Addressing Mental Illness With Adina Peyton

The Charla Anderson Show |Adina Peyton | Mental Illness


This true story will affect you deeply, as Adina Peyton’s mentally ill son was tragically killed in a standoff. Her anger turned into the founding GRAMI, a non-profit to support the trauma experienced by first responders.

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Addressing Mental Illness With Adina Peyton

I’m incredibly grateful that you would join us. I’ll be starting season two. It’s hard to believe that this show is number 49. I can’t hardly breathe about that. I’m like, “How does this time go so fast?” I have an incredibly powerful and beautiful guest. Before I introduce Adina Peyton to you, I want us to have our little 22-second mini vacation.

We’re going to have deep breathing in calm for seven seconds. Hold for 4 seconds and breathing out gratitude for 11 seconds. A quick little breath. We’re going to get off of the techie devices we’re so connected to. Sometimes, we need to get a little breather and get grounded and centered and that’s what this is all about. If you’ll join me and let’s take in seven seconds of calm. Here we go. Hold release. Thank you. Gratitude. Don’t you feel better? I do.

Anyway, on the show, I have someone who has dealt with something none of us would ever expect or wish to deal with. She has changed tragedy into a graceful situation. Adina Peyton lost her son tragically in a standoff. He’s mentally ill. He had issues and there was a shootout, basically. He was shot sixteen times and I can’t fathom that. I’ve learned that most of us can eventually turn those tragedies into a mission of some sort.

Turning Rage Into Empathy

Adina, I think it was a split-second moment that you had a realization that not only your rage, your anger turned into empathy for the shooters, for the people that actually made a mistake, so to speak. Let’s talk about that a little bit. We also wanted to know who you are in this world and how passionate you are about honoring your son’s life.

Thank you so much for having me. I appreciate it. It was a split-second divine intervention moment. There’s no other way to explain it because when someone harms your child, whether it’s an accident or intentional, there is a feeling that you have to make it right. You have to make sure that people know the truth. I had this feeling that I needed accountability and transparency about what happened. I felt like I had to do that for my son. I had fought and fought every way I could for about nine months.


The Charla Anderson Show |Adina Peyton | Mental Illness


I was sitting at the red light and I could see the place where he had been shot in the street. I looked over and in a split second, God showed me what those seven first responders saw the night that they shot Brad. It was something that I couldn’t undo in my spirit. It immediately disarmed me and I realized that I could not cure mental illness. I couldn’t even barely touch it, but I could affect the community of first responders in Huntsville. If Brad had some mental illness and I was now traumatized by hearing about what happened, they certainly must be traumatized.

I started thinking about how I could affect that. I realized that first responders are like the military because I’ve taught the military for 42 years. When they would get PTSD, they couldn’t voice it like they needed to because they would be flagged and there would be reprisals and things like that. I started thinking on ways to be able to help them.

It was a man in Dallas that I had been one of my students who was the son of an African king. He flew to Huntsville and told me that he thought I was a light in the world and that I needed to stop fighting and start helping. I told him that my concern was that they got away with this. He told me, Nobody ever gets away with anything, but you need to live, Adina, and you need to be a light.” The miracle started happening. It was an immediate shift in that moment.

You’re in Huntsville, Alabama, so we can speed the state there. There’s a Huntsville, Texas. I wrote a book called Trans Split Second Transformation. We can change in a split second. So many things do. Obviously, all of those lives of everybody involved changed in a split second. Sometimes, it’s for good and sometimes, it’s hard, a split second that’s not so good. You shifted from that rage, anger, and vindictive or whatever it was you were going through to, “It’s got to be hard for them as well.” These are human beings that are going through stuff in the aftermath. It’s not just them. The first responders, the police, the fire, all of them deal with trauma almost on a daily basis.

They do, the doctors and emergency personnel. The thing about it was it’s hard to look at it in a snapshot because there was so much leading up to it. There was so much during that period of time that I was fighting for accountability. The bigger story is what happened in the middle of it. What God did with this story in my life was nothing short of incredible.

When this happened, as a woman, I had spent my whole life trying to be somebody. I had it in my mind that the way I was raised wasn’t good enough. Somehow, I was substandard. I was always trying to be with the right people and do the right things to fit in with the people. I had passed that along to my son so we were like two children being raised together.

