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Category Archives: Suicide

When Do We Decide to Commit Suicide? | [REBLOG]

When Do We Decide to Commit Suicide? | [REBLOG]

I’ve been Tweeting with a friend whose site is based on raising suicide awareness, especially for those who need answers to “why?”. I wrote this some time ago and am hoping it helps a little in the way of explaining my personal experience.

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NOTE: Dear reader, this post talks openly about suicide. If this is a trigger, please do not read it at this time. Thank you. May peace come to you in your valley.

I attempted suicide on 9/14/14.

I had been on the noose for about 45 minutes.

I am fortunate. I had friends that saved me.

I hope that my words may provide some closure for those that may still be seeking answers. A small bit of understanding to answer the question, “Why?” My family and friends are fortunate because I am able to answer those questions for. I am fortunate to be alive and explain it to them.

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“It’s the easy way out.”Psh! Friend if you’re that deep, it’s the ONLY way out.

“He just wanted attention.” I wanted peace.

“He was so selfish.” I wasn’t thinking of anybody.

So when does it all become too much to…

View original post 622 more words

 
 

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Killing Myself | Part 2

Killing Myself | Part 2

*TW

Hello my little failure, we’ve been waiting for your return

We know our pressure’s way too much, we know for what you yearn

A little song of sweet respite, to whet your pathetic appetite

We promise to close the lid real tight, and flood our darkness in to your light

*     *     *

I made a drink of 100 proof, my razor blade of choice

To drown out demon voices, to cut their endless noise

I mixed it full with anger, and hurt, and hopelessness

I drank it quick, I drank it fast, I drank it with relentlessness

*     *     *

Callous words are spoken, when we all need love the most

I needed grace, I needed kindness, and to vent without recourse

Maybe one day we’ll be able, to cast aside our pride

And give the tenderness we need, and put ourselves aside

 

 
 

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The Night I Killed Myself |Part 1?

The Night I Killed Myself |Part 1?

TRIGGER WARNING – This post ideals with suicide. Please do not read it dear friend, if this is a trigger.Mom. Angels. I am safe. This is just a memoir because I know others have no choice but to survive through the same. You have supported me to talk about this curse, through God’s strength.

Regardless of how alone you feel at this very moment – YOU. ARE. NOT. Please reach out. We are here to support our brothers and sisters through this dark abyss. Through this Specter. You can read as much as I remember about my personal fight and that night of hopelessness from the end of the belt.

the night I killed myself

Image of poem with lyrics below, as well as an image of hand holding an empty bottle with pills emptied out on a wooden floor.

The Night I Killed Myself | Part 1?

Anger triggers, trigger pulls, Specter slashing me

Digging claws of hopelessness, broke on bended knee

Half pill, whole pill, crying on the floor

Throw it back, chase it down, hanging from the door

Laughing at the little thought, that I was trying to sleep

“You fool you’re trying to die tonight, you worthless, monstrous creep”

Sitting on the bedroom floor, belt around my neck

Pills on wood, two bottles gone, end without regret

The pain, the hopelessness, the ever growing rage

The beast had torn apart, his rusted , Lexapronic cage

“SHH-! Don’t say it. Don’t dare speak his name”

“He’ll hear you, and he’ll cut you, and brand you with his flame.”

I can’t take the monsters, that rape me every day

Taunting me to exit out, you know, the easy way

Ever since the middle school, I entered a layer of hell

I never made it out of there, the pain’s too much to tell

*   *   *

There’s this girl that stole my heart, she used to call me dad

A fool to think I was the hero, I knew she never had

 
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Posted by on 04/09/2016 in Depression, Suicide

 

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Pull Me [Poetry]


TRIGGER WARNING-This post deals with how I felt the night of my suicide attempt.

I hope you will scroll down and continue reading after the words, which I’ve typed out in text format.

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Pull Me

I had a little trigger, that pushed me all the way

To hang myself upon my door, I couldn’t make it go away

I knocked it down with sleeping pills, and tucked it in with rum

The Specter slashed his razor claws, the round had slipped into the gun

 

I had a little trigger, that pulled itself real tight

I slipped the belt around my neck, I lost the will to fight

I cut it off with leather cinched, this time would be the last

I’d ever have to take again, the demons from my past

 

I had a little trigger, it jabbed me in my throat

To end the crap that smeared itself, across the lies it wrote

The failures, loss, resentment, of a thousand dreaded days

To suck out all the happiness, replaced it with the grey that stays

 

The trigger pulled, the hammer fell

The firing pin, that sealed my hell

Waiting while the light fades out

Extinguishing without a shout


 

Thank you if you are still reading.

My name is Chris, and on September 14th of 2014 I hanged myself.

I’ve been away for a while…pursuing a graduate certificate in eLearning.

But just mostly away…

Apathetic. I really can’t shake it.

I’ve been on a roll of laziness and sloth.

Driven to the hinterlands of the gray by the chemical reaction of the chemicals I take, to balance the effects of the chemicals I make.

I’m still in that chemical funk but wanted to force myself to write something in the interim. Thank you for my dear friends who have reached out to check on me. I am indebted to your caring, kindness.

X Chris

p.s. – in lieu of recent WP changes, would someone please let me know how we are to link  back to previous posts?

 
 

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Specter | [POETRY]


This is a repost of a four part poem I wrote on Specter, the personification of my depression. With it I hope that others suffering from the torment of depression and thoughts of suicide know they are not alone. Remember this is Suicide Prevention/Awareness month. Let’s help breathe hope to those who may be in a valley.

Thank you to my readers and followers for all your support. You are special to me.

X Chris

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Specter, Pt. 1

Michael please save me,

deliver my soul.

Specter is slashing,

and tearing a hole.

It bites and It gnashes,

and tears open my wounds.

I don’t have the will,

it’ll be over soon…

Specter, Pt. 2

…And as I looked up,

my defender looked down.

Descended and thrust,

crushed Specter to the ground

His lance tip pointed,

at the devil’s crown.

Specter’s incisors and daggers

extended and grown…

Specter, Pt. 3

…Specter shrieked like a pig bled, hanging on slaughter.

Its lips ripped back over its chipped fangs,

the skin grew taughter.

He ripped and he tore,

at my back and my flesh.

He knew that his time

was limited at best.

Because the archangel had come,

and bore down on his evil.

As I rode the waves up and down,

in this life, so surreal.

Specter, Pt. 4

The Final Chapter

…And Michael roared,

at Specter under his heel,

“Thou shall not harm, leave,

you are cast out.

“From this place you torment,

I will cut you down.”

Sword raised in death thrust

The Protector bore down.

And severed the devil’s head

Throwing it to the ground.

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You Would Be Missed


PLEASE share this with others who need to hear it. Thank you, friends.

X Chris

People would be devastated and miss you if you didn’t show up in their life tomorrow.

 
 

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Real. Talk. – Supporting Each Other.


encourage each other daily, Hebrews 3: 13

 

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Who Is Specter? | [REBLOG]


In lieu of September being Suicide Prevention/Awareness Month, I am reposting some of my older posts that deal with my depression, my suicide attempt, and verses/quotations of hope and strength. Please feel free to pass these on to others who feel alone – it is one of the worst feelings in the world to go through this by yourself. Thank you for visiting and sharing your thoughts, my friend.

X Chris


specter

When I first began thinking of writing about clinical depression, I stopped thinking. I put it to rest. Why would I consider doing what I was considering? What would I do in the face of my family and friends when they found out? I felt so shameful. So inadequate. So inferior. And I felt so alone. Especially as a male. Men aren’t supposed to talk about our feelings. We’re not supposed to cry. Not show weakness. Not show emotion.

specter_003This…thing I had, made me do all those things. And it wouldn’t leave. It just lingered there for years. It reared its ugly head more than I could handle. I saw its sinister teeth glistening in the shadows. Its chipped, stiletto nails sliding around the corner and scratching on the walls of my soul.

Later, through years of counseling and medicine, doctors help me put a name to this thing and they called it depression. I’ve come to call it, Specter.

A big step to my living with depression and being haunted by Specter was the realization of what I was going through was real. It was not imagined. I was not a freak or different because I was going through it. I was normal. The Lord just dealt me a hand that was different from other folks in my life. That’s a-whole-‘nother talk which I imagine I’ll address in the future. The biggest help to me was decoding the codex. Once I discovered the following four items, I could live with my depression. Yours may be different my friend. You may have less. You may have more. There’s no standard here. And that’s perfectly fine.

Here are four truths I’ve learned from my years of living with depression:

Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Robin Williams on Depression | [QUOTE]


I’ve noticed this post gets hits everyday so I thought it’d be worthwhile to repost it.

X Chris

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“I think the saddest people always try their hardest to make people happy because they know what it’s like to feel absolutely worthless and they don’t want anyone else to feel like that.”

-Robin Williams

 

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Remember this, my friend!


to the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.

 

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My Mom’s Story in Remembering My Suicide Attempt | [GUEST BLOG]


Today it has been a year since I hanged myself.

I asked my mom if she would tell her story in remembering that day.

These are her words.


A telephone rings, breaking the silence of a peaceful morning.

Still in bed, reaching for the phone and hearing a son’s voice.

Cheerily say “hello” and hear the pain in his voice, trembling, as he asks if I am sitting.

I know in my heart it is news about his older brother, so I brace for the words but not the words I expected.

Maybe words of an accident or broken bones but never the words “suicide attempt.”  Those words were not in my vocabulary. It happened to other people, and other people’s children. Mine were safe from that darkness.

Tears fell with an ebb and flow, trying to know what to do, who to call, how to end this pain and nightmare. Not knowing what lay at the other end in another state 10 hours away, I felt so helpless.”

Dear Lord, protect and bless my dear sons. Both need your strength and healing power.”

Praying gave me a new strength and I embarked on the darkest journey of a mother’s life.

Crying, praying, texting…that was the rhythm of my life as the car wheels turned and the distance shrank between questions and answers.

Distance that took so long to span when all I wanted to do was hold my broken son close.

