This is for the suffering mother. This morning my little Elsie Jane alarm clock woke me up whispering “Mommy…Mommy…” you know, how they do. And I groggily came to and whispered back, “huh?” or something lovely like that. Then she started in, like she’d been waiting for so long to talk about something very important…   It went like this: Why is there a thing that goes way inside the tennis shoe and comes out and you can pull on it, it’s a tongue…and we have one in our mouth too and then there is gum that we can chew and also the gums where our teeth come out, why are they both gum and tongues?   So we talked about that.   I was there to talk about that.   This is my truth: Part of the reason I can strive for a perspective that sustains my spirit and attitude is because […]

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Don’t worry, I won’t pretend to be an expert on depression or any mental illness or addiction for that matter. I could try to do that, telling you I have a degree in Psychology and ten years experience working professionally with people struggling with mental illness. I could tell you that I have struggled myself, with both depression and addiction and I am sober and I’m better. That I know how it feels. I could tell you how many people I’ve known who have taken their own lives. In a way, I guess I’m telling you all of that. But none of it matters, so let’s not focus on it. Nothing makes any person an expert on another person’s pain, mental health, life, or death. And yet there sure are a lot of self-proclaimed experts out there, especially on the Internet. And lately I’ve been so immersed in life that I am very […]

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{photo credit} I heard and saw the word helpless more times than I can count yesterday. As the number of slain children increased and the information on exactly what happened in Newtown, Connecticut continued to change, we sat helpless. Losing all confidence in the goodness of humanity is terribly uncomfortable, but it’s the way this feels, at least while it is unfolding before our eyes–on TV and Twitter and through Facebook links to the latest news. Oh. So it was Adam, not Ryan. Oh, his mother was a teacher there? Oh. He shot her there? WHY? Oh. No. He shot her at home…then WHY go to the school? All of this uncertainty forces so much insecurity. And while we’re feeling distraught and helpless, we try to think out loud with one another, to gain some semblance of control. Gun control. Control over the mentally ill. Control over violence in our media and entertainment. […]

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