psychotic Break

Tom Petty incapsulates everything Rock & Roll. I hadn’t seen this version, WOW.  Feel his rage, drugs, possibilities are endless.   Breakdown  Tom Petty & Heartbreakers  12/30/1978-Winterland, San Francisco.  I’m feeling front stage today.  Like version? How about suggestions. I always enjoy you’re thoughts & feedback.  😎M https://youtu.be/G1cmOq9MSo

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Everyone Suffers in Abusive Household

Original post 3/2014 Everyone suffers in an abusive environment. Our house was always in chaos. An alcoholic stepfather who abused my mother and a mother who abused her daughter. There were three other children in the house who saw the abuse, heard the screams and threats. I used to think the victim was the only person with scars. At 9 years old I survived almost daily beatings by taking drugs, plenty of alcohol and trying to kill myself. It never occurred to me my brother suffered from witnessing the abuse. My brother’s scars are from seeing our stepfather beat our mother. Dragging her down the hall beating her head from side to side. Putting a knife to her throat saying he would kill her. Most of their fights ending in front of our bedrooms. We had front row seats to hell. My mother abused me, the methods escalated as I aged. I heard stories of abuse as early as six months old. I don’t think my mother was trying to kill me. She’s like the women on the news who allow their kids to die. She didn’t push my head under the water but would have crocodile tears if I drowned accidentally. One weekend driving back from Houston we passed the exit to my mother’s house. I had strong emotions about my brother not me. I didn’t understand the emotions. It hit me like a train, my brother was not […]

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I Think Of You Every Second

I’m grieving a life, a life taken to the sky. Why a country song hit me so hard, I don’t know. Does she like country music? The uncontrollable tears may come from God, being there for me, when the pain doesn’t end. The tears maybe the first of many. I did not ask for promises. I shared the challenges of my mental illness, praying you would not feel alone in your pain. Being real but hoping to empower, no-one can make someone change their plan, only they can. I start praying, please God take her in your arms, show her how love feels, please make her journey beyond earth the greatest years of her life. I will miss you, I’m scared, please answer my email today. My heart is bleeding, all I need is to know you’re alive. God will always have your back and never stops loving you. This rendition was updated to celebrate 50 years of Country Music Awards (CMA). Beautiful song, it’s impossible to not appreciate the talent and their voices together. I will always love you. By the One and only Dolly Melinda

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A Mother’s Guilt

      Daughter My Birthday wish for You I hope that every candle brings a new wish. I hope the Smile that lights your face stays there all year-long. I hope everything  you’ve dreamed it will come true. I hope you know how much I love You and how proud I am of you. Happy Birthday With So Much Love. Card from my Mother You can’t give back what you took from my life. Xx  M

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What’s Love Got To Do With It?

Original post 5/2014 We do things for people we love not for those who do not deserve love. I woke today with a tug, my introspective mood. I save difficult post for days like this. It’s not depression or sadness more logical than emotional. Dissociation is a conversation my therapist and I have talked about for 15 years. When I talk about child abuse at the hands of my mother and stepfather my mood is flat. One of the ways I survived was putting each memory in a box to deal with later. After awhile some memories fade. Other’s are  yearly reminders. My mother still sends Birthday and Christmas cards. About 15 years ago she sent a Birthday card triggering the last blow. She basically said “I’m not the only person with problems get over it.” Nothing ever changes, everything is about her. I had not thought about my mother yet would send thank you notes for Christmas gifts. I didn’t think about it, just on auto pilot. This Birthday card was different, it pissed me off almost to almost losing it which I rarely do. I took the card to my next therapy appointment. I sit down and Diane knew something was very wrong. I handed her the card and the inscription written in the book. Diane was a cool therapist, she knew me well. She could tell the anger was building and ask what was my next step. I […]

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Good Times Gone Bad

I started Looking for the Light on 2-22-2014, exactly 22 years after my father’s suicide. Every year on the date, my emotions/logic are so conflicted. I stopped drinking years ago but every year I get drunk, my coping mechanism. I thought my dad was cool as a child and we had lots of fun. My father had no clue how to parent, it was scream or give in. My brother and I where seeing my father every two weeks. My father (married) had a girlfriend and liked to party, 8:00 p.m. on Saturday nights he would head out. We were left with our step mother and step brother. It was boring for me. I remember the weekend well. I got dressed, put on my stepmother’s make up and said I’m going with you. He said no at first but it was the well ask me again type of no. I said I had to get out of the house. I’m 9 years old but I looked older, not that much older. I received a lot of attention from the guys and it made me feel good. It made me feel pretty, when I got older the memories screwed up my view of relationships. Being the life of the party was great. I know there were several men who would have slept with me if I’d let them. My dad had one club he liked, I became a regular. He would find a couple of […]

