No More Decisions today, please.

Recently our family went through a terrible tragedy.  It landed one of our daughters in the hospital 24/7 caring for her son.  While he received excellent care we are not the type of people who can leave a loved one in the hospital alone while we go take care of food, showering and such.

We’ve had many conversations about those days in the hospital.  I am grateful I was able to be there for her to run the ‘Ronald McDonald’ floor and get a shower in.  I am extremely grateful for all of the help she received from her extended family, church family and friends.

One of ways that could possibly help others in the future is instead of asking “What can I do?” or “What can I bring you to eat?”  During times of crisis the people we are trying to help are so busy making life and death decisions that asking them to make more decisions is crippling.  It is more helpful to say- Can I bring you Mexican food or a Chicken dinner?  A choice is easier to make than a decision.  Instead of “What can i do to help?”  Say I am driving by your house- can I feed the animals? or I will be near the hospital today- can I bring you clean clothes?  Each of us has different relationships with the people going through the crisis- so offer what type of help you are capable of giving, instead of giving them yet another decision to make.

We are so grateful our crisis ended with healing and to witness the power of God always leaves me awestruck.  We serve a mighty God who loves us endlessly that is still moving the mountains in our lives.  Thank you to all of the kind loving people who reached out and helped our daughter and her family.

 

 

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Life threw another curve ball

Hello Pen and Paper,

I received a horrible telephone call Monday night.  I knew I had to put things on hold and get there to help one of our children.  I called my husband and said we are leaving when I get home- get ready.

Mental Health issues have been no stranger to this family.  My brother committed suicide in 1991.  He left behind his sweet 5 year old son and the rest of us wishing we had done more, wanting to know what we did wrong.  Should I have done this?  Would that have made a difference.  The words of my nephew still make me cry today, “Why didn’t Daddy knowloved him enough to stay alive?”

Sadly that wasn’t enough when I attempted suicide.  And to those whom I hurt, please know it was never because you didn’t love me ‘enough’.  I just didn’t want to hurt anymore.  The emotional pain was more than I could handle any longer.  I am grateful I did not succeed.  I am happy that I’ve been part of your lives and traveling this journey we call life.  I apologize for hurting you.

#suicideawareness will be my focus for now.  I want to be the change that I so desperately need to see in our world.  I’ve used anti-depressants, I’ve ‘graduated’ from Mental Health counseling and I still struggle with mental health issues.  I have tools to help me and I utilized all of them this last week.  I don’t ever want to see another person I love, like or even hate hurt like our family hurt this last week.

I will not tell their story.  They deserve the respect to tell their story.  I am grateful beyond words that the God we serve brought us a walking, talking living miracle.  Praise God for answering the prayers of our family- biological, church and adopted.

While finding my path to the creation of a Suicide Awareness group- I’ve found many good websites with great information.  I am disappointed because we still don’t have the answers of how to stop this.  You know- if I break my arm it hangs there funny and even if I don’t notice it broken other people do and get me the necessary help.  Then it has a cast and everyone KNOWS she has a broken arm.  But when my mind begins to root into itself finding every despicable thing about me and broadcast it across my personal widescreen monitor- no can see it.  No one can turn it off and say don’t watch that.  No one can hear my inner voice that says “you are in the way- just get out of here” on repeat.  I am the only one that hears my mind saying ‘you aren’t good enough’ over and over again.  So things spiral out of control and downward.

But with the help of Mental Health counselors I’ve found one of my many tools is God and His word.

2 Corinthians 10:5 New International Version (NIV)

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

So when my inner demons begin telling me I am not enough I take that thought captive and I declare that I am enough.  God sent his son to die for me because I was enough.  I refuse to listen to this demon anymore and instead I think on all good things.

Philippians 4:8 New International Version (NIV)

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Sometimes the things I find to think about are around me and not me- but they are good and shut up the demons.

 

If you struggle with mental health and need someone to talk to; I am willing to listen.  I don’t have the answers.  I care.  I love everyone.  I want to help.  I want to be the change that helps you live one more day, one more hour, one more minute until the hurt subsides and you can resume.

This last week hit me so hard that I will be getting the semicolon tattoo.  My daughters asked me if I wanted to do this together a few years ago and I turned them down.  I was ashamed of me and it hurt too much to think that my daughters had ever been suicidal.  It doesn’t hurt any less today- but I am no longer ashamed.  I am an open book.  If something I have experienced will help someone else I want you to know anything and everything about my life.

Dear Heavenly Father,  I’ve seen you move mountains in my life more than once.  I’ve seen you bring change in ways only you were capable of.  Father we need you today to help us stomp out suicide.  Please guide my steps and create through me a safe place for people to turn to in their time of need.  Thank you God for bringing us our miracles last week.  May your Glory shine through our family forever more.  AMEN

8 years is too long

I had a heart wrenching conversation last week.  I try to be a shoulder for those who need to talk.  I’ve always been at a loss for words and learned years ago most people are wanting to talk things out- not have me offer wisdom, which is great because I am always at a loss of what I should say.