Hospitals are cold and sterile and meeting my trembling voiced, bad news bearing son helped to bring me comfort at the entrance. Surrounded by caring people, nurses preparing me for what I would see, what lay behind closed doors and long curtains. Friends of my darkness-fighting son were waiting, praying. Soooo many friends, so many arms surrounding a sobbing mother fighting to be strong.

Then the long walk into a dim cave of machines and white robed angel nurses surrounding hurting people in the ICU. Kindly leading me onward to what I dreaded to face on my own, needing the arms of strangers as well as the strong arm of the Good Shepherd.

Is it time yet? Am I there? Do I have to do this? Are you sure I am the one that has to face this?

Yes, yes and yes.

“I have paved the way and am walking with you” were the words I could hear in my heart sent from the Shepherd.

The curtain pulled back gently by another angel nurse and there lay my darkness-fighting son. My heart broke for his pain, his fighting against this all swallowing enemy that had brought him so low.

My son who could make me laugh was now without laughter of his own.

What did he need from me. All I had to give was the mother love that I had for him and his brother and sister.

I took my seat next to him and gently rubbed his tethered hand which lay against the cold steel frame of the bed.

I reached over and gently kissed his brow saying, “Momma’s here now, son. I love you. I will always love you. Together we will fight the darkness. Together with the Shepherd.”

As I said these words I thought my fight was over but little did I know that the darkness was laughing at me. My fight had just begun and will continue until the darkness is diminished and the troops of light are surrounding my darkness-fighting son. He has always been a fighter and his fighting spirit will continue to rally the troops of other darkness-fighting souls of which I am proud to call my adopted children. God bless you all.

 

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Guest Blogger Teaser


Hi, I’m Chris.

And I survive with severe depression.

Since this Monday will be one year since I hanged myself, I’ve asked my mom to be a guest blogger.

I will post her story this Monday night, so please stop back to read what she wrote. You’re NOT going to want to miss this!

Thank you for your support in following surviving the specter and for always sharing your thoughts, my friends. I love you.

X Chris

 

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I Thought of You | [POETRY]


With this month being Suicide Prevention/Awareness Month, I am reblogging my posts and poetry that deal specifically with suicide, as well as those things that often result in suicide such as (but NOT limited to) depression, bullying, etc.

This is a poem I wrote after I read a blogger’s post about wanting to die. Please share it with someone you are thinking of that is dealing with this RIGHT NOW.

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I saw you THOUGHT of suicide,

I saw you wish you died.

Your loneliness and brokenness,

Were all you had inside.

The noose, the pills, the razors,

Sing songs OF sweet respite.

I know my friend, I’ve been there,

I tried too, to end my life.

So hope I send my warrior,

My majestic, fighting friend.

You will not give up that easily,

You’ll fight it to the end.

When life, and friends, and family,

Jeer and taunt YOU to the last.

Hang onto life you solid rock,

Someone needs you now, not in their past.

suicide prevention/awareness month banner

suicide prevention lifeline 1-800-273-8255


 

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Suicide – Real. Talk.


image of a photo with the following text, "How much would you hurt if your best friend took their life & all you had to remember them was this blank photo? Now reverse the roles. Puts things in perspective, doesn’t it? -From me to you"

 

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Jar of Emptiness | [POETRY]


Someone was preparing to end their life. 

You prevented them from doing that without even knowing it…

Please pass this on to someone who is struggling with thoughts of suicide this September – Suicide Prevention/Awareness month.

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I held a jar of emptiness

Lonely, full of gray

It sucked out all the sunshine

It took the joy away

You came and said hello to me

You put some brightness in

I will not forget your kindness

My thoughtful, loving friend

 

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September is Suicide Prevention/Awareness Month


TRIGGER WARNING: This post discusses my suicide attempt. Please, my friend, do not read it if this is a trigger.

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This month is Suicide Prevention/Awareness month.

And next week marks the one year anniversary of my hanging.

So I want to take this month to reblog some of my posts talking about this tumor that can strike anyone at any time.

It strikes those of us who are depressed most often.

For those left in the aftermath the largest question they have is “Why?” My family and friends wondered the same thing while I lay in the hospital.

I wrote this post in an attempt to explain what I was thinking when I put the noose around my neck-

When Do We Decide to Commit Suicide?

In closing, and for those who are where I was a year ago, right now…You. Are. Not. Alone. The feelings will eventually subside. They may revisit like Specter does, but you will know how to deal with them next time.

Right now as I’m writing this I have these feelings pulsing through my veins. I won’t act on these BECAUSE I know they will subside and I have the Lord’s strength on my side. It’s just been a rough week…

  • My account is overdrawn (I get paid once a month)
  • I started a graduate certificate and my tuition reimbursement hasn’t cleared – I am facing late fines and possible expulsion from the program
  • I am worried about having enough gas in my car for the rest of the month and it’s only the 8th
  • I was unable to buy groceries this month
  • My girlfriend and I ended our relationship
  • I was rear-ended last week in a triple car accident on the interstate

I just felt like sitting down and crying today. I feel worthless and at age 42, like I don’t have anything to show except for a daughter that just started 5th grade today.

Maintain hope in the presence of hopelessness.

Maintain strength in the presence of despair.

Rethink your decision in 24 hours.

You will overcome.

We believe in you.

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How To Prevent Suicide: 3 Risk Factors For Suicide Attempts | [REBLOG]


A “depressive mixed states” often precedes a suicide attempt.

A major study of 2,811 people suffering from depression has identified three behaviours that predict a suicide attempt.

The study compared depressed people who had attempted suicide with depressed people who had not.

The researchers found there were certain patterns of behaviour which increased the risk of a suicide attempt by 50%.

They are:

  • Risky behaviour: this could be reckless sexual behaviour, dangerous driving or some other form of risky behaviour.
  • Agitation: walking around the room, adjusting clothing, wringing one’s hands etc..
  • Impulsivity: suddenly doing things without thinking about the consequences or planning.

Dr. Dina Popovic, one of the study’s authors, said:

“We found that “depressive mixed states” often preceded suicide attempts.

A depressive mixed state is where a patient is depressed, but also has symptoms of “excitation,” or mania.

We found this significantly more in patients who had previously attempted suicide, than those who had not.

In fact 40% of all the depressed patients who attempted suicide had a “mixed episode” rather than just depression.

All the patients who suffer from mixed depression are at much higher risk of suicide.

We also found that the standard DSM criteria identified 12% of patients at showing mixed states, whereas our methods showed 40% of at-risk patients.

This means that the standard methods are missing a lot of patients at risk of suicide.”

Dr. Popovic continued:

“In our opinion, assessing these symptoms in every depressed patient we see is extremely important, and has immense therapeutical implications.

Most of these symptoms will not be spontaneously referred by the patient, the clinician needs to inquire directly, and many clinicians may not be aware of the importance of looking at these symptoms before deciding to treat depressed patients.

This is an important message for all clinicians, from the GPs who see depressed patients and may not pay enough attention to these symptoms, which are not always reported spontaneously by the patients, through to secondary and tertiary level clinicians.

In highly specialized tertiary centres, clinicians working with bipolar patients are usually more aware of this, but that practice needs to extent to all levels.

The strength of this study is that it’s not a clinical trial, with ideal patients — it’s a big study, from the real world.”

The research was presented at the 28th ECNP Congress in Amsterdam (Popovic et al., 2015).

 

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Five Life Principles I’ve Revisited, Thanks To Rockband


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Hi folks. I’m Chris.

And for about 12 years, playing drums has been a significant part of my life.

I played throughout middle and high school and went on to play drums in the Marine Band for several years. My parents paid so that I could attend private lessons (thank you momma and dad) while in high school.

In lieu of living in apartment, I’ve had to come to settle with playing drums in a video game to whet my percussive appetite.

When I sat down to play “Critical Acclaim” by Avenged Sevenfold the other day, I just sucked. Trying to look for a teachable moment, I came up with these five things that I can relate to my life on a daily basis.

1.   Recalibrate

Sometimes my drums are “off” when I play.

Really. They are.

They don’t play when I hit them, or more accurately, they have a lag.

Sometimes my SMART TV or some quirky electronic bug seems to decide on an incorrect default for my drums. This can result in a delay between when I hit the pad and when the sound is heard.

This results in “missed” notes.

This results in my score going down.

Which results in me failing out of a song.

Through a process of troubleshooting, I usually find that I need to recalibrate my drums to my TV. This little factor has a HUGE impact on how well I perform for the stadium of overzealous fans crammed into my beach bungalow’s living room.

In life, I sometimes get off track. My actions don’t align with my beliefs. Sometimes my words can come out all jacked up, potentially ruining someone’s day. My temper flares. My mood swings. My irritability soars. I get overstimulated and need to take a step back.

It’s at times like this that I need to take time to get my recalibration on, baby.

I need to realign my thoughts, actions, and words with my core beliefs.

I need to reorient my moral compass and get my rudder straight.

Sometimes we all get off track.

Better get yo’self back on track.

Better get yo’self some recalibration.

2.   Practice

I wish I could play all the songs on Expert and get five stars. The fans deserve it.

Unfortunately, I have a long ways to go.

Fortunately, Rockband has a practice mode.

After I humbled myself the other day to Critical Acclaim, I switched over to Practice Mode and played the song a few times at different speeds. I had to break sections down that were killing me. I had to divide and conquer.

Now I can play the song on Expert.

After playing it about 20 times in the past two days, I finally achieved five stars on “Hard”.

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Just to be sure it wasn’t a fluke, I played it again to be positive I could get five stars on the same difficulty level.

Practice paid off.

When I took private lessons, I didn’t like to practice. In fact, a lot of the time I would practice the 30 minutes prior to my lesson, or even in the car on the way to my lesson!

Outside of Rockband, I can at times, suck at communicating with my girlfriend. – I fail “our song”. If you ask her, she knows the hours where I have a metabolic dip that happens to be exacerbated by my sleep apea – times where I’m about as worthless at communicating as a hibernating grizzly.

Being an introvert also puts me at a level where I feel socially inept when it comes to talking to others.

