Tag Archives: Anger

Killing Myself | Part 2

Killing Myself | Part 2


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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Thought Someone, Right Now, Needed to Hear This


“To the world you may be one person.

“But to one person you may be the world.”

I remember when I’ve been in the throws of my Specter, and consumed with such hopelessness and misery I believed no one else endured. That depression demon who is currently being held at bay in his cage of Lexapro and Abilify, but can attack at random times with a sucker punch to the kidney, leaving me without the breath for life. It’s at those times that one person can change your life. They are there. You just have to find them, reach out to them, and hold onto them. They will be there. You mean the world to them.

If you’re wearing the other pair of shoes and know of someone who needs to be reached out to. Use this post as an excuse to do so. You may save someone’s life.

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Posted by on 06/04/2016 in Depression, Quotes


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There’s This At Work…


My daughter helped me design this board at work.

I was prejudiced.

I prejudged.

I didn’t think that an office of  400+ onsite/offsite employees would support this.

I didn’t think a firm of 10,000+ employees worldwide would support this.

No, endorse this. Embrace this with such open arms.

This month of #mentalhealthawareness.

A good friend of mine (who I’m talking into guest blogging in the near future) organized the activities that make up this month’s Mental Health Awareness Campaign at our firm’s local office.

When she first started out, her goal was to raise $400 by having folks donate money towards the senior leader they wanted to “get pied” for charity. The leader with the most votes/money towards their name will get pied, while the leader with the least “votes” will get to do the “pie-ing”.

She surpassed that goal and employees have donated a little more than $600.00. She had to set a higher goal of $1000.00.

I work at a really wonderful firm.

I am fortunate.

I am blessed.

And I am thankful.


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wh atma y me an s2 m3

wh atma y me an s2 m3






Being mentally ill with depression means that people may not always get me. I’ve come to accept that.

I’ve also come to accept that it’s okay.

A lot of the times I don’t even get myself.



I guess “understand” would be a more accurate word.

It’s like trying to explain to somebody what May means to me, except it comes out sounding like this post’s title looks.

They may never understand what it feels like. And I’m happy that they never will. I would wish this on no one.

There’s so many things I’ve never understood about myself for years, and have only begun to within the past 5-10 years of my life.

A list of un-understandables in my life has been:

I don’t understand why I feel sluggish all the time. 

I don’t understand why laughing feels so forced.

I don’t understand why I want to be alone all the time.

I don’t understand why I don’t want to do things.

I don’t understand why I am always so tired.

I don’t understand why I see grey when it’s brightly sunny outside.

I don’t understand why at 42, I can still sleep until 1:30 on a Saturday afternoon.

I don’t understand why I set my alarm for 5:00 am and hit it until 6:00. 

I don’t understand why I think of suicide

I don’t understand why I pray to God to take me home in my sleep.

Over the years I have come to understand why though.


A severe, deep-seated depression.

My Specter.

Picture 5


NOTE: This image is the original idea of Cass and her site at the above link. Check it out and give it a Like!


So for me, the new significance of May is about raising awareness of mental health. And in my case, severe depression and suicide. It’s about taking a chance, stepping out on a scary ledge, and talking about my mental condition to others.

Lessons Learned: Some Things I’ve Learned from My Depression

I would hope that you would take these things and hold them in your heart. Don’t forget them. Remind yourself of them. And learn from your mental condition.

A list of understandables in my life is:

