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Tag Archives: Hope

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.

surviving the specter

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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storm_001

“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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Thought Someone, Right Now, Needed to Hear This


to_the_world_001

“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…


pie_001

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.

A.

Lot.

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.

Depression.

A severe, deep-seated depression.

My Specter.

Picture 5

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

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

[Solos]

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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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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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.

Poetry_i_thought_of_you_001

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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“Hope is the Thing with Feathers”, Emily Dickinson [Poem]



To those having an unbearable night and struggling to survive through your mental condition. Take this poem of hope to bed with you. Thank you for sharing it with those whom you know need it right now.

poetry_hope_is_the_thing_with_feathers_001


 
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Posted by on 05/02/2015 in Hope, Poetry

 

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Support from Others During My Melancholia.



Why do I seclude myself?

If you’re a follower, you know that I’ve been in a valley for quite some time – a place in my depression that’s close to Specter, but not to the point of being suicidal. More of a melancholia that my friend Harry P X Frost so rightly named. An apathy. A lethargy. A deep despair. A forced lonesomeness. seclusion_001

Notice the word forced in that last part?

This melancholia sort of forces me to put myself in seclusion. I say “sort of” because I am introverted and appreciate my alone time, so that’s definitely a factor in my seclusion.

The melancholia certainly compounds it though.

Laying catatonic under a blanket on the couch. Watching a Red Box movie or Netflix. Doritos dunkin’ in cream cheese. That’s how it goes.

How does my support network react to my seclusion?

I am however, fortunate to have a supportive network of friends and family who not only reach out, but also have such a spot-on understanding of how I get, that they are able to step back and give me some alone time.

I am fortunate because they trust me when I say I just need some space to regroup. That’s a HUGE step for them, especially after my suicide attempt last September. HUGE.

I thank them for their trust to the point of giving me that time.

I know you must be thinking that is the exact opposite of what they should be doing, but it’s not. I reach a point when I get cranky and I imagine unbearable to others I am talking to. Ask my girlfriend and she’ll tell you the exact times that we DON’T talk because it’s more or less a futile effort. She understands. And I am thankful for that.

I don’t feel being alone is “dangerous” all the time. If you’re an extrovert you might be reading this post with a look on your face that reflects some confusion. But I bet if you’re introverted you feel the sapping of your energy in much the same way.

On the other hand, we as introverted and depressed people need to distinctly recognize when those feelings cross the line of safety.

We must have a plan in place when we’re secluding ourselves. 

♦  Are you able to recognize this line within yourself? If not, maybe you could date and journal (or blog) how you feel so you can go back and reflect on these times?

♦  Who are you going to reach out to? It might be wise to have that list of at least three people in case the first two cannot talk for some reason.

♦  How will you communicate a need to be alone safely to your network? You will probably need to reassure them. I tell or text my friends that I need some alone time and that I’m not feeling suicidal. Fortunately, as I’ve said before, they understand and trust this need I have.

Do you have a part of your (crisis) plan you would share with readers? Would you share this post with others whom it may help?

Thank you for your support and friendship on my journey. It is a true blessing.

-Chris


 
 

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



teacher remains quiet during the test_001


 

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Rules for Life – Attitude [Quote]



Rules for Life - Attitude


 

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What is (clinical) depression?


It took me many years to realize I had clinical depression. And even more to understand it. At 41 years old I have finally been able to wrap my arms around something that has been a defining part of my life. If you are as confused as I used to be for so many years, I pray this information from the Mayo Clinic provides a small slice of clarity. That’s what surviving the specter is all about – providing hope, clarity, and understanding for those living with clinical depression.

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What does the term “clinical depression” mean?

Depression ranges in seriousness from mild, temporary episodes of sadness to severe, persistent depression. Clinical depression is the more severe form of depression, also known as major depression or major depressive disorder. It isn’t the same as depression caused by a loss, such as the death of a loved one, or a medical condition, such as a thyroid disorder.

To be diagnosed with clinical depression, you must meet the symptom criteria for major depressive disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), published by the American Psychiatric Association. This manual is used by mental health providers to diagnose mental conditions and by insurance companies to reimburse for treatment.

For clinical depression, you must have five or more of the following symptoms over a two-week period, most of the day, nearly every day. At least one of the symptoms must be either a depressed mood or a loss of interest or pleasure. Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Depressed mood, such as feeling sad, empty or tearful (in children and teens, depressed mood can appear as constant irritability)
  • Significantly reduced interest or feeling no pleasure in all or most activities
  • Significant weight loss when not dieting, weight gain, or decrease or increase in appetite (in children, failure to gain weight as expected)
  • Insomnia or increased desire to sleep
  • Either restlessness or slowed behavior that can be observed by others
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Feelings of worthlessness, or excessive or inappropriate guilt
  • Trouble making decisions, or trouble thinking or concentrating
  • Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide, or a suicide attempt

Your symptoms must be severe enough to cause noticeable problems in relationships with others or in day-to-day activities, such as work, school or social activities. Symptoms may be based on your own feelings or on the observations of someone else.

Clinical depression can affect people of any age, including children. However, clinical depression symptoms, even if severe, usually improve with psychological counseling, antidepressant medications or a combination of the two.

SOURCE: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/expert-answers/clinical-depression/faq-20057770

 
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Posted by on 04/03/2015 in Depression

 

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Doing These Four [Healthy] Things Helps Me Navigate My Depression.


NOTE TO READER: This post mentions my attempt to take my life. If this is a trigger for you please do not read it. May you find peace through your valley my friend.

What do you do when your depression sets in? Do you cry? Do you write? Do you listen to music, or go on a walk? Over the course of time I’ve realized that I do four things that allow me to navigate my depression in a healthy way.

cropped-10516728_10203449821299797_2348610586882441441_n.jpg Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on 03/17/2015 in Depression, lists

 

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You. Matter.


Please put this in your photo album.

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You. Matter.

You. Matter.

Please pin this where you will see it every day.

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You Are Loved. [Image]


Don’t forget it!

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SOURCE: http://www.crosscards.com/cards/love-1/you-are-loved-sparkle.html

 

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Weekend Inspiration [Scripture]

Weekend Inspiration [Scripture]

Hi folks. It’s good to have you. If you haven’t already, I invite you to visit my Faith for Hope section of the site. The verses, stories, posts, and quotes have given me hope through my clinical depression, the weekend, and when Specter claws his way out of the shadows. They also provide hope and strength through recovery from my suicide attempt.

I pray for your peace and courage as you walk through your own dark valleys. He is there and will provide for you according to His will.

-Chris

What verses or quotes help you through YOUR struggles? Please share them with us.

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Weekend Hope

Weekend Hope

Hi folks. Thanks for visiting my Faith for Hope section of the site. It’s good to have you. The verses, stories, posts, and quotes have given me hope through both my clinical depression and the weekend when Specter claws his way out of the shadows. They also provided hope through my recovery from my suicide attempt. I pray for your peace and courage as you walk through your own dark valleys. He is there and will provide for you according to His will.

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Strength Through Your Weekend. [Scripture]

Strength Through Your Weekend. [Scripture]

Found this in my journal today. Sending it to all who need strength through one of the hardest times I used to experience – the weekend.

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