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY DADDY 1940-1992 **A Daughters Elvis Tribute**

Original post 8/2014 Elvis Presley had a lifetime fan in my father. I remember playing his Elvis records at 4 yrs. old. Jumping on my friends pink canopy bed with hair brushes belting out Jailhouse Rock. After the divorce Daddy would visit driving to a mom & pop store, we’d get bottles of RC Cola, sitting in-car belting out to the radio. We had to drink  in the parking lot because the bottles required a deposit, after finished daddy would  take back for the deposit. I think it was a dime. My father was one of my abusers, I have few good memories, they’re cherished. I forgave my father, choose to focus on this nugget. My father was mentally ill, committing suicide in 1992. Abuse complicates grieving,  warm tears roll down as I write. Tears for my grandmothers pain and the years I didn’t have a father. He was reading the Book of Job during his last struggle, the last moments between him and God. To daddy

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D I V O R C E

Original post 5/2014 It was a normal Sunday like any other. I’m 6 and my brother was 3 1/2 years old, my mother was taking us to the lake. We never went to the lake, I began to get excited about playing in the water. I also grew concerned, what did she have on her mind. Even at 6 years old I knew she always had an agenda.We pulled up to the picnic tables on the far side of lake, nowhere near the water. She tells my brother and me that our parents are getting a divorce. Not understanding what it meant I ask her to spell it for me. I kept repeating the spelling in my head so I could ask my friend. I would find out sooner than later. Gramps truck was overflowing my father’s belongings. They were driving off as we rounded the corner. Their relationship went from bad to hell on earth. My mother took every chance to tell us how much she hated him. She married within six months his name was R known as (Nazi & Lucifer). He was her supervisor at work and could get her the white picket fence. We moved into a new house with a big back yard, things looked so normal on the outside. If people only knew the carnage on the inside. Custody was a nightmare, daddy would bring us home and she would throw things at him. One time […]

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Do you know me at all?

Original post 3/2014 It’s been an emotional month with thoughts of my father’s suicide and writing about him for the first time. I never grieved my father, the emotions caught me by surprise. It’s been very confusing because my father was one of my abusers. I am having health issues which is stressful. The Black Dog has come to see […]

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Brother witnessed Child Abuse of only sister * Everybody Hurts*

Original post 3/2014 Everyone suffers in an abusive environment. Our house was always in chaos. An alcoholic stepfather who abused my mother and a mother who abused her daughter. There were three other children in the house who saw the abuse, heard the screams and threats. I used to think the victim was the only person with scars. At 9 years old I survived almost daily beatings by taking drugs, plenty of alcohol and trying to kill myself. It never occurred to me my brother suffered from witnessing the abuse. My brother’s scars are from seeing our stepfather beat our mother. Dragging her down the hall beating her head from side to side. Putting a knife to her throat saying he would kill her. Most of their fights ending in front of our bedrooms. We had front row seats to hell. My mother abused me, the methods escalated as I aged. I heard stories of abuse as early as six months old. I don’t think my mother was trying to kill me. She’s like the women on the news who allow their kids to die. She didn’t push my head under the water but would have crocodile tears if I drowned accidentally. One weekend driving back from Houston we passed the exit to my mother’s house. I had strong emotions about my brother not me. I didn’t understand the emotions. It hit me like a train, my brother was not physically […]

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Nine years old living in Hell

Original post 4/2014 My brother and I called our stepfather a Nazi because he was mostly German and he would beat our mother unmercifully. Her crimes as we knew were not having dinner ready or not warm enough. The kids were to loud, noise was not allowed in the house, he was an alcoholic with major control issues. I was 9 years old, my brother six & half years old and our two-step brothers where much younger. They came to live with us after Houston Social Services found my stepfather the better parent. Of the choices, he was. Their mother was a drug addict. He never saw the boys after the divorce. By the time they were in the court system, they had been left at home for up to two weeks with no food, nothing. The youngest in the same diaper. The youngest experienced trauma so severely he regressed to a baby. Her addiction took over her life for that matter she may have forgotten she had kids until she came down enough. I hated my stepfather from the beginning, he didn’t wait to start controlling everything. He rarely talked to my mother it was always yelling. It was very complicated for me. I hated my mother for abusing me but it still hurt when he beat her. We had a long hallway that passed our bedrooms. When he was out of control he would walk my mother down […]