  1. I have a condition, not an illness. I am not sub-human. I am not sick. I am an extraordinarily strong person because I survive through things other people can’t imagine having to deal with. I live my life a little differently than others because I live with affliction.
  2. I am perfectly imperfect, and that’s perfectly okay. I’ve learned to forgive myself and accept myself. I have a hard time believing the phrase, “I don’t let my mental condition define who I am.” I know what people mean, but I think in the end, depression has set some life parameters that I have to (or choose to) live by. If I don’t abide by those…rules, I start to hear Specter’s rusty cage hinges creak and I feel him scratching on the walls of my soul.
  3. What I feel is valid. I am not crazy. I may be a little broken. You may be a little bruised. But don’t you dare let anyone tell you you’re crazy. Don’t you dare let them make you feel that way. You. Are. Not. Crazy. Real talk.
  4. Only I will take care of myself. I must take my meds. Daily. I must eat healthy. I must exercise. Meh. I’m working on the last two. Have
  5. Strive to be empathetic and kind. You know why. You have struggles other people don’t know about. So do others. I remember a time my Lexapro had run out and I couldn’t afford a refill. I had been off it for about four days and I could feel the dizziness set in from withdrawals. Then the bottom fell out. Specter’s claws were dug so deep into my shoulders I could feel them carving at the bones. Someone put their hand on my shoulder and sat with me. I was in tears. I was choking my words out in a dark chair in a dim corner. He made a call to get me my medicine. That’s why.
  6. Be a servant when you can. Help others when they’re down. People have helped me when I’ve not deserved it. Free of charge. Pay it forward.
  7. Exude grace. Strive to give others the benefit of the doubt.
  8. Have grace on yourself. Learn to accept grace yourself. Be gentle on yourself. We beat ourselves up so much each day. Allow yourself forgiveness. See #2.
  9. People do understand – surround yourself with those people. There may not be too many. But you know what? That’s just about the right number anyways. Find your devout warrior supporters and cling to them. Share yourself with them. Open yourself up to them. It is empowering. It is healing.
  10. My God loves me. Me and God. Ahh, yes. For such a lifetime I’ve bashed myself for not measuring up. Engorging bucket fulls of self criticism, guilt, and shame for never feeling like I measured up. Never earning my dad’s approval, or my Father’s. All. Those. Years. And I got it wrong. His scars are enough to cover my soul. His Grace is the way to my healing. His forgiveness is the magnetic north to my moral compass. SOso many times I fail. Flat on my face. He’s always there to pick me up and hug me with a gentle, warm smile.

Now…Let’s take back our lives and make this our new fight song! This one’s for you Niki.

“Cry Thunder”

Time after time as we march side by side
Through the valleys of evil and the torturing souls,
Night after night, for the glory we fight,
In the kingdom of madness and the tales from the old

Death by our hands, for the higher command,
As the darkness surrounds us hear the cries as they fall
Fire burning steel and the tyrants will kneel
Hearts burning stronger with the power of the sword

Set sail for the glory,
Pray for the master of war (pray for the master of war)
Sunlight will fall by the wastelands,
Endless rise for the heroes before

Cry thunder!
Sword in his hand,
Titans of justice, fearless we stand
Cry thunder!
Strong in command
Blessed by the union, freedom of man

Reckoning day, for the demons we slay,
With the force of a dragon we will conquer them all!
Chaos still reigns devastation and flames
For the ultimate glory when the legacy calls

March on
Through the hellfire
Blazing for the darkness beyond (blazing for the darkness beyond)
Nightmare return of the thousands
Giving rise to the heroes once more

Cry thunder!
Sword in his hand,
Titans of justice, fearless we stand
Cry thunder!
Strong in command
Blessed by the union, freedom of man


Unholy darkness,
In the eyes of broken dreams,
Outside of the wasted and torn,
A land of tears still remains
Soldiers of destiny calling,
And the fallen will rise up again,
Conquer the forces of evil and fight to the end

Cry thunder!
Sword in his hand,
Titans of justice, fearless we stand
Cry thunder!
Strong in command,
Saviour of nations, freedom of man

Cry thunder!
Sword in his hand,
Warriors defending,
One final stand
Cry thunder!
Strong in command,
Blessed by the union, freedom of man

Blessed by the union of man
Cry thunder!
Yeah yeah



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The Horseman Named Stonewall | [SHORT STORY]


On the hinterlands of the dismal grey wasteland of Relationship, at the base of Cold Mountain, loomed a dark grey fortress known as Desolation.

Its colossal walls were miles high and meters thick.

The top of the wall was a foreboding omen to those who dared approach from across the tundra. Craggy stalagmites protruded at odd angles like dragons teeth and witches claws. Bones littered the parapet where vultures had dropped the leftover carcasses of their prey.

