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

Advertisements

Depression – More Honest Confessions

I awoke on Wednesday so depressed and oppressed it was hard to function. Just asking my daughter some tough questions through a text message brought forth sobs of despair. When her answers were positive I moved my mind to others that I am concerned about.
I felt like a lion was just about to pounce on me and devour me. I had this foreboding intuition that the worst possible news was about to be dropped on me. These are two feelings I’ve had many times throughout this year. I keep several of my handouts from my counseling through what is now known as Colorado Mind Springs Health. I read through them and apply their wisdom. They help in a variety of ways.
I spoke with my other daughter later in the day and told her I was battling hard with depression. As we were talking both of my daughters suggested the same reason for my depression to be resurfacing. But what I heard in her voice made me realize she was concerned about me committing suicide. So I spoke up, I told her I am depressed. It is all I can do to not sob hysterically, but I am not suicidal. While she was relieved for this information I realized that as I try to help promote how to help people like me who fight mental illness this needs to be addressed.
We all like to have checklists and mental health does not allow for a checklist to work as well as I would like it to. But I am going to attempt to address in here what transpired through this breakdown of stability in my life in hopes of it helping others.
I woke up from a dream that clearly recalled was one of my children is desperate trouble, using drugs, sleeping around, etc and one of my other children encouraging her to hide it from me and not let me be involved. Mind you my children are all grown and living their own successful lives. And I told myself this while the foreboding feelings were overtaking me. There is a possibility this dream was about other young people in my life I care about but who ever the dream was about I could not find any logical reason to worry. I asked the hard questions of my daughter who lives out-of-state. She assured me she is not doing those things.
The impending doom feeling kept getting stronger. I had to get to work and felt I didn’t have time to go through my worksheets. My husband gave me a hug. You know those hugs. The ones that say I love you, I know it is a really bad day and I am here hugs. The hug brought on the sobbing. I gathered together my frayed edges and left for work.
A dear friend told me that she felt the lion ready to pounce was depression. When I thought about the bible verse, beware Satan is lurking like a lion waiting to devour you, I agreed with her. So I began praying that Satan leave, praying for God’s protection of my mind and my family. I know when I fall into depression it is as hard on the family as it is me.
Then sometime after talking to my 2nd daughter I gave myself permission to be sad. I decided instead of trying to hide it or be ashamed of it I will embrace it. It is a real emotion. I did not feel I had a ‘reason’ to be sad. I’ve kept this quiet and secretive because I feel like I am crazy. I’ve been told I am crazy. So I don’t talk about it. Today that is changing- I am talking about it. My counselor assured me that I am NOT crazy. So maybe if you can read this and make some sense of it you can help someone else with what I have experienced.
Today is Saturday and I no longer feel overwhelming sad. The lion is not waiting to pounce. I gave myself permission to be sad and to cry. In the past I have stuffed all emotions that I could not explain. They were still there and at times would all burst out at the same time which made me feel completely out of control of my life. I would have these foreboding intuitions that I would ask people I love if they are okay until they are SICK and TIRED of hearing my voice. I see it in their eyes, I hear it in their texts- I am fine, Mom- you are the only crazy one. So I do my best to stuff that impending doom feeling until I finally just crumble to being suicidal.
I can’t trust my emotions, I can’t trust my intuitions, NO ONE understands, Everyone thinks I am crazy- I must be crazy. They would be better off without me bothering them all the time. They will do better without me. And the thoughts go on and on until planning suicide gives me an outlet for all these stuffed emotions and intuitions. Because I plan it my head, there is NO arguing. There is NO one telling me it’s wrong. There is NO one telling me its crazy. It is whole conversations that I have not recognized as only my participation in. By the time I have been ready to put my plan into action my mind has usually turned it into a fight between you and I. I will finally have MY way. I am done doing it your way and letting you win. YOU just think I am crazy. I will show you I am not crazy! I planned this and did it without your assistance in any way!
Does that sound crazy? Yes, even to me it does! But these are some of the real thoughts/beliefs I’ve overcome in the past.
So here is a checklist that might help you?!?
Your loved one says they feel depressed/sad.
DO NOT ASK WHY! Ask- How can I help?
You are probably going to get an answer like, there’s nothing you can do. I will handle it.
ASK!! Are you thinking about suicide? Push for an answer. Don’t be nullified with abstract non answers to this question. If your loved one is evasive, please err on the side of caution and assume the answer is yes.
Most people I have dealt with that say NO I am not suicidal are ‘safe’ and we can all help them deal with the depression/sadness.
Encourage talking about it with anyone and everyone! At the end of my last delivery run on Wednesday, the sweet kind lady that checks in our boxes at the airport asked how I was. I was honest. I did not say, fine. I said I’ve been battling with depression all day and managed somehow not to start crying right there. She struggled with depression and said when it starts in for her she starts taking more B vitamins! This has been helpful for me in the past and I stopped and bought me some new B1 vitamins. But what is more important here is that her and I talked about it. She didn’t ignore it, or tell me not to feel that way. She said I understand, I struggle with it to and here is what I do. The acceptance helped me.
This week what I discovered is just let myself be sad! I didn’t have a reason for it and that is okay. I am no longer feeling that overwhelming sadness. The foreboding doom feeling has left too. Will it return? More than likely the answer is yes. Yes I will have to annoy my loved ones with those questions- are you okay? Is your life falling apart? I will hopefully always be wrong with feelings of doom and gloom.
Feel free to comment or ask questions! I am not an expert, but I have lots of experience and will answer anything I am able to!