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I almost Killed my Father

Original post 4/2014 I’m writing the post with the outcome first. It made sense to me when reliving it. The tides turn It’s beyond comprehension why my probation officer saw hope in me. I gave her no reason, I had lost hope in myself, in life for that matter. I didn’t speak one word to her for seven months. I attended weekly meetings for possession of a handgun. I was a bad ass in my mind. I had to see a psychiatrist several times. I was smarter than my age at 12 years old. The psychiatrist asked me how many children I wanted. Without blinking I said none. “I wouldn’t take a chance on beating my children”. She said statics show abused people are less likely to abuse their children. I’d been sexually abused and beaten all my life. Stats meant nothing to me. The State wanted me in a boot camp type facility. My probation officer fought hard to find a less destructive facility. She felt a boot camp style would make me worse. She was right, I was wound very tight. If I can plan my father’s death what stops you from hurting a stranger. My grandmother knew about a convent that was for bad girls when she was younger. My probation officer Ruth Barrier agreed it was a better environment. I might reform in this setting. The down side, it cost $2,000 a month back in 1975 and my grandparents […]

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Could you hit your child?

Original post 3/2014 Both of my parents and stepfather abused me. We’re not talking spanking, we’re talking banging your head into the wall. I am 100% for discipline, accountability and house rules. You see children who have involved parents and the childs demeanor. I see parents yelling at the child while grocery shopping, belittling them in front of strangers. What we can’t see is child abuse. Child abuse is a taboo topic for most. My mother physically and emotionally abused me. I never told anyone, not even close family. I walked on eggshells at home. My first attempt at suicide was at 9 years old.  One morning I went to make breakfast and my mother told me I could not wear those jeans to school. This was the early 1970’s I was in 7th grade and probably argued with her. All the years my mother abused me, I never hit back. This morning was different. She started calling me a slut. She came to grab me and I hit her in the face. We were fighting and my stepfather walks in. Picture a 100 lbs. 12-year-old with braces getting hit in the mouth with a fist by of grown man. The inside of my mouth was bleeding from the braces breaking the skin. I had a bruise from nose to chin and some blackness around the eyes. I was not allowed to go to school for several days. When I returned most of the bruising […]

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Suicide is SECOND leading cause of Death in college-age students *Los estudiantes universitarios de suicidio

Suicide is the second leading cause of death in college-age students. In a recent study, one in ten students admitted to having considered suicide. My name is Conner Mertens. I am a sophomore at Willamette University and a placekicker for the Willamette Bearcats. Last year, I became the first active college football player, at any level, to publicly come out about my sexuality. Before doing this, I felt isolated by my secret. I had to constantly watch what I said and how I behaved, and endure the normal locker room culture that often included homophobic language and behavior. In those moments of profound loneliness, I wanted help, but felt I needed to steer clear of anything that, at the time, I thought made me seem weak (therapists, school counselors, etc.) Had I known then about an anonymous, judgment-free hotline I could call to get the help I so desperately needed, I might not have felt that same self-loathing, isolation. Still, I was lucky. When I finally decided to be true to myself and come out publicly, my coach, team and entire school rallied behind me. I finally had my depression under control. Unfortunately, many college students don’t get this relief, and too many of them choose a permanent solution to this temporary problem by taking their life. That’s why I am asking two of America’s largest university systems, the University of California and California State University, to include suicide hotline […]

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Senate Committee Approves Historic Measure to Increase Veterans' Access to Medical Marijuana