Vigilant gargoyles with ripped wings gazed out onto the horizon. They perched themselves every 100 yards, digging their talons into the chipped rock of the facade. The commander of the citadel called on their allegiance by name – Defensiveness, Frustration, Exasperation, and Malice. With glowing white eyes, they penetrated the darkness, letting out shrieks of alarm should life approach out of the black.

The commander himself was the sole inhabitant of the fortress. A horseman who sat deep within the cold, grey rock of Cold Mountain.

His name was Stonewall.

He had built the fortress himself after subduing and slaying his enemies – both innocent and those wretches accused of treason against the crown. He displayed their crucified and impaled bodies outside the wall as a warning to his enemies. They flooded the plain as far as the eye could see until the tundra faded into the fog of war. He hung their decapitated heads and tortured bodies from the walls. Signs of failed attempts to gain entrance into his realm.

Sitting in his murky throne room, Isolation – a place of slate and rock, he slumped on his throne of dark cracked granite and twisted oak. The cold iron crown of Pride, atop his swarthy, creased brow.

Over the course of the hundreds of relationships throughout his time as a foot soldier and knight, he strategically and tactically built this place stone upon stone.

An impregnable keep from his witching enemy, Hurt.

He built it to protect him from Hurt and the outside world. A sanctuary where he would be safe and not have to fear about facing his nemesis, along with his chieftains, Regret and Resentment.

It was his last bastion of safety.

His refuge.

He never left. And he never had visitors…the last visitor he had was years ago. It was easier this way.

Less chaos.

Less struggle.

He remained in isolation without friends. Yet unimpeded by with burden of the outside wasteland of Relationship. Unprovoked by Hurt, the horseman maintained a rigid perimeter to be traversed in order to gain access to the outside world.

It both prevented entry and exit.

One moonless night, the harpies atop the walls wailed and shrieked. 

The horseman rose to his feet and stepped to the parapet of his throne room. Gripping his lance and torch, he glanced out into the wasteland.

Hurt was approaching on his steed and along with his chieftains.

Stonewall made his way to the rampart and silenced the guardians atop the wall.

“What is it you want my nemesis?” he shouted.

“I only wish to have a moment of your time my brother,” Hurt volleyed back.

“You have no business here, fool! Turn back and come this way no more! Before I command my beasts to lurch down from these walls and tear your skin off and feast on your bones and entrails.”

“YOU FOOL!” Hurt roared. “Do you think you can withstand my forces? I shall return with legions of my hordes and we shall gain entrance, tear down your walls, and feast at your table as you die.”

“These walls are impregnable and you would be fool to think you can circumvent them and cause harm. If you advance you shall receive no quarter.”

Suddenly, Defensiveness spread its torn wings and dove towards the invaders. Hurt raised his lance and caught the harpy in the throat, instantly dropping it to the ground as it choked on its own blood.

Upon seeing his guardian die, the horseman raised his fist and plunged it towards the ground, signalling Frustration to awaken from its stone shell and harass the invaders. With lances pointed at it, Frustration circled and when spotting his victim, he swooped down and ensnared Regret in his dagger-like claws. Sweeping back to the top of the wall, the harpy dropped his victim, impaling him along the rows of fierce spikes.

Frustration dove again.

Hurt threw out the net and caught the gargoyle in mid-flight, dragging it to the ground. And in one slash, decapitated the beast with his war cleaver.

The horseman summoned Exasperation and the beast dove to the ground below. In one movement, the seasoned guardian grabbed Resentment by his throat and soared back to his nest. By the time he had reached his perch, his victim’s life had been drained. Dropping the carcass, it lunged again towards its victims.

Hurt pulled his bow and an arrow from his quiver and drew on the advancing harpy. And at the precise moment, let his arrow fly, embedding it straight between the beast’s eyes.

No sooner had the guardian’s lifeless body crashed to the ground, then Malice gained flight and pursued Hurt.

As Hurt turned to reach for his sword, the harpy sank its claws into the enemy’s back and tore out his vertebrae, leaving his body collapsed on the ground.

As the raptor rose into the air Stonewall followed it with his eyes. He watched it until it landed on its pedestal and took its original stone form.

The war hardened horseman shifted his gaze to the plain below, pike still clutched in his fist. He had fought off Hurt and his commanders another day.

