Tag: mental health

I’m excited to announce…


I’m proud to announce… I’m writing a book. The validation I’ve been desperately seeking for years came twice last week. First, in a heartfelt message, a reader explained how my writing resonates with them and their struggles and that they would be first in line to buy my book… whenever I wrote it. That turned […]

How do you know if there’s a toxic person in your life?


I was recently asked, “How do you know if there’s a toxic person in your life?” It’s a really good question. Because we all have a toxic person in our life who, though we may love them or have an attachment to them, they frustrate and anger us. They make us feel inadequate or unwanted. […]

How to Overcome Anything


How to Overcome Anything For the past two weeks I received messages about how either you or a loved one is struggling. Heavy stuff: Depression. Addiction. Anxiety. Chronic illness. Suicidal thoughts. You have reached out and said that this blog has comforted you or helped you. Honestly…I don’t know what to say. I mean, if […]

Thank you for connecting with me and what we did for my wife on her 40th birthday


Thank you for connecting with me and what we did for my wife on her 40th birthday The last four posts have been hard to write. Yet writing about the death of one of my students has been cathartic. It has helped me to embrace loss, gain perspective, ask big questions, and appreciate the things […]

Who was Caleb Brien?


Who was Caleb Brien? Caleb Brien died on Monday, May 13, 2019.  He is the student I’ve been telling you about. Caleb was the sandy-haired, blue eyed boy who sat quietly in the first seat, second row of my second period Literature class.  He often carried to class a tattered copy of some Russian novel […]

What it takes to make this a better place


What it takes to make this a better place My school is still reeling from the sudden death of a student last week. Students and teachers are putting on brave faces but it isn’t easy. Sometimes I’ll see a student stare out the classroom window or put their head down on their desk and just […]

Let the healing begin


Let the healing begin When tragedy strikes–when is the right time to move forward? When is it okay to laugh and smile again? For the past 9 years, in the days leading up to then senior prom, I have been performing  “Armstrong’s Awesome Prom Power Point” to my students. It’s a fun presentation mixed with […]

Thank someone today


Thank someone today A student writes an alarming piece and hands it to me. The piece contains suggestive material that I immediately report to the guidance department. The student is called from my class and is gone for over an hour and when they come back they grab their books and leave. There is an […]

The scary step forward


The scary step forward This is for F. Lately I’ve been really interested in American Westward expansion of the mid-19th century. Partly because I just watched The Revenant again and partly because I just finished reading a fantastic novel, The Indifferent Stars Above by Daniel James Brown, which chronicles the harrowing western journey of several […]

The Backwards Brain Bicycle


The other day my friend Pete shared with me the video, The Backwards Brain Bicycle. I watched it, at times stunned, saying to myself, “Yes! This is how my brain works.” The video shows what happens when an experienced bicycle rider tries to ride a backwards bicycle. Meaning, when you turn the handle bar to […]