FREEDOM FOR VETERANS’ ACCESS TO MEDICAL MARIJUANA Why are Veterans’ not allowed to discuss Medical Marijuana with VA doctor? How the next round of votes go, I can’t predict. If validation proves to help,Veterans/Supporters speak louder while momentum is growing. Freedom of Speech is the right to speak my mind.     XO Warrior  HUFFINGTONPOST.COM Matt Ferner Become a fan Matt.Ferner@huffingtonpost.com Email Senate Committee Approves Historic Measure To Increase Veterans’ Access To Medical Marijuana Posted: 05/21/2015 3:48 pm EDT Updated: 05/21/2015 3:59 pm EDT The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a historic bipartisan amendment Thursday that aims to increase veterans’ access to medical marijuana. The Veterans Equal Access Amendment, added to the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill, passed the committee 18-12. The measure allows Department of Veterans Affairs doctors to recommend medical marijuana to their veteran patients. Currently, the VA bans medical providers working with the agency from completing any forms brought by patients that seek marijuana recommendations or opinions in states where the drug’s medical use is legal. The amendment, sponsored by Sens. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) blocks the VA from using funds to enforce the ban on doctors. “Veterans in medical marijuana states should be treated the same as any other resident, and should be able to discuss marijuana with their doctor and use it if it’s medically necessary,” said Michael Collins, policy manager for the Drug Policy Alliance, in a statement. “They have served this country valiantly, […]

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Guilt is the Shadow in the Mirror

All he said is your daddy has done away with himself. I screamed then said on the way. Calling right back to ask were they sure he’s dead? Yes. I think years of abuse left a permanent hole in my heart. I go there to do actions requiring no emotions. It’s like auto pilot, it has served me well. I started to think about work, who I needed to call. I’m driving with emergency lights on going 100 mph calling my work team. I stayed in auto pilot until I pulled up to my grandparents. Estranged since a teen, I thought it odd when he started calling. He sounded delusional and extremely paranoid. Nothing made sense, he was not talking in sentences. I pieced together he didn’t have any money and couldn’t work. Why he could not work must have come from the madness. I would do anything to avoid my granny being hurt. I paid his bills. Over the next several months the phone calls were my hell on earth. He would threaten to kill himself then go off on what didn’t sound like words. I couldn’t make out anything he was saying as he yelled in the phone. I would keep trying to redirect him back to our conversation. I did not tell anyone what daddy said. He was mentally ill. It had been years since we talked, maybe this was his norm. I didn’t know. Everyone sitting in […]

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One huge step for mental health care and suicide prevention programs *WP WE DID IT*

CRITICAL UPDATE FROM NATIONAL ALLIANCE ON MENTAL ILLNESS (NAMI) The Clay Hunt SAV Act Passed! Thank Your Members of Congress! Thank you for your mental health advocacy! Thank you for contacting your Senators and Congressmen to make your voice heard. Thank you for your support of suicide prevention for our military and veterans community. Your phone calls, emails and tweets helped to pass the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans (SAV) Act unanimously through both the Senate and the House. The bill is now on its way to be signed by President Obama. Among other things the Clay Hunt SAV Act requires an annual assessment of mental health care and suicide prevention programs at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and implements a pilot loan forgiveness program for psychiatrists that agree to serve in the VA. Please pass the thanks along to your Senators and Congressmen.

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Tell Your Senators To Support Suicide Prevention For Our Military And Veterans

NAMI, National Alliance on Mental Illness Needs your help. Call your Senator and tell them to support the Clay Hunt SAV Act. Tell Your Senators To Support Suicide Prevention For Our Nation’s Military and Veterans In one of the first actions in the new Congress, the House passed HR 203, The Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans (SAV) Act. This legislation requires annual assessment of mental health care and suicide prevention programs at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and implements a pilot loan forgiveness program for psychiatrists that agree to serve in the VA. The bill passed unanimously – demonstrating the strong bipartisan support for addressing gaps in mental health and suicide prevention programs at the VA. NAMI strongly supports the Clay Hunt SAV Act. We are asking you to keep this momentum going by calling your Senators today. Tell them how important this bill is to the mental health care system for our country’s military and veterans. Our nation’s military and veterans have protected us for decades; it’s time we help protect them. Contact your Senator today, Take Action

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Throw Back Thursday **Pink Floyd, The Allman Brothers and American Indians** A Strong Message of Survival

The Pink Floyd video brings thoughts, dreams and surviving to mind. I fly in my dreams and have for as long as I can remember. Watching the guy get the courage to fly is like our internal struggle to survive. Survivors continue to battle the struggle, the difference is they have learned to fly. The other message not lost on me is the American Indian appearing, building his confidence to fly. I am Cherokee and would have liked to fight their battles. Everyone has a story. If you are lacking confidence to jump the last hurdle, you’re in good company. Survivors dedicate themselves to helping you fly. There’s a line in Seven Turns on the Highway, Love Is All That Remains The Same. It reminds me the journey never ends, we have to keep living. By living we are going to hit unexpected turns. When we have the right people in our life, they take the journey with us. Surviving is a life long learning experience. Personally I love watching the American Indians dance, wondering what the dance means.   XO Warrior  

