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be still3 - CopyHas your son or daughter has been diagnosed with a mental health issue? Major depression, obsessive compulsive, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia (among other disorders) are robbing millions of their quality of life. This is part one of a three part series highlighting information about the major mental illnesses, also called brain disorders.

My information is from The National Alliance on Mental Illness (nami.org) the major source of information, education, advocacy, and support for individuals and their families affected by this challenge.

 

Mental illnesses are not the result of personal weakness, lack of character, or poor upbringing. They are medical conditions that men, women, and sometimes even children, have no control over, like diabetes or cancer. These disorders diminish their ability to function and cope with the usual demands of life. The result is a huge ripple effect on family members and society in general. Compassion, understanding and support is needed.

In this addresses major depression. If you love someone who suffers from this, be encouraged. As the non-profit To Write Love on her Arms (twloha.com) says, “There is help and Hope is real”.

One of the best things you as a parent can do is to educate yourself as much as you can. It helped me. (more…)

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The To Write Love on Her Arms movie has been out a little over a week now. Today’s post is the second in a two-part series answering commonly asked questions about Renee, us, David, and the movie. You can rent or purchase it from RedBox, Netflix (as of March 13th), itunes, Amazon, twloha.com, or Walmart online. It deals with sensitive subjects: Addiction, mental illness, self-injury, suicide, and sexual trauma. For individuals who struggle with self-injury, counselors recommend they watch it with a supportive community and have opportunities to talk about it afterward so that it won’t trigger them. Go to my blog from March 8th for part 1.

Were there any other hobbies Renee had that helped her cope with the inner pain?

Renee sports.Yes. Sports. She was always an athlete from the time she first started playing soccer at age 5. She and her siblings all loved soccer. She played on her school’s team all the way through high school and it was a great outlet for her emotions. In middle school she played on each team they offered (soccer, volleyball, basketball and track) and won the coveted all-sports award in eighth grade, a feat not many could attain (although I like to brag that her sister, April, accomplished the same thing that year as a sixth grader!). And her dad and I never missed a game unless we were sick.

How is your relationship with Renee today?wedding rehearsal - momma and her girls (more…)

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TWLOHA movie12The To Write Love on Her Arms movie has been out almost a week now. It’s surreal for my husband and me to see our daughter and our lives in a movie. We’ve heard from friends all over the country who’ve watched it and even a few who saw it on international flights.

The comments have been overwhelmingly positive. It’s been a long time coming. The movie was filmed four years ago. One of the producers, a lead character in the story, David, died two years ago. The movie exists because of his strong belief that the story needed to be made into a motion picture to impact still more people with its message of hope.

We thank God for you and your ability to dream big, David!

I’ve been asked a lot of questions about the movie. You can rent or purchase it from RedBox, Netflix, itunes, Amazon, twloha.com, or Walmart online. It’s rated PG-13 for language and content. It deals with sensitive subjects: Addiction, mental illness, self-injury, and sexual trauma. For individuals who struggle with self-injury, counselors recommend they watch it with a supportive community and have opportunities to talk about it afterward so that it won’t trigger them.

I’m addressing a few questions today and then several more in my next post this coming Wednesday, March 11th.

 

When did I first realize Renee struggled with self-injury?I Don't Love My Child Anymore She Said - Or Does She? - Anchor Of Promise (more…)

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Today’s blog is from a writer friend of mine who addresses families whose loved ones struggle with addiction. Her name is Sharron Cosby and I’ve featured her before. You can follow her at erecoverychurch.com

In this blog Sharron interviews a recovering addict with over two years clean time, LS. Hers is a story of 40 years of use and abuse, but today she walks in victory – one day at a time.

R is for Recovery
Briefly share when you started using.

I started using when I was fourteen-years-old, a high school freshman. The first time I drank I got drunk. I started smoking weed. By the time I was sixteen, I was having blackouts. During high school, I experimented with many different drugs. After graduation, I attended business school and stayed at one of the local university’s dorms. Here I was introduced to more drugs and more drinking. I didn’t finish the secretarial course. I ended up in a hospital from taking drugs. (more…)

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Father's DayHeavenly Father, please heal the hearts of every earthly father who reads this today. Father’s Day can be so hard. It reminds them of their pain and losses – of what they don’t have anymore. Their children’s choices, behaviors and issues changed everything. They’ve been crushed. Broken.

They were their son’s first hero. Their daughter’s first love.

Pride keeps them from being honest about their feelings – with themselves or anyone else. They’ve got to be strong. Hold everything together. They’ve struggled to keep up a front that they’re okay, when inside they’re dying.  But no one knows. No one but You, Lord.

Help them forgive themselves for not being perfect. Remind them no one is. Convince them it’s really true. They feel so responsible. So guilty. So angry. (more…)

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Mimi's visit to help the new parents 027Sunday is Father’s Day. Are you a dad whose heart is broken and burdened, full of pain and worry,  fear and rejection?  Father’s Day is one of those difficult days when memories of the time your children were small flood your mind. Emotions tend to be stronger. You wish you could skip the day. Everyone seems to be planning time with their children – except you. Maybe your other children are present – but not “that one”.

Your neighborhood may be full of family activities. Your friends and relatives may be asking what you will be doing.  Or at work the next day they’ll be asking how your Father’s Day was – which means you’re supposed to brag on how loving and thoughtful your children were, showing you how much they love you.

Not!  Maybe you just wish you knew where they were or if they’re even alive. It’s a terrible place to be. (more…)

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Today’s post is part two in a three-part series by Ellen Gee,  guest blogger and author. She’s writing from her personal experiences to parents who have a son or daughter who is incarcerated. Need hope? Need fresh ideas for how to love with boundaries and stay close? This post will help.

As the months went by, my husband and I realized we couldn’t help our son, Daniel (serving a six year prison sentence), by ourselves. But in order to initiate our friends and Ellen Gee family blog photofamily’s involvement, we had to convince them he wanted help. And the best way to do that was to connect them.

One by one, we called each close friend, cousin, uncle, aunt, and grandparent. We asked a simple question. Would they be willing to receive a collect call from Daniel once a week for the next six years? (more…)

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