Archive for the ‘Helpful Resources’ Category

Have you ever found yourself in a place where you didn’t know your way around? You had no map to help you get your bearings or direct you to lostwhere you needed to go. You were lost. And on top of that you were alone. There was no one to ask for help. Or maybe you were in a foreign country and everyone  spoke another language. So they couldn’t help you.

It’s frightening and unsettling. This describes how I felt when I first learned my daughter had a serious problem with alcohol and drugs. Lost and disoriented I had no clue where to find help. At the time no one I knew had faced this with any of their children.

I’ve been on this path for a little over ten years now. It hasn’t been easy to find resources and learn about this strange, foreign world I found myself in the middle of. Today I’m going to share with you a few of my favorite books for parents of addicts. Each one has helped me regain my bearings. (more…)


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SunsetAre you a parent, grandparent – or some other family member – who has been impacted by the suicide of someone you loved? I just finished a three-part series on suicide discussing the warning signs and a simple three-step strategy of suicide prevention, QPR, that is saving lives.

Today I thought I would share a few more resources I’ve found to help you cope and process your loss. Maybe you haven’t been personally affected by this national tragedy, but you want to understand it better and know how to help a friend. More than likely, some day, you will be impacted by this type of unspeakable loss. If you’ve found other resources you like, please comment and share them with us!


Grief Share Support Groups and Seminars – a 12 week, faith-based grief recovery group curriculum (more…)

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designDid you know National Suicide Prevention week starts tomorrow? Authorities state that: “Every 17 minutes in America someone commits suicide.”

Because my daughter has been on the verge of many dark nights when only God held back her hand from ending her life, I know how difficult it is for a mom or dad to understand what it’s like to be suicidal, then find a way to function while this dark cloud hangs low over their heads. There aren’t many other things that have the power to produce more terror in the heart of a parent.

I want to share a great resource with you today It’s one of the foremost books on the subject, written by one of the leading authorities: Night Falls Fast by Kay Redfield Jamison. It will increase your understanding about this epidemic that’s sweeping the country, leaving a wake of grief and pain in its path.

It may surprise you how Jamison, teaching professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, knows so much about suicide. She herself was nearly one of its victims, struggling with bipolar disorder for decades.

PhD in psychiatry, Jamison truly knows what she’s talking about in every sense of the word.

The back cover describes it as, “the first major book in a quarter century on suicide, and its terrible pull on the young in particular… Where it has become one of the most common killers of Americans between ages of 15 and 45.

An internationally acknowledged authority on depressive illnesses, Dr. Jamison has also known suicide first hand: After years of struggling with manic depression (bipolar), she tried at age twenty-eight to kill herself.

This is a book that helps you understand the suicidal mind,  recognize and come to the aid of those at risk, and comprehend the profound effects on those left behind.”

Here’s what others say about Night Falls Fast:
“A profound an impassioned book…it will stand as the authoritative study of suicide for many years.”

“This powerful book will change people’s lives – and, doubtless, save a few.”

“Jamison brings us face-to-face with the suicidal mind in a manner so intense and penetrating… A drama as narratively compelling as anyone might see on the stage.” -The Washington Post Book World

“A sweeping, authoritative look at suicide…her experience brings passion to every page of the book…”

“A must read for anyone who has thought of suicide or loves someone who has…from the first page, she hooks the reader, blending scholarship, life experience and keen writing ability.”

Kay felt compelled to write this book for two reasons: She strongly believes there are treatments that could save lives, and that the future holds great promise for the intelligent and compassionate care of the suicidal mentally ill. Throughout the world, public health officials are seeking a strategy that can decrease the death rate of suicide. I hope they they hurry.

If you feel discouraged, then you need this next book:
Do Not Lose Heart by Dave and Jan Dravecky. Former pitcher for the San Francisco Giants, Dravecky’s bout with cancer resulted in the removal of his left arm and ended his career. But, he did not lose heart. In his suffering, he found unquenchable hope.

Full of wisdom and promises of Scripture you’ll find their book full of encouragement and comfort.

These words of truth have done that for me many times:

“As they (whose strength is in God) pass through the valley of Baca (weeping; arid stretches), they make it a place of springs . . . they go from strength to strength. . .” (Psalm 84:6-7a)


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GrievingSuicide. A terrible tragedy with huge ripple effects. And it’s happening with more and more frequency, especially among teens and young adults. No community or socioeconomic group is immune. When someone takes their life, family and friends are left with more than their grief and sorrow, anger and shock. They’re also left with many unanswered questions and unresolved grief.