When this happened, when people did not respond to me like I thought they would and it wasn’t the death of a child, I was fighting the thin blue line. I was fighting the entire city council and inside, I was petrified because the person that I had tried to become, now they know I’m who I am. It was interesting that God used that because the one thing that could make me become the strong woman that God wanted me to be was defending my child. I didn’t think I had the courage to 1) Survive his death and not drink because I was sober. I’d been sober for years, but 2) It was to stand up for the first time in my life, no matter what anybody thought about me. My neighbors didn’t even speak to me.

The Charla Anderson Show |Adina Peyton | Mental Illness
Mental Illness: The one thing that could make me become the strong woman that God wanted me to be was defending my child.

They didn’t come and tell me they were sorry. It was like something out of a book and the media would not report it. I was amazed that, for the first time, God put that on my heart. “Adina, you’ve got to carry this baton for the people that don’t have a voice in this community, the activists,” because I had sat in my house and watched activists for years and thought, “How can they do that? Don’t they know what people are saying?”

It meant more to me to look good, to be somebody than to be somebody. This is three years later, so it wasn’t like this came, but the beginning is when I put billboards up all over town, raised money, and begged like a vagrant on Facebook for people to give me money. It was so important that I at least know before I left the Earth that I tried to do something about a problem that I saw. The sad part was I didn’t do anything until it happened to me.

You did and so it’s the moment that we shift and I’m excited that you’re writing a book about all this. I got to read part of the first chapter or whatever. Hurt people, hurt people and you had a pretty tragic childhood and upbringing, alcoholic and all these things. Abuse. You wanted to prove yourself. The word I feel like coming to me, while you’re saying all that, you want to prove yourself that, “I’m capable, I’m better. I’m past all that. Don’t look.” It was probably feeling what they call an imposter, Imposter Syndrome. You think you’re trying to be somebody, but it is not real. It’s not authentic. Now look at you. You stood up and you took a stand.

The stand isn’t about retribution or anything. It is about knowledge. It’s about education. It’s about serving those that serve us on a daily basis. When you talk about the first responder community, it includes a whole lot of peripheral people that we don’t normally think of, like trauma nurses. There are people that deal with stuff on a daily basis. That is challenging.

Establishing GRAMI

You created and are the founder and executive director of GRAMI, Getting Real About Mental Illness. You’re targeting the police. After a while, they started seeing what you were offering and creating a space for these folks to come to go in and get counseling or help therapies, whatever they needed at no cost and anonymously. Tell me all about that.

This is the exciting part, but there’s a backstory because I didn’t realize what my story was going to be. I thought it was, “Look what happened to me. Look at us. Poor us, bad them.” As it started playing out, I started seeing how each one of these phases uncovered something in me that was broken. In the beginning it was, “I have to have a crowd around me all the time to be powerful.” God is big, but not as big as all the people around me.

I was allowed to figure out, to walk alone. I thought I was mad at the police, but I wasn’t. I was mad at a system that we designed that puts it to where they can’t admit and they’ve done it. When you see somebody die or you see somebody on the road, or somebody shoots at you three times in a week, it does something to the brain no matter how good or bad you are.

The trauma builds up. They are forced, not forced because I’m not pointing it like the people. It’s just that if they admit, so we’re trying to de-stigmatize mental illness. That’s the number one goal of my organization. If we don’t talk about it, we can’t de-stigmatize it. I could not go to seek mental help when my son died because I had a secret security clearance.

Mental illness cannot be destigmatized if no one will talk about it. Click To Tweet

They can’t go because if they have enough trauma to say I have it, they’ll have to pull their weapon, which will not immediately take away their income, but it will affect it. They didn’t join the force to be on the desk. The third one is they are walking the beat. They are police officers that if your mother has Alzheimer’s and she runs out the back door or she’s autistic and they don’t know that, and she rushes for them, they would have to draw a gun.

What this does is it allows them a secret way, if you will, to go to any licensed mental health counselor. The only person who will ever know they went was the treasurer of the nonprofit. We’ve had to build trust. It was hard for me because they shot my son. When I started trying to give back help, there was distrust. What I found is that’s society’s problem. We don’t trust each other. We’re in a sue-happy society, which is what they thought I was trying to do, sue the city. I was that. I was truly thinking that we were going to all get together, decide what needed to change and go forth. The beautiful part is that it started to show as I stayed consistent. I had to keep believing that God was strong enough to keep me going.

