Hold on pain ends

I’v known sad people…depressed people…anxious people. People who have bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. I’ve known people who have tried to take their own life and some that did.

It’s impossible to know what a person is thinking in the moment they put a plan in action to stop living. In my experience with my own family and working at a community mental health organization, I know individuals who take their own lives are in pain…some type of pain. And these people don’t necessarily want to die. They just want the pain to stop. 64560e82e04b0a588a79b75cf97068ce

In the last week, two prominent figures, who added a lot of beauty to the world, died of apparent suicide, Kate Spade on June 4 and Anthony Bourdian, today, June 7. What a shame. Not because one was a famous designer and the other a famous chef and television host, but because they were two people, two of God’s children, who must have been in so much pain. I’d like to believe that there is a combination of resources that can save anyone from suicide, but I look at these two and think…maybe there isn’t. They had access to all the resources in the world and they did not have the right ones to prevent their deaths.

For the record, all of you should know not every person who suffers from depression has eea9e4d242d9a42f223e7778db298c9bsuicidal thoughts. You should also know that depressed people typically don’t kill themselves. Depressed people have no energy and barely get out of bed or do anything. The depressed people at risk of suicide are starting to come out of their depression, and have just enough energy and mental clarity to do something about how awful they feel.

There are not always signs that someone is going to take their own life. There isn’t a scan for that and there most certainly isn’t a special checklist that provides 100 percent accuracy. However, there are lists like the one below to highlight some potential risk factors. Behaviors that may signal risk, especially if related to a painful event, loss or change:

  • Increased use of alcohol or drugs
  • Looking for a way to end their lives, such as searching online for methods
  • Withdrawing from activities
  • Isolating from family and friends
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Visiting or calling people to say goodbye
  • Giving away prized possessions
  • Aggression
  • Fatigue

More information

bd7d89a8fea76fd6d55d4a173fe08f49The thing is nothing quite breaks my heart the way someone dying by suicide does. It’s a complicated thing to feel. In some ways, I completely empathize and in others I am apalled that someone could just throw in the towel. I am in awe that someone would have the strength to do the unthinkable to themselves, and in the next breath, I am shattered by how broken and weak someone must’ve felt in a moment. I am at peace that their pain has ended and I tormented by how they’ve stopped it.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, there are options available to help you cope. You can also call the Lifeline at any time to speak to someone and get support.

For confidential support available 24/7 for everyone in the United States, call 1-800-273-8255.

https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org

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Sober ramblings

Sometimes I think I really should drink…all the time. I try to spend as little time as possible in this space because it’s so uncomfortable. Control is gone and with it the illusion. I hate not knowing…if I’m on the right path or if I need to make some changes to get where I want to be…where I want to be…It’s not like you can just ask someone for the answers. The fact is you can’t count on anything or anyone. You have to handle your shit yourself because no one else gives a damn about your choices and decisions and life. If you don’t fight for it and want it, then whatever “it” is likely will not be yours. It doesn’t matter who sees a spark of greatness in you. It’s up to you to invest in yourself and turn that spark into a roaring fire.

Potential is starting to feel like the lottery. Like everyone can buy a ticket, but few will actually win. Finding your way on a career path or in relationships seems like total dumb luck; however, in the book, What Should I Do With My Life? by Po Bronson, it seems evident that paths aren’t random at all. We will find ourselves on the very path we are meant to be on. A formula for how to get there is still a mystery to me at this point. Some of us prefer the long way around and some us can’t get there fast enough.

728139de5b7b2fc84b08ab9db3cbabfdI know little for certain, but I do know I never feel at home, really. There are people who feel like home to me and I always carry with me, but the places I’ve lived have always felt temporary. My office for example, I keep very few personal belongings there. I don’t paint walls in my house because I think I’ll move to a different place or I won’t be here that much longer. It’s as if these places I’ve lived are just stops along the way and I hate the way that sounds. I know not everyone is like that. The guys at work move in whole armies of action figures and the dotting mother every photograph of her children taken for the last 5 years. Why don’t I do that?

Maybe it’s the constant thought that geographically I’m not in the right place for things to happen for me. But who the hell knows? That could all be the biggest load of crap. I mean I’m not trying to be an actress or something in North Dakota. I’m just trying to find my way, while stacking the deck by being in a place with more opportunities than I have now to do I don’t know what.

If you get anything out of this rant, hear this, no one should ever have to care more about your life than you care. Do not expect them to. Be your own number 1 fan. You have more power than you know to make, do, and be. There is no one like you, so be bold, be fierce, and be unapologetic about all of it.

You are ready to be center stage doing whatever it is you want. Now let’s all get to finding out exactly what we want to do.

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Be Patient With Yourself

snail-3130177__340.jpgI discovered the odd comfort of hard wood floors about a decade ago. I don’t know what I appreciate more lying on my back amongst the dust bunnies…or the cool wood against me or perhaps the change in perspective it seems to provide? It’s a safe place to be. No rug to be pulled out from underneath.

I lay flat staring at the thoughts circling above me…if there is one thing I know for sure about them it is that I am not going to make sense of them tonight. I continue to lie there, worn wood beneath me, the feral cats bickering at themselves under the house and the faint sound of chirping crickets…unfortunately, those observations do not lend me any aid in making sense of the overhanging parade of thoughts.

Just as I start to beat myself for feeling overwhelmed and not sorting this out faster, I jump to no one is too good for this, but everyone handles it differently. So maybe I should give myself a break.

There are times in our lives that we become overwhelmed with emotion and exhausted in trying to process too many feelings. To deal with the discomfort some of us drink heavily, cry hysterically, ignore it completely, become raging bitches, go on binges, and still others respond differently; however, none of those things really get us any closer to making sense of it all, but we tell ourselves we have to do something.

My mother always said in a slightly taunting tone, ” patience is a virtue.” Well, I hate to say it, but I think patience may be the only thing that might actually save us from ourselves.

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Many times we treat others better than we treat ourselves, and while that kindness is likely appreciated we mustn’t forget to extend that same kindness to ourselves. Have patience with yourself as you would a dear friend or someone you love. We must give ourselves room to breathe to arrive at our answers. Try not to let the emotional circus, lead by special guest ringleader, Stress, shake you. It’s all a part of the journey. Wait for your answers to come.

Dating bites

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I ran across this post that apparently, I’d left as a draft. I’m not sure why it was never posted, but it brought me back to the night I wrote it. I was seeing a newly divorced guy or so he led me to believe. I think he very badly wanted to escape his former life and be a whole new person free of his ex, but I also think he was playing with fire. I got burned. He went back to his wife.
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It was over before it began in a lot of ways…and not because either one of us is a bad person, but because life has other plans. Have you ever felt that? Things were going great until they weren’t and the only thing you can really say is that’s life

Well, I’m here to tell you that life is an evil heinous bitch sometimes. You can do all the right things, make all the right choices, pray all the right prayers, and life will still kick the living shit out of you. Why? I choose the explanation that life is about lessons. Sometimes painful and often times unfair. Dating is hard. It’s awful. I go back and forth with whether or not I believe it’s necessary…I don’t know. I hate when a situation rocks you to the point where you just can’t quite find your footing again. And I guess that’s what happened. My life was going great. I have my friends, more blessings than I deserve, and out of all the bars in Florida he walked into mine…

So how can I make a positive out of this situation…I know a numbered list of advice for early in the dating relationship:

  1. Believe him when he shows you who he is, if he isn’t for you in the beginning he probably won’t be in the middle or end either.
  2. If there is an ex-wife still breathing, assume that even if he isn’t still in love with her that he hasn’t miraculous healed from a decade long relationship. No matter how much time has passed (and anything less than a year is pushing it). It’s a difficult feat to mean anything to him, when he’s talking to her.
  3. If he is married and reaching out to you…first of all, it’s wrong. He has more issues than Cosmo…walk away. This is not healthy for you.
  4.  If you don’t communicate in the beginning, you probably aren’t going to develop that ability.
  5. When he tells you I don’t want to hurt you assume there is something he isn’t telling you that is going to hurt you.
  6. There will come a day when he says exactly the right thing. Don’t let it go to your heart. Remember it. Let him show you how he feels over and over again, and then let yourself believe it.
  7. Men pursue women. I know we switch it up sometimes, but men were built to pursue their love interest. They will find you if they want you. They will ask you for your time if they want to spend time with you.
  8. Don’t assume you won’t find someone else who can make you feel how you’ve never felt. You will.
  9. Always retreat into yourself and nurture your spirit. You are amazing and someone treated you less than…comfort yourself and love yourself back to life.
  10. Surround yourself with people who love you and know your worth.

Climbing ‘mountains’

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The view from the balcony in Colorado Springs, the last night of the conference.

How do you climb a mountain? One footstep at a time? Perhaps, but likely after careful planning and calculation of distance and elevation, right? 

Well, climbing a mountain that’s 14,000 feet above sea level seems like a gentle walk to the fridge compared to how do you know what you’re supposed to do with your life and how do you do what you’re supposed to do with your life?  Yeah give me the mountain instead. Maybe we are supposed to approach life and the mountain the same way – one footstep at a time…

What the hell am I going to do with my life? I’ve asked myself this question many times and each time I set a goal and accomplished the things I set out to. I graduated college, I lived away from home, did some hard work on myself, got a good job, and ever since I have been waiting for life to ‘catch me’ and point me in a direction.

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Manitou Incline (Manitou Springs, Co.) .88 miles with an average grade of 45 percent and as steep as 68 percent in some pleacs. The incline gains over 2,000 ft in elevation in less than a mile.

It is not fair to say I have not accomplished much because there were challenging circumstances surrounding each of these milestones. And it is not fair to say to there is nothing left to accomplish because in some ways I feel like I’m just starting to find my way in life, while feeling completely lost.

So here I am again, what the hell am I going to do with my life? I don’t feel like I get to choose…I know that in some ways I do, but I’ve always felt lead with whatever path I have taken, so its uncomfortable to let go of that. My advisor/guru encourages me to figure out what it is I want to do or am meant to do. My first thought is I’m going to need a tremendous amount of help. The other thing she said – making mistakes is not a bad thing. It’s sometimes necessary and part of the plan. ok. awesome. The most definitive piece of information she gave me, mainly because the other answers I need have to come from me, be willing to take a risk – whatever that may be. I am game for risk taking and…

I am ready for this adventure. I’m ready to go looking for what it is I think I want and hopefully, come up with what God has intended me to be all along.

Fear will hold us back and destroy us, but only if we let it.

Not Me. Not today.

Ramblings from the Exhausted

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Sometimes running, sleeping, or trying won’t get it. Sometimes what you’re waiting on will on come in its own time. So I sit at this keyboard and let whatever it is come…

Some of us have lived an entire life with a war going on inside. A war between perception, reality, and lies. If we’re lucky, we get the appropriate treatment and we learn to be better than ever before. Now that war could be emotional turmoil, anxiety or any number of silent killers. Once treated the casualties of emotional warfare are drastically reduced, but the physical exhaustion is ever present.

Imagine how tired you would be after running a marathon. Now imagine you forget you ran a marathon. How do you feel? Exhausted, fatigued, dehydrated, achy? That’s how it can feel when you’re dealing with all the emotional frenzy and that no one else can see. The restlessness and exhaustion catches up with us, when there has been no evidence of battle for so long. The war becomes silent, but the thoughts that cut still cut, the insecurities explode like grenades. I imagine it plays like a black and white World War II battle film. And when we’re exhausted from doing life so damn well, we remember that war. There’s no proverbial body count to speak of, but there is the feeling that you’ve been running for your life through a mine field. Now there’s no way to actually tell if this makes sense…in fact, I’m fairly certain my rational friends would agree that it does not and yes I know frankly, it’s a littlescary…but, I don’t care. That’s what it feels like sometimes.

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I should be sleeping

For some it’s still early, but for me, it’s 9:34 p.m. and I can’t sleep. The thoughts racing around in my head keep me from rest. It’s like they’re playing racquetball up there or something. It’s been crazy since my accident – my car was totaled and finding a replacement vehicle in a week was challenging. But I did it with the help of my friends.


In my car shopping adventures, I realized a few things. For months before the accident, I was doing all I could to rework my finances to start saving for things that could become urgent…repairs, new car, etc. In the midst of the car accident and working with body shops, insurance companies, etc. I realized I am the recipient of several blessings. 1. Car accident and no one was injured. 2. The car that I was worried about replacing in the coming years was totaled. 3. I got an excellent deal on my new to me vehicle, allowing me money to put into saving.
I got a blessing disguised as a catastrophe. I wonder how many times God has done something like this in my life, but I overlooked it for one reason or another? It’s crazy if you think of how many gifts may have gone unnoticed. I think I’m just humbled by how great God is…I noticed this, but how many times have I forgotten what Jesus did on that cross for all of us paying for sins we haven’t even committed yet, with his death on the cross. We are so blessed. Regardless of what we face, there is a God that loves us more in a moment than anyone ever will in a lifetime.

These recent challenges remind me that God is in control. He knows exactly what he’s doing and he WILL stand beside us as we do the best we can. The Lord showed favor on me these last two weeks and I can only share with you all that trusting in God and casting your worries and cares to him is the greatest thing you can do.

May God bless you and keep you all the days of you life. When you’re scared and fearful, happy and jaunty, depressed and anxious, and when you’re angry – invoke the power of the Holy Spirit to make you all that God has intended you to be.

Muscle Relaxers and H2O

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Right now, I’m feeling a mix of things. It’s already been a crazy week and I would’ve easily said that Monday. Let me start by saying, I had a fabulous vacation with people I enjoy doing things with. Things I’ve rarely had the opportunity to do in my life. A group of us rented a cabin in North Carolina for a week. The views, fresh air, and company were spectacular. I really think I learned something about how I feel about the woods, wilderness, etc. It really makes you feel alive. We hiked a few miles out on the Appalachian Trail…which was the coolest thing I’ve done in quite a while. It’s a strange thing that happens to a person as they are hiking up very steep terrain…you begin to take it in and respect in such a way that your body remembers how much you have in common with the earth beneath your feet. It’s exhilarating. My only regret is that we didn’t hike longer and further. Add in some fishing, mountain biking, more hiking and white water rafting – you can begin to see how this was easily an adventure week with friends.

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On the car ride home Sunday, I realized how lucky I am to have had these experiences in the days prior. Gratefulness just flooded my soul. Monday, I would return to work exhausted, happy with stories to accompany the wounds and bruises from my adventures.

Monday afternoon, my vehicle was t-boned by a young man, who skidded through a red light. He is ok and I am fine as well. It makes one think…a) I have so so much to be grateful for…experiences, good friends, insurance…MY LIFE. b) What are you trying to teach me God? What did I miss?

I must say I think I handled it pretty well. I took the approach that no one is hurt and things happen. It was a fairly good attitude.

And then, I faltered. I mean actually it was Murphy’s Law-ish. If something could go wrong it would go wrong, however, since I’m being honest, Murphy had nothing to do with it. I made a poor choice. You see when you’re fortunate enough to have people who love you and care about you, they like to know you’re ok after a potentially life threatening event. I wasn’t as sensitive to that as I should have been, and a few other things that I’m confident I couldn’t explain right now (I plead muscle relaxer). But the thing I’m most grateful for are those wonderful people who love me so well…to the point that I sometimes don’t think I deserve it.

So a few take-a-ways:

  1. Go to the mountains. GET OUTSIDE.
  2. You can have a fabulous vacation and come back to something hard, inconvenient, or potentially fatal. LIFE DOES NOT STOP OR CARE HOW GRATEFUL YOU FEEL.
  3. Just because you are extremely well-loved and return that love fiercely doesn’t mean you won’t screw up and hurt someone. LOVE DOESN’T AUTOMATICALLY MAKE YOU A GREAT DECISION MAKER. ONE MUST CONTINUALLY WORK AT IT.
  4. In the midst of all this dating is hard.
  5. Muscle relaxers rule!

So, forgive yourself for the things you’ve done, be grateful for every breath and moment, and love those dear to you for tomorrow is not promised. And put one foot in front of the other and climb again.

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Just Three

I sit in front of the computer in a dark room…the earth has been thirsting for the heavenly percussion of rain. Today she got a drink. In my tiny home, I feel surround by a lullaby. Outside the drops fall slowly, then all at once…and in this moment I am trapped with my thoughts…

The first one – I would’ve fought for him. I would have fought like hell to keep him from her. He’s worth that. He’s worth whatever that would’ve made me. 

The second one – You can’t save anyone. You can only love them.

The third – (on a high level) The Darwinian theory of evolution uses the phrase “survival of the fittest”…the “fittest” does not refer to those that are stronger or more fit than others. The “fittest” refers to adaptability, those who can adapt to change- survive.

Yes, random I know.286ec651dc28ab139f12d882fb6e186c.jpg

For as long as I can remember, when it came to feelings and emotions and boys, I asked for what I wanted (all before the age of 15). I was fearless. I would tell boys I had crushes on them, and I would ask them to go “out”, even though I was 11 and we didn’t really go anywhere. There was one boy, who it would turn out that I would like all through pre-K to high school, and he didn’t like me back…and sometimes he wasn’t the nicest. He taught me not to be what I call “the dumb girl who doesn’t get it” and for the most part with the exception of two incidents in college (alcohol made me do it!) I haven’t been or allowed myself to be “the dumb girl who doesn’t get it”(DGWDGI).

The Dumb Girl Who Doesn’t Get It – doesn’t get when…

he’s not interested

she likes someone more than they like her

a guy is using her

she is the brunt of his joke

the “relationship” (used loosely) has run its course

I have been the DGWDGI, and I vowed I wouldn’t be her again. I’d be smarter, and no one would have to tell me more than once that they didn’t want me. I’ve done well with it. It hasn’t been until recently that I wonder if perhaps, there is room to fight for someone before you reach the pathetic status of DGWDGI. Pride can be an ugly horrible thing, but how do you know when to swallow it and go to battle? If I’d known what I know now, I’d have fought for him, but then again, he may have still gone back to her…step-forward-into-growth-abraham-maslow-daily-quotes-sayings-pictures-810x1013.jpg

Because I can’t live in the space, I’m currently living in, in my head I have to adapt and move forward; according to Darwin, that’s how we survive and thrive. Survival is not when we live in an unchanging environment where growth doesn’t happen. We survive when we make adjustments and changes.

If a plant doesn’t grow, then it might be dying or dead, right? And if it isn’t growing, it isn’t living because living things grow.

We make choices everyday. Negligible choices that add up to be big ones. We choose to adapt or to remain stagnant. We choose to fight for what we want or believe we have no power over the outcome. We can accept truth or live in denial.

Even a Young Soul Seeks

As I was trying to focus on the powerpoint I was supposed to create today, my mind drifted to a memory. I must’ve been around 8 years old, when the Little Mermaid was a cool thing. When I would watch, Ariel would sing about wanting more and wanting to live on land, and I would get this feeling. I later identified that feeling as “longing.”


My mother took me to Ft. Walton Beach for vacation and I remember sitting on the balcony one night, staring at the ocean and the waves and feeling the same feeling I got when I watched the Little Mermaid.

The ocean has always seemed to represent vastness, mystery and infiniteness to me. I may not have realized it in that moment, but that would mark the beginning of an understanding that like the ocean I had mystery, depth and rage within me. Maybe more so than some. I was an unfolding story and finding myself was the whole point. I was longing for me.

Over the course of your life, you will find yourself and lose yourself over and over again. Finding yourself once doesn’t mean you’ll never be lost again. You will. You’ll play second fiddle to the countless distractions of life. Relationships, things, activities, substances, etc. will draw your attention away and you could get lost in those things. Similar to the way a parent may lose track of child, who wanders off in the grocery store – in an instant you can lose yourself.


I pray you never lose yourself, and if you do I pray that there is a reunion on the horizon. Never abandon yourself. It would be a shame to share any version other than your authentic self with this world. It’s not selfish to have goals. It’s not selfish to love yourself and know yourself. I’m not encouraging narcissism, but rather embracing yourself in a way you never have…knowing yourself without limits, conditions, or judgement.