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Meds Update & More Pics of ‘Nessa #depression

Meds Update & More Pics of ‘Nessa #depression

I went to see my doc today about my meds. He had me on 40mg of Lexapro and 15mg of Abilify. Since the side effects have remained the same (apathy, disinterest in life, etc.) he upped the Abilify to 20mg for the next four weeks. He said that if that change doesn’t help, then he would switch out the Abilify for something else. Read the rest of this entry »

 
 

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What Does Surviving the Specter Look Like?

What Does Surviving the Specter Look Like?

If you could see me you probably wouldn’t be able to tell what surviving means.

Unless you had it. 

A.k.a. depression. Read the rest of this entry »

 
13 Comments

Posted by on 11/28/2016 in Depression

 

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Nursery Rhyme | [Poem]


Trigger Warning: This poem is about self harm. Please do not read it if this is a trigger. [UPDATED] Though I do not struggle with self harm, several of the close people in my life do, and so I wanted their words to be heard and felt here. These words put into poetic form, are from the discussions and talks I’ve had with those people.

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Cut this line upon my skin

So I can feel what a pain I’ve been

Burn this flame upon my flesh

So I can control this life a mess

Drill this hole into my thigh

To take away the numb, make me feel alive

Now I lay me down to sleep

I pray the Lord nobody weeps

 
4 Comments

Posted by on 11/10/2016 in Poetry, Self Harm

 

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Today I Created a Fb Page…


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So I took the plunge and published a Facebook page, “Surviving the Specter”. I want to reach more people so they know they are not alone in their struggles…that there are others out there going through the same things.

My WP blogs will be pushed out through this page as well as at my Twitter handle – #sts91414. I figured my handle would be easy to remember since it’s the first letter of each of the words in my blog’s title, as well as the date I attempted suicide.

I plan on publishing the story of the night I took my life next month, September, which is Suicide Awareness Month in the U.S. If you haven’t read it may you could stop by and give it a read and leave some thoughts.

Thank you friends, for your support through words, comments, calls, and email subscriptions, and Follows. I appreciate it more than you know.

Chris

 
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Posted by on 08/14/2016 in Facebook

 

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My Depression Controls Me


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Unfortunately, I can empathize with you, my friend.

For my depression controls me, too.

It is not a passing state of mind, nor a feeling.

It is something we survive through every day.

Sometimes, on certain days, it’s not as intense.

But it is always there.

A lot of people may never guess because I try to hide it.

I hide it by staying to myself.

And by pretending like I am concentrating and hard at work.

I am introverted…

…because I don’t want to pull other people down with me.

If my friends didn’t invite me to do things with them…

…I would constantly isolate.

A lot of the times I say “no” anyways because I am “busy”.

I know I am not alone, but a lot of the time it feels that way.

It ruins my intimate relationships.

It makes me run away from those who love me.

This depression sucks the happy out of me.

Even on sunny, beautiful days, all I can see is gray.

I sleep – a lot. Because depression numbs me.

I get frustrated with myself all the time because of how things are.

I don’t want it to be this way, but it just is.

 

 

 

 

 

 
6 Comments

Posted by on 08/11/2016 in Depression

 

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The Sickness and the Seal | [Short Story]


Contextual background: A brief history of Ür and its rise to greatness is given along with the story of how affliction came to be.

The walled city of Ür had not always been the great fortress in which Catharsis had dwelled. It was once a lonely oasis in the desert, won by nomadic herdsman who had battled for its possession in order to nourish their herds and provide sustenance for their families. A place of healing in the middle of a harsh, windswept, barren land. The grand-eldest male by the name of Ür, gave the fertile gem its name – earliest in the elder tongue.

Soon after, blood clans made pilgrimage to the lush gardens of the watering hole and joined their families of the original community. They brought with them their customs and beliefs, families, and herds. They added their lands to the original estate and struck its edges to mark their claim with altars to their deities.