I felt the hurt that he felt in what he told me.  I felt the loss that he felt in his words.  There is no way to heal that hurt or fill that loss.  I know this person always believes the best in every one.  Sometimes he believes blindly which usually is a blessing to those he believes in.

This time it was not a blessing to a little girl.  This time he left one person drowning while he was trying to save another.  I am glad that my words failed me again.  I have spent many nights without rest trying to understand his choice.  I am grateful that he made what I consider the right choice at the end of his eight years, but I am sick to my stomach that it took him eight years to throw a life line to a little girl.

I don’t understand how anyone makes the choice to stand by an adult and leave a little girl drowning with no one to lift her out of her hurt, her loss.  Eight years is too long to leave a child without hope.

I know he has spent many sleepless nights and countless hours in prayer looking for wisdom and guidance on all of his decisions.  He is human and will make mistakes.  His judgment is not always accurate.  I am working hard at finding the path to forgiveness of his mistake.

But I was that little girl that no one helped.  I was the little girl victimized by grown men from the time I was 6 years old.  I was never thrown a life line.  I grew up as a victim and lived as a victim for many years.  I battle Mental Health issues daily from what was done to me.  I pray no one ever goes through what I went through- yet here is another little girl left alone with trusted adults who knew and didn’t help!

Left to drown for 8 years before someone finally did something.  Too little too late.  I pray for her daily.  I pray that God holds her close everyday and never allows anyone to harm her ever again.

World please wake up!  There are evil people doing evil things.  When you know someone is being harmed you MUST stand up for the victim!  Quit standing up for the bully!  Why do you think by helping the bully you help the victim?  You DON’T.  When you help the bully you tell the bully he/she is okay and keep doing what it is that is destroying their victim!  If you help the victim, you tell the victim they are worthy, you tell the bully NO!  I don’t understand why this is so hard for you to understand.

I am going to end this blog with a prayer for all of us.

Dear Heavenly Father,

We need you.  We plead that you help each of us recognize and call out bullies.  Teach us to help victims and strengthen our faith to serve you well.  Teach us to stop helping the bullies and to start helping the victims, daily.

I love you, God.  Please help me be the change I want to see in our world.  Thank you for blessing me with live, love and laughter.

In the name of your precious Son, Jesus Christ

AMEN

 

Yes, My Name is Rebecca Epilogue

Epilogue

Walking into this healed life that God has for me I have claimed my name, Rebecca!  So yes, when you ask me what my name is, I respond, Rebecca.  When you ask me if I prefer Becky or Rebecca- I prefer Rebecca!!  It isn’t rocket science, God gave me the name Rebecca and I am pleased to be known by my God given name!  I believe my parents walked in the defeat of Satan most of their lives and passed that to their children in many ways. For me personally I feel that they nicknamed me, not able to have any part of the glory of God near them.   I have friends who met me as Becky and will always call me Becky.  My own husband will probably always call me Becky.  Yes, my name is Rebecca and God has filled me with grace to understand their hearts.  Writing this book has helped me recognize what a trail blazer I have been throughout my life!  God sent me two ‘Blazes’ to help me see, but it took writing a book to figure that out!  Now to figure out Nov 19th!  I will stay close to God the rest of my life and on Nov 19th I pray to stay in the Throne Room with Him for guidance, wisdom and protection!

I would like to thank my daughters for their continued love and support.  I also would like to thank my husband for honoring our marriage vows and walking thru the good, and the bad with me.  I would also like to thank Pastor Daryl Reeves for being such a wise, loving servant of God that lead our family to living a life with God first and foremost in our lives.

A Prayer for You

May you find healing in the words of this book.  May you find our Savior and His love for you in your life.  May you recognize God, the creator of all as your personal friend helping you in every way.

May God Bless you, wherever you are, whatever you are doing with abundant peace, healing and love forever and ever.

AMEN

Laughs of our Nightlife!