I had to learn that I did not need a lot of people in my life to cheerlead me. I had to learn that I had to let go of the ones that were not for me. That was a very new concept. Somebody that needs people in this secure you. You do whatever it takes to keep people. It was like benefiting the city, learning that I was okay alone and then loving them. I met the girl who talked to my son on the roof for three and a half hours. I never found out the seven officers that shot Brad and I don’t need to know, but I pray for them all the time as my son had prayed for the police in his prayer journals, which I thought was beautiful. The little girl was 21 years old and we did not have crisis intervention training running full strength.

Had we had a crisis intervention trained officer, it might have gone differently, but I was able, by accident, to meet this little girl and I held her in my arms. She was beautiful. The guilt that she carries around is traumatic. That made me want to go harder at getting them help, because we’re all children in big bodies at the end of the day. Every time I hear somebody say, “Because of you, my child made it,” it reminds me of Brad and what God can do with all of us if we allow him to.

Amazing story, amazing tenacity. We can name all kinds of things, but you are an overcomer. I love to talk about stories of people who have overcome and then actually offer hope. That’s the undercurrent of my show, generally speaking, showcasing the strength that we can come from and have within and come out and find a way to make a difference. You have gotten so far with this GRAMI. if you want to go and donate or if you care to go look up this incredible foundation. Is it a foundation nonprofit?

It’s a nonprofit.

Look at the good that they’re doing. Three years is pretty fast to have gone to the point where you are now. That’s rapid. The machine rolls slowly. What a gift and a blessing that you’ve gained so much strength of character.

Dealing With Imposter Self

I don’t want to sound more adult than I am. My whole life, I was different and I was different because I was supposed to be used to fit in a place other people don’t fit. I’ve always identified with the underdog person. I’m trying to get a little teaching here. I’m a teacher. I didn’t know who I was supposed to be, so I allowed people that say negative things like, “She’s just crazy.” I took that out. If you said something, it had more weight than what I thought. I would consistently self-talk. “You’re too crazy,” but I was not a detailed person. My boss used to say, “Adina, you’re the best teacher we have, but we should bust you out of the glass when it’s time to teach and put you back in there,” because details were not my thing.

When this African prince flew to my home and it’s all different once you’ve gotten on the other side. This was a Sunday. I had marched with another family. Now marched was not in my vocabulary because we don’t do that. It was my son’s birthday. It was the other family’s death day of their daughter. It went awry and I was accused of trying to steal that thunder. I laid on the ground and I cried. I cried until I could not cry anymore. I came home and I was like, “I don’t know what else to do.” I was in the media all the time. I went to city council and thought they would seriously embrace me and love me, but it didn’t work out that way because the lawyer told him to quit talking to me.

The very last day, I pretty much blessed them all out one by one, and told them exactly what I thought about it and defeated, trying to hold on to my faith. When he walked in, he said, “You are going to start a nonprofit and I’m going to do your logo from my nonprofit in Africa.” My mind said, “There is no way in Hades I’m doing a nonprofit. I don’t even check my email at work.” The mere fact that God could use somebody that has a past, I’m in recovery, somebody that didn’t have the skillset. The next phase was, “Adina, if you keep being Adina, they’ll throw you off your own board. You have to act very mature. You have to be very stodgy. You have to have rules of order.”

I said, “We’re here to change the world.” I think I made it because I didn’t know I couldn’t. I didn’t know, and I didn’t care because I felt like everybody had walked away from me. The only person representing my son was his mother. I had started seeing things in such a different manner, the way that I had treated people. “No, that person is as important as that person.” I’m never going to give some people more credit than other people. We’re all equal people. I could see myself in everything I was fussing about. I was like, “I didn’t go to people’s houses when they lost their child and sit with them. I’m mad at people for not doing with me for what I’ve not done with them.”

Part of my learning was to quit pointing your fingers, get your stuff straight, and give it. It’s been beautiful. In 2024, we started with $0 out of my bank account. I’m divorced. Not that that has anything to do with it, but it does because I didn’t have anybody at home bearing the brunt of this. Now we had our last fundraiser. We had corporate sponsors. Those people that came didn’t even know about what we were doing and they’re in our city.

