Hope for Troubled Minds – Dreams Deferred by Mary DiNardi

Mary was born and raised in Boston. She moved to Florida in 2008, where she worked in the hospitality industry and as a Victim Advocate. In May of 2022, she and her husband retired, with lots of travel plans! She now volunteers as a Victim Advocate for a local Police Department. For the past several years, she has worked on obtaining Mental Health resources for her community and in raising awareness for the Suicide crisis.  Mary wants you to know her son is more than his diagnoses. Justin is extremely bright, funny, and strong. She is blessed to be his mom.    Dear Justin.. I recently found the journal I kept while I was pregnant with you. I cried reading it. I never would have imagined how hard your life, our lives, would be. Our journey is not the one I wrote about in that journal. The hopes and dreams [...]

Hope for Troubled Minds – Dreams Deferred by Mary DiNardi2024-06-18T14:27:25-04:00

Hope for Troubled Minds: My son Jacob by Angie Collier

Angie Collier is a teacher and NAMI volunteer. She quit her full time job in order to be more available to her son. She currently works as a reading specialist online.   Dear Jacob, I loved you from the start. Your bright red hair, chubby cheeks and the last of my 3 children. Your brother and sister adored you - holding you, telling you stories, reading to you. You loved lining your Hot Wheels from your bedroom to the living room. You quickly learned to read and you have an incredible vocabulary. At 8 you started hearing voices. We took you to a doctor who put you on medicine, but your depression plunged. In Middle School, you started drugs to self-medicate and later alcohol. At 15 you were diagnosed with Schizoaffective Disorder. The voices, paranoia, seeing things and violence has been too much to endure, but my love for you [...]

Hope for Troubled Minds: My son Jacob by Angie Collier2024-06-18T14:27:25-04:00

Hope for Troubled Minds: A Daughter and Her Parents Express Gratitude

Dear Mom and Dad, Thank you for loving my battered soul and caring for me when all I could do was hurt and hate myself. Thank you for the care and support. The hours of holding my hand through what we later learned were panic attacks. Thank you for taking me to the ER, and numerous doctors to try to find the cause of my unease. My disease. Which we later learned was called manic depression, or bipolar when we went to a psychiatrist. Dad thank you for the many overtime hours you worked so our family could have a stay at home mom and health care. Thank you mom for being my angel. Thank you for always offering the HOPE that life can get better and that I could be well. I now live a happy healthy life in marriage with a family of my own because of your [...]

Hope for Troubled Minds: A Daughter and Her Parents Express Gratitude2024-06-18T14:27:25-04:00

Hope for Troubled Minds: Love Letter to Adam

Audrey Auernheimer is a retired hairdresser. She taught Family to Family education classes in Kansas with her husband, Tony, for several years before retiring to Oklahoma in 2011. Audrey has 3 children with M.I diagnosis. Two are deceased due to suicide.   My beloved son, Wow!  What a journey it has been for the past 31 plus years!   I remember clearly the day you were born. You took your time making an entry, and seemed a bit reluctant to leave your safe, warm environment.   After the third visit to the hospital with “false” labor, I was again told to go home, and wait awhile longer. I groaned. After a month suffering from gestational diabetes and chronic indigestion, I was feeling every minute of my 40 years. Also, I was growing impatient, waiting to meet that tiny infant who had tumbled around happily inside me for the past few months! [...]

Hope for Troubled Minds: Love Letter to Adam2024-06-18T14:27:25-04:00

Hope for Troubled Minds: KyLee and her mother’s love.

When I was 17 years old, I delay enlisted into the Air Force. I had known at a very young age that I wanted a life devoted to the service of others. I was the oldest of four and already knew what sacrifice was or at least I thought I did. I enjoyed my time in the Air Force and short stint in law enforcement, but chose a different path because I felt I was too optimistic and in law enforcement you were always waiting for someone to make a mistake. Instead, I chose to go to college and work as a paralegal. Divorced young, I learned sacrifice as a parent. I was a single parent for 16 years. Sometimes I worked two jobs and went to college full time. I had aspirations of going to law school and making a real impact in the world. Then, two months shy [...]

Hope for Troubled Minds: KyLee and her mother’s love.2024-06-18T14:27:26-04:00

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: To my best friend, I call you mom

Jonna Terhune is a social worker living with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. She writes, "... [my diagnosis] does not define me.  By the grace of God, I am still alive and blessed to have the support of my best friend/mother.  I know this letter cannot show the extent of sacrifice and love that my mother has given to help me live but I do hope that it gives a glimpse into our experience.  I pray that one day I can give back as well as pay it forward.  Thank you for spending a few moments to read my letter to my mom."   To my best friend, I call you mom, I never thought I would make it this far.  You stood by me through all the sleepless nights, not just as an infant but as a teenager and adult when mania engulfed me or depression strangled my heart [...]

Hope for Troubled Minds: To my best friend, I call you mom2022-04-13T14:32:55-04:00

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: Compassion Amid the Chaos

These letters are written by Vikki Plessinger. Vikki is Christian data clerk who hopes to retire in 7 months. She enjoys family vacations & get-togethers, gardening, fishing, hiking & puzzles.   I am a mother of 2 children with brain illnesses.  One is trying so desperately to save his life.  The other seems determined to end hers. My son has a very rare, Central Neurocytoma  tumor in the 3rd ventricle of his brain with malignancy.  And my daughter has a 17-year drug addiction that has led to psychosis. We'll start with my son.  My first-born baby.  He had a fall and hit his head & his symptoms led to a CT scan which has led to 8 months of appointments, scans, diagnoses, surgeries & gamma knife radiation.  He has lost cognitive abilities, memory, and well, a lot of his life.   Justin, This current journey of ours is so very difficult.  [...]

Hope for Troubled Minds: Compassion Amid the Chaos2023-01-15T14:31:35-05:00

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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