“Why?” is a big one. Often no letter of explanation is found to offer any comfort. No one will ever know this side of heaven what caused the person to take their life.

Another very complicated question is, “What will happen to their eternal soul? Did this person go to heaven or not?”

Where are answers to be found for Christians asking these difficult questions? (more…)

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Borderline Personality Disorder. Has your son or daughter been diagnosed with this brain disorder or have you wondered if this is the explanation for what is going on with them?  Have you felt at a loss for how to cope – how to help? Have you struggled to get your own life back? This book can help.

Stop Walking on Eggshells by Paul T. Mason and Randi Kreger. The subtitle is: Taking your life back when someone you care about hasdespair Borderline Personality Disorder. The title describes exactly what it feels like, doesn’t isn’t it? I think it’s the same with any mental health issue.

If these describe your situation, then this book is for you:

  • You feel anything you say or do will be twisted against you.
  • You find yourself concealing thoughts and feelings to avoid horrible arguments.
  • You’re often the focus of intense, violent, and irrational rages, alternating with period of when they act normal and loving.
  • You feel manipulated, controlled or lied to.
  • You feel as if someone alternately views you as all good or all bad.
  • Does no one believe you when you explain what is going on?


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Do you have a son or daughter who has been given the mental health diagnosis of bipolar?  Was it hard for you to believe it could be true? Didsnow flowers you wonder what this would mean for their future? Have you struggled to understand? Has it been difficult to figure out how to help? It was for me.

I want to tell you about a book that was written just for young adults to help them accept their diagnosis and learn how to deal with it. I wish it had been written ten years ago when we began this journey with our daughter.

The book is Facing Bipolar: the young adult’s guide to dealing with bipolar disorder by Russ Federman, Ph.D. and J. Anderson Thomson, Jr., MD. A unique fact about these authors is that they have been involved in counseling and psychological services on college campuses for over thirty years. Out of their experiences they developed a burden that birthed this book. (more…)

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brokenhearted1My husband and I have had our hearts broken many times over one of our children. Being parents of a daughter who struggles with addiction, mental health issues and suicidal tendencies, we’re passionate about helping other parents discover resources.

They aren’t easy to find.

Parents like us need all the help we can get on this grueling journey. Over the last ten years we’ve discovered some great books. They have been a huge help. Our library has taken a long time to build.

We’re going to start doing book reviews of our favorites to encourage you in your journey from pain to peace. Please share yours with us, too.

Today’s book is: Parents With Broken Hearts by Bill Coleman

Coleman addresses the topics I needed to hear someone talk about from a Christian perspective. I like how the author sprinkles trust in God and Scriptures throughout the book. Some of the topics are: denial, shock, loss, letting go, guilt, coping with holidays, marriage damage, problems with siblings and the common questions hurting parents ask.

Several of the last chapters include what other parents said they gained from their painful experience and what advice they’d give. Input came from dozens of moms and dads.

I found Bill Coleman’s writing style honest, concise and practical. He’s direct, yet not harsh. Chapters are short and easy to read. He also makes me laugh at myself. What a welcome relief.


A few unusual chapter titles are:

  • Why Children Hurt Parents
  • Secrets of Imperfect Families
  • The Limits of Pain
  • Making Pudding Pies

The last chapter is titled, Looking for Purpose. It made a huge impression on me. On page 137 it says, “The message isn’t Forget your child and get on with your life. The better message is, Accept pain for what it is and rise up to make something good happen.”

If you’re like me you probably need to read that several times.

One mom I know loves this book so much she bought them in bulk and began giving then away to every hurting parent she knew. She even donated a few to our lending library.

Here are a two recommendations from the inside cover:

“Bill Coleman not only helps parents understand what breaks their hearts, he also shares wisdom to help in the process of mending them.” -Tim Robbins, Counselor

“Bill Coleman, like his Lord, is close to the brokenhearted. This book is emotionally freeing and spiritually energizing. Readers will find healing and personal meaning as they put into practice the fresh ideas and clear choices that shine from these pages. They will also discover some ways to help others who are hurting.”  -Dr. Paul Welter

If you decide to read Parents with Broken Hearts you just might find that Jesus, who is able to “bind up the brokenhearted” (Isaiah 61:1) will begin to do that for you.

Please let us know how you like this book if you pick up a copy.

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