Quit pointing your fingers at others and learn to straighten out your own things. Click To Tweet

All these cities in the United States that aren’t adopting this program to care for their people. I know this is going to happen. We sent some law enforcement to crisis intervention training but now they’re doing it. They’re doing it citywide. I’ve been able to ride with the sheriff’s department. It’s beautiful. Now we’re giving it to 911 dispatchers because they’re dealing with crisis, mental illness and stuff. It’s brought me back to life.

Comforting Others

From the ashes, the Phoenix rises and there are so many clichés, I guess, around all that or colloquialisms or whatever you want to call them. It’s the truth. When you get the fire lit, there’s no stopping it. You’ve got that intensity. What I was thinking, too, is that nobody knows what to say. That’s the reason we don’t go reach out to people. Nobody knows what to say to someone who’s gone through tragedy and the controversy around it sometimes or whatever. I will offer this and you can see if this is sits well with you. What you said is go sit with them. You don’t have to say anything. Put your hand on their shoulder or their leg and maybe a hug. Just sit and be there and say, “I’m here. I love you.”

You don’t even have to. It was so bad. I still have the light on a lot of times because they came in the middle of the night and woke me up. It was three blocks from our house. I remember that. It was like my ears were ringing. It’s totally changed. Sometimes, talking is not so beneficial. I would highly recommend that. Don’t worry about how you feel. Start thinking about how they feel. After this happened, I wanted to tell the story. I tell everybody my story on airplanes. You don’t know your game changer but I would go over and over the details because I knew I was right and I wanted people to believe me and to the point I was mentally ill.

They took me as long as they could and almost handed me to the next person. “You babysit her for a while.” I looked back and wouldn’t give anything to the people who sat with me. My first press conference, someone had come out of the city and broke the rules and helped me learn how to have a press conference. I didn’t know how to do that. I was clueless about what was going on, when it was going to change and what was happening to me. I was still working. It was COVID, so I was working at home. I learned things that will benefit me the rest of my life. How to have a press conference. I can call those now when I need to. That means I can help other people learn how to do that when they need it.

It’s always about passing it on. God allowed me. I saw a quote, it said, “Girl, I got you out of that dark well, so you could go back in and pull somebody else out.” That made me cry because there are people in the well right now. They may not have lost a child. They’ve lost a lover. They’ve lost their self-respect. They’ve lost a job and they feel alone. Alone is what will get us. I think it’s a ministry we can all do by looking around. I talked to you, Charla, and I didn’t know a sad thing that you’ve had to go through. Now that I do, I’ve had you on my mind and thought about you prayed for.

The Charla Anderson Show |Adina Peyton | Mental Illness
Mental Illness: God pulled you out of the dark whale so you could go back in and pull somebody else out.


Nobody gets through with nothing. No tragedy. On Valentine’s Day and over 40 years ago, I had a stillborn baby, my first child. I think that’s what you’re talking about. She’s my guardian angel. These days, I don’t have a lot of sadness, but it was a sad time. She was almost full term and we named her Sarah. I’ve got three great kids. They calling it Sarah’s Day. Happy Sarah’s Day instead of Valentine’s Day, but nobody gets out of here without some trauma or tragedy.

All of us are overcomers. We can wallow in our difficulties, our sadness and become a victim and stay victimized and be a complainer about things or we can do what you did. Step up, stand up, and make a difference in the next person’s lives. That’s tremendous. I’m so grateful you had the tenacity to do that and the strength of character you didn’t know you had.


The Charla Anderson Show |Adina Peyton | Mental Illness


Let me tell you about my daughter real quick because my son gets billing all the time. My beautiful daughter, Emily, the dog lover. She’s out in Albuquerque. I learned these lessons because I was a sixteen-year-old mother, so she got a better deal than he did. One thing I learned is I always trying to make my kids be like what I thought I wanted them to be so that we all looked good. I told the parents at the funeral, “Love your children exactly the way they are,” and there’s Brad. It’s funny, an activist painted his picture because in the beginning, I was mad. I was up in Washington. It captures his sweet little face. With the kids, back to the kids thing, you were saying something. I wanted to make sure that I passed on a few pearls of wisdom I’ve learned through all of this.

Love your children. Love them as they are. We want to guide them but looking good is not all cracked up to me.

