Suicide Awareness and Prevention

Leigh Ann Came in Like a Tornado

Leigh Ann Came in Like a Tornado

Leigh Ann Came in Like a Tornado

10 years ago, I met a brassy blond girl at a ballpark. She had a crass mouth and a nasty smoking habit. She was loud and obnoxious, a person that people literally moved away from when they saw her. She did not dress the part, talk the part, and certainly did not behave the part of what society deems “normal.”

Yet, I was drawn to her. I saw myself in her. The girl that no one wanted to be friends with, the outcast. I have a deep love for those who seem unlovable. I see through the facade of what someone presents. What I see is their heart. That deep desire to fit in yet the complete inability to do so.

Seeing a Bit of Jesus in Her

In my mind, I can close my eyes and I can see all the bright dots of Jesus all throughout her. I just knew when those dots connected, she would be an unstoppable force of nature for the Kingdom.

I fell in love with this girl, her children, her brother, and her parents. We were a tight-knit group of misfits. I was blessed to be able to lead her to Christ one spring day. After her acceptance of Christ, I gave her a hot pink Bible…her favorite color. She loved Jesus with all her heart.

Mental Illness

She also struggled with mental illness. Despite her love for Jesus, she had good days and bad days. What bonded us was that I, too, suffer from mental illness. I have clinical depression. She had onset bipolar disorder.

One thing I want you all to hear is that you can still love Jesus without abandon and still struggle with different types of mental illness. That does not mean you love Him less than someone who does not struggle.

How Did She Change My World?

She taught me how to accept those who were not “normal.”  Also, she taught me to walk towards the waves instead of away from them.  Live life without fear of abandonment and to hell what people thought of you.

Did I change her world?  I hope I did.  She made me a better person and I hope that I had some effect on her.  Her mom always said that I did.  I sure do love her children and now grandchildren.  We were good for each other, for the most part.

Does it Change the World to Stand in the Gap

Yes, it does the world when you brush and braid a friend’s hair for the last time? Also, when you begin painting her nails and toenails her favorite color? Does it change the world to wipe the ants off of her body while you are bathing her? What about closing her eyes for the last time?

Yes, it does change the world.  It changed for her children, her mother, and her brother.  It also changed me.  It showed me what the phrase “be Jesus with skin on” really means.  Sacrificial love and service for her and for her family.

Leigh Ann, you are loved, thought of, and missed every single day.

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Pity Party Hosted by Yours Truly

Pity Party Hosted by Yours Truly

Pity Party Hosted by Yours Truly

Dear LA,

I’m hosting a pity party this year on your behalf.  It is just now beginning and it won’t end until, I don’t know, Jesus returns.  I wanna love this time of year.  Basketball is in full swing and oh how you LOVED to watch your kids in sports.  So loud, you were so loud at the games.  God bless those children.

This month is B’s bday month, Father’s Day, my anniversary, and yet, it makes my heart heavy.  I wish things were different.  In the end, I wish it didn’t even happen.  Your children are healthy, yet struggling.  You are grandma times two!  I can’t even fathom you and me being grandmothers!  Seriously, how did that even happen?  We aren’t old enough.

It’s the Month

The month.  The month that changed me forever and a day.  That phone call, the screams, your children’s faces.  Your face.  Your eyes.  The smell of your freshly washed hair.  It was still damp when I took it down.  It had gotten so long.  I don’t remember where the hair tie went.  What did I do with it?  I don’t remember.

Honestly, that is now going to bug me.  Maybe I used it to tie up the little bit of hair that I snipped off to give to your mom, brother, and kids.  I don’t know.  Whoa, I just had to call a friend and check in because my mental status is not good right now.

Hair Tie

Honestly, I went to call your mom to ask her and it hit me.  She is gone too.  Your kids and going to only have each other, their uncle, and me.  In reality, I don’t even count.  I’m going to have to stop now.  I can’t finish.

Be at peace, my friend.  Dance with the angels.  Smile your smile.  Talk your loudest.  I miss you and you were loved.  Your life meant something and I’m sorry you lost sight of that for a moment.