But at what expense he wondered.


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Hopelessness | [POETRY]



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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Right here, right now, say something to the person who has hurt you the most, beginning with, “I promise to…”

I was recently humbled with another gracious nomination for the Liebster Award.

In it I made a hard proposition to the people whom I nominated –

“Right here, right now, say something to the person who has hurt you the most, beginning with, “I promise to…”

The purpose of my post today is to take that challenge myself and answer the same question. I’d then like to send my answer to each of the people I nominated.

You ready?

I think the person whom I would most likely respond to is my (soon-to-be) ex-wife. For the purposes of this post, and future posts, I’ll call her “E” (for “E”x-wife). Now understand I have a whole (paper) journal dedicated to this subject – a vehicle that allows me to express, process, and move forward. divorce_journal_001
While this is still a sore subject for me because she hasn’t signed the papers, I think my answer to this prompt would be something along the lines of this…

“I promise to…


♦   …forgive you for the emotional trauma you’ve caused me.” This process is going to take a while. It’s been 2 years since I left for the second time, and after an unsuccessful reconciliation.

This is most certainly the hardest part of my travels down this road. It’s also the most significant – this is required as my starting point. A part of extending this forgiveness is that I also need to ask for forgiveness.

I’ve caused tremendous hurt towards her with my words and actions. Things I can’t take back. Things that she will probably remember for the rest of her life.

I said things out of retribution for my hurt.

Out of disgust and malice…a very deep red malice. Not just out of anger, but out of a deep, sickening, black hatred.

I’ve had a hard time letting these feelings go and have been at odds with my faith because my Lord wants me to live a life in accordance with His will.

The things I’ve done have not been in alignment with His will.

          He extends forgiveness to me on a daily basis. I need to get to a point where I can do the same towards others. With the Holy Spirit’s help, I will.

♦   …let go of my anger towards you.” Over time, I’ve been able to do this. Sometimes it flares up at unexpected times and sometimes there are triggers. It has taken a lot of time and separation from the situation to be able to work on letting go of the intense anger I had. It’s similar to taking the boiling pot off the burner.

Not turning down the heat, removing it from the heat.

My personality is anger-based so this has been a double challenge.

I was so angry when I ended things a second time that I wrote the most cruel and heart-piercing things I could think of on our pictures. I threw our wedding album and honeymoon scrapbook in the dumpster and sent her a picture in a text saying, “Trash gets picked up on Wednesday.” I ripped pictures in half and I Sharpied her face out of all of them.



About a week later I gathered everything related to her and crammed them into a metal pail.

I poured lighter fluid on them.

And burned them.

This was the picture I sent her.


About a week after that I was served with an emergency protective order because of the angry texts I was sending to her. I got the point and it actually helped put a halt to my anger, and allowed me to work on letting things go.

I’ll wrap up this section with the following quote…

Buddha quote,

♦   …extend grace.” Life happens and things go awry. Are those moments intense and emotional in the moment? Absolutely. Do they matter in the grand scheme of things? Sometimes. I’ve learned that a war is comprised of a series of battles. Some of those battles you lose in order to win the warthe really big objective you want to achieve. Grace is that undeserved understanding and mercy, understanding, and sympathy that will allow me to traverse the obstacles I face.

During these times of tension I will try my best to extend grace, because it was extended to me.

Of course this is not ALL I have to work on, but it is a solid beginning.

Baby steps, young Padawan…

Baby steps.

Thank you all for taking your time to read this post. My call to action is that you take the same challenge and also use it as a blog post. If you do, would you also link it back to surviving the specter so I can read and comment?


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So Let’s Talk About This Little Anger Thang


Hi, I’m Chris. And I have an anger-based personality.

I’m also Irish……and German……and have sleep apnea. This is clearly a cultural powder keg laced with tiredness/exaustion/irritablility, just waiting to explode. Sometimes I just have to smh.

I don’t think I’m the extremely irate kind of angry, punch-your-fist-through-the-driver-side-car-window-kinda-angry like Sensai Kreese. I don’t think I have an anger problem. But I do think I need to have a post about it because it’s the basis for my personality. Yeah, that’s grand.