Down through the time of unrecorded and recorded history, the oasis community of Ür matured in size and prestige, quickly mounting to power as an unrivaled city-state and controlling the land to its horizons. Through many generations did Ür prosper under a golden age. It basked in its splendor, taking in travelers far and wide. All who knew of Ür knew of its greatness, even far beyond the horizons of its realm. It prospered in its glory and was regarded as a bastion to the weary, lost, disheartened, and broken.

Its strength came in its acceptance of its citizenry’s diversity, welcoming all who wished entrance, save for those whose lives consisted of the worst of mannerisms – greed, pride, lying, thievery, conceit, ill will, bigotry, and murder. Nay, even those lost souls were granted sanctuary if they received the king’s oath of fealty, making their pledge of faithfulness and good will to both their master and fellow man. For only the pure and good willed were permitted stay within the city’s walls.

But it soon came to pass that an unnamable sickness came to the people of Ür.

It was an invisible sickness to most – only visible and comprehendible to those who endured it. It was so believed to steal freely throughout the walled city, creeping like some menacing fog yet without detection. It could not be fought because it could not be seen, and a sense of mistrust and paranoia soon descended on the land. From whence did this pestilence emanate? Why did it torment the people of the glorious citadel? How could it be routed out? What were its ailments? Was it escapable?

Soon whispers in taverns and alleyways gave rise to the belief it was a punishment from the gods of the soil, water, and heavens for man’s abuse of their resources. Man’s lack of respect for what the deities had preciously and graciously imparted unto them.

Whispers soon turned into a dark, unspoken secret realization that it was a torment conjured from the Wahrlog – the evil demon lord that lay beyond the Marshlands of Melancholia and deep in the Quagmire of Hopelessness. Sent to plague humankind. And so this belief held steadfast amongst the citizens within the city’s walls.

The people named it affliction.

Sacrifices were made to appease the demon who created affliction. Fruits, flowers, and grains were laid before the great gates and in the marketplace. The blood of animals was shed and smeared on the doorposts and windows of the earthen hovels of the city. Great warriors were sacrificed.

But to no avail.

Affliction still swept its invisible hand across the land like some gray blanket of hopelessness.

It did not exist completely unseen, however. For those afflicted showed similar signs of the invisible illness. They could identify each other for they were the only ones to see it. It was not invisible to them. They held another certainty in their common – they were all visited by the Wahrlog.

To not be afflicted, one had to know what was to be looked for so that it might be named and identified. “Those who do not see” were blessed amongst the masses, for they would never know the loneliness that gripped its prey. They would never feel the talons of melancholy nor the depths of the deep dark pain it spawned.

Catharsis could see clearly, the others whom had been afflicted with the same torment with which he himself lived. He could sense their numbness, almost smell it as they wallowed through their daily lives cocooned in their catatonic shells. He could see the lethargy and apathy in their eyes as clear as he could see the noonday sun, or the abundance of his crops. He could see that their solitude and isolation were manifestations of the affliction of the darkness – that constrictor which grips its victim and strangles him of life.

Catharsis had lived with these things for the grander part of his life and it greatly added to his confusion about who he was as a man. He oftentimes felt alone in his struggle. Wishing this affliction would leave him. Often times wishing for his own life to end to escape his life of grey.

*          *          *

Affliction soon found its way to the royal family and took the life of the regent’s heir – it had not preference nor prejudice against whom it took. Shock and panic drove through the city’s streets. How could this sickness have impressed royal blood?! How could it taint such pure bloodlines? What mockery was this?

And so, to combat affliction an edict went out from the royal family and the priesthood: those who were tormented with affliction would be scarred by the branding man’s iron for all to see. They would be labeled with the eternal mark upon their forehead to be ostracized, outcast, and stigmatized.

Identified by the seal, shunned, and avoided so their inexplainable poison would be naught able to disease others.

