Anger was my go-to guy the minute drugs showed up in my life. I spent years being angry with Austin, being angry with myself for all the mistakes I made as a parent, being angry that addiction made itself at home in my life at all.
While we do not know all the facts on the ground in Ferguson, we know that militarization on a national level can often do more harm than good. It has eroded trust between law enforcement and ordinary citizens, and it certainly hasn't eradicated the drug scourge from our communities.
Consider how deep you are in social media dung right now, and consider how hard it would be if you just let all of it go, today.
Certainly our conversations this week should remember the genius of Robin Williams. But we should also be talking about how to help prevent yet another tragedy. The way to help is to start seeing addiction as more than the craving for a substance relief.
The butterfly effect here is that this later-life suicide of one struggling person set in motion a public response including character attacks that, in turn, by extension, feel like an attack on all of us who struggle to stay sober and alive each day.
The reason so many people don't get the treatment they need is simple: Mental illness and addiction are still shrouded in stigma. It's 2014, but people suffering from mental illness often times don't want to ask for professional help because they fear being labeled as "crazy" or a "whack job."
Suicide is still such a taboo that most people are afraid to open up about what's going on with them without fear of some kind of judgment. It's important to be able to confront these incredibly scary issues without so much fear.
Parents of children who suffer from addiction are a special group. They're members of a club nobody wants to be a member of. In this case, membership doesn't really have any privileges.
In order for these headlines to stop and for people to stop taking their own lives, we can't just bat our eye at the subject anymore -- and we certainly cannot continue to perpetuate a negative stigma around both mental illness and addiction.
Being told to do things I don't want to do is very difficult for me. I think, Surely I deserve to chew on these lordly thoughts a bit before they go.
Robin Williams infused genuine pathos into complex characters. He could split your gut with laughter in one movie, then cross the comic chasm and mercilessly tug on your heartstrings in the next. Williams was both a worthy hero and a convincing villain.
Death, dying, and grieving brings up fear and anxiety for many children and adults. Sometimes adults aren't sure how to talk about death, or, in this case, suicide with their children and the children in their lives.
We feel pain when a celebrity dies, not because of their celebrity, but because we feel like we know them through their work. It's like a friend has died, or multiple friends. In the case of Robin Williams, some of our very best friends.
A year ago, confined to bed and at the mercy of the black dog of depression, I again "prayed for the willingness" to take action, whatever that was revealed to be.
My tears are not because his time on Earth is over. My tears are for his friends, his wife and his children. They are the ones left behind. The "Genie" may be free, but his family is left here to wade through the pain, confusion and fog that is... suicide.
On my 11 hour drive home from vacation yesterday, I listened to about three hours of analysis, commentary, and dialogue on the horrors currently occur...