In this post I’m going to talk about what I’ve learned about my angerishlishness from the Enneagram.

quote saying, "I have learned through bitter experience the one supreme lesson:  to conserve my anger,  and as heat conserved is transmuted into energy, even so our anger controlled can be transmitted into a power which can move the world.  -Mohandas K. Gandhi"

Type One: The Reformer

That right there? That’s where I fall in the Enneagram – The Reformer. I won’t go into what makes us what we are but here’s a little diagram to peak your interest-

Symbol_Names of the Enneagram

Nine Personality Types of the Enneagram

So I’ve used this tool to study my personality. If you’re interested, you can visit the site to take an online quiz that will help you learn more about your personality. You can even subscribe to get daily Enneathoughts sent to your inbox, like the one at the beginning of this post. If you’re interested, I explored my anger in another post where I wrote about the connection between my dad and I.

Chapter 7 of Riso’s and Hudson’s book, The Wisdom of the Enneagram is dedicated to my type.

Here’s what the book says about anger- 

1.   Healthy anger – Anger in itself, is not a bad thing. It’s a natural reaction to the things that arise around us that we do not like or want in our lives.

2.   Hanging on to anger – When we hang on to anger it manifests itself in increasingly obsessive thinking, emotional constriction, and physical tension.

3.   Talking about anger – Talking openly about our anger with others can be a healing process – a positive step in learning to process resentments.

4.   Denying anger – Ones often deny their anger through clenched teeth because the superego (our inner critic) prohibits us from being too emotional. “To be angry is to be out of control, to be less than perfect…”

5.   Directing anger – Anger is directed at ourselves for failing to live up to our ideals, “and at others for what Ones see as their laziness and irresponsibility. As Ones become more [emotionally] unhealthy, the displace more of their anger onto others…”

6.   Anger awareness – Ones are not always aware of their anger.

7.   The blame game – When we’re angry, we blame – ourselves and others.

8.   The anger police – Anger causes us to police ourselves so no one else will; punish ourselves so no one else will.

9.   Expressing our anger – Anger is harder to see in the One than in any other personality type. We tend to express anger in-Buddha quote,

♦   stiffness

♦   rigidness

♦   impatience

♦   frustration

♦   sarcasm

♦   criticality

♦   irritability

♦   resentment

10.  The word on chaos – When things seem unorganized and uncontrolled, we become tense and serious, and focus on what is wrong with things.

11.   Self righteousness – Because we are introverts and feel like we have something to teach those around us (many teachers are type Ones) they may see us as pompous and in turn, resist our help. This frustrates us.

12.   Over doing it – We become irritated because (even though others are trying their best) we see others’ efforts as insufficient. We feel that we must work overtime to make up for other peoples’ laziness and sloppiness.

13.  Boxing ourselves – We beat ourselves up constantly because we are trying to achieve an impossible ideal that our superego sets for us.

14.  Criticism – We are highly sensitive to criticism. We criticize ourselves SO much, that it is near impossible when we receive it from someone else. No matter how gentle or passive it is.

15.  Anger and our body – We hold a lot of our anger in our bodies. For me, it is in my hands. When I am writing, journaling, or drawing I clench the pen or pencil so tight that my hands shake and everything looks shaky and slovenly.

SOURCE: The Wisdom of the Enneagram – The Complete Guide to Psychological and Spiritual Growth for the Nine Personality Types. Riso and Hudson, Bantam Books, 1999.

Anger - it's one letter short of danger.

Anger – it’s one letter short of danger.

What I’ve learned-

Grace – We need to be able to give ourselves grace. I mention it to folks in their Comments section and in phone calls – it’s a big deal to me. I remind myself to accept it from myself as much as I can.

Type Ones are the largest of all self critics. Learning to give myself God’s grace and love has done wonders for me in accepting who I am. It has been a game changer. If we could all take His love for us and, instead of criticizing ourselves, see ourselves through his eyes, there would probably be less anger in this world.

We’re not perfect. We’re going to screw up. Grace helps us live through those times.

