Light the Fight

Light the Fight Podcast
Since losing my son Cory to suicide almost 3 years ago, so much about my world has changed. Yes, i still do my thing… i’m still me. But in some ways, i feel completely different. I can’t really put it into words effectively. It might be the grief of losing a child. It might be the lack of understanding and continual questions that swirl around in my mind all day, every day, of why Cory felt that taking his own life was the answer. It might be supporting the emotions, struggles and grief of my entire family. It might be that i don’t have the same energy, excitement and passion for the work that has always been such a driving force for me… it might be me wishing that i would have known how to help Cory. It might be the empathy.
I didn’t know that there was a sadness like this. I didn’t understand the helplessness of not knowing how to fix something that was so broken, and not knowing where to turn.
When we lost Cory, everything just looked different. I couldn’t believe this was my story, I couldn’t believe this was happening to my family!
I’m a chronic “responsibility taker”… and the weight of Cory’s decision came down on me with the full force of guilt, shame, horror, regret and extreme heartbreak. I had done everything that i could think of to help Cory… and as i look back, based on the level of understanding and knowledge i had, i did what i could.
Since that time, i have learned SO much.
Since that time, i have opened myself up… and become WILLING to learn and make changes in myself that needed to happen in order to become a more- i am going to say: EVOLVED parent. a more EVOLVED person.
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That means:
Not taking Cory’s decision to end his life personally; (or any of my children’s decisions).
Learning not to “freak out” when things go wrong.
Communicating effectively with others by RELATING with them vs. talking at them.
Focusing my efforts into real connections with my family members, and making sure that they understand fully that my LOVE for them is not connected with their achievements or actions.
Recognizing what “shame based culture” is in family/parenting, and changing my approach to discipline and consequences, so they aren’t a function of anger.
Accepting my responsibility to MODEL the behaviors that i want my children to learn.
“Slowing my roll”… chill out a little more
From the day Cory died, we decided that we were going to be open, vocal, and real about Cory’s suicide. I didn’t care about the “stigma”… we were talking about CORY.  I feel, and felt like a failure. It’s a mom (and dad’s) JOB to keep their kids safe. Right? This is OUR story. We don’t have to like it… and we have lots of choices about how to handle it, but I CHOOSE CHANGE.
I didn’t know what that meant, and i have been thinking, praying, and pondering what i could do to help ANYONE… any mom, any dad… any child that is suffering with a sadness that would make them think the world would be better off without them.  I mean, i’m just a mom that lost her son…. what difference could i make? Raise money? Get more involved? Print bumper stickers? organize a race?
An idea started to come. But it scared me.
I thought… who would listen to me? Remember, i lost my kid.
Still, each day i was receiving messages from scared moms about struggling teens and sincere pleas for help, that i wished i could give.
The idea kept coming: create a podcast.
I knew that there are parents out there that felt what i had felt; that don’t know how to help their child who is struggling… and also isn’t sure where to find help. I wished that i could refer everyone to Cory’s therapist, (our family therapist) David Kozlowski, a marriage and family therapist… who has been an enormous help and support to our family, both before and since Cory’s death.  He has been working closely with families and teens struggling with mental, emotional and social issues for over 20 years, …. he and i started considering the possibility of talking about my story, and sharing the critical things that i wish i would have known a long time ago, in a podcast format.
“Light the Fight” podcast launched just over a month ago.
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Sharing the link to the first set of 4 podcasts that first day was so scary.  The response has been amazing. It’s been gratifying and fulfilling, and also heartbreaking and frightening; but i know that the information that David shares is so valuable. And here’s the thing, while we do address the very difficult topic of suicide in our story… the information and TOOLS that he teaches are invaluable for every family and for every relationship.
WE ALL NEED TO EVOLVE. We all need to learn how to connect, heal and relate if we want to protect our families and adapt to the craziness of the world in which we live. The relationships inside our homes are so worth the investment of learning and growing…
Light the Fight Podcast
I want to invite you to listen. and as you listen and learn, I want to invite you to EVOLVE! the very simple and basic TOOLS will allow you to build and improve those precious relationships that mean the very most to you.  While you might not be able to change your kid, or your spouse,  or anyone else for that matter… you can be coachable, and you can change YOU. As YOU change, others around you will change. and YOU will be amazed. I have seen it. I have experienced it. Every day listeners are sharing their WINS, and their questions! I know that everyone of us comes with a unique set of experiences, we are more alike than we are different… and by learning and understanding MORE, you will be able to improve the relationships, and help MORE.
I know that i am just a crafter, a memory keeper… and this blog and website is all about PRETTY STUFF. But this is also a package deal- you get the real Heidi. This is my STORY. I am a story teller. I know that we are more similar than we are different… and (my shame disclaimer), i know that the podcast is not perfect, and we are learning… but this is a start.
My sincere hope, and prayer is that this podcast will be a blessing to your family; and that you will allow yourself to learn from my story.

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