I’m also a “stonewaller” – I reach a point in our arguments where I just withdraw and don’t respond or even talk at all. My exasperation and patience has jumped out the window.

I’ve been holding myself accountable to make these practice areas in our relationship. Meaning, when I’m in a good mood, I’ll try to initiate conversations more. Or when I’m irritable, trying to push myself to say, “listen babe, I want to talk about this, but am just too tired. Can we hit this again in a couple hours or at another time?”

A lot of the time I’m not able to do it and so I have to start all over from the beginning of our song.

We all have things in our life that we have to practice at whether we are already good at what we do, or pushing to be better at something.

There’s things at which we all fail.

Better get yo’self better atcho song.

Better get yo’self some practice time.

3.   Overdoing It

When you’re playing Rockband, you have to play what is on screen, NOT what you think the song sounds like.

You need to play what you see, not what you think.

You may have the drum chart to Your Betrayal, or Diary of Jane memorized, but that ain’t what’s on screen if you’re playing on Easy.

A lot of times I’ll throw in a bass drum kick with a cymbal smash because that’s how I learned to play drums and that’s the way the song sounds. But that’s not was the screen is showing.

Sometimes in my relationships, I assume things. I think about something too hard. I incorrectly interpret the tone of a text or read into something that was never intended to mean how I took it.

I need to step back and take things slower. I need to relax a little and take things a little more lightly. I need to be slower in my responses and give them time to cook so I don’t hasten out a response of anger and resentment.

We all have an area in which we overdo it.

 Better get yo’self to chill out.

Better get yo’self to slow down and simplify.

4.   Baby Steps

Compared to a teenager, it took me an insane amount of time to get to the level in that song that I did. I had to start on Medium then work myself up to Hard. Then I had to work myself up from three starts to five stars.

I didn’t just sit down and play and BAM! I’m at my goal. I had to take things level by level. I had to use baby steps.

We all want things too quickly don’t we?

We all have a sense of video game satisfaction and entitlement where we may want to get to the end sooner rather than later. Where we try to find an easy way around. Where we want to punch in a cheat code instead of unlocking the puzzles in the game.

We all want to skip the trials and journeys.

 Better give yo’self some time to git to that goal.

Better get yo’self to take it one step at a time.

5.   Time Signature

Probably THE MOST challenging thing for me when playing Rockband is that there is no time signature.

Time signatures to the musician are what signs and lines on the road are for the driver. They tell you how much each thing is worth on the sheet of music. Without it, it’s…well, it’s Rockband.

Rockband has a minimal amount of guidance and sometimes I have to guess at where the notes are to be played. I understand why this is, it just makes things harder for the musician in me.

My life is like that. I have several guides that I need in my life to keep me between the lines on the road of life –

♦  The Bible – this is kind of my oil in the engine and user guide. When I do devotions in the morning and take time to read my Bible, Jesus Calling, and In Touch, I’m filled with peace and hope for the day. Life still happens, but when I have a driver cut in front of me, or given a situation in which I have the opportunity to exercise patience and kindness rather than the opposite, I’m able to come back to what I’ve read earlier that day at my kitchen table. The Bible is my anchor point, magnetic north, and grounding point. It’s also the lines, the speed limit and other signs that keep me grounded and directed in life, helping me stay on the road while I travel.

♦  My friends and family – These are my sounding boards as well as how I receive feedback to my “performance”. If I have ideas that aren’t so great or am about to make a bad decision, these people help me see that. They may give me alternatives or sound advice. They may advise against what I am about to do or support me with reasons why they think I should make a certain decision. They let me know if I’ve earned a 1-star performance or a 5-star performance and what I need to do to move up to the top 5% on the leaderboard.

♦  My conscience/the Holy Spirit – Sometimes I want to respond to my ex-wife’s email and texts with anger and vengeance. Sometimes I get irritable with my girlfriend. I always have a choice on how I respond. When I respond negatively, I get a little pinging in my brain telling me that’s not how I should be doing things – that’s the Holy Spirit. You may call it your conscience but whatever it is, we each get that little morale alarm advising against what we’re about to do, or a little victory bell of confirmation letting us know that we did the right thing.

I screw it up a lot, but I can’t blame it on not having a “time signature”.

We all have a time signature that gives us structure to our lives.

 Better find out what drives yo’ life.

Better get yo’self familiar with yo’ time signature.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post, friend. What are your thoughts? I’d love to talk with you in the Comments section.  

 

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The Simple Questions That Really Help Depressed People | [REBLOG]


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I found a quick read over at PsyBlog explaining how Socratic questioning helps folks with their depression. Check out the link below and let me know what you thought in the Comments section!

The Simple Questions That Really Help Depressed People.

 

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Three Things I Learned From My Baptism


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So this past Sunday I got baptized. That’s me in the middle with my bald-headed self coming up from the dunk.

This was a watershed event in my life because it was a public profession of my faith – our baptisms are held at the ocean front in Virginia Beach!

In reflection, here are the three things I’ve realized from my baptism-

1.   Accountability

I’ve been accountable to my Lord since I was born again. On the other hand, this outward profession of my faith seemed a little out of my comfort zone. Probably because I realized that now my actions, words, and thoughts may be judged by my peers – everyone who surrounds me. You know, the Christian who talks the talk but has a harder time walking it?

What I think, do, and say has the possibility of being put under a microscope and analyzed to see whether or not I’m walking my talk. And that is good. I like this idea of being held accountable by my peers because it will help me be a better person.

It will take me to the next level of humility. It will teach my when I don’t act in accordance with a God whom I now believe loves all…no matter their story, hurts, failures, and brokenness. This is the Lord I’ve come to know in the past several years. And I want to be held accountable against His bar of

love

joy

peace

patience

kindness

goodness

faithfulness

gentleness

and self-control.

These can be difficult ideals to live up to at times, but with the help and support of ALL my friends, the process will be a worthwhile journey.

2.   Self analysis

This is the perfect time for me to take a personal inventory. How have I done to this point? What changes do I need to make moving forward? What are my goals in life? Are they in alignment with His will? How have I treated others? Have I held people up, or brought them down? Have I spoken life enhancing words to someone, or have my words been toxic to their ears?

Answering these questions will lead to an honest assessment of my life to this point. The answers will help me understand my performance. The answers may not be things I want to hear, but they will help me to empathize and understand the impact I’ve had on people’s lives – whether helpful and positive, or hurtful and negative.

3.   Desire to grow

I was born with an innate desire for self-improvement. Maybe it’s because I was also born with a harsh superego that thrashes me each day. Either way, this event marks a new stage in my life.

Baptism doesn’t make you a new person, it’s just an outward act for an inward decision.

Baptism doesn’t make you a kinder or happier person.

It doesn’t make you personable with everyone you meet.

It doesn’t give you the patience to weather the DMV lines, or go the extra mile for someone that’s wronged you. That’s what the Lord does in your life.

Me, I have a long ways to go. I am selfish. I say hurtful things. I say things out of anger or defensiveness. I act carelessly.

Not all the time.

But I have my fair share friend, believe you me. It is the Lord’s mercy, grace, and compassion that has turned me into any of the good things I am today. They are for His glory and due to His will.

He has blessed me with things like patience (through many, many, MANY trials), and my own life after I hanged myself last September.

He has also blessed me with the things He has taken away – toxic relationships, a failed marriage, a decreased streak of anger and resentment.

This event was a milestone in my growth as a man, as much as it was an event in my growth within my faith.

Thank you for taking your time to read this post. I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts in the Comments section. Do you have a particular way in which your baptism (or other life event) has positively effected you?

 

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Hopelessness | [POETRY]


poetry_hopelessness_001

Hopelessness

He felt such hopelessness in life, all he could do was jump.

She felt such disassociation, all she could do was cut.

Reality was harsher, than this living hell,

they lived inside their heads. No one could ever tell.

The night harpies of terror, claw her hair each night

When she pulls the covers up around her, shaking from the fright.

The flashbacks and the memories, of her broken bones

Break her hope and will to live, she wants to just be gone.

Away from all the pain, the hurt, the emptiness.

He tries to run, he tries to end the dread,

of living in a quagmire, he tries to choke it from his head.

Wishing it was just a shell that he could peel away and shed.

See, you’re not alone in this, no you’ll never be.

There’s just too much that’s going on for you to ever see,

that others survive, through the same unending pain.

Come in, we’ll hold you dear, we’ll help you feel again.

 

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Selfless | [POETRY]


Reblog this to someone who may need to hear it today.

Let’s reach out to our friends who are hurting.

image of hands holding hands

Selfless

He took a little piece of him,

and placed it in my hand

I was hurting, sad, and broken,

and I couldn’t understand

Why he gave so selflessly,

and cared to share a part

Of him so free and graciously,

a portion of his heart

 

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Where In The World Are You, Readers? [INTERACTIVE PROJECT]


4SQ8bKq

Hello. I’m Chris.

I live with severe depression and in September of 2014 I unsuccessfully hanged myself – my friends saved me. 

I’m also a history/geography nut.Picture of Chris, the blogger of surviving the specter.

I’ve seen some pretty interesting locations showing up in the stats portion of surviving the specter, and am interested to know where visitors are viewing from. If you would kindly let me know where you are from and what drew you to the site, I would appreciate your thoughts.

Please feel free to include any other comments or even ideas for future posts.

If you’re interested in being a guest blogger, check out the guest blogging tab and email me your work – I’d love to read what you have.

As always, thank you for taking your time to help with this project and may you find peace through your valley, my friend.

Whether you’re a follower or you just stopped in to see this cool image, would you go ahead and let us know where you live in the Comments section?

Inquiring minds want to know!

 

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Mindfulness and Depression: Learning to Feel Good Again [ARTICLE]


Picture of Willoughby Spit on the Chesapeake Bay, Norfolk, VA USA

Willoughby Spit on the Chesapeake Bay, Norfolk, VA USA

Here’s a pretty good article on mindfulness – http://www.choosehelp.com/topics/depression/mindfulness-and-depressionI thought you might like it.