GRACE acrostic - God's Riches At Christ's Expense

Patience – I have gotten a lot better at this over the years. I think it happens with age. You learn not to sweat the small stuff like you read in that book in middle school. You learn that things aren’t as big as they seem. You live to see that the world ain’t gonna stop turning just because you’re ten minutes late to your doctor’s appointment.

And you’ll probably learn that a lot of people will give you grace and extend empathy to you because they’ve been there before.

You’d be the first person to be patient with someone else. Learn to be patient with yourself, friend.

Relationship – Yes, I used the singular. Does it help to talk out your anger to someone? I think so. Did I used to? Nope. Whether it’s your therapist, your boyfriend, your girlfriend, your pastor, a neighbor, or the person who took the noose off your neck, I believe it helps to have just one solid person that can be your confidant…your sounding board…someone who really knows who you are.

You don’t need a lot. You just need one.

Focus – I need to redirect and focus my anger appropriately. I’ve calmed down a lot since I’ve gotten out of the Marine Corps – duh! – but it’s still there simmering under the surface. You know – that dude that cuts you off on the interstate, the person going the speed limit in the left lane (applies to U.S.-based readers), the screaming kid in the grocery store.

I really don’t know the point that I want to make here. I don’t know where to focus my anger. What does that mean? Put it in a bottle? Lock it in a closet? Aim it at someone? I guess it’s like the Samurais – kill during the day, garden and calligraphy at night.

Yeah, I’ll have to get back to you on this one.

Walk away – My temper can flare like an angry Arkansas hog going after some tater tots and grits. I need to chill. I need to slow my roll when times is rough and the pressure cooker of life is getting ready to burst.

I need to take my foot off the gas instead of speeding up and tailgating, shouting in some ancient dialect that was used in the Exorcist (that was Sumerian for my history buffs).

I need to pray.

In fact, instead of walking away, I need to walk the other way before I even enter a potential pit of vipers.

Exercise – I haven’t done it in a long time. I need to get my lazy donk up and start getting active.

Eating – Lately I’ve been eating like a college bachelor. With the sugar crashes and the junk food fixes, this is another area I need to tighten up.

Thank you for taking your time to read this post, my friend. How have you lived with anger and how do you deal with it? Would you mind sharing your thoughts in the Comments section?


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


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 – 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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What It’s Like to Fight The Demons [QUOTE]

We know what it’s like to live with demons.

They will not prevail.

Because WE have COMMUNITY here!

Lyrics from the song,

“Until it Sleeps”, Metallica

Where do I take this pain of mine?
I run, but it stays right by my side
So tear me open, pour me out
There’s things inside that scream and shout
And the pain still hates me
So hold me until it sleeps

-“Until it Sleeps”, Metallica


Posted by on 07/04/2015 in Images, Quotes


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Anger is one letter short of danger.

Image showing puzzle pieces falling apart with the word dANGER and phrase saying, "it's one letter short."

Anger. It’s one letter short of danger.



Dad Issues – Part 1(?) – Forgiving my Dad’s Anger

remember my dad’s weapon of choice. A thin leather belt.

Sure, I remember his good qualities, too. But those aren’t the ones that cause us to alter our psyche in a harmful way are they?

I’m going to start with a short disclaimer – I don’t resent my dad. And I will not slam him on the www. He always provided for our family. He never physically abused my mom and never cheated on her. He took our family camping each year. He raised me in the Baptist church and modeled Godly principles. He served his country for 21 years in the US Navy as a submariner. He’s retired three times since then. Certainly a hard worker with a work ethic as impregnable as steel. He will always be an honorable man in my eyes.


The Struggle is Real-

But I’m looking for deeper meaning in the relationship we’ve had as father and son. I’ve been examining the connection between he and I to help me understand who I am. Why I am the way I am.

  • Why am I so angry?

  • Why am I tired all the time?

  • Why do I hold onto bitterness and resentment so easily?

  • Why do my relationships fall apart?

  • Why do I find it so hard to communicate when it’s the hardest to communicate?

  • Why do I struggle with lust/porn/sex addiction?