XOXO

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800.273.8255

Depression, Suicide Awareness and Prevention

In the Still of the Night, The Monster Comes to Play

In the Still of the Night, The Monster Comes to Play

In the Still of the Night, The Monster Comes to Play

In the Stillness

I love the time of day when I can go upstairs and just be.  For the day, I am done.  I am done with school, cooking, cleaning, putting out fires, phone calls, texts, etc.  My stuff, a bottle of water, and coke come up the stairs with me.  I turn on all the fans, dim the lights, wash my face, and pile up in bed.  Yet, In the Still of the Night, The Monster Comes to Play.

For a bit, I am good.  I will scan all the things like email, Instagram, and such.  Facebook is a thing of the past.  I cannot stand the fakeness, passive-aggressive, political, crap that it is.  A “friend” can be a friend to your face but behind your back, they are a glorified 12-year-old living in the land of middle school.

That shit is for the birds.  I’m so much better than that.

Then, the stillness sets in.

The Silence

My life is SO loud.  I mean my son-in-law is LOUD.  Everyone is loud.  We have 21 chickens, 19 cats, a whiny dog, a granddaughter, and kids galore.  It is always something.  At night, though, other than the fans, it is silent.

That’s when the thoughts come in.  These are not good thoughts.  Normally, I watch the Detail Geek (car detailing guy from Canada) and talk to Donna.  We talk through several of his details and giggle so much.  Catch up on life, talk about our issues, and the issues of our children… all the things.

Since she passed away, in October last year, I have stopped watching him.  I get so emotional when I do.  Then, I go to pick up the phone and I realize she isn’t there.  All of the unresolved trauma and grief floods me.

Reality

When Donna’s daughter died, I did not process her death for a year.  Her death was so hard on me.  I have loved LA from the moment I met her until the moment we buried her.  Donna and I had always been close but our bond was unbreakable after LA died.

I remember the night that I called her.  Crying.  I was crying so hard that I couldn’t breathe.  She could not understand me.  Finally, she said for me to stop and tell her 2 things that make me laugh when I think of her.

  1.  Bats
  2. Hair dye

Instantly

I stopped crying and replayed that story over and over in my head.  The darkness began to have a bit of light and the monster retreated for a moment back from where it came.  Donna is gone. Now, I have no one to tell that story too.

So again, the monster comes out to play in the stillness of the night.  When I am alone with my own thoughts and the depression begins to overwhelm me.

Bats. Hair dye.  Bats.  Hair dye.  Monsters go away because I do not want to play.

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Lockup: Extended Stay

Lockup: Extended Stay

Lockup:  Extended Stay

In Lockup: Extended Stay, I just completed a four-day stay in the hospital because of my mental health. I am not ashamed to say that’s why I was in the hospital. I needed help, and I can admit that now.

Things have been bad for me for basically a month, and I had nothing left to give. It started with me realizing that even though I have forgiven myself for my brother’s death, it didn’t make it any less painful like I was expecting. I thought that if I had forgiven myself then the hole in my heart wouldn’t feel as big.

Trauma Relived

On top of that, I have started remembering things from ten years ago and that just hasn’t worked out in my favor so far. I also had the anxiety of what to do with the information I was remembering. Do I report this even if it may ruin my family?

Do I report it even if I will have no biological family afterward? That decision was made for me, but now I’m dealing with the anxiety of wait to hear from the police. Every time the phone rings, it’s like my world stops. I start shaking, and I get really nauseous. I hate this feeling.

First Few Nights

My first few nights at the hospital were very lonely. I didn’t even start to make friends until the night before I left. I only knew those people for a short amount of time, but they made a huge impact on me. I can’t help but think about where they are in the world.
Did Katie and Michaela get out today? Did Jamie’s mom ever pick him from the hotel room? Did the other Katie get the Job she interviewed for right after she got out? Did the girl with super long hair throw a chair through the window? Where are they now? Are they doing okay?

