Hope for Troubled Minds: Dear Bobby, from your grateful mom.

Dear Bobby, One of my greatest accomplishments in life was becoming your mother - I had hopes and dreams for the man you would become. Your intelligence, compassion and determination in everything you did brought me a great sense of pride. Bipolar disorder no doubt changed the way I see the world and what I now want for you, my loving son. This brain illness at times has made you say and do things uncharacteristic of the person that I know is deep inside of you.  It is an illness that has caused much turmoil for you, for this I am deeply sorry and only wish that as your mother I could take the pain away. Despite great suffering, despair and heartbreak, bipolar disorder has taught me so much. It has taught me that we live in a world where those with serious brain disorders are discriminated against.  We live [...]

Hope for Troubled Minds: Dear Bobby, from your grateful mom.2022-05-07T17:49:20-04:00

Hope for Troubled Minds: An Open Letter to a Fellow Traveler by Brandon A.

Dear Fellow Traveler, Did you think life was going to go like this? You had plans and dreams about work, life, accomplishments, where you wanted to live and with who. Then mental illness stepped in. Now what?  I was 14 when the darkness fell on me. I had been a freshman: insecure, loud, loving, caring, smart, prideful, naïve, hopeful, occasionally hardworking, unfocused, etc. I played drums in bands, played goalie in soccer, and played risk with my friends, sometimes for days.  Then I was nothing. I was a contaminant. I was walking anguish.  I got home every day and carried myself upstairs to my room. I would turn on the radio, collapse into my comforter, and sob. The music drowned out the crying so no one else could hear.  I was not alone. Kay Redfield Jameson had bipolar disorder, like I do, and she survived. She had become a clinical [...]

Hope for Troubled Minds: An Open Letter to a Fellow Traveler by Brandon A.2022-03-27T21:53:04-04:00

Hope for Troubled Minds: A Twisted Twin Sister Advocates

As an American Curbside Caregiver and SMI/SBD Advocate Linda Rippee Privatte supports her disabled blind brother with a serious brain disorder who has gone untreated for 34 years.  Since then, he has been homeless for 14 years.  She is one of two twin sisters who advocates for change in the United States, also known as 'Twin Tag Team' and more recently as Twisted Sisters Advocacy & Activism for Serious Brain Disorders. They each do things the other cannot.  Her twin, Catherine, is skilled at social media awareness, advocacy, and education, but Linda is the last family member capable of reaching Mark on the streets and providing him with the necessities of life.   To my younger and only brother, Mark; I grew up believing that love could fix anything…that love conquers all. That love would carry us through any situation.  I believed that family never gives up on family.  I [...]

Hope for Troubled Minds: A Twisted Twin Sister Advocates2022-03-20T15:25:50-04:00

Hope for Troubled Minds: A Prayer to be Rooted in Love by Nancy Boucher

Nancy Boucher is the ninth of thirteen children born into a first generation Italian American family. The importance and value of family has been an enduring force in her life. She taught special education for 24 years in public schools, starting programs for children with behavioral challenges. Her responsibilities included screening, observation, and evaluation; developing and implementing goals with students; consulting with teachers, administrators, and parents; and providing in-service assistance to staff. She loved my job, and was always attentive to and thankful to each of her students who taught her how to become a better teacher. She is well aware of the challenges facing families and their children when dealing with a serious condition, not yet totally understood. Twenty four years ago her youngest son got sick with a serious mental illness and her family's life as they knew it veered off course. They were catapulted into a wilderness [...]

Hope for Troubled Minds: A Prayer to be Rooted in Love by Nancy Boucher2022-02-27T15:31:56-05:00

Hope for Troubled Minds: My Heart’s Hero by Tina G.

Tina G. was raised a farm girl near Columbus, ND.  She spent many summer weekends at our lake cabin at White Bear Lake  Saskatchewan Canada.  She has loved the outdoors all her life.  She received a B.S. in Criminal Justice/Business Admin. She never cared much for indoor work so she spent about 20 years working with golf course landscaping.   During this time she raised 3 kids,  a daughter and 2 sons with their Dad.  They later divorced.   She then met Tim and he has a daughter.   They celebrated 12 years of marriage this year.   During that time all 4 of their kids graduated high school, their daughters have both married and they now have 2 granddaughters and are expecting a grandson in March!  They have 3 dogs that are theirs together!   Tina was diagnosed with bipolar disorder 1 and borderline personality disorder at the age of 33.  However, she feels [...]