Sure some of these are unique to me. Then there is the ole argument of nature vs. nurture. I’m interested to know the difference. The issue that largely consumes me is my mental health. Particularly depression. Was this handed down to me from my dad? If it was, I’m determined to break the chain. It’s so hard to do if it’s your everyday reality. It almost feels like I have to die and be reborn to be rid of it. The struggle is real. On the other hand, if it wasn’t handed down to me, then I’m the first link and must prevent a chain from being built with my daughter.

Yes I’m a replica of both my mother and father, but I’m interested in focusing on the dynamics of a son and his dad. Particularly because I’m a dad.


“Hi I’m Chris”-

“Hi, I’m Chris. I’m 41 years old. I served in the US Marine Corps for four years after high school. I taught high school for nine years, and am now about five years into my second career. I’ve had an unsuccessful marriage. I have beautiful nine year old daughter. I live in a 2-bedroom apartment with my bunny, Vanessa and am thousands of dollars in debt. I’ve survived with depression since middle school. Last September I hanged myself.” Some story.

So back to the belt…



My dad had a rule: we got spanked (leather to skin, no pants up folks) for every toy of ours that was laying around the house when he got home. I remember one night (while sleeping in the top bunk) my dad came in and started whipping me while I was under the covers. What did I do that was so horrible that it would make my dad want to do that to me while I was sleeping? I vaguely remember it being because of a toy truck that he found lying about. Trigger.

I remember another time I was in sixth grade and caused some destruction in the boys bathroom while goofing off with a friend of mine. That night my mother and father took me into the basement.

He took his belt off.

He told me to drop my drawers and gripped my arm to keep me in place.

I remember 13 lashes before I passed out.

I woke up in bed to my dad crying over me, apologizing, swearing he would never spank me again.

He never did.

My dad also had another tool he used to punish my brother and I. He made us box each other. Not for entertainment, but to teach us a lesson.

He would get sick of us arguing with each other – trigger – and he made us stand toe-to-toe and hit each other. ‘Course we never did. We just stood there and sobbed, saying we didn’t want to. That’s when he would get behind my younger brother and wrap his own hands around my brother’s fists and punch me into the wall.


The Code of Hammurabi-

I’ve been thinking lately that these events may rate the category of traumatic events. I’ve never thought about them that way. But I’ve been reading how some mental illnesses may stem from traumatic childhood events. I’ve tried to scan the microfiche of my life library to see where this applies to me. Is this where my depression comes from, or is it genetic?

I never held these things against my dad. I never felt he needed to be forgiven. It always seemed justified. “It only happened a couple of times.” I was in the wrong. The practical punishment seemed to fit the criminal’s crime. You know, eye-for-an-eye, tooth-for-a-tooth Hammurabi style, baby!

I never saw them as anything I needed to bring up in therapy, but maybe I do. Either way, I think I answered where my anger comes from.

Stay tuned for more in this probable series…


Lessons Learned-

I’m a list guy. A bullet freak. An itemizing, categorizing, trying-to-be-organized-ball-of-mess. Lists and bullets force me to think and process. They force me to find a deeper meaning. I’m going to view this as a living list and reflect on this often. When something comes to me, I will add it to the list below.

Here goes –

  • Hitting. Just because someone is hit as a kid, doesn’t determine they will grow up to be a hitter. Even though I was subject to physical discipline, spanked, etc., I never once did the same to my daughter or step kids. In fact, I’m not physically confrontational and hate fighting, etc.
  • Love. Loving someone is not just shown in what you do, but what you don’t do. Though my dad “hit” me as a kid, he did so many other things to show his love for me. Do I condone the way he did things? No. Do I handle things differently? Absolutely. We always try to correct our parents’ “mistakes” don’t we? In the end causing our children to correct OUR mistakes with them.

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I’m an A**hole.

“Maybe if you weren’t an asshole to everybody in [daughter’s name]’s life I wouldn’t have a problem contacting you.”

That’s the text I got today after I told my stepdaughter it’s her responsibility to provide her new address so I can pick my daughter up for visitation. I went to three different and incorrect addresses before she texted me the correct one.

I was pissed. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on 05/02/2015 in Anger, Depression


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“Suffocating Under The Words Of Sorrow”, Bullet For My Valentine [Videos, Lyrics]

Last night was supposed to be a good night. I screwed it up with words from the cutting block. This was not your fault. I try to say the right words from my heart. They come out screwed up and the meaning is distorted from my mouth to her ears.