Not even real. One was left without. I looked around and I was like, “None of that was real.” It’s going to end. Life on Earth is going to end. I’m going to light it up before I go because I know the truth now about what matters. I think we need each other. We do.

We need each other to know what truly matters. This can light up the entire world. Click To Tweet

Your book is coming out, and what is the title of the book?

The title of the book is Surrender: How 16 Bullets Changed My Life. We’re hoping that we’re going to have those books for our big fundraiser.

The title is so powerful. It’s intriguing. It’s a hook. We all need a hook. If somebody wants to pick up your book and read it, that’s a good title.

There’s lots of ups and downs in there.

You had a hard life. I think we have someone on here behind the scenes.

Angie Kluge. She is my publicist, one of my best friends, and a realtor in Huntsville, Alabama.

She’s welcome to come on and join the conversation or ask questions, whatever. Let me see what she says. “She’s an inspiration.”

When this happened, I could not go to the grocery store without people gossiping about me. It was bad. I’m not going to minimize the truth story, but I was never going to live in Huntsville again. I could never see having a life again. I had a narcissist who had found me, had remade me, had taken me down into all sorts of dark places. Two months later, Brad died. I wanted to leave, but I refused to skulk out because then I was afraid I would drink.

This is the lovely lady that my fairy godmother sent me to. I told her, “If I buy a house, give me a realtor that can handle me.” This is the lady she gave me. She found me this cutest little house. I bought it sight unseen because I was out of the country. We began a friendship. It was all divinely inspired, but she’s been able to see it about the middle of the story.

Life As A Pilot And An Avid Traveler

Here she is supporting you in this venue. Thank you for joining us, Angie. Here are some of the things that I was thinking about. People don’t know about us. They don’t. They see what we see. You’re a pilot. You’ve been to all seven continents. You are an amazing, avid traveler. Talk a little bit about those things.

If Mama reads this, she’s going to be like, “What do you mean you were abused?” I’m going to get in all sorts of trouble. I was born this way. I would lay out in the yard and watch the planes go over, which wasn’t that prevalent. The first time I got on an airplane was going to Columbus, Ohio. I remember all I wanted was to be a flight attendant. I wanted to be a flight attendant so I could see the world. It kicked off something that if anybody you ever ask about me when I’m buried or cremated, they will say, “That girl loved Alabama football and she loved to travel and she never stayed home.” I’m not sure what the third one is.

It fueled my spirit. It’s like a gypsy spirit. I loved seeing other cultures and I loved the language of the heart. Part of it may have been an escape. I’ve had a lot of naysayers in my life. Once I start to feel good about something, they tell me how it’s the wrong thing I’m doing. They were like, “You’re running.” When I started doing it on mission trips, my ex-husband said, “You just want to travel.” I said, “It can benefit both. The Lord knows that I’m traveling for him.” We made a fun out of it in Ethiopia and I said, “We’re Cuties for Christ.” That was the beginning of me realizing I was doing something good here. You don’t have to suffer.

There are some old ideas in life. You can’t wear white after whenever. You can’t wear a bikini after whenever. I’m not going to drive a minivan ever. I’ve started challenging what that is and part of it was ego. Part of it was, “I’m almost there.” I started running marathons and I wanted to run one in every state. I went as hard as I could. I think that was this part of me that wanted to be somebody. It drove me to win the science fair and the math contest. It was positive until I found boys and alcohol.

It took a different toll. Of course, I quit school at sixteen. The good news is, before that was over, I was a professor at two colleges and great job with the Army. I’ve been an overcomer in many different ways. It was this last nightmare that brought me to myself. The biggest trip I’ve ever taken was that long, dark road of therapy to heal what had made me do a lot of what I had done in my life. It put it into overdrive.

The Charla Anderson Show |Adina Peyton | Mental Illness
Mental Illness: The biggest trip I’ve ever taken was that long and dark road of therapy to heal what made me and what I have done in my life.

You’ve had all of those experiences. You do have the drive, the strength of character and the push through it, punch through to see things happen. It takes a lot to become a college professor. It takes a lot to become a qualified pilot. It takes a lot to travel to seven continents. It takes a lot to travel at all these days. I was a flight attendant for 34 years. It was a great job. I traveled and saw a lot of the world.