Hubby and I were delivering newspapers last night. He was delivering my Carbondale Route and I was delivering my other route in Snowmass. We were feeling chatty so spent most of our night on the phone visiting. We both utilize blue tooth devices, which brings a mixture of technology and comedy into our lives.
Through the years with our blue tooth ear pieces we have seen so many people who have no idea what they are to believing we are talking to ourselves. Last night as my hubby pulled into a store in the Willits area a man approached him and said (not actual quotes, just the best I can recall) Hey, you can help me! My hubby said No, I don’t think so. This man says, SHHHH, Just listen to ME. I am with the _____ ______ Club (leaving them unnamed to save embarrassment) and I was with my crazy friend, ____ you know- he has a crazy beard and the blonde. Our car is on one of those streets and you can drive me to find it. We will know it when we find the blonde in it.
Hubby pointed out to this intoxicated man that his car was completely full with newspapers and he was working. The man said, SHHHH Just Listen to ME. It’s okay- you can drive me on the streets to find my car, then it will all be OK. Hubby said I don’t think so. He drove away to the next delivery spot.
I laughed and laughed as hubby repeated the conversation. Why is it when people get intoxicated they almost always say…. No, really,,, SSHHHHH Listen to what I am saying…… We’ve seen this scenario many times since we are working at the hours that bars close and parties getting over. And while we are out here working why would we want you driving that car that you are so drunk you lost it?? I feel so much safer with you as a pedestrian, honestly!

End the Shame of Mental Illness

I have suffered with mental illness most of my adult life. I currently am doing quite well and it is because of some GREAT counseling help that I received.
I personally refused professional help or even seeking professional help for decades because I believed I was crazy. In my ‘schema’ of being crazy I was afraid that I would be put into a rubber room and never released. So I fought thru the depression, mood swings alone. Or so I thought. In reality my family walked thru every one of those minutes, days, weeks, months with me trying to fix everything so I would be okay. My children, my husband and my Savior.
I wish I could have known that counseling and taking anti-depressants would be so easy and healing.
I wish I could have been given a sneak peak at the reality of mental illness counseling, instead of living with false fears.
So I am including some of the worksheets that my counselor utilized throughout about 18 months of us meeting. I took anti-depressants for the first 6 months and then finished the last 12 months without them. We started meeting once a week and as I became more stable the appointments graduated to once a month. Then one time Jenna said how would you feel if we entered into the termination phase of counseling? I said I don’t know- I thought I was doing pretty good-you want to kill me? She knew I was joking and explained that we would wrap up the loose ends and make sure I had the tools I needed for life without counseling. It goes without saying I can always go back to counseling, but so far I have not needed to. I have had some rough spots- I will not sugar coat or hide that at times I feel that depression is barely surpressed and ready to spring up and take over again. But I sit down with the journal book I made and recall the tools and tricks that Jenna taught me. So far I have not spiraled downward out of control since I ‘graduated’ from mental illness counseling.
My hope is that my struggle helps someone else struggle less. My hope is that anyone thinking of suicide calls for help. People really do want to help! They don’t want to make it worse. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline ‘1-800-273-TALK (8255)’
You can talk to your personal doctor. You can talk to your family-they already know.

You can call, email, Facebook or text me. I am not a counselor. I can give you honest answers about my depression and honest input of how counseling helped me, as well as what I did not like about it. It was not a bed of roses. It was tough to face my fears but it was easier than what I was torturing myself with.
Too many people hide because of their mental illness. They are ashamed and don’t want anyone else to know. Help me end the shame! I was never ashamed of catching the flu. I was not at fault for mental illness. No it is not contagious, but you can pass it to your children. My mother had depression and it was the only way I knew to live.
I also recognize that I passed a lot of the same issues onto my daughters. I have shared these worksheets with each of them. I have discussed this over and over in hopes of them grasping the good and throwing out the bad influences.

Depressionworksheets

Depressionworksheets1

The last page is too dark to read except the business card of my counselor so the following is what the dark part states:
What is Depression?
1. Severe despondency and dejection, typically felt over a period of time and accompanied by feelings of hopelessness and inadequacy.
2. The act of lowering something or pressing something down.

What is Clinical Depression or Major Depressive Disorder:
A condition of mental disturbance characterized by depression to a greater degree than seems warranted by the external circumstances, typically with lack of energy and difficulty in maintaining concentration or interest in life.

What are the SIGNS?
-Exhibiting a very low mood, or inability to experience pleasure in activities formally enjoyed.
-Overwhelmed with thoughts of worthlessness, inappropriate guilt, helplessness, hopelessness or self-hatred.
-Poor concentration and poor memory.
-Withdraw from social situations and activities.
-Lack of sex drive
-Inability to get out of bed, or suffering from insomnia
-In some cases delusion, or hallucinations.
-Thoughts of death or suicide.
How long does depression last?
-The median duration is 23 weeks. Although if untreated it may go on longer.
Do I have to take anti-depressants?
-NO! Though they can jumpstart your recovery, there are many different ways to treat your depression! Including but not limited to counseling and or therapy!!

If you know someone suffering from depression the only thing you can do is offer tools, time and encouragement. Help by finding local therapists, and only suggest these things in an endearing, compassionate, positive way, depression is not a joke, it is not something to ignore, it is an imbalance that must be addressed and corrected to ensure everyone can enjoy life to the fullest!