Words of frustration take over.

Because it wasn’t supposed to go like this.

Sometimes silence is the best option.

“Suffocating Under The Words Of Sorrow (What Can I Do)”

The night has started, here we go
I’ve taken everything
This is our time to lose control
What do you want from me?

Read the rest of this entry »


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“Breaking Point”, Bullet For My Valentine [Video, Lyrics]

The lyrics describe how I feel about MY actions and express what I go through. They were not included to show how I feel about another person. I post to try to sort out MY actions and feelings, not to blame the other person in any way. I only need to focus on how my poor actions are not aligned with how I know I need to act in accordance with my Faith.

“Breaking Point”


Spitting out my (Poison)
Acidic taste on the tip on my tongue,
I can’t take your (Medicine)
You’re so bitter better get up and run

Warning! Eye for an eye
When revenge comes charging
Warning! Eye for an eye
You won’t see it coming
… You won’t see it coming…

If you carry on,
You won’t win that fight,
If you take me on,
You’ll find my breaking point

Please don’t test my (Patience)
My short fuse you don’t wanna ignite,
Do not scratch the (Surface)
And wake the beast cause it’s ready to fight

Eye for an eye
When revenge comes knocking
Eye for an eye
You won’t feel it coming
… You won’t feel it coming…

If you carry on,
You won’t win that fight,
If you take me on,
You’ll find my breaking point

Everybody’s got a breaking point,
Nobody wants to see that side of me,
Stop pushing ’cause I won’t back down,
Nobody’s gonna break that part of me


It’s an eye for an eye
It’s an eye for an eye
It’s an eye for an eye
It’s an eye for an eye

If you carry on,
You won’t win that fight,
If you take me on,
You’ll find my breaking point

If you carry on,
You won’t win that fight,
If you take me on,
You’ll find my breaking point


I’m at my breaking point


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“Temper Temper”, Bullet For My Valentine [Video, Lyrics]

“Temper Temper”

This time you’d better bite your tongue
Think twice before you open that mouth
Save your breath, hold it in your lungs
The urge remains, will it overcome?

I feel the tension rising high
I feel my heart pound in my chest
Not seeing straight, just seeing red
Can’t hold it back
Here comes my

Temper temper, time to explode (Hey)
Feels good when I lose control
Temper temper, time to explode (Hey)
Chamber’s empty, time to reload

Too late cause now you can’t disarm
Too slow, you know you should’ve backed down
Didn’t think before you crossed that line?
This intervention’s gonna be divine

I feel the time it’s drawing near
I feel the sweat dripping down my face
Not seeing straight, just seeing red
Can’t hold it back
Here comes my

Temper temper, time to explode (Hey)
Feels good when I lose control
Temper temper, time to explode (Hey)
Chamber’s empty, time to reload

Temper temper, time to explode
Temper temper, time to explode
Temper temper, time to explode
Temper temper, time to explode
Temper temper, time to explode
Feels good when we lose control
Temper temper, time to reload
Chamber’s empty, time to reload

Oh… Here comes my

Temper temper, time to explode (Hey)
Feels good when I lose control
Temper temper, time to explode (Hey)
Chamber’s empty, time to reload

Temper temper, time to explode (Hey)
Feels good when I lose control
Temper temper, time to explode (Hey)
Chamber’s empty, time to reload

Time to reload!


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Words from the Cutting Block [Poem]



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Triggers for my depression.

Triggers for my depression.

NOTE TO READERS: This post discusses alcohol and my suicide attempt. If these are triggers please do not continue reading. Thank you.

Thank you for taking your time to read this post. Whether it was curiosity, or you needed to know someone else is going through what you’re surviving through right now., thank you.

Question: What triggers your depression?

I’m learning what my triggers are. Some are common-sense, while others are covert. Here are the factors that I’ve found bring my depression to the surface. The items that cause Specter to inch out of the shadows and latch onto me, dragging me down into the quagmire. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on 02/26/2015 in Depression, Triggers


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