It’s hard. Traveling is not that simple, especially the way things are right now. All of those pieces to your puzzle of your life lead you to leading an organization that’s headed to be I’m hoping national organization, I’m inspired. We do what we do. If I start saying all the things that I’ve done, it’s what I did. It doesn’t seem extraordinary to me because I did it. It’s me. Same thing probably with you. It’s like, “I did this and I did this,” and my jaw dropped on the floor. You’ve done all those things. Marathons, are you kidding?

None of it mattered, though. I discounted all that other stuff because it was easy enough to get. This last thing, there are times when I wake up and I go, “I can’t believe it. God, you did this with me. You took a scattered person as an executive director of a foundation that very well could be national.” I’ve got chill bumps now because I know where my power comes from. As long as I keep on the low, he keeps taking me around different things I’ve wanted to do my whole life. He’s giving me those things. It’s not the way I thought it would be, but he waited until I could take the baton and do it to help other people. I have to say, the woman who encouraged me to get my pilot’s license had it not been for a woman pushing me to do it, I never would’ve done it.

I’m so proud of it because it wasn’t natural to me. It was very difficult. I got word right before we came on that her son had drowned in a riptide in Puerto Rico, which is where she is. We have flown back and forth. She interviewed me for a job in Italy and hired me. I didn’t take it because my kid was still in school. We’ve had a history together of 30 years. When we were getting ready for this, I was concerned I wouldn’t be able to focus. Now I know what to do when somebody loses a child. I have the information now. I can’t ever look away this time. Once you have been given a gift, you’ve made it through the pain or the storm. It’s your responsibility.

The Charla Anderson Show |Adina Peyton | Mental Illness
Mental Illness: Once you have been given a gift, you’ve made it through the pain and the storm. It is your responsibility.


The book is about, let me show you, girls, what I’ve learned and wouldn’t have learned had I not been in a crisis that almost killed me. These are things that can change a lot of people’s lives. I didn’t feel like I was anything until this happened. It’s only because I feel like I found a person inside my body. I’m going to use the person to stand up for other people and love people when nobody else loves them. We can do this. If I can do this, we’ve all got it. I would look at these little people like Sandra Bullock, The Blindside, and I’m like, “I’m sure that’s true, but she had a husband.” When this happened, I was like, “This is God.” If you think you’re little, you’re not.

You are truly an amazing inspiration. Things don’t happen by accident. It’s God’s intervention. Everything happens. My mantra is everything is always working out for me because where I am is all I have. Even in crisis, those moments you were in crisis, you didn’t have another moment to be. Only where you are is where you can be.

This moment in time is all we have. When we can begin to relax and realize that our circumstances aren’t us, it is the only place we have to take the next step. I don’t have last, second, last word, last week, last generation. I only have the next word and the next step. When we can stop wishing we were elsewhere because there’s nowhere else to be but where we are.

I think we talked about this. It was like we’re in the now. People say, “Be in the now.” What does that mean? I’m like, “Yeah, it’s now, but it means that you don’t have any other place than where you are.” When you recognize that there’s something to be done and you do it, then you have that beautiful spirit.

Final Words

I believe that when we say things to people like, “Just do this,” we need to show them. If this had happened and I had had 20,000 friends, I would never have gone inward. I would have gone outward, which is the way I live my life. If you are interested and you don’t know how to do that, please contact me at a later time, and I will walk through it with you. I wanted to be better and get better. My whole life I read every self-help book. There was on demand. I just couldn’t get there that way. I think it takes longer to stop and help somebody, but once you realize the answers are in you, it’s powerful. You have to stop and listen.


The Charla Anderson Show |Adina Peyton | Mental Illness


What do you want to leave the group with here? What is the final word? What is your call to action and how do they find you? You offered that. How do people find you? Do you have another means to reach out to you? I’m sure Facebook. You can find her on Facebook and other places.

Yes, I am on tiktok as Adina Inc. I’m on Instagram as the Dragonfly Firecracker. That’s our symbol of GRAMI right there. We have a website for GRAMI. It’s You can check that out and read all about our programs. If you’re interested in any type of empowerment coaching or want to know what I talked about, what that meant, then you can reach me at My website’s being developed right now, so that will be Adina Peyton.

If you want to reach out, you can reach me on any social media platform. I’m not hard to find. If you totally forget, just say mother of son who got shot sixteen times and it will pull up so many articles that you will be able to find my name. I can always find something that I want to find. Please reach out because life is short and we want to live it as fully as we can. I cannot thank you enough for giving me a platform to tell people there’s hope and a way to survive tragedy and feel great afterward. If anybody has any podcasts they would like to have me on, I would be happy to do that or speak anywhere, anytime. Thank you so much.