How many people use this? I have a really hard time sitting in one place for 20 minutes. I’ve done this once, in a Saturday session NAMI class. My “safe place” was the beach that’s across the street from me. Here’s a picture of it for you to enjoy!

If mindfulness is new to you, here’s a quick quote from the article that gives you the gist of it-

The main idea in mindful meditations is to look at your thoughts as fleeting curiosities. This is added to a perspective that we need to live in the present. Not to ruminate about the past or worry about the future. Now that already sounds good to people who suffer from depression. It is sort of like when I was a kid, and there was a big kid who would threaten me. My mother would tell me to ignore him. She said if you don’t react he’ll leave you alone. I said, “But he’s going to beat me up!” She told me that he is looking for a reaction and I need to let him find it somewhere else. I said, “but he’s picked on me in the past!” She said, “That’s in the past. Let it go!”

That’s the attitude you need for mindful meditation. You learn to ignore the threatening thoughts. Especially with negative, beating-you-up type thoughts, but also for any thought. In mindful meditation you learn how to observe your thoughts without letting them conquer you or control you or your emotions. You learn to detach yourself from your thinking in such a way that you can consciously decide whether or not the thought is worthwhile engaging or not.

Have you, or do you use mindfulness? Care to share with us in the Comments section? I’d love to hear what you have to say, my friend.

 

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I Typed A Letter [POETRY]


poetry_I wrote a letter_001a

I sat down and typed a letter.

To a friend who’d gone away.

To remind him that he’s special.

To say I’m here to stay.

I know your life is full of strife.

And this you’ll know is true.

That where e’er your travels lead.

I’ll be standing there with you.

-Surviving the Specter

 

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EMDR – Session 2 | Digging Up The Past


eye_001Last week I had my first EMDR session, and this week was my second. That’s Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing therapy.

Sorry, no juicy details to bring you all, but my therapist said I did really well.

Here’s what went down in therapy town-

Last week my homework was to remember what I could about the incident. My therapist wanted me to practice playing it like a video throughout the week and be able to talk to him about it when I came in.

Well I botched that up because I didn’t remember to do that at all. Guess I need the brand form of Adderall instead of the current generic I’m on.

Thilly Thquirlth.

So he gave me my headphones (which I had him crank the volume up on) and my magic vibrating pads – they’re shaped like flattened eggs…

Fleggs

Yeah, FLEGGS! Vibrating like little cheekons trying to get out.

So he had me make sure the noise emitters were matched up to the vibrating of the fleggs and that both the lefts went off at the same time, and the rights went off at the same time.

He also put a box of tissue by me.

All set.

We were locked and loaded;

Ready to go.

I gripped my fleggs like a Marine squad leader armed with his M-16A4 service rifle with M203 grenade launcher, and headed out into the deserts and wastelands of Therapystan.

My platoon sergeant had me replay the “video” in my head –

[standing in the basement with my dad and mom. Dad was holding my arm,telling me to drop my drawers]

beep/bzzzzzz

beep/bzzzzzz

[I felt the belt coming down across my naked hamstrings like a Roman flagellum]

beep/bzzzzzz

beep/bzzzzzz

[one…two…three…four…five…………………………….thirteen]

beep/bzzzzzz

beep/bzzzzzz

[Heard mom screaming, “He’s passing out, STOP IT!!! STOP IT”]

beep/bzzzzzz

beep/bzzzzzz

Platoon sergeant: “Ok, stop there. What do you see right now at this moment with your inner eye.”

Squad leader: (and I so wanted to say “dead people”) “I see a basement door.”

Platoon sergeant: “Ok. Pick up there and go with it.”

And so it went that way for about five more volleys…

I started to remember details about the basement that I hadn’t recalled for 20+ years.

The tool bench,

the window,

the rubber mat I was standing on,

my dad’s tools…

But I’ll admit that I started to drift.

I started to imagine the cemetery across the road. Yeah, the one we used to go snow sledding in and hit the gravestones, knocking the wind out of us.

I started to remember my elementary bus stop down the street  – an old bakery and how I lit a pack of matches on fire at the table. What a show! (My mom reads my posts so she’s probably finding things out about my childhood she never knew. Haha, sorry momma.)

I started to wonder if I was giving the right answers. Started second guessing myself.

After about 30 minutes, the platoon sergeant wrapped things up and told me he wanted me to put my dad and the anger inside a container.

I so wanted to tell him “That’s gonna be a little hard, dude!” But I digress.

Then he told me to put that container inside another, stronger container. I’m guessing this was to make me feel safe and to give me some measure of comfort when I left.

A way to prevent any unforeseen casualties of war from any anti personnel or vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices.

He closed the session by telling me we would pick up from there next time and that I did really well.

Yay me.

How about you? Do you have any experiences with EMDR? I’d love to hear YOUR story. I’m looking forward to holding a dialogue with you in the Comments section. 

 

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Do You Need Peace Right Now? [JESUS CALLING, DEVOTIONAL]


So to me, these two devotionals are what Jesus is all about.

As a child I grew up to believe that the Lord was some sort of angry God waiting to cast judgment on my every decision. The Jesus Calling app has led me to a different understanding.

He is a Lord who cares and is empathetic. He laughs when I laugh and he hurts when I am sad.

These devotionals have helped bring me through my valleys…my times of worry, anxiety, and pain.

I’ve posted these devotionals from my journal in the hopes that they touch the hearts of my friends who feel like I used to (and sometimes, still) feel-

♦  I grew up, and still struggle with shame and guilt

♦  I still struggle with my self-image

♦  I was angry, especially at God – sometimes my current circumstances

♦  I felt lost 

♦  I hated going to church, and I hated when other Christians judged me and pressured me

♦  I struggle with depression and feelings of worthlessness

If you need peace in your life RIGHT NOW, I encourage you to get the Jesus Calling app and search “Peace”. Thank you for taking the time to read this and passing it along to others.

-Chris

Peace devotional from the Jesus Calling App, 19 March

Peace devotional from the Jesus Calling App, 19 March

Peace devotional from the Jesus Calling App, 19 March

Another devotional on Peace from the Jesus Calling App, 2 April.

 

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Hopefulness [POETRY]


Really felt someone needed to hear this today. Thank you for passing it on. X

Poem entitled, Hopefulness.

A little thought of hopefulness

Went out for you today.

I see you’ve grown discouraged.

I’ve seen you’ve been away.

I miss you and I wonder.

If you really are okay.

And that I want to see you.

Perhaps we’ll talk today?

Maybe in a little while.

I can hear your voice.

To tell you that I love you friend.

Amidst the strife and noise.

I miss you and I wonder.

If you really are okay.

And that I want to see you.

Perhaps we’ll talk today.

 

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Who is Chelise and Why is She One of My Angels? [GUEST BLOG]


Trigger Warning – this post discusses the events of the night I hanged myself. Please do not read it if this is a trigger. 

Guest blogger, Chelise and the author of Surviving the Specter.

Our guest blogger, Chelise and I, at her birthday party, two months after I attempted to take my life.

Several weeks ago I started asking fellow bloggers if they’d guest post for me and it’s been nothing but an enjoyable experience for all of us. If you missed the first two posts in this new series please read Who is Sassafrass the Feisty? and Who is Morgueticiaatoms?

Today I’d like to introduce the angel who saved my life last September when she took me out of the belt I was hanging from for 45 minutes. You can read the long version or the shorter version of that night when I decided to take my life.

Her name is Chelise (pronounced shuh-lease) and I’ve mentioned her before in my posts. She is a kind and selfless person, deeply devoted to the Lord, and does anything to help those in need. While I was in the hospital, she even paid my water bill so it wouldn’t get shut off. We go to church together and we play Rock Band together, along with my girlfriend who was also there that night.

Though she is not a blogger (yet…) she has a style of writing that I just couldn’t keep to myself. So without further hesitation, here is what Chelise had to say.

UPDATE: Since Chelise submitted this post to me, she has started blogging as of last night! Please visit her site and welcome her at https://caterpillarandthebutterfly.wordpress.com/ She will be blogging about boundaries, codependence, and relationships, and her Faith.

1.   How long have you been blogging?

I don’t have a link to a personal blog but as far as how to find me….probably at the nearest Sushi joint! Haha

2.   Where do you get the inspiration/ideas for your blog posts?

I don’t blog, but if I did it would probably be from my past experiences and my growth through hard times.

3.   What mental conditions (“illnesses”) do you survive with? E.g., depression? PTSD? anxiety? self-harm?

I can’t say that I suffer from genetic mental illness but like most of us, I haven’t had the easiest life…I’ve just learned to cope and grow from it. That being said, I’ve experienced serious situational depression from childhood trauma, which has long since turned into estrangement from my mother and most recently a divorce after being married for 15 years.

4.   For each condition, what is at least one coping mechanism you have found to be successful?

There is only one for me…God. If it were not for me turning to God and refueling my faith I don’t know where I’d be. After my husband left me, then shortly being involved with a sociopathic rebound boyfriend, the silence from my mother and the downward spiral of my job because of the previous three issues just mentioned…I felt I had nothing….until I realized I had everything and that was my Creator. I turned to Him for comfort, healing and peace and ultimately He has given that to me plus so much more. If I’m allowed to name a close second, it would be my friends who have essentially become my family. They refuse to let me fall and I know within each and every one of them resides a value and strength that I hold dear to my recovery every single day. That again, ties back to God. He allowed each of them to cross my path during healing process and for that I’m grateful.

5.   Do you have a personal story you would like to tell? One of success? One of growth? A story that tells about your rough stuff?