 
 

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This Depression Thing


The whole issue with this depression thing – it has sucked all life out of me like some soul harvester.

This past year has been one of the most relentless struggles I’ve had to endure. It gets worse each day I aimlessly trudge through my daily dosage of hours like a walker. And I don’t see an end in sight.

I feel like I stare at an hourglass in front of me. Glossy-eyed and lost faced, watching each grain of sand tumble through the bottleneck , building up the mountain in the chamber below that represents time passed.

The sand falls in slow motion.

Maybe you can relate?

shades_01I don’t see the sunshine. I’ve had this gray film over my life. It is a sunny, bright, 82º outside my Norfolk, VA apartment. I can’t see it. I don’t feel the warmth in my soul. I keep all the blinds shut. It’s not the kind of depression where you can simply open the blinds and the gray is gone. That doesn’t work. Our friends will suggest it…to open the shades and let the sunshine in. But those who don’t live with it can’t ever understand that just doesn’t work. It’s a fog of war. It stays.It permeates the skin and sinks down to the core. It’s a wave that has to be ridden.

I’ve been riding the crashing part of the barrel for months.

I have no drive. It’s really hard to continue when you feel so hopelessly apathetic. I get so sick of looking at the hourglass and longing for sleep. If I feel inspired to do something I change to something else before I finish what I started. So many things left unfinished. I wander back and forth in my apartment sometimes feeling that I’m going crazy. Most people that don’t live with this affliction would quickly suggest to exercise. All the other articles and advice out there scream that, but how can you bring yourself to that if you can’t even walk across the street to the beach on such an ideal day?

I’m numb and I don’t feel happiness. I don’t feel the happiness that other people feel when it’s sunny out. I should. I want to feel it. I want to feel “normal”. I want the chemicals in my body to react like that. I don’t want to be numb anymore. Catatonic. Zombie-ish. I’m trying to blog it out because journaling is supposed to be the best form of therapy for depression. It hardly is for me. It’s not cathartic. I’ve had an impossible time dragging myself to type this post and hardly feel any form of relief or healing from doing so. Getting a buzz from drinking (exactly the opposite of what I need to be doing, I know) used to give me a tinge of happiness. Now, that doesn’t even work. I’ve lost all interest in all things: writing, drinking, walking on the beach, reading, drawing, sex, photography, being a dad, friendships. I’ve thought a lot about dying. Not being suicidal, but just as a quiet way to end the mind numbing hourglass watching.Quote_gray_001

I fail at relationship. I isolate. I drive people away. I drive myself away from people. I isolate myself from those who love and care about me. It makes me drive those away who love me. 

I’ve lost a foothold in my faith. I used to find peace when I read the Word and prayed early in the morning. That has been sucked away too. I don’t have the same happiness that I see on other believers’ faces, like when I used to go to church. I want that simple happiness of just waking up and being happy. I know they have their own problems, and sometimes that smile is just plastered on, but I just want to feel the Spirit move me to happiness.

*    *     *

How does your depression make you feel?

Maybe all this strikes a cord. If it does, please remember: you certainly are not alone.

 

 

 
10 Comments

Posted by on 08/04/2016 in Depression

 

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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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Here’s my fantasy world map so far…


Some time ago I posted about beginning to write short fantasy stories dealing with depression and made a fantasy map of the world I was envisioning. If you’ve been following along, you’ve read about the hero, Catharsis and my regular followers probably know that this is me and his early dealings are based on my suicide attempt.

Here is what the world map of Jiyan (“Life”) has evolved to so far. It’s still a work in progress!

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Here is the original map I started with…

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And I redrew it here…

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This region is located in the southwest corner of the world map at the top (with all the pencil notations), just so you can see how it will all fit in.

I’ve had a hard time coming up with more ideas for the stories, or turning those stories into chapters, and it would REALLY help me to hear comments and suggestions on what I can do to improve them if you go back to read the Short Stories category.

