Carly’s Mental Health Battle

The deepest part of my anguish seems like a memory borne from historical fiction. Someone else’s tragedy. Not entirely real. Maybe even a bit exaggerated in the retelling.

I know, however, that it’s all part of creating Carly. It doesn’t define me today, but the agonies are my history with all the shattered edges and deep regrets that far too long dominated my every rumination.

In an almost nonsensical way, I’m grateful I went through each struggle. Today, I wouldn’t want to be anyone else in the world.

Pain still appears in little pieces; manageable shards I can suction out and toss aside before they torment my brain and pierce my soul. At times, I feel myself sinking when I slip back into bad habits. The worst of these habits are when I forget to learn from mistakes and quickly move on, and particularly when I fail to forgive myself for being less than perfect.

Read more about my friend Carly and her fight for mental health each week at The CARL Project on Facebook.

Message from a Friend

Life is crazy. For too long, though, I thought the senseless I saw all emanated from inside. Years passed with so much challenge and pain that darkness enveloped me, my chest pounded under the weight of a thousand failures, and my head ached … [Continue reading]

Murder/Suicide Impacts on Mental Illness Stigmas

How can I reconcile my volunteer work to remove mental illness stigmas with learning that a man I once worked with and admired was the shooter in a recent Chicago murder and death by suicide in which depression likely played a role? It’s a tough … [Continue reading]

Traveling with the Oldies (Music and In-Laws)

My in-laws

Taking my 70-year-old-plus in-laws on a 1,800-mile, seven-day road trip had potential relationship calamity written all over it. My in-laws' vacation history includes sit-down meals just 15 minutes into the start of a long day's drive, … [Continue reading]

Is It Ever Okay to Offend an Entire Faith (Islam)?

Golden Rule behavior demands that we treat others as we would want to be treated given understanding of that individual’s circumstances. Knowing that the Islamic faith prohibits depictions of its prophet Muhammad, is there ever an acceptable … [Continue reading]

Mental Health With No Stigmas

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Today is the start of Mental Health Awareness Month. With that in mind, I wrote the following for NoStigmas.org on why I talk publicly about my battles with depression. You can find this on their web site as well. Difficulties and tragedies would … [Continue reading]

Two Joints. 13 Years. Golden Rule?

Found with two marijuana joints in 2010, now 48-year-old truck driver and father of seven Bernard Noble wound his way through Louisiana's judicial system until its Supreme Court increased his three-time-loser sentence to 13 years and four months of … [Continue reading]

Golden Rule & Government Workshop

Inspiring weekend in Champaign, Illinois leading a workshop on whether the Golden Rule should be applied to government and taking part in other sessions at Illinois Interfaith Conference 2015, as well as serving as a mentor for a University of … [Continue reading]

If Life Brings Lemons, Create a Fun Calendar

Mike is in the blue shirt, second from the right. Paula is leaning forward in front.

Even 18 months later, a tear wells up as Mike Pisarcik mentions his little girl settling too far away to reach quickly. For Mike and his wife Paula, the summer of 2013 brought dramatic change. Their son married, locating 40 miles away in downtown … [Continue reading]

Understanding Islam and Charlie Hebdo

As I studied Islam over the past two years, trying to understand the dichotomy between my personal experience with peaceful, thoughtful Muslims and the brutal, hateful violence pursued by radical Islamist terrorists, I learned why silent acquiescence … [Continue reading]