The catalyst of the “rough stuff” in my life centers around my mother, unfortunately. I’m not lucky enough to have a healthy mother/daughter relationship. I recall much of my growing up a painful experience because I had to learn to survive at the hands of what was supposed to be my protector, but essentially was an abuser. I have enough compassion today to realize that “hurting people, hurt people” so it was more about her than me. To this day, although a recovering alcoholic, my mother and I have a very toxic relationship so I choose to love her from a distance. I have forgiven my mother and learn to accept the love from those who have come into my life as “adopted mothers” and who have graciously accepted me into their family. One whom I am most grateful for, Chris’s mother….my NorMa…stands for Northern Mama, haha. God puts those in our life that we truly need in order to heal and grow from past hurts. God has picked roses from his garden to give to me to help me on my journey. I feel that I have survived a lot in my 40 years….a rough childhood (which I’m finding is common more and more these days), a divorce as well as loss of friends and family. That is life and it happens but you either see the lightning in the storm and become afraid or you let the lightning illuminate your path to move forward. It’s all about perspective.

6.   From your experience, what three pieces of insight/wisdom can you give to others surviving with mental illness?

♦   As mentioned above, I believe strongly in having a relationship with God to get you through the day to day “stuff”.

♦  I sought counseling just to be able to talk things out and allow a professional help me sort out my feelings and all that I had been through.

♦  Friends – this is the staple during those inner battles we all face. To have at least three close friends you know you can call on is pivotal. Do I know that I can call on at least three people that are closest to me and they will be there anytime of the day or night? Yes and I am blessed. Even if you have just that one friend that stands out above the rest….it’s important to have someone. Don’t get locked inside your head. Reach out. Talk. Ask for help. Chances are….those friends are eager and willing to get you out of a dark place and not think twice.

7.   Is there anything else you would like to add?

I’m sure many of you have read Chris’s account of his suicide attempt on September 14th.  I’d like to share with you my account….as I was one of his friends that received his text that night and found myself removing the belt from his neck.

That Sunday was an “off” day for me as I recall. Just a low point for whatever reason…most likely memories from my failed marriage….or a fight with my mother…it seems so insignificant now. I withdrew and shut my phone off after I’d gotten home from church. I had it off all day. I recall spending time reading The Word and praying for God to show me significance in my life. I was struggling that day and I know my quiet time with God helped but I was still questioning what my purpose was in life. Work comes early for me so I remember heading to bed around 10pm. Before I fell asleep I decided I really needed to turn my phone back on.

10:12pm…”Do you have sleeping pills? I want to die tonight” was the text that came in from Chris. My immediate reaction was not to text back but to call him at that moment. As the phone rang with no answer I jumped out of bed and got dressed. Left a message and called again. I don’t remember how many times I tried to get him to answer but with each unanswered call I knew in the pit of my stomach that this was not good. The friend that was always there for everyone else was needing help that night. What would normally take me 45 min to get to his house took me 20. I never quit calling hoping he’d get sick of the ringing and just answer. Didn’t happen. I arrived to a locked door and very loud music blasting through an open window. Shades were drawn and it was dark.  As dark as the lyrics to the song that played in a loop over and over. An upstairs neighbor had a key to his apt and she let us both in. As his neighbor called 911 I walked toward my friend to do my best to rescue him from the mode he chose to ultimately leave this world. My hands shook so bad as I grappled to get the belt loose from his neck. I acted out of the strength and lack of fear that God had given me at that moment. Nothing else mattered….Chris may not have known anyone was there to save him but we were not going to let him die.

The coming days were roller coasters of emotions for all involved. I remember the next day staying home from work and camping up at the hospital where he was taken. I was in some state of shock but functioning nonetheless. He was restrained for his own safety and completely out of it for days. One day at a time he slowly came around and I was one of many visitors that came to support him. He was loved and I think to this day he’s fully aware of that.

Even though rough patches still come from time to time he knows he can count on several friends for help in a crisis.

Depression is serious. It takes over and will completely consume you. My feeling is this….never take for granted those people that are important. There may not be a tomorrow. Never EVER assume someone is just “crying for help” and not serious….you could be that one person that allows tomorrow to come and be given a second chance.

And finally…never assume God doesn’t have a purpose for you in life….I asked to be shown what it was for me and that night my purpose was to be a lifeline and the best friend I could be and for that I’m truly grateful I could be His soldier to fight on the front lines for one that was wounded.

Again, thank you Chelise for being a guest blogger and taking your time to write this wonderful post! 

Readers, do you have a comment you’d like to add? Or a question for Chelise? Please post them in the Comments section below. I know she’d love to hear from you.

 

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EMDR – Session 1 | What Was My First Session Like?


Today was my first EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing Therapy) session. An introductory session, a teaser if you will. A little preview of the program.

I was pretty tired but decided to play along. I had done my homework and written down the most painful memory I had. Actually, I was feeling spunky with the Adderall so I wrote down 5.

It’s a nice number.

THQUIRELL!

Notes from my first EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization & Processing Therapy) Session.

Notes from my first EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization & Processing Therapy) Session.

What is EMDR?

EMDR therapy is recognized as an effective form of trauma treatment. The founder, Francine Shapiro, was walking in the park thinking through some of her own distressing memories. As she watched the ducks going back and forth she realized that the side-to-side lateral eye movements seemed to decrease the negative emotion associated with the negative memories. She assumed that eye movements had a desensitizing effect, and when she experimented with this she found that others also had the same response to eye movements.

SOURCE: http://www.emdr.com/general-information/what-is-emdr.html

My therapist told me that Francine wondered if there were any other times in which lateral eye movement seemed to benefit people and she had an epiphany – REM sleep!

The rest is history.

I Told Him My Homework

Since I have my homework pictured above, I won’t reiterate it. How did I guess we were going to start with items 4 and 5? I should’ve known. If you care to read about these items, I wrote about them in a little more depth in a post entitled, Forgiving My Dad’s Anger. It may turn out to be a series, I’m not sure yet.

I Made An Island

When we started, my therapist gave me a pair of headphones and two small ovular items that fit in the palm of each hand and had cords that plugged into a base unit along with the earphones. I asked what the heck this was all about and he explained that I would hear beeps in the headphones that alternated between each side, and at the same time the units in my hand would vibrate in sync with the beeps I was hearing. This was supposed to replace me following his moving hand with my eyes, sort of like the cops do when you get pulled over for a sobriety check.

So now that the instrument explanation was over, he had me shut my eyes and explained that I would be making an island. This was to be my safe place where no one could harm me and the entire island was surrounded by a forcefield. He had me tell him what I saw as well as what I smelled, heard, and felt.

I told him I saw white sand (unlike the nasty brown stuff indigenous to this area that sticks to your skin) and that it was fine like powder. I heard waves, seagulls, the wind blowing through huge palm trees, and somewhere waaaaaaaaaaaaay back in the recesses of my mind, a screecher monkey howling deep in the forest, haha.

For the next 5-7 minutes, with the headphones on and the buzzers buzzing, I had to imagine myself sitting in a recliner just enjoying my island.

Being mindul.

This is a technique we did in one of our NAMI meetings and is good for PTSD and those who suffer with anxiety. My girlfriend uses this in her DBT training as well.

How the Session Ended

So all that took about 45 minutes. We ended the session with him telling me that this would be a good practice for me to try. It slows the breathing and heart rate down and would do wonders to help me relax. He told me that when things got heavy (we would be “dredging” up a lot of old trees that had fallen and were buried deep) or too much, I would use this as my safe place until I came back down.

How Do I Feel About EMDR So Far?

I won’t lie, I’m a skeptic.

Even though it’s scientifically documented to be successful many times over, I am of the thinking that it’s a farce at this point.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m going to be open minded. But it’s going to take A LOT to get me on the other side of the fence.

Thank you so much for taking your time to read this post. I do appreciate it.

So what are your thoughts as readers? Have any of you undergone this type of therapy? Have you found it successful? Have you not? I’m looking forward to holding a dialogue with you in the Comments section. 

 

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“Goodbye”, My Darkest Days [VIDEO, LYRICS]


Lyrics for "Goodbye", by  the band My Darkest Days.

https://youtu.be/tl-3F3uEolk

“Goodbye”

She’s yelling on the phone, she’s yelling on the phone again.
And she’s banging on the door; she’s losing all control again.
What’s she doing in the tub?
She’s shooting up the junk again.
And all the water in the stream couldn’t ever wash her clean, in my head.
And I’m Leaving

Demon with the needles leaning over your shoulder.
It’s over.
I pictured this differently.
I cast us in perfect light.
I’d trade an eternity, for what’s been taken away.
Feels like the future for you and me, fades in the failing light,
this time you drowned us in misery, that’s why you forced me to say

Goodbye, my love, so long, you’ve thrown us away.

It’s been going on for months, said she’d only done it once with friends.
I couldn’t keep her clean at all, every dealer that she called was a friend.
Believe it.

Demon with the needles leaning over your shoulder.
It’s over.

I pictured this differently.
I cast us in perfect light.
I’d trade an eternity, for what’s been taken away.
Feels like the future for you and me, fades in the failing light,
this time you drowned us in misery, that’s why you forced me to say

Goodbye, my love, so long, you’ve thrown us away.

I remember how it was, back when we were both in love again, made-up memories.
They were few and far between, no it wasn’t meant to be from then.

Been stuck inside a dream, woke up and I could breathe the air.
Been down this road before I’ll make it on my own I swear.

Feels like, I pictured this differently, our lives, I cast us in perfect light, this time.
I’d trade an eternity, that’s why, you fucking forced me to say

Goodbye, I’m saving her, my love, I wave to her
So long, you’ve thrown us away.

 

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Saturday Night Funnies [HUMOR]


Someone finally found it…

16103_10151111924421371_475835148_n

 
1 Comment

Posted by on 06/13/2015 in Depression, Humor, Suicide

 

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THIS is what Chronic Illness looks like.


[SOURCE: https://indisposedandundiagnosed.wordpress.com/2015/06/10/this-is-what-chronic-illness-looks-like/comment-page-1/#comment-1817]

NOTE: The post is copy/pasted from Cass’ site at the above link.

Author holding a piece of paper that says,

Surviving with severe depression and suicide.