Dawn, the Night Nurse

My night nurse made the biggest impact on me. Dawn deserves a raise because she doesn’t make enough money for what she does. From the moment I met her, she was nothing but caring. She answered any question I had. She got me food from the fridge when I was too anxious to do it myself. She treated me like I was her own child.
On my last night there, she shared something with me that she has never shared with anyone. I won’t say what it was because that’s not my story to share, but it made me believe that I can talk to the police. That I am strong enough to get through this.

I am Home Now

Now that I’m out, I feel like there’s this pressure that I have to be good now. Like I feel like I can’t be anxious or depressed. Don’t get me wrong, I am the best I have ever been, but it’s still not great. If that makes sense. The bar was literally on the floor before now. I feel like I now appreciate the people around me a little more now.
Looking back, I know I wouldn’t have made it through the past month without them. That’s not something I’ve been shy about either. I’m so grateful to Bart (you guys may know him as “Big Daddy”) and Brandi. They have completely changed my life. I love them with my whole heart and I could never thank them enough for what they’ve done for me.

Guest Blogger

This was written by one of my favorite people.  She is so precious to my soul.  I am so encouraged by the strength that it took for her to admit that there was something not quite right.  There have been so many days and nights that I have seen her struggle to just maintain.  The dam broke.  With the help of her medical provider, his nurse, and my son…she would have never had the strength to stand up for herself.  She would have never sought the help that she needed.

Since doing that, it was discovered that she has Serotonin Syndrome.  There are many symptoms that range from excessive sweating to goosebumps.  All of this is caused by an accumulation of serotonin.  Some, your body produces, some is caused by antidepressants.

Thankfully, she is on the right medication.  She was on too many SSRIs and now she has completely leveled out.  There is no shame in getting help.  Had she not gotten the help she needed, she would have never discovered the meds to help her were actually hurting her.

Related Posts:

Suicide Sprinkled Throughout My Life

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Since You’ve Been Gone – Reality of Suicide on Family and Friends

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What is Normal

What is Normal

~What is normal and what is not normal?  My guest blogger tries to determine this for herself.~

What is Normal

I sit and I wait and I try to think about what I can do to make myself normal

Or at least more acceptable

I could hang out with some friends

Go watch some tv and sit and chat

 

But I have to make sure I stay on topics that wouldn’t make me lie to feel like I fit in

That I feel the way they do about everything

Or something more than others

So maybe not that

 

What Should I Do?

 

Maybe I could go on a date

Sign up for a dating app

Oh no that could be trouble

What if my friends find out I’m looking at

So no not that

 

Ok so I know what’s safe

Just go to bed and get some rest

But then when I go to bed my mind won’t shut off

And I’m stuck with the thoughts that im trying to ignore

 

When I get here

This is when it gets ugly

This is when the spiral goes down

This is when I try to hurt myself

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You are not Hidden

Rescue Lyric Slides (PPT, PRO, TXT) - Lauren Daigle | PraiseCharts

You are not Hidden

That phrase.  You are not Hidden.  It stirs in my soul.  There are days when I feel like He doesn’t see me.  He doesn’t care or that He doesn’t hear my prayers.  I am sure other people think that, but then I heard this song.  He does hear me.  When I am silently crying, alone, He hears me.  Then, He sends His army just for me.  He doesn’t send it to Antarctica or Timbuktu.  The army comes to me, wherever I might be.  Now, He may not answer me the way I want it answered, but He still hears me.  He still answers me.  Click on Lauren Daigle’s name and it will take you to the video.  Very powerful.

I have this song on my playlist.  Since I listen to it often, it is one that we all stop and focus on when the kids are doing their homework.  One day, as I was listening to this, I was all up in the Spirit.  I look over to my left and there Hunter was sitting.  His eyes closed, his hands up in the air, and he was singing along.  My heart almost exploded.