You’ve got an incredible message. Your book is coming out with Beyond Publishing. Michael Butler is also my publisher. We expect it to be out on August 16, 2024.

It will almost be the fourth anniversary. It was November 17, 2020. The book is called Surrender, which is what we all need to do. Surrender: How 16 Bullets Changed My Life.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed having you. I feel like we’re new best friends. I collect people and you do too. I love that you feel real now. You’ve stepped into your purpose. You feel real. I think that’s what you have been searching for all those years. I know that you’re not alone in that. I asked you about a quote and you’re like, “You can’t make this up.” You can’t make up that these tragedies happen and things happen and life happens. Life keeps lifeing and we get the choice to go dark or go light.

You find what you’re looking for.

You get what you focus on.

I’m grateful that we’ve had this time and I appreciate Angie coming in and contributing and that she’s your rock. We all need a rock. We all need somebody, the one person that gets us. I can’t imagine how it has affected your daughter as well. It’s her brother. You’ve changed and she’s changed. Hugs out to her, too, that she deals with things as well. All of us do.

She’s doing amazing. She’s like a superhero.

She’s superhero on one and then sometimes the other child gets a little bit lost in the shuffle. I’m sure you’ve done a great job in that. She’s done a great job being an avid supporter of her mom. I love you very much. We’re going to call it a day. You can go to my website, It’s being revamped as well. Find what’s going on in my world. We’re on Facebook. We’re all over the place. I will ask you to always remember to choose joy.


Important Links


I’m Charla Anderson, host of The Charla Anderson Show, Collector & Connector of Fascinating People (and EVERYONE is Fascinating!) on live TV, streaming and podcasts. As a Ziglar Legacy Certified Trainer, a retired award-winning flight attendant, Olympic Torch bearer, personal development junkie, Inspired Speaker, Published Author and Your Courageous Coach, I want to share my passion of living life full-out, saying YES to intriguing opportunities, and encouraging YOU to do the same. Let’s jump on a discovery call and get to know each other. Find all things Charla at


On The Charla Anderson Show, We discuss Mindset, How much Your WORDS matter, Princess to Queen energy, mantras, HOPE, Faith, Miracles, Overcoming, and much, much more, including learning from amazing guests.


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About Adina Peyton

The Charla Anderson Show |Adina Peyton | Mental IllnessAdina was born in Athens, Alabama in 1962. Married at 16 and pregnant she received a GED and started college immediately. She had her son, Brad at 17 and began work at the Missile Command in 1981 as a clerk typist. She went on to get her Bachelor’s Degree in Business from Athens State University and her Masters Degree from the Florida Institute of Technology in Human Resource Management. She retired in 2023 with 42 years in the Department of Defense. The last 18 years were spent developing curriculum and teaching the new Acquisition Corp that moved from Ft Lee, Virginia to Huntsville, Alabama. Upon retirement, Adina had taught over 3700 Acquisition Professionals In addition, Ms. Peyton was an adjunct professor for University of Alabama, Huntsville teaching Contract Administration and Contract Law, and Athens State University teaching Contract Pricing.
In 2022 after the death of her son in a mental health standoff, she became an advocate for accountability and transparency and launched a mental health campaign that resulted in the birth of her non profit organization GRAMI, Getting Real About Mental Illness. As Executive Director and Founder, she supports and funds efforts to ensure that First Responders can obtain free, fully licensed mental health appointments that are private and ensure no reprisal. GRAMI also advocates for Crisis Intervention Training and her efforts have changed the training environment and the success of lessening the trauma on police officers while protecting mentally ill people.
Ms. Peyton is also a FAA Certified VFR Pilot and a Level II PADI Scuba Diver and loves to travel. She has been to all 7 continents and she and her daughter celebrated by climbing Mt Fuji. 

Collector & Connector of Fascinating People... & everyone is Fascinating!  Sharing Encouragement, Courage, Inspiration, Smiles & Hugs to Leave OUR World a Better Place.

TV SHOW ~ SEASON 2 - Join me Every Wed at 1pm CT on BE EMPOWERED Channel 


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