Thank you friends, I’m excited to hear your suggestions!

 
 

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Catharsis and the Angels


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Catharsis hung there.

Limp. Swaying from the rafter that supported his mud and straw-thatched roof.

He could hear the cord stretch and groan from his weight as his eyes became heavy.

Back and forth.

Back.

And.

Forth.

His eyes began to close as the cord tightened and choked off his life wind. Choking his hope. His will to live. His resilience.

He hadn’t the will to raise his arms and save himself. He could have he supposed. But he refused. He felt a calming peace blanketing him as his life energy fell through the soles of his feet, leaving his body forever.

Finally.

Finally he would be free of this torment.

Finally he would have peace.

Peace from this Wahrlog of the Darkness.

The Darkness. A darkness so consuming, so debilitating, that each day was a struggle. A struggle to rise each morning. A struggle to tend to his fields. A struggle to continue life. A life coated with apathy.

He had hid it well from his fellow villagers. Masked it behind his toiling in the fields. Masked it behind his inward solitude. Disguised it with the will to be alone. To remain undiscovered and unbranded with the Stigma.

He knew others who had been discovered. Who had been branded on their forehead with the seal of their affliction – their illness. He remembered seeing the searing iron hissing as it sunk into their flesh. Leaving a soft cloud of smoke as it pushed deeper into them.

And their screams.

Their screams.

They were forever labeled in society by those they knew. Those they loved. Those they had children with. Their families. Their neighbors.

Branded.

Shunned.

Stigmatized.

Some, like himself, afflicted with the darkness – the deep, dark, debilitating depression he knew since he was a child.

Others, afflicted with the fear – remnants of some past traumatic stressing life event that had ripped their soul in half, and forced them to relive their past horrors. Manifest in the forms of flashbacks and tortured by the night harpies of terror. He could hear their screams at night.

Alone.

In the darkness.

Others, afflicted with the rage – elevated, hyper levels of anxiousness brought on by some outside trigger. Issuing in a brain pandemonium of paranoia and irritability. Lashing out at those whom they held closest as they wandered through their personal fog of war.

Through his closing vision, Catharsis could faintly make out the Specter emerging from the darkness. Moving closer. Stretching his pale white claws from his cloak, his talons scratching the walls of Catharsis’ mud home. Digging into the hardened clay and leaving deep cuts as chunks of adobe were ripped away. In and out of his slumber, Catharsis thought how they resembled his fields that he had just returned from. Their perfect rows whose cast shadows aligned harmoniously in the setting sun.

This was his last thought of peacefulness as Catharsis’ eyes closed.

And Specter’s grip closed around his throat.

*     *     *

At the instant the beast secured his grip to claim his prize, a magnificent burst of white light flooded the room.

Specter shrieked like a hung pig being bled dry and lurched back from the blazon firestorm that enshrouded the hanging body.

Two forms took their place next to the body of Catharsis. On either side, like stark angelic sentries sent to protect him from the Wahrlog. They raised their hands and in a fluid motion brought them down, lances appearing and striking the mud floor.

Specter hissed and the sentries lowered their weapons, tips pointed at its open throat.

A sentry stepped forward a crouched in the dirt, bracing itself with its weapon. Slowly and deliberately it scratched a line across the floor, fire following in a steady trail.

It retracted and regained its position.

“Though shall not pass” the two sentries whispered.

Specter lurched through the flame and in one swift movement was impaled on their spears. Instantaneously, Specter disintegrated into the light, taking with him his shadows and his darkness.

*     *     *

As one sentry held fast the body of Catharsis, the other swiftly swung its lance at the noose, cutting him free.

Lowering him to the ground the sentries whispered, “you are safe child.”

 

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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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Thought Someone, Right Now, Needed to Hear This


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“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.