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**URGENT** 10,000 Signatures Needed By Oct. 18th To Improve Veterans Employability and Reduce Suicide Risk

CHANGE.ORG https://www.change.org/p/robert-a-mcdonald-us-dept-of-veterans-affairs-improve-veterans-employability-to-reduce-suicide Improve veterans employability to reduce suicide. Petition by BATTLE-BRO **URGENT. PLEASE SHARE – WE NEED 10,000 SIGNATURES BY OCT 18TH** Every signature sends an email directly to the personal inbox of the Secretary of the VA, Robert A McDonald. There are an average of 22 veteran suicides each day in this country: it’s staggering and a shameful indictment of us as a society. These men and women have risked and lost their lives for the freedoms we enjoy. One of the principal factors in bringing a veteran to this tragic decision is unemployment and the inability to support their family. Though veterans re-enter civilian life amply qualified for a host of jobs, there has been no bridging mechanism that translates their military skills to employer-friendly vernacular. This from the Washington Post is a perfect explanation of the problem: “Today, unemployment for veterans who’ve served since September of 2001 hovers just over 8 percent. For the economy at large: 6.1 percent. The gap between those two numbers speaks to several challenges: The military trains service members in many jobs with close but imperfect civilian corollaries, leaving veterans with the right job skills but the wrong certifications. Military service demands other skills that civilian jobs don’t (managing violence, repairing weapons, defending convoys). But where that unfamiliar experience entails universal qualifications (leadership, judgment, communication), employers don’t always know how to recognize them.” BATTLE-BRO – the Veteran call-a-day network combatting suicide – […]

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Where Do You Turn When Teacher is Bullying

Monday, May 26, 2014 Mom Upset That 9-Year-Old Girl Brought “Overweight” Notice Home From School Great video, please see the kids reaction to letter. The mother of a third-grade girl says she’s upset that the city Department of Education sent home a health assessment in her daughter’s book bag that categorizes the 9-year-old as “overweight.” Roseanne Colletti reports. Each year, 870,000 New York City public school students in kindergarten through grade 12 are handed their Fitnessgram assessments and told to bring them home without peeking inside. Laura Bruij Williams says her daughter, Gwendolyn Williams, looked at hers, and asked her about it one night while getting ready for bed at their Staten Island home. Gwendolyn is 4 feet 1 inch tall and weighs 66 pounds. The analysis said her Body Mass Index is “overweight.” “She said ‘Mom, school told me that I’m overweight,'” Williams told NBC 4 New York. “I was very angry and upset because I don’t want this to be the kind of thing that sticks with her.” The Department of Education says the assessments are “based on whether an individual student is in the Healthy Fitness Zone for their age and sex.” They are supposed to be sealed and given to parents only, so that the adults can start conversations with their kids about good eating habits and exercise. Williams, who says her daughter is active and healthy, said she would have preferred the assessment be given directly to parents so […]

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Bullying: Not Old Fashion Fighting Anymore

Bullying: Resources for How to Get Help This documentary explores Americas teen-bullying epidemic. Millions of kids are relentlessly demeaned and physically attacked at school every day. Parents of victims and educators say that a change must take place and everyone can help. Below is a list of resources to help stop bullying and cyberbullying. For Everyone: The Bully Project, and ‘Billy’ Movie: The documentary film that sparked a nationwide movement to stop bullying offers stories of those who were bullies and resources for parents, teachers, kids and communities for how to deal with and stop bullies on their website. “Bully,” which follows the lives of five U.S. students who faced bullying on a daily basis at school, including two who commited suicide as a result, will be in theaters on March 30, 2012. Stop Bullying Now!: A resource website sponsored by the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services that addresses the warning signs of bullying, how to talk about bullies, how to report bullies and cyberbullying and offers a 24-hour help hotline for victims at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). For Children and Teens: Teens Against Bullying: Specifically created to help teens learn about bullying, how to appropriately respond to it and how to prevent it. Kids Against Bullying: Specifically created to help elementary school children learn about bullying, how to appropriately respond to it and how to prevent it. STOMP Out Bullying!: A national anti-bullying and cyberbullying program for kids and teens. National […]

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Nigerian Militants Kidnap 250+ Schoolgirls for Slaves or Marriage

Under the cover of darkness Nigerian Militants raid girls school kidnaping close to 300 girls. Some were able to escape yet stranded far from school. Their future is grime, girls as young as 9 years old are sold as slaves or prostitutes. For older girls the future is just as bleak. Girls as young as 12 years old will endure the horrific pain of Female Mutilation before being sold into marriage or prostitutes. International Trafficking is growing and the atrocities against young girls continue. Now is a good time to educate yourself on the complex issues. President Obama spoke out against the crime and Militants responded by kidnapping more girls. As mentioned earlier the issue is complex. This post is a high level overview of the issue. I want to do research, including responses from other countries and more specifically what President Obama has committed to. I received an e-mail yesterday from Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott on International Trafficking that I have yet to dig into. This situation has reached a tipping point for me. I will post a follow up very soon. I’m going to leave you with a quote from Amnesty International. “MY BODY MY RIGHTS” In many parts of the world, poverty and discrimination affect women’s ability to access education and exercise control over their own bodies. As a result, women and girls all over the world are at risk of violence, forced marriage, genital mutilation, […]

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Mariel Hemingway presents "Running From Crazy"

Mariel Hemingway is the granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway. Mariel’s documentary explores her famous family’s history with Mental Illness and heartbreaking suicides. Premiering on the OWN network this Sunday at 9:00pm EST. I would double-check the start time. Information about the documentary including start times is probably on OWN’s website. Their family has faced generations of Mental Illness. Mariel is straight […]

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NO MORE George R.R. Martin

NO MORE EXCUSES MEANS NO MORE EXCUSES.  It doesn’t mean Television & Cable Networks get a pass. George R.R. Martin of Game of Thorns doesn’t agree. The cliffhanger last week named Breaker of Chains was an INCESTUOUS RAPE SCENE. One viewer said “it was the most disturbing scene ever”. At first George gave lip service saying it wasn’t RAPE which quickly turned to an apology when the Network was inundated with negative feedback. Every news/magazine outlet hit the story hard. One viewer did a rewrite of how the sence should have played out and printed by a major media outlet. This is an opportunity to educate the media on what we do and don’t want to see. If we believe RAPE and other VIOLENCE is wrong, we have to stand up. Until we make our voices heard the cycle continues. Warrior

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Stations of the Cross

This post does not preach or try to convert anyone of any religion. It’s the story of my intersection with the Catholic Church at 13 years old. In my recent post “I Almost Killed My Father” I told of spending a year at a Convent for bad girls. It is here I became familiar to the Catholic Religion. Growing up we did […]

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About Looking For The Light Blog

My mother, stepfather and father abused me until I was a teenager. All the scars hurt particularly of my father who sexually abused me. It’s hard to wrap your head around sexual abuse. My father committed suicide in 1992. It was an extremely difficult time, my grandmother never recovered he was her only child. In my father’s suicide note he wanted me to take care of all the details. Estranged for years but the heart still breaks. Because of the manner in which he killed himself we had to have a closed casket funeral. It’s very hard to reconcile death when you can’t see them. I gave the eulogy however I don’t remember. I struggle with Treatment Resistant Bipolar Disorder and the anxiety it brings. I was diagnosed  at 19 years old struggling for years without medication or over medicated. In 2005 I had the Vagus Nerve Stimulator implanted. The device sends electrical signals to the brain to increase Serotonin. I have taken over 40 prescriptions or cocktails. Some worked for a while then you have to try another mix. I thought the VNS device would keep me on the rails. Naïve thinking on my part. I was not as lucky as many in the FDA clinical trial. I realized the device was like any other prescription and it was another that didn’t work. I’m 50 years old now and the Black Dog drags me down deeper as I age. I’m alive with […]

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Free to Fly

My emotions are raw today. It’s 4:45 pm and still in my pajamas. I’m sad and confused. When buried memories bubble up I work hard to lock them back up. I saw the ladybug on the roses, it brought the biggest smile. The excitement was enough to grab the camera. A smile is a great distraction, half a smile is better than none. All I can give is a half-smile today. Guilt took over, guilt tells me I’m lazy and my husband is going to leave me. I know it’s the illness talking but it hit me hard today because I was weak. Melinda

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