Hope for Troubled Minds: My Heart’s Hero by Tina G.2022-02-20T16:08:22-05:00

Hope for Troubled Minds: A Letter of Redemption to My Mother, Claudia by Cathy B.

Dear Claudia, As I sit here anticipating the 2022 New Year and wondering what joys and sorrows it will bring, I remember you. Our world is in the midst of a deadly pandemic, that frankly, I never thought I would experience in my lifetime. It’s an experience akin to living in a sci-fi horror movie. I sometimes wonder if I could magically change the fact that you developed a serious mental illness when I was a child, if your brain had remained healthy and you were still alive, would you have been the kind of mother I could call and kavetch with about what a struggle the pandemic is for us all. However, you died seven years ago.  You were 74-years-old when you died alone with both serious mental illness and dementia in an Atlanta area nursing home. Even with the dementia, you always remembered both me and Chris (your [...]

Hope for Troubled Minds: A Letter of Redemption to My Mother, Claudia by Cathy B.2022-02-13T18:21:35-05:00

Hope for Troubled Minds: My Miracle Child by Donna Erickson

MY MIRACLE CHILD It has not been easy since day one. Actually, before that. I had fertility problems that required tests, treatments, and lots of doctors visits. What came so easily for others was an uphill struggle for me. I just wanted to have a baby. Jeff and I married young, worked hard, and saved up enough money for a down payment on a house. After we moved in, my biological urge to become a mother really kicked in. But my body was not cooperating. Finally, after four long years, my dream came true. I was pregnant! by Donna Erickson Dear Ryan, I loved and wanted you so much, before you were even born. When you came into our lives, your father and I were over the moon and filled with happiness. But it was hard to raise such a defiant child. Tantrums lasted longer than my friends‘ children, and [...]

Hope for Troubled Minds: My Miracle Child by Donna Erickson2022-01-30T19:50:19-05:00

A Father’s Literary Blessing: a review of Ben Palpant’s Letters from the Mountain

Dear One, a father desires to share some of his hard-earned convictions and half-formed ideas with his daughter, whom he hopes will come to terms with her gifting and calling. He longs for her faith journey to culminate at the peak where the 360-degree view will undo her, where she will weep for sheer joy, where she will laugh with exhilaration. These letters are my attempt to reach out over the miles and clasp your hand as you climb. To whisper encouragement in your ear as I did when you were young. To spur you on toward love and good works. To remember our story. To lean my forehead against yours and give you my blessing: from the humble to the humble, to the glory of God. Amen. If there is one thing I did right as a father it was to pass on to my children a love of [...]

A Father’s Literary Blessing: a review of Ben Palpant’s Letters from the Mountain2021-12-02T10:37:24-05:00

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas: Advent Hope in a Season of Grief

Yesterday was Thanksgiving. There were 11 of us gathered for fellowship and feasting. My 21-month old great niece dubbed Princess Nora provided the entertainment. We listened to a Spotify music playlist of holiday music. We told family stories and gave thanks for making it through another year. It was a bittersweet celebration, for as much as we enjoyed those who could make it we were mindful of those who could not. 2020 took a great toll on our family. We lost my father in July of cancer and my mother in December of COVID. Grief has since been a ever present companion in our lives and sometimes it can be disruptive to our family relationships. Fortunately, yesterday, it was was present as a gracious friend reminded us of good memories and things that live on. The first Thanksgiving was celebrated in a time of grief as well. According to History.com [...]

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas: Advent Hope in a Season of Grief2021-11-27T05:18:42-05:00

Elegy for a Damn Good Mother: an Explanation by DeMaris Gaunt

So many of my friends and family are facing death these days. Our reactions vary widely based on what we experience in life, what beliefs we hold, and how willing we are to walk through the valley. This is a poem a friend of mine wrote as her mother was dying. It is one of the best expressions of going through stages of grief that I have ever read. Elegy for a Damn Good Mother: an Explanation by DeMaris Gaunt We all hated it that mom had a closet full of clothes with the tags still on shoes never worn a set of wedding China unused in the cupboards a diamond tennis bracelet worn approximately once a home built for entertaining never filled with guests drawers of blank stationery that never got the chance to deliver her hopes or wishes into the lives of those she called friends— and I [...]

Elegy for a Damn Good Mother: an Explanation by DeMaris Gaunt2021-06-30T18:19:59-04:00
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