 
1 Comment

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

 

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Grey | [Image]


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There’s This At Work…


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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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About This Map

About This Map

20160421_104910.jpgMany of you know I survive through clinical depression. And though I am 42 (as of this writing) I’ve struggled with this Specter since middle school. Many of you know all too well, the impact it has had on my life and those around me.

I feel pushed by the Lord everyday, to be as open as I can about it – feeling alone is the worst feeling in the world.

I don’t want anyone to feel like that. No one should.

I feel pushed to face the darkness, and encourage those who deal with the same demons. To talk about my experiences with those who have lost loved ones to this affliction, and may be themselves, pressing on through the awful quagmire of hopelessness.

So about this map…Having blogged for almost two years, I am thinking of creating a series of short stories about several heroes and their struggles with mental illness.

I wanted to share the beginning of their world with you.

I wrote a short story on stonewalling in relationships, which inspired me to begin to branch out with my writing.

 
 

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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

 
11 Comments

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

 

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Depression | [POETRY]


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|  depression

Driven to the hinterlands

driven to the gray

by the chemical reaction

of the chemicals I take

to balance the effects

of the chemicals I make

 

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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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Sometimes | [POETRY]


Just a quick poem that came to mind tonight.

To my friends who will call because they’re worried, I am fine. I promise. Mom, Chelise, Mistaken…I really am.

…Just a little bout with Specter.

But he ain’t gonna win. 

I know other people needed to hear this so they know they are not alone.

Thank you for sharing.

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Sometimes I miss my daughter

Sometimes I miss her bad

Sometimes I hate the loneliness

I wish I never had

Sometimes I like to be alone

Sometimes I wish I weren’t

Sometimes I wish someone would hold me

And take away the hurt

Sometimes I’m fine and focused

Sometimes I rarely am

Sometimes I shut the windows

And cry as loud I can

Sometimes I’m grey, the Specter

Sometimes I can’t bear the ill

Sometimes I think I’ll make it

Sometimes I doubt I will

 

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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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Today, Let Us Spread Compassion. | [IMAGE]


Let us remember to spread compassion this month for Suicide Prevention/Awareness. Thank you for sharing this with someone you know needs to feel important, heard, or acknowledged.

Image with the word Compassion in the middle and surrounded with post it notes with messages of compassion on them.

suicide awareness_001suicide_prevention_002

 

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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

robin_williams_001

“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.

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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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.

poetry_depression_002

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.

suicide awareness_001

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.

suicide_prevention_002

 

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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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Three Things I Learned From My Baptism


baptism

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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Risk | [QUOTE]


Image a turtle with quotes, "Behold the turtle. He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out." James Bryant Conant

 
7 Comments

Posted by on 07/22/2015 in Quotes

 

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Dragons Don’t Win | [POETRY]


Do we each have the moral courage to stand up for those whom are bullied?

I promise to answer the call.

WILL YOU JOIN ME?

Poem about bullying

Dragons Don’t Win

Today I saw her spirit, crushed and tak’n away.

The Punisher thought it funny, to treat the girl this way.

The target of repression, he labeled her downcast.

And struck her with his names and stones, and with his fiery blast.

And to the silent, brittle girl, I lunged to take the fire.

To shield her from the dragon’s heat, to help the flames expire.

And all the dragon did, was turn and walk away.

Because someone stood up to the beast, and saved a soul today.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on 07/18/2015 in Bullying, Poetry

 

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Dad Issues, Part 2 – Me, My Dad, and Our Religion


dad_001

From left to right- my younger brother, me, our dad, my younger sister, & someone’s elbow.

This is the second part in a series of self discovery by looking at my dad, and our relationship. Be sure to check out the first post on the connection between our angerThese posts are a way of thinking out loud to discover if there is a connection between my dad and my depression. 

*     *     *

I don’t resent my dad. And I don’t intend for these posts to shame him on the www.

He always provided for our family. He never physically abused my mom and never cheated on her. He never drank and he never came home drunk. In fact he came home every day after work, whereas a lot of his friends probably took to the bar and the strip club…even if they were married. He conducted himself like a gentleman.

Dad was a family man. 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.

*     *     *

This post is a narrative on the role religion played both in my life and in the relationship between my dad and I.

The Baptist Church and Hell-

DB-f108r-d2l

Dad and I had a tenuous relationship exacerbated with the issue of church. I grew up in the New England Baptist church. Yeah, you know, fire-and-brimstone, burn in hell if you do one thing wrong. Set those furnaces to BROIL for this guy! Start the barbecue, baby, this party’s about to get started!

Understanding this Baptist view of Hell is important because it was a major deterrent and tenet of my church.

So, also having a huge inner self-critic (Type 1 enneagram), really made things ride high on the scale of suckwad . I grew up with a huge guilt complex (still live with that, good times) and fearing my actions would earn me an eternity in napalm. You know that stuff has to extinguish itself, right? The jelly burns until there’s no more jelly.

Burns through clothes.

Through eyelids, lips, and scalps.

Down to the bone. I suppose it could disintegrate bone and teeth, too.

The cool thing I’ve learned about the fire in hell is that it never goes out. Kind of like those war memorials of the eternal flame – like the JFK memorial. You’re just doused in it. And you burn for the rest of your existence with no relief. Yeah that mess scared me as a child.

Even more as a grown man.

That was such a great deterrent to being unsaved. Screw that mess! Burn in hell for eternity, or live in a place with no brokenness, sadness, hurt, or pain?

The answer was easy. SAVE ME LORD.

Now in reality I didn’t decide to be born again for this reason, but growing up in the Baptist church had a huge impact on my growing up.

Here’s a few ways- 

We always fought about church-

I remember that my dad and I argued pretty much every Sunday after church about things like-

♦  Why I had to go if I didn’t get anything out of it?

♦  Why I couldn’t wear jeans and had to tuck my shirt in (I HATE tucking my shirts in, call it slovenly, it works)?

By the time I signed up for the Marine Corps, I was ready to get out and live my own life, free from the guilt of Baptist Christianity.

I have a huge guilt complex-

I’m really glad you asked about that last part…you know…that part about guilt. Guilt is a HUGE part of my personality.

Just shy of 42 years old and I am starting to outgrow it and put it in its place. I don’t know where this came from but I have a feeling the answer lies somewhere between me being the oldest child and the tenets of that little Baptist church in southeastern Connecticut. I’ve talked to other “oldest children” and they seem to be able to relate to this idea.

I don’t think it’s the fault of my childhood church, rather it may have been the way I interpreted what was preached. There didn’t seem to be any raw compassion.

There was a lot of friendliness, but there wasn’t any talk of real world issues.

THAT’S IT! No. Talk. Of. Real. World. Issues.

real talk_if you really knew me_001

No talk of struggles with porn.

No talk of suicide.

No talk of brokenness.

No mention of…

“I’m hurting and I need your help”

“I can’t pay my electric bill and don’t have food for my kids”

“my wife cheated on me and I can’t handle these feelings”

“I am constantly angry”

You know…no talk of real talk. It was all so perfect and I never felt like I fit in.

So I just suffered inside.

I felt like the black sheep-

I felt like a circle trying to fit in a square.

I never felt a connection between church and my life. I felt so OUT OF TOUCH with it all. It seemed SOsososososo isolated to me.

I felt outside and evil for thinking, acting, and being something that was SO out of touch with my church. In actuality, I probably thought things that a lot of other folks there thought and struggled with.

I felt shame because of my lust.

I felt evil because of my language.

I feel like a let down to the people around me. 

In fact, if you REALLY knew me…

I always felt like I was either hiding something. Or faking something because I felt it would earn my dad’s approval. It wasn’t his fault. I always thought my dad and mom were perfect. They never hit each other and I don’t remember them fighting until their separation. They never cussed at us or berated us. They never had affairs. They never drank. They were both good, good parents.

And along with the Baptist upbringing, I never felt like I could measure up to their example. In fact I remember one day my mom told me that I woke them up cursing at the top of my lungs in my sleep. I remember my mom saying something like that meant I do it in when I’m awake. And she was right.

[“I hear the secrets that you keep…when you’re talking in your sleep”]

I felt a huge amount of shame and guilt. That afternoon, after I got home from school I wrote my first suicide note at my desk with a razor blade out.

That’s what my religion did for me.

“The opiate of the people”.

Thanks Karl Marx.

Lessons Learned-

Let’s wrap this up F Troop

♦  Openness and input. I don’t want to force my daughter to go to church. I’d like to think of it as encouraging her and explaining the benefits to her. I don’t want to it to be a “you’re going as long as you’re living (visiting) under this roof.” She should be able to see some importance in going. Some goodness in her life. It ain’t easy getting up to an alarm clock on Sunday. But amen brother, it helps me to be a gentler, self-sacrificing human. I also want her to feel her input is welcome and regarded. If she doesn’t feel she is getting anything out of it, I would prefer to have a discussion with her, instead of some mandated directorate sent down from me to her.

♦  Try not to give up. As a child, my religion reinforced my already huge guilt complex. For the past several years, I have become a member of a church where I feel like my needs are being met. We call it our hospital. It feels good. I’m glad I found my way there.

♦  Admit your humanity and imperfection to your kids. I try to remember to tell my daughter my imperfections whenever I can. I don’t want her to grow up with the guilt complex I had and still struggle with. I tell her when I’m wrong and I apologize. I give her examples of times I’ve jacked things up. I constantly tell her it’s okay to make mistakes as long as you learn from them and don’t repeat them. She’s seen me give a reckless driver the bird and has heard me cuss. She knows I have a temper. I slip. She knows that. And she knows it’s wrong. She also knows that I’ve been humbled because I try to admit my imperfection to her.

Thank you for taking your time to read this post, my friend. How has religion impacted who you are today? I welcome your thoughts in the Comments section. 

 

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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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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

 
13 Comments

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

 

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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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Ten Things I’ve Learned from My Depression


This is a reblog from a post I wrote for the Mental Health Writer’s Guild. Check out the wonderful work Kevin has done with the site and ask him about being a guest blogger!

Note to Reader: This post mentions my suicide attempt. If this is a trigger, please do not read it at this time. May peace find you in your valley, my friend.

Quote, "I am perfectly imperfect and that's perfectly okay."

My mantra that has allowed me to give myself grace and forgiveness.

A Short Blurb About My Story-

Hi there! My name is Chris and I’ve lived with clinical depression since middle school. On 9/14/14 attempted to take my life. I was saved by my friends who arrived after I had blacked out. In hindsight, these are the ten lessons my depression has taught me. Thank you for taking the time to read this post.

1.   My Faith. 

I was brought down this path for a purpose. Perhaps it was to build me to the next level, or strengthen my dependence on the Lord, or to bring me to humbleness in order to care for others. Either way, I’ve been able to learn the message from the lesson. And that is, that with the Lord’s help, I am surviving through what (at times) has been a tumultuous ordeal. I know I couldn’t do it on my own. And for that my faith has increased.

2.   Imperfection. 

My mantra has become, “I am perfectly imperfect, and that’s perfectly ok.” I had a hard time with feeling like a failure. With feeling like I let people down. With having low self-esteem.

It was when I was attending classes in the psychiatric center that I had an epiphany. The world does not stop rotating when I mess up or feel like I fail people. Others make mistakes, I’m allowed to as well. I ain’t perfect and will never be. I accepted it. I stopped the self-berating. I got my ego under control. I left the pity party. I’ve been able to allow grace for myself.

3.   Support Network. 

I never realized I had this until I “woke up” in the hospital two days after I chugged a bottle of sleeping pills and passed out at the end of a noose hanging from the closet doorknob in my bedroom.

Friends and family were there. In abundance. They had dropped everything to be by my side. They put their lives on pause and came from states away to be with me through my struggle. Unconditionally.

I hope that when that time comes for me, and the call is given, I can be there for those that need it in the same manner these folks were there for me. Generally, you don’t need a ton of people in your support network. You just need the right ones.

4.   Personal Accountability. 

In order to be released from the hospital, I had to take responsibility and become accountable for my actions. I needed to have a plan in place in for the times Specter decided to fade out of the shadows and peel back his lips over his razor incisors. Here are some things I am personally accountable for-

My coping skills from when I was in the psychiatric facility that reads, "My coping skills...What I can do to be calm and stay safe IN THE MOMENT - Stay away from alcohol and call a friend. What can my support person do to help me? Continue to be supportive."

My coping skills that were recorded while I was in the psychiatric facility.

♦  COMPLIANCE – Taking my medicine consistently and on a regular basis.

♦  911 – I realized that I needed to have a plan in place. I now have people that I call if I feel I am having an episode of depression. We keep our phones on at night (I used to turn my volume/vibrate off) and answer without hesitation.

♦  HONESTY – I have to be transparent with my medical providers/doctors/psychologists. I know I need to give them as clear a picture of my mental state as possible and they are here to help me. In turn, they need to know the effects of the medications as well.

It’s a good idea to keep a journal. Since I’m not one for lugging a notebook around, I use my Evernote app on my phone. I also try to bring in all my meds whenever I have an appointment. It gives my doctor an accurate picture of my supply and whether or not I need an emergency refill. The last thing you want to happen is to run out of your medications.

The.

Last.

Thing.

5.   Stumbling. 

There will be times when I fall. When Specter knocks me to the ground in an assault from-the-rear. This goes back to #2. I have to realize stumbling is ok. That I’m a human. And that I am imperfect. And that is okay.

6.   Learning. 

Be willing to learn about your condition…your mental health. Read articles on it. Start a blog on your condition. Be open and receptive. Make connections with other people. Join a local NAMI group where your voice will be heard. Never stop learning about your mental health.

7.   Cognizance. 

It helps to be aware of your feelings. The cycles. The timing of the waves. Through recording my episodes (or simply noticing when they happen on a calendar) I used to almost be able to anticipate when I would have one – usually about every two weeks. Fall-down crying, broken on the kitchen floor. It’s not a good place to be. The medicine I have now minimizes those episodes (20 MG Lexapro with 5 MG Abilify) and evens out the highs and the lows of a life with depression.

8.   Healing. 

Find what helps you in your journey of healing. Journaling is a very popular coping strategy. I experimented with the tech version of journaling recently – blogging. I started surviving the specter in February of this year (2015 as of this post) and it has helped me process my experiences, as well as network with individuals going through the same thing.

9.   Sharing. 

I’ve tried to share my story as much as possible with those whom are comfortable. I was attached to a belt for 45 minutes. I have been fortunate. I have been given a second chance and I believe I have a duty to be open about it. To discuss it. To teach about it. To join others in their struggle. You will never know how much hope you will be able to give someone by telling your story.

10.  Outlets. 

You need to have an outlet. Mine is art in one form or another. I like to create beach décor and I started a side business into which I channel my energy. It is a healthy outlet. I’m an introvert by nature and so I enjoy being by myself with my tools and materials, building, and creating. I get satisfaction from creating happiness for others. Ironically, this is the project I completed hours before my downward spiral. What’s your outlet? What channels your energy?

Driftwood peace sign multi colored in purple, yellow, and aqua.

What has your mental condition taught you? I’d like to hear your thoughts.

Thank you for taking your time to read this post. May peace find you in the valley you are currently traveling.

-Chris

 

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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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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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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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“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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