New Hampshire Mother Uses Art Therapy to Raise Heroin Addiction Awareness

13450033_10153852229215345_6907428901319467035_nAnne Marie Zanfagna’s gregarious nature is evident from the moment you start talking with her. One would be hard pressed to see the pain hidden behind her outgoing demeanor. Even as a life long friend, I do not always see the sadness Anne Marie carries with her.

When I sat down with her for an interview about her Angels of Addictions project, it quickly became evident that her sadness was what motivates her to paint the portraits of young heroin overdose victims. Anne Marie feels this work, painting portraits and talking about heroin addiction is now her life’s work, her mission.

Through her 501c3 non-profit organization, Angels Of Addictions, Anne Marie and her husband Jim work to raise awareness about heroin addiction, the stigma of heroin addiction and to help raise money for recovery services and a scholarship in their daughter Jackie’s name. Jackie died of a heroin overdose in October 2014.  Continue reading

If You’re Depressed, Be Open and Talk About It

An essay in today’s Washington Post about depression and suicide, details one young woman’s quest to be honest about her sister’s suicide, with the hope that she might help others think twice about suicide and get help:

I had to be honest. I had to tell the truth.

By the time I sat down to write my sister’s obituary I knew that the opening line could only be one thing: Aletha Meyer Pinnow, 31, of Duluth (formerly of Oswego and Chicago, IL) died from depression and suicide on February 20, 2016.

Eleni Pinnow said in her essay on her sister’s suicide:

The lies of depression can exist only in isolation. Brought out into the open, lies are revealed for what they are.

Here is the truth: You have value. You have worth. You are loved. Trust the voices of those who love you. Trust the enormous chorus of voices that say only one thing: You matter. Depression lies. We must tell the truth.

these-are-the-first-signs-of-depression-that-everyone-ignoresDepression is so common and yet we still have such a huge stigma about talking about it.

So many like this young woman in the story, Aletha Meyer Pinnow, who committed suicide at 31 years old, would rather keep their depression a secret than discuss it openly.

Here’s a few reason why that is wrong: Continue reading

Brides Across America Sponsors Designer Wedding Gown Event in Massachusetts

brides across americaBrides Across America is featured in the current issue of People Magazine this week with an awesome piece about the non-profit organization, based in Georgetown, MA, founded by Heidi Janson.

As People Magazine reports: Continue reading

R.I.P. Woodstock Legend Richie Havens

The great “folk singer and guitarist Richie Havens, who opened the 1969 Woodstock music festival, died Monday at age 72, his talent agency, the Roots Agency, reports.”

Fin Costello / Redferns file via Getty Images Richie Havens in concert in 1973.

Fin Costello / Redferns file via Getty Images
Richie Havens in concert in 1973.

Havens career spaned decades but he is perhaps most remembered as being the opening act for Woodstock with a 2 hour performance that included “improvising the song “Freedom” based on the old spiritual “Motherless Child.””

Here’s one of my favorite Richie Havens tunes: Continue reading

Food For Thought: Life is Precious

Yesterday, we were reminded in the most horrific manner how precious and fragile life is. Like so many I spent the day watching the horror unfold and as a political and news blogger, I found myself glued to my computer sharing the information on the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut.

Today, I want to re-mind friends and readers that compassion, understanding, acceptance and love is so pivotal in our existence here on Earth. Life is fragile. Live each day in joy and choose happiness as your mantra.

Spend some time today reaching out to family and friends and let them know how much to mean to them… And step away from the TV, Computer, Smart Phone and spend some quiet time reflection, either outside or in place of peace in your home.

Love is all there is… Live it.