You all obviously know about the irritating assumption that we are not sick, because we don’t LOOK sick. People associate illness with common physical effects like pale skin, an agonised facial expression, weight loss, tubes coming out of our noses, a tumor or wound that is VISIBLE. What does Chronic Illness look like? What do our symptoms look like? N O T H I N G. They are I N V I S I B L E. They cannot be seen, but are very much REAL. So, lets set the story straight once and for all. THIS is the face of Chronic Illness:

I really encourage you to take a similar photo of yourself, and post it with the title “THIS is what Chronic Illness looks like“.

Tag me in it – reblog me – don’t steal this page and mark it as your own! You don’t have to show your face if you would like to maintain privacy. Get creative!

Be the face for Chronic Illness, and,

help spread awareness for our cause!

Surviving through severe depression and suicide.

 

After thoughts on my suicide attempt.


TRIGGER WARNING: This post discusses my suicide attempt . If this is a trigger for you, please do not read it.

Hello there and thank you for taking the time to read this post. It’s both a follow up to my recent post about the night I hanged myself, as well a repost of the original, describing the events of that night.

My name is Chris…

I have had long-term clinical depression since about 7th grade…

I am 41 years old…

I attempted suicide on Sunday, September 14, 2015 by hanging myself from my bedroom closet’s doorknob…

I was on the noose for 45 minutes before my friends saved me. I don’t remember anything that happened between the time I passed out and “waking up” in the hospital two days later. Though I was conscious, I was not “coherent”, and my friends have had to help reconstruct events as best they could. But I can’t remember anything for those two days.

From what I’ve been told by my friends and family, I was in the ER for some time, then was moved to Intensive Care once I was stabilized. Then to a recovery room for the remainder of the week. They said I was so violent that I had to be contained in 8-point restraints because the 4-point restraints weren’t enough. I didn’t know what 8-point and 4-point meant.

I do now.

The number represents the total amount of leather retaining straps attached to each limb and an anchor point. When I came to, there was a loving circle of friends and family surrounding me. I am fortunate to have such caring, drop-whatever-you’re-doing people in my life. The network of friendship and love helped bring me through the end of the week.

When my stay at the hospital had ended, I was voluntarily transferred to the Virginia Beach Psychiatric Center (VBPC) where I stayed for another week. Aside from being alive, I was happy that I was able to change from my split-up-the-backside hospital gown to my everyday clothes. When I got to the psychiatric center, my bag of clothing was inspected. Anything with strings was rejected or accepted on the condition that all strings and laces were removed. No belts. No shoes with laces. Etcetera.

As you read the effects, please keep in mind that when things reach this point, you don’t think of the impact your loss will have. You also don’t think about, “What if this doesn’t work?” You’re not doing it for attention. You don’t care.You’re too far gone by that time. You’re hopeless.

I thought it would work, that’s why I didn’t have those thoughts. I am fortunate to be here today writing my story for others going through the same thing.

Here were the effects of my suicide attempt –

1.  I couldn’t see my daughter. My daughter was 9 years old at the time. All she knows is that daddy was sick. Her mother and I are going through a harsh divorce so I praise her mother for handling it the way she did.

She didn’t have to.

When I was released from the VBPC it would be another month before I would see my daughter. Court documents were put in place to ensure I was not to see her until our mediator said I was stable enough to see her. Her decision was based on the decision of my doctor and psychologist.

2.  Medical bills. These will take a long time for me to pay. The ambulance bill was $625.00 and around $1000.00 for my hospital stay. The rest was handled through insurance.

3.  Other bills. Because I was in the hospital and “off the grid” for several weeks, I got behind in my bills. When I came home I had to deal with shut-off notices and making double payments with my next few paychecks.

4.  Physical effects.

♦  Mini stroke – For about 2 months after my attempt, I had trouble lifting my left arm. My shoulder was very week and I remember trying to rehabilitate it by pressing a book over my head. That’s the most I could lift. It was nearly impossible for me to dry the right side of my body with my left arm after I got out of the shower. I never got an official diagnosis of my symptoms, but based around the events of that Sunday night I believe I had some type of stroke.

♦  Throat pain – It was extremely difficult for me to swallow for about 3 weeks after. The doctors couldn’t give an official diagnosis but I imagine it was some type of scarring/swelling/bruising resulting from the belt around my neck.

5.  Emotional Impact. For some reason I didn’t have a deep emotional impact from the decision I made. Maybe it was because I was already at peace with myself. Sometimes I feel shame at my decision. The thing I think about the most is how I can reach out to others. How can I help others feel that they are not going it alone and end up making the decisions I did? How do I express myself in a positive yet realistic manner? How do I tell my story yet remain sensitive to the struggle of others? I think this blog has given me the chance to do a little of that.

6.  Lost trust.  I feel I lost the trust of a lot of those close to me. Maybe trust isn’t the right word. But something. Naturally, friends and family were worried if they called me and didn’t hear back from me immediately, or within more than 24 hours. They were worried. They cared. After I was released from the hospital, my family constantly questioned if I had been drinking or not. If I was taking my medicine. If I was going to a support group. They wanted to make sure that my firearms were in someone else’s care. It took a little longer than two weeks before the texts and phone calls started to slow down. They care and I don’t blame them.

7.  My job.

♦  Miracle #1  I was fortunate enough to be able to return to my former job.

♦  Miracle #2 – My peers were gracious enough to donate some of their personal paid vacation hours to cover for the days that I was in the hospital.

♦  Miracle #3 – UPDATE: About a month after I was in the hospital I accepted a higher paying job offer. 

What I’ve Learned or Need to Think About-

  • Grace from those close to me. My friends and family have given me tons of grace. They do not hold anything against me. They don’t punish me for what I did to myself. They don’t make me suffer by reminding me of the pain I’ve caused them and those around them. They don’t say I was being selfish. One person said that I wanted attention but those who know who it was are honoring my request to not punish them or let me know whom it was. I am fortunate to have such forgiving, kind people in my life.

  • Why am I here? I honestly believe I am still here for a reason. It may not be for the reasons that I believe. But I believe there is a higher purpose here. My friends keep saying that our Lord did not take me home because He is still working on me. That He has another goal for my life. I believe that. I am a survivor. I am growing. I am bettering myself as a man. A man of faith.  A perfectly imperfect human with heartache and chinks in my armor. I am thankful that I have learned through my trials. And thankful that I can talk with others through my mental condition .

Thank you for your time in reading this account and sharing it with others who may be enduring the same feelings.

Are you willing to share your thoughts in the Comments section into your own experiences?

 

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What’s Written on Your Forehead?


Real talk_002

[Image of man with INADEQUATE written on his forehead. Quote reads, “What’s written on your forehead?”]

IMAGE SOURCE: In Touch, May 2015, p 47

 

My Suicide Attempt [REPOST]


[TRIGGER WARNING]

NOTE: This post is a section taken from the original, entitled “My Story“. I felt someone needed to hear this in detail and know that they are not alone. 

Sunday, September 14th of 2014 was my watershed. I remember the day perfectly. It was a warmer, sunny day in Norfolk, VA. Perfect for me to be outside, working on art for my business. So I rounded up my tools, plugged in my ear buds, and cranked up my tunes. My upstairs neighbor was outside also, grilling dinner for his family on his cooker, which is just out of the left side of the picture below. I talked and laughed with him for a bit then went back to listening to Bullet for My Valentine, Breaking Benjamin, Five Finger Death Punch and the like. I was perfectly happy despite my playlist. I made the peace sign below, that day. I was in the zone. Life was perfect and I was filled with joy and accomplishment.

Multi-colored peace sign made from driftwood.

This is the project I completed several hours before I attempted suicide. It’s made out of driftwood from the beach across the street from my apartment.

Hours later as the day started winding down, I began to pack everything up and take it inside. I was tired and worn out but still on top of the world. I tinkered around with my projects inside, painting and drilling until a reasonable time when my neighbors would be going to bed. I try to be as considerate as I can with this.

About 8:30 I called my daughter to tell her good night and that I love her. Ring. Ring. Ring. No answer. I called her on her second cell phone number. Ring. Ring. Ring. No answer. This is when it started. This is my trigger. The beast’s lips peeled back over its incisors as it waited in the corner. I called her mother’s phone.

Ring.

Ring.

RIIIIINNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGGGG!

No answer. Resentment grew in me. The demon’s chipped, stiletto fingernails reached for me out of the darkness. Resentment quickly gave way to anger. Red. Anger.

The demon slashed.

If it stopped at resentment I would have been “alright”. Not the option a person who is born again should chose. But I went down the road of resentment nonetheless. I plugged my phone’s playlist into my surround sound and I let the Five Finger Death Punch rip! After a short time, probably 20 minutes after that the anger turned to depression. FFDP’s “Coming Down” was playing and I put it on repeat and cranked it.

“It’s caving in around me, what I thought was solid ground,
I tried to look the other way, but I couldn’t turn around.
It’s ok for you to hate me, for all the things I’ve done,
I’ve made a few mistakes, but I’m not the only one.”

Tonight I didn’t go to the fridge to grab the wine like I usually did. I went to the 80 proof rum that sat on top. I filled a cup about 3/4 of the way and then topped the rest off with diet Coke. I started to drink. Heavily. I was walking aimlessly back and forth from my apartment kitchen to my bedroom. Back and forth. Waiting for the elixir to kick in. It did. And the bottom dropped out. I started to cry. I cried vehemently…violently. I don’t know what it’s called at that point, but crying isn’t it.

“Step away from the ledge, I’m coming down.
I could never be, what you want me to.
You pulled me under, to save yourself (save yourself).

You will never see, what’s inside of me.
I pull you under, just to save myself.”

Forcing myself to focus through my pain, anguish, and tears, I sat down at the corner desk in my bedroom and started to write. About 30 minutes and four pages later I finished my “living will”. It’s funny they call it that, because it’s at that very moment I decided I didn’t have the will to live. I made sure all my bases were covered for those who would find me and have to deal with the repercussions. I wrote the password to my computer files down for my neighbor and gave ownership of ALL my belongings to her and my mom. The first thing I detailed is that I didn’t want my estranged wife within 50 yards of me at any time from this point forward. I was very specific. I gave ownership of everything associated with my art business to the President of our local art association. She’s a dear lady and she would know what to do with all I had. I wanted to make the hassle of the after effects of deciding where my belongings would go, “easier” on them. I didn’t care about the emotional impact. I didn’t care about being selfish. You don’t when you’re in it. It didn’t even cross my mind. I was so far gone. Then I texted three friends whom I now call my angels.

“Was there ever any question, on how much I could take?
You kept feeding me your bul*****, hoping I would break.
Is there anybody out there, is there anyone who cares?
Is there anybody listening, who will hear my final prayers?”

The first text was to my upstairs neighbor. She’s my non-blood sister and has grown to be my confidant and trusted friend: “Do you have any sleeping pills?” Her response was “no”.

Next.

I texted the lady who is currently my girlfriend and asked the same. “No I don’t. Are you alright?”

Next.

The last person I texted was my dear friend who I knew had them. She’s my prayer warrior and a devout, selfless person of faith “Yes, I do. Why?” My quick response was, “I want to die tonight.”

“Step away from the ledge, I’m coming down.
I could never be, what you want me to.
You pulled me under, to save yourself (save yourself).

You will never see, what’s inside of me.
I pull you under, just to save myself.”

Between 9:00 and 10:00 p.m. I walked to my closet door and took out a belt. I looped the buckled end then looped the holed end around the door handle. I secured that end with about five zip ties so it could handle the weight of a 205 lb., 41 year old male. I sat down on the floor and cinched it around my neck. Just slack enough so that when I passed out and fell forward it would take my life. When I had finished sizing and positioning the noose, I released myself and got my bottle of sleeping pills.

“It’s caving in around me (caving in), it’s tearing me apart (tearing me).
It’s all coming down around me (coming down). Does anyone care at all?
I will never be, what you want me to.
You pull me under, I pull you under.”

I sat down with my second drink, re-attached myself, and opened the bottle of pills. I wasn’t scared of what I was doing. I was scared that it wouldn’t work. [phone ringing and goes to voice mail] I had committed and had no sense of judgment left in me. [phone ringing again and going to voice mail] I took three pills and threw them back in my throat, forcing them down with my liquid courage. I laughed at myself and thought, “You have to be joking. You’re trying to die, not go to sleep.” [phone ringing and going to voice mail a third time] I dumped the rest of the pills on the floor and took one handful. Gulp. I grabbed another handful. Gulp. This was easy. I grabbed a third handful. Gulp. I chased them with the last of the rum and coke. And waited. I remember things got blurry and my eyes got heavy.

“I could never be, what you want me to
You pulled me under, to save yourself (save yourself)
You will never see, what’s inside of me
I pull you under, just to save myself”

Two days later I came to awareness in a hospital bed. I didn’t have restraints on, they took those off the day before, I learned. I had on eight point leather restraints because I was so violent. Two on each limb. I spent the next week in the hospital, stabilizing. While in the hospital I couldn’t believe I was surrounded by so much love and support. It’s all still sinking in several months later. I am thankful for all those people in my life. I love them all. And I am indebted to them.

When I left the hospital, I was transported to the Virginia Beach Psychiatric Center of my own recognizance. I remained there for a week.

 

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A little reminder from Specter. (Trigger Warning)


[Trigger Warning]

Tonight’s Midweek gathering at my church was a little more intense than usual. We talked about how we focus on what other people think about us, and not what God says about us.

Won’t get into the discussion…gonna save you from the 2,000 word post for this evening. We closed the group like we usually do, with our leaders asking for prayers from everyone.

It was my turn. Oh boy. I usually keep quite, but I spoke out that I needed prayers. I’ve been having suicidal thoughts for the past several months and have turned to alcohol on a regular basis. I know, I know, I shouldn’t be drinking because of the interactions with the medicine. It is what it is. After I spoke, everyone immediately stood up around me and laid there hands on me while our elder Scottish gentleman led the group in prayer for my struggles.

I was humbled. I teared up.

When we let out, I (ironically) felt worse than before – that’s when Specter slashed. I felt like a dam of crying was going to explode. I kept thinking of hanging myself when I got home. That it would only be about 30 minutes until it was all over and I would have eternal peace.

One of my pastors caught me in our bistro area while I was trying to avoid people and we talked for about 20 minutes. He’s a kind and caring person. He’s the kind of Christian I want to be.

One of our group leaders came and talked to me after that about the impact of my diet on my mental health. She’s another believer whom I’d like to emulate – so kind and compassionate.

They both went out of their way to cater to my needs though they would never admit it. They are so very humble. I was humble enough to except their graciousness.

I am surrounded by good people.

I am thankful.

They saved my life tonight and they don’t even know it.

 

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Real. Talk.


This is to all the warriors who made it through another day. Please feel free to download!

UPDATE: If anyone would like me to replace “depression” with the word that represents what you are surviving through, let me know and I will repost as many as I can. Please let me know in the comments section.

Real talk_surviving_001

 

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Worthless


(TRIGGER WARNING)

1960984_10202491171814159_485584771_o (1)

it ain’t no screem no cry for help

when you find yourself at the end of a belt

when she don’t answer the phone

and you can’t talk to your girl

give up it shouts

punching your ribs

blind sided kidney sucker punch

spent

hopeless

the warrior down for 1…2…3!!!

all sporks melted in resentment

at Her

for injecting her with Her queen venom

stay strong for her, dad

you fight

don’t you dare give up on her preciousness

you call and leave messages

every

day

if that’s what you’re blessed with

fight the fight

put down the drink

show her strength

that you remember her

never forgetting her while you’re apart

out of sight, FOREVER in mind

in heart

show her you remember

show her your dedication

be the best dad that you can for her

while you’re not there

and she’s still there

keep her visitation room clean and tidy

clean her every other weekend clothes

stocked Lunchables in the fridge

for when you take her to school

what do you do

when you feel like you’ve abandoned

her?

writing through tears

and fears

of losing her forever

loser dad, not there, not present

how much will I miss out on

quality not quantity

fight the noose

the depression

the specter

slashing my achilles with His knives

Lord please give me your strength

 

“Duck and Run”, Three Doors Down [Video, Lyrics]



You’re feeling beat down.

Unimportant.

Trying but always failing.

Moving forward only to get kicked back down.

This is one of my favorite fighting songs to kick that feeling in the butt.

Rock on, my friend!

“Duck And Run”

To this world I’m unimportant
Just because I have nothing to give
So you call this your free country
Tell me why it cost so much to live
Tell me why
This world can turn me down
But I won’t turn away, oh no
I won’t turn around
All my work and endless measures
Never seem to get me very far
Walk a mile just to move an inch
Now even though I’m trying so damn hard
I’m trying so hard
This world can turn me down but I
Won’t turn away
And I won’t duck and run, cause
I’m not built that way
When everything is gone there is
Nothing there to fear
This world cannot bring me down
No cause I’m already here, oh no!
I am already here,
Down on my knees
I am already here, on no, I am
Already here
I must have told you a thousand times,
I am not running away
I won’t duck and run
I won’t duck and run
I won’t duck and run
No pass away
This world can turn me down but I
Won’t turn away
And I won’t duck and run, cause
I’m not built that way
When everything is gone
There is nothing there to fear
This world cannot bring me down
No cause I’m already here
This world can turn me down
But I won’t turn away
And I won’t duck and run
Cause I’m not built that way
When everything is gone there
Is nothing there to fear
This world cannot bring me down
No cause I’m already here

 

“Lion’s Den”, Eve 6 [Video, Lyrics]



A chorus of hope perhaps? We can make as many fresh starts as we need to.

“Lion’s Den”

High IQ
Loaded dad
Private schools
Brand new jag
The future is so bright, you’re wearing shades inside
You feel lost
Don’t know why
Hallmark ads make you cry
All these expectations crowd your mind at night
Now you’re looking to the world to save you
Feeling terminally unique
Brother I can hardly blame you for falling asleep

Tear up your certificates
And throw them to the sea
Let’s reclaim our innocence
And live in harmony
We can leave the past behind
And make a brand new start
Walk out of this lion’s den
Before we’re torn apart

Pretty face
Long brown hair
Slender waist
How they stare
A ring around your finger and a pain inside
You feel lost
Don’t know where
he goes at night
But he’s not there
You stay up and remind yourself that life’s not fair
Cause you thought he was the one who could save you
But he’s really nothing like you’re dad
Sister I can hardly blame you for being mad

Tear up your certificates
And throw them to the sea
Let’s reclaim our innocence
And live in harmony
We can leave the past behind
And make a brand new start
Walk out of this lion’s den
Before we’re torn apart

The sun goes down around us
We smile and nod but we walk alone
We lie here waiting for the ancient fear to loosen its hold

Tear up your certificates
And throw them to the sea
Let’s reclaim our innocence
And live in harmony
We can leave the past behind
And make a brand new start
Walk out of this lion’s den
Before we’re torn apart
Before we’re torn apart
Before we’re torn apart


 

Suicide – Statistics and Warning Signs [INFOGRAPHIC]



Suicide-Statistics-Warning-Signs-v3

SOURCE: https://www.thewatershed.com/blog/suicide-statistics-infographic/


 

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How Can You Get ABILIFY For $5? [Update to Earlier Post]



I posted earlier on the USFDA approving a generic version of Abilify, hence lowering prices dramatically for consumers. My price is around $890/month. I said how my doctor gave me a card that allows me to purchase it for $25.00/month. Well today I went to the Abilify website and found out that they are offering coupons to those who have commercial prescription insurance (see the checked box) for $5.00.month. Hoping this helps others out there that are struggling in the same area.

Would you take the time to repost/reblog this information on your site so others can benefit as well?

Thank you! May you find peace through the valley that you are struggling right now.

abilify_coupon_001


 

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FDA approves first generic Abilify to treat mental illnesses.



Medical News Today (MNT) stated that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the first generic versions of Abilify (aripiprazole). Read the short article here – http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/293247.php

Since I am on a high deductible health plan, Abilify costs me $850.00 for a month’s supply! Fortunately my doctor gave me a card that allows me to only pay $25.00/month. If you are struggling with purchasing medications like I am, it may also help to go to Wal-Mart’s pharmacy and just tell them you don’t have insurance. Prices tend to be a lot cheaper for most things. I haven’t tried this with Abilify but have tried it successfully with other medications.

I’ve read how a lot of people don’t like the effects of Abilify. During my stay in the mental health facility after hanging myself, I was put on 20 mg of Lexapro and 2 mg of Abilify. I was already on the Lexapro but my doctor added the Abilify because it enhanced the effects of the Lexapro. I called it my silver bullet because it worked so well. This combination may not work for you, and each person’s is unique. I am on these medications for severe depression.

After having been on these prescriptions for about eight months, I now feel that I need to increase the dosage – I’ve been having suicidal thoughts, feeling lethargic, sleeping a lot, and apathetic towards life. I also haven’t taken my Adderall for a month because it costs me around $283.00! My girlfriend showed me her research on Adderall withdrawal and all the symptoms I just mentioned are listed as direct effects.

Whatever your mental health condition, make sure that you have a doctor to talk to and that you keep them informed of any changes you are feeling in your mental state. A little change could go a long way towards improving your condition.

May peace come to you in whatever valley you may be travelling.

 

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“Not Gonna Die”, Skillet [Video, Lyrics]



This is to all the survivors looking at the computer screen…looking into hopelessness.

Please fight long enough to change your mind.

We’re NOT GONNA DIE TONIGHT!

“Not Gonna Die”

Death surrounds
My heartbeat’s slowing down
I won’t take this world’s abuse
I won’t give up, I refuse!

This is how it feels when you’re bent and broken
This is how it feels when your dignity’s stolen
When everything you love is leaving
You hold on to what you believe in

The last thing I heard was you whispering goodbye
And then I heard you flat line

No, not gonna die tonight
We’re gonna stand and fight forever
(Don’t close your eyes)
No, not gonna die tonight
We’re gonna fight for us together
No, we’re not gonna die tonight

Break their hold
‘Cause I won’t be controlled
They can’t keep their chains on me
When the truth has set me free

This is how it feels when you take your life back
This is how it feels when you finally fight back
When life pushes me I push harder
What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger

The last thing I heard was you whispering goodbye
And then I heard you flat line

No, not gonna die tonight
We’re gonna stand and fight forever
(Don’t close your eyes)
No, not gonna die tonight
We’re gonna fight for us together
No, we’re not gonna die tonight

Don’t you give up on me
You’re everything I need
This is how it feels when you take your life back
This is how it feels when you fight back

No, not gonna die tonight
We’re gonna stand and fight forever
(Don’t close your eyes)
No, not gonna die tonight
We’re gonna fight for us together
No, we’re not gonna die tonight
No, we’re not gonna die tonight

Not gonna die
(Not gonna die)
Not gonna die
(Not gonna die)
Not gonna die tonight


 

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“Good To Be Alive”, Skillet [Video, Lyrics]



Look at that drink you have in your hand and the sleeping pills or Xanax in the other. Let them fall down the drain.

The razor blade you’re holding with the perfect piece of flesh you’ll mark. Put the blade down. Cover your precious skin.

That noose you made from your strongest belt and zip tied so it wouldn’t slip from the door knob. Leave and go into the other room.

Just long enough to listen to this song…

No matter how counter intuitive it is to everything you want to do right now. Take a pause and just listen…

Believe in yourself and your inner strength. That kind that you muster every single day to face your world. You are a warrior. I believe in you.

“Good To Be Alive”

When all you got are broken dreams
Just need a second chance
And everything you want to be
Gets taken from your hands
We hold on to each other
All we have is all we need
‘Cause one way or another
We always make it you and me

This life could almost kill ya
When you’re trying to survive
It’s good to be here with ya
And it’s good to be alive

It’s good to be alive
I was lost and I was gone
I was almost dead inside
You and me against the world
It’s a beautiful night
It’s good to be alive

It’s good to be alive
It’s good to be alive
It’s good to be alive
It’s good to be alive
It’s good to be alive

Driving down this highway
Soaking up the sun
Got miles to go before we get home
And the journey’s just begun
We hold on to each other
You are everything I need
You feel like forever
You’re the second chance for me

This life could almost kill ya
When you’re trying to survive
It’s good to be here with ya
And it’s good to be alive

It’s good to be alive
I was lost and I was gone
I was almost dead inside
You and me against the world
It’s a beautiful night
It’s good to be alive

It’s beautiful night
Yeah, it’s all right
It’s good to be alive

This life could almost kill ya
When you’re trying to survive
It’s good to be here with ya
It’s good to be alive

It’s good to be alive
It’s good to be alive
It’s good to be alive
It’s good to be alive
It’s good to be alive

And it’s good to be alive
It’s good to be alive
I was lost and I was gone
I was almost dead inside
You and me against the world
It’s a beautiful night
It’s good to be alive

It’s beautiful night
Yeah, it’s all right
It’s good to be alive


 
 

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Lord, why the heck are You doing to me? [Devotional]



devotional_our situation in life_001

Why are You causing me to suffer, Lord?

Several years ago the above quotation wouldn’t have made sense to me. In fact, it would have made me angry, disgusted, and resentful. I remember some specific situations…

♦  When I found out my brother broke his neck and was going to be fully paralized

♦  When I decided to end my marriage

♦  When I totaled my truck and was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol (NOTE: No one was hurt. Yes, I made a stupid choice.)

How the heck could these situations be for my good?

How could they be in my best interest?

How could a God who loves me let these things happen?

Why the heck would He allow it? Especially to one of His own children?

I didn’t get it.

Answers and Understanding – 

Now for the most part, I have a different frame of mind. Bear with me…

♦  Why did He let my brother break his neck? To be honest, I’m still trying to figure this out and it may be something that I never do understand. My brother can probably answer why but let me answer it as it fits in to the above quote.

“The outcome will be for His glory.” My brother is a walking example of the Lord’s power to heal. My brother was not supposed to have any function in any of his limbs. Broken at the C4 vertebrae, he was diagnosed as being a quadriplegic for the rest of his life. He was a devout Christian prior to his accident. Now he is a walking testimony for the Lord’s power to heal. Just like He did when He healed the physically broken and diseased, or raised the dead.

♦  Why did He let my marriage end? The marriage had turned toxic. Maybe we were never supposed to marry in the first place. Whatever the reason, I have changed for the better in some big areas. Self- improvement is a continual process and I have a looooooong way to go. I am far from perfect, but I have made some profound improvements in several areas in my life-

♥  I have become more patient. Still working on this on I-64.

♥  I have become more empathetic towards others.

♥  I am able to be softer and kinder towards others. 

♥  I am growing in a healthy relationship with my daughter, unfettered by the chaos of a struggling relationship.

The marriage was ended for my good. Was it the most harrowing and torturous experience I have been through? Yes. Would I do it again? No. Do I wish this on my worst enemy? No way.

♦  Why did He allow a DUI into my life? Let me just re-emphasize that this situation happened because of an immature decision I made. I honestly don’t believe the Lord planned for me to blow a 2.0 at the scene of the accident after jackknifing a light pole and running into the fence of a military base.

Like the situation in Job, I don’t believe the Lord caused it. I believe Satan did, and when he approached the Lord, begging Him to let Job be attacked the Lord allowed it to happen. Satan wanted to mess with me and wreak havoc on my life. I believe the Lord let it happen because He knew I needed to be corrected.

In closing…

Because of my growing Faith it has been easier to try to search for the greater meaning in my trials and my valleys. Is it so very hard at times? Absolutely. Am I happy through the rough stuff? No. Am I thankful for the lessons I have learned? Certainly.

Ultimately, I have come to see that there are two reasons for why the Lord allows or causes things to happen – to perfect, or to correct.

When I suffer through my trials with Specter and suicide, I just think that I’m being strengthened for something bigger though I have NO idea what the heck it is.

I do know that He’s given me a calmness and peace to put my experiences out there for others to read about. Certainly not for my glory – there is no fame or wealth here. But once in a while a comment will come through with a thanks, or “I really needed to here that right now.”

I thank Him for giving me the strength and courage to write about my mental condition.

The credit is given for His glory.


 

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Hope Stays [Poem]



I’ve been reading blogs tonight under the Suicide category and felt some survivors needed to hear these words. Praying for your peace at this difficult time my fellow warrior.

hope stays


 
 

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When you feel like God isn’t listening… [Image]



teacher remains quiet during the test_001


 

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“Better Days”, Saliva



Another positive message for all of us warriors!

“Forgive yourself
Break the chain and separate
Let it go I’ve had enough
Rise above”

“Better Days”

Take a lesson in pain

From the man who’s seen both sides
I make the best of worst
And it hurts but it gets me by
We’re all alone on this road we travel
And everyday is like an uphill battle
Take a lesson from the man who’s seen it all

Forgive yourself
Break the chain and separate
Let it go I’ve had enough
Rise above

I can’t change what I’ve done
So leave the past where it lays
I’ll get through this
I’ve clinched my fist and I’ll find another way
You know you can’t win them all
You got to play through the rain
You can’t just grasp at every strum
You got to reach for better days

Done time and mind
Tried to hide it all inside
Did the best that could
Even when I couldn’t get it right
No one sees the scars when it’s over
I turn the page of the rage so there’s closure
Take a lesson from the man who’s seen it all

Forgive yourself
Break the chain and separate
Let it go I’ve had enough
Rise above

I can’t change what I’ve done
So leave the past where it lays
I’ll get through this
I’ve clinched my fist and I’ll find another way
You know you can’t win them all
You got to play through the rain
You can’t just grasp at every strum
You got to reach for better days

Forgive yourself
Break the chains and separate

I can’t change what I’ve done
So leave the past where it lays
I’ll get through this
I’ve clinched my fist and I’ll find another way
You know you can’t win them all
You got to play through the rain
You can’t just grasp at every strum
You got to reach for better days


 

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