Rescue

~by Lauren Daigle

You are not hidden
There’s never been a moment
You were forgotten
{You} are not hopeless
Though you have been broken
Your innocence stolen
I hear you whisper underneath your breath
{I} hear your SOS, your SOS
I will send out an army to find you
In the middle of the darkest night
It’s true, I will rescue you
There is no distance
That cannot be covered
Over and over
You’re not defenseless
I’ll be your shelter
{I’ll} be your armor
I hear you whisper underneath your breath
{I} hear your SOS, your SOS
I will send out an army to find you
In the middle of the darkest night
It’s true, I will rescue you
I will never stop marching to reach you
In the middle of the hardest fight
It’s true, I will rescue you
I hear the whisper underneath your breath
{I} hear you whisper, you have nothing left
I will send out an army to find you
In the middle of the darkest night
It’s true, I will rescue you
I will never stop marching to reach you
In the middle of the hardest fight
It’s true, I will rescue you
Oh, I will rescue you
Source: LyricFind

Important Numbers

National Suicide Hotline   800.273.8255

To Make It Easier!  988

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The Rest of my Story Let the Tears Flow

The Rest of my Story Let the Tears Flow

The Rest of my Story Let the Tears Flow

The Rest of my Story Let the Tears Flow.  The flow for the pain these people went through.  For the pain that their family and loved ones have gone through.  The lost time, confusion, hurt, and then that moment of pain…

Office Buddy

A man that I worked with was the life of the office.  We shared our office space and we had the most fun, hands down, of any other offices.  That is where he introduced me to his lovely ‘female friend’ and her son, C.  They were all so dang cute together.  We all loved hanging out and C had a bit of a crush on me.  He was like 8, so it was pretty sweet.  There was no surprise to hear that they were going to get married, soon after they met.  Then along came baby B!  Wow, what a transition.

My friend ended up getting another job, in another town (close by).  He wasn’t too far away and so he commuted.  His wife continued to work.  Both boys began school.  Life seemed to be good for them.  Until the moment when I got the phone call.

Screams

The screams of my friend’s wife still bounce around in my head from time to time.  I didn’t realize that my friend was struggling with mental illness because their family put on a very good show.  It turns out, he just couldn’t move forward and made a choice that was devastating for all of those who loved him.  I will never forget the look on her face when she was telling me what happened.  She was talking but she wasn’t present.   This is something you never get over and you always wonder what you could have done differently.  The pain does not cease with time.

All In the Family

Another family that is close to my heart.  Well, when I met this family, they were infections.  The dad was loud and in your face.  Mom was loud, loved to talk, and make friends. The kids were big.  Loud.  Boisterous.  Kids.  A unique blended family that seemed to figure out how to make it work.

Again, from the outside, life looked awesome.  Great job for him.  Great job for her.  Kids in college, school, military, money, nice house.  Then, you opened the door to this beautiful home and you see what is going on behind closed doors.

Silence, arguing, pain, grudges, fights, booze, meds, threats, screaming.  There was one person of stability in the house and he was an amazing person.  Sadly, the Lord called this person home. That’s when things started really falling apart. The marriage was dwindling, the kids were not doing what they needed to do.  Then prescription drugs and alcohol began to play a factor

Instability

When a parent is unstable and children witness or deal with suicidal attempts or threats, it alters their minds forever.  Sadly this is the case.  Due to undiagnosed medical conditions, the struggle has been to make the conscious effort to breathe in and out every day.  So, it is no surprise when one of her children followed her in her footsteps.  Generational curses can be broken!  Thankfully, everyone in this family is doing their best in taking the next right step.

2 Families, Same Story

Drugs, alcohol, abuse, feelings of unworthiness, depression plagued 2 boys.  One was a young boy, not even a teen.  The other was a young man with a brand new baby to love.  In my eyes, both of these boys were loved, but in their eyes, they were not worthy of love.  They were useless and people would be better off without them.  Knowing the people that saw what happened, that day, and ran to their rescue haunt me.  I cannot even imagine the sight of what they saw and the strength it took them to save these boys.  The thankfulness that these, now men, are still alive does not leave my mind.

Yet, they are still struggling with the same things they did when they were younger.  The boy of the story has no ability to work, drive, or do much of anything.  He is basