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Life initiates some of us in an instant. The loss comes out of the blue. A relationship ends. A loved one dies. Someone we thought would be in our life forever  goes away.  Or the doctor tells us we’re going away. Other losses unfold slowly. Eating disorders, alcoholism, addiction — even Alzheimer’s disease — can hide in plain sight for years.

No matter what you  face, you’re not alone  although you may feel alienated from the world. Whatever your loss, other people have gone through it too.   On the other hand,  you’re unique and different.  While others not in grief go forward full speed, your personal velocity changes.  Full speed?  Ha!  You’re barely crawling through Life.  It’s all you can do to get out of bed.

Welcome to the Club

You belong to an elite group, although you joined it involuntarily.  From declaring bankruptcy to losing a child, whether the world ranks your loss  big, medium, or small, and  even if  the loss  happened to someone  you care about but  don’t know how to help — this site is for you. We  moved to a new facility (template), one easier to navigate.  During the process, I freshened content, adding new  information and editing articles damaged by the move.

You can stay on the outside, using only public content.  If you want access to the Members Only section, put away your wallet.  You already paid a steep enough price. I lifted the requirements for registration about providing us with a valid telephone number and emergency contact.  Registration became easy and non-threatening. There are no dues, fees, hidden costs, or agendas.  All that’s required for membership  is your commitment to not physically harm yourself or anyone else,  and your agreement to hold this site  harmless for your actions.

E-mails from us won’t ask you to buy products. Occasionally I send spontaneous E-mails  to site members.  People report they enjoy hearing from me this way.   It’s not a newsletter.  It’s like the E-mails I send to friends. If you prefer not to receive  any communication from me,  contact me at Melody@MelodyBeattie.com, explain that on the E-mail,  or post a comment at the end of this article telling me that and I’ll  cross your name off the mailing list.

The public section of this site offers stories, many  anonymous,  telling  the raw truth about different losses.   After decades of marriage to a good husband and provider, one woman finds herself living with a spouse who suffers from the effects of a series of strokes. She cares for an  adult youngster instead of enjoying life with a brilliant man and equal partner — her husband.  How does she live with this?

A man discovers his adopted son abuses alcohol and drugs.  The father, a recovering alcoholic, now watches his son take the same destructive path that the Father  took. This man also became  the target for his son’s misdirected anger, hatred, and rage. His son doesn’t really hate his father; his son hates himself.  What’s stopping this parent from packing his bags and leaving the hellish prison his home turned into?

After his girlfriend ends their relationship, another man discovers a gift she left  him — genital Herpes.  Will he ever have sex or  find love again?

After years of suffering abuse at her father’s hands, a  woman  learns  she didn’t cause  her dad’s behavior.  He suffers from the genetic disorder Huntington’s Disease, one of the worst diseases that exist.  Now she needs to get tested to see if she inherited the gene. If she did, she’ll get the disease and everything that comes with it.  How does she deal with her potential destiny?  Can she muster the  courage to get tested?  Living the rest of her life knowing she has Huntington’s will destroy any happy moments she might have left.

The  public section of this site  offers these stories and others, and information about grief and subjects related to it.  I added content to most articles to give you something to hold when you feel like you’re free-falling in a black hole.

You’ll find current resources for problem-solving whether you need money, counseling,  shelter, or for almost any need. Our easy-to-read Privacy Policies, Disclaimers, and Code of Conduct discuss the rules for you, me, and this site to abide by.

I posted the  introduction to the book  The Grief Club:  the Secret to Getting through All Kinds of Change and the Master List of Losses checklist from it on the public side, with Hazelden’s permission. I’ll post the other chapters (except Chapter 2) in the Members Only section.  Chapter 2 covers Alzheimer’s’ Disease.  Because of Alzheimer’s pandemic nature, I posted the chapter about it on the public side to make it available to a greater number of people.

The publisher allows posting of only one chapter at a time of the book, and prohibits any downloading,  except for the checklist.  They also prohibit reading archived chapters. By agreeing to these conditions, you can read The Grief Club for free.

While there’s much for the public, there’s more for   members.  We don’t allow solicitors or harassment. We’ll keep this site  safe.   People who come here have been through enough. They’re vulnerable.  They need protection — not people trying to profit from their loss.

We do have  a small gift store open for your convenience.  It offers  a select group of  products  related to grief.  If you need a gift for someone, you can choose from one of our many floral affiliates.  We also have affiliates who carry beautiful gift baskets, books related to grief, journals, scrapbooks,  music, and movie CDs.  If certain books, songs, or movies helped you, please share that information with us.

My favorite products are the hand-made Comfort Quilts.  My sister-in-law, Pam,  makes them from the jeans of a lost loved one.  For the other materials, she uses colors and fabrics of your choosing from fabrics she knows last and work. Finally,  for people who refuse to use a cane, the Gift Shop offers Diamond Willow Walking Sticks.  The finishing touches to this unique wood are also done by Pam with the same  care she puts into everything she makes.   I link to a small website I made for her so you can meet her and my brother, Jimmy.

Workshops and classes  will take place in the chat rooms inside.  We welcome anyone willing to abide by our code of conduct to attend.  But I need you to tell me what you want to learn.  Most classes will either be free or have a nominal charge. This site’s goal is to heal, not  produce income.

You can connect to my other website from here, Help Yourself at www.MelodyBeattie.com — an umbrella site; a new site going up this week about my new release, the miracle book.  This site, at www.MelodyBeattie.org also  has information about codependency — a subject closely connected to grief. 

Please ask question, make comments,  take part in forums,  tell your story (over and over if you need to – obsession is a necessary stage of grief and  allowed  here).   We invite friends of people in grief to take part in everything we offer.  Read the articles for grieving people and articles with information that specifically applies to you, such as what not to say and how to be a supportive friend.

Over time, you’ll  learn new techniques, including how to gain control over overwhelming pain. You have the power to take a break from emotions when the grief becomes too much.  We  respect each person’s process here.  We won’t tell you how to grieve or that you’re doing it wrong or not quickly enough.  This is a place where people in pain can honestly and openly be who they are.    You’ll meet people experiencing loss like yours, and who don’t have to tell you they understand because you know they do.

Whether you’re going through a rite of passage such as empty nest syndrome, ending a relationship, or feel horrified by the effects of aging, you’re in the right place.  We’re happy to tackle controversial subjects too, such as taking pain medication for quality of life and ability to function if you’re living with intractable pain.  We’ll bring you the most well-informed and caring experts in each field as guest authors, speakers, resources, and links.  If it concerns grief, you’ll find something about it  here.  If you don’t find it, ask  and the information will soon appear.

For too long, grieving people have been the ignored  majority.  Society  likes to pretend people in pain don’t exist  or even worse, accuses them of feeling sorry for themselves or blames them for bringing their loss upon themselves .   That won’t happen here.  It’s time for people not living in the happily ever after to have a say and a place to say it.  Check us out.  This might be the  place that helps heal your heart.

We make no guarantees other than no solicitations. We don’t do professional or pop therapy.  But you’ll  find the oldest healing elixir in the world here — Unconditional Love.  Come in, try it on. See if it fits.  Whether you’re new to the grief process or you’ve walked down that road for a while, the most important thing missing from this site is you.

 

Great news for GC members. We have restored the ability to have friends and send private messages within the site. Check all of the new features now available under the “member forums” tab.

Forums and Login – this tab contains all of the member forums as well as the space to register or log in to your account

My Account – this tab has all of your account information and is the place where you can change your password, add a bio, make status updates, and upload a profile picture

My Profile – shows your profile

My Friends – this page is a list of all of your friends on the site

My Mailbox – all of your private messages are here – click on the compose a new message to send a new PM, or click on an existing message to reply

My Wall – a “Facebook” style wall where you can see the status updates of all of your friends

Member Directory – this is a list of all of the site members so that you can find and add your friends. You can also add friends from inside the forum by clicking on a posters profile and then clicking “add Friend” under their profile picture.

Friend requests – this page shows people who have requested that you be there friend

We are very excited about all the new social features and hope they will be useful to you.

803 comments

  1. Profile photo of allen2014
    allen2014

    Hi… I’m new here. Still trying to figure my way around and determine the best place for me to read and post. I am pretty darn certain I am co-dep. Based on the discription of the fellings, actions, and words in Melody’s book “Codependent No more” I fit the bill. I believe the things that have impacted my life were things I did/did not experience as a child and then up through my first marriage. (many of the things in my younger life I cannot exactly remember, but I know them to be facts. I am now 58 and just remarried about 8 months ago. We love each other very much, neither of us have any substance issues, I now have an 11 and 15 year old step child and we get along great. But… based on some comments from my wife and reading the book, I have some issues to deal with. And in dealing with them, I am struggling to figure out where some of the “lines” are drawn. Is there a better forum/blog from Melody that I should be in? Thanks

    • Profile photo of Melody Beattie
      Melody Beattie

      Hi, Allen. “Codependency” is still a complex and sometimes puzzling (yet simple) “thing.” It’s definitely not a mental illness; my official (unofficial) description is that codependency is a set of learned behaviors that we adapt to survive the dysfunction that comes with being a human being in a human family situation — often a family situation that is troubled. The family could be facing addiction in one of the parents, alcoholism or another “illness” where the focus is on the sick person, etc. We learn to do “codependent” behaviors because in the family, that’s the way to fit in. When I say that, I’m talking about caretaking (taking care of others too much, and in ways that don’t help), control (being overly controlling), inappropriate or no boundaries, etc. These behaviors made sense to us, at one time, but now, they may be causing pain for others and ourselves. The difficulty with codependency is that codependent behaviors are all normal things people do. You could have two people doing the same behavior, and one person is being codependent, the other person isn’t. It’s the motivation for the behaviors that makes it codependent, or not. That’s why there are no rules — just tools –for recovery, or changing our behaviors. For some people, just getting informed is enough to change. Others need help and support. There is no “one way.” No “right” way. We each find a way that works for us. I would suggest picking through the forums here. Also, I apologize, as we’re going through a “site renovation” here. Some of the WordPress apps the sites were built around are no longer available, which affects the forums, etc. (and as you may guess, I have no idea, none whatsoever, what I’m saying, other than I have a new web tech person and she’s fixing things here so they work better, and we’re trying to figure out what that means, and how the site can be fixed while retaining posts previously made in forums). So, welcome to the site. Pick around here; try to find a forum that works for you. There is much info available generally on the internet, but please – approach with caution. Make sure you can trust your sources. This site is not monetized. Things on this site are free. On my MelodyBeattie.com site, I have a meditation posted daily from one of my meditation books; those are free. Chapters from the Grief Club are also posted here, on a revolving basis, and those are free, as well. It’s okay, Allen, to be “at the beginning of your journey.” It’s okay to be somewhat confused for a while, as you find your place, and as you discover what you need and what works for you. I don’t do therapy; this site isn’t for “therapy.” It’s a place to connect with others, get information, and find helpful resources. I hope I’ve answered some questions and haven’t raised too many more. But please, feel free to poke around, and to ask. We’re here to help (on an informal, nonprofessional level). I would also suggest that you register and comment under an anonymous name, for your own privacy and sense of well-being. Also, that (posting anonymously) can make us feel more free to talk about how we really feel, and what’s really going on. Best, Melody Beattie

  2. Monica Lipscombe

    Hello and warmest greetings to you all. I started reading Melody Beattie’s books over 15 years ago and they have been life changing for me. I like to call ‘Journey to the Heart ‘my bible’. I’m in the process of creating art journal entries from many of Melody’s quotes for my youtube channel and have I had several requests from my viewers as to where they can purchase her books.Melody I know I echo so many in saying that you are such an inspiration to so so many and I just popped by to say a big huge thank you!

    • Profile photo of Melody Beattie
      Melody Beattie

      Thank you very much — I’m glad my work helped you; that’s what I strive to give readers in my work as a writer — the heart of the matter, in simple terms, as it “helped me.” Best, Melody

  3. loulou

    By the way the site has a fresh new look and hello Denise, I’ve missed your comments. It goes without saying the absence of Ms Beattie for several months is all in the past as we once again have our forum back, better than ever along with her wisdom which has been a life saver to me. Melody, you know I’m a grateful student of your many publications and just so happy to be part of this group again and to have this connection. All is well and I’m grateful for things as they are at this present moment. Acceptance is key. Thanks for letting me share!
    loulou

    • Profile photo of Melody Beattie
      Melody Beattie

      Hi, LouLou. It’s good to “be back.” One important lesson I’ve worked on in my absence is taking a look at “cleaning out” not just my home, but my life. What am I doing that I don’t want to do? Where and how am I spending time, and is it how and where I want to be? I’ve rearranged, tossed out, redone, etc. As I approached the whole area on “internet” and online forums, I had begun to feel like the computer was controlling my life. By that I mean, if I didn’t check my emails every couple hours, I felt that nagging and gnawing guilt and anxiety. If I didn’t hit my emails, first thing when I woke up, I felt anxious and nervous. It (the computer) had become the millennium equivalent to the way I used to “sit by the phone” — before cell phones were invented. And I didn’t like it. (Thus the need to “inventory.”) By stopping all involvement and going on sabbatical (besides getting the sites fixed and running perfectly), it allowed me to cut out any online involvement that I felt unnecessary and also made me realize how much these sites mean to me; how important it is to me to connect with people such as yourself, and continue offering a place in the world we can all come to and just plain “be ourselves” no matter how we feel, or what we’re experiencing, and to learn from each other, and know we have a place where we’ll be accepted when we “come as we are.” Again, LouLou, thanks so much for your continued belief in this site and for “watching it from afar” while I was gone. See you soon. Melody

  4. Tommy

    I am so very grateful for the profound change I’m experiencing reading Beyond Codependency.
    It’s the perfect spiritual nutritional supplement to my Al Anon recovery.

  5. Tommy

    Melody,

    I can’t remember the last time I went to bed without a snack and my laptop, trying to escape reality.
    I’ve been in Al-Anon for a while, discovered that I’m also an Adult Child, and while I make progress, I started realizing that I’m codependent. I was brought down to my knees crying to God for help, when a program friend told me about your books.
    I’m now going through Beyond Codependency. I see myself so clearly in everything. I feel held by your words. The deep understanding of the issues. So many emotions that were mysteries to me have now a name. So many memories surface, but not in a threatening way anymore.
    I can’t thank you enough and HP for sending you to my life. I feel that your book is an essential nutritional supplement to my spiritual diet.

    • Profile photo of Melody Beattie
      Melody Beattie

      I’m glad my work helped, Tommy — but you’re the one who deserves congratulations for the hard work you’re doing. Please understand that it’s so normal to develop codependent behaviors — they truly save our lives, until we learn to replace survival behaviors with other options. But the codependent things we do? They’re natural and normal responses to situations until we learn a better way. And again, my congrats to you for doing that (learning new ways). Keep us informed about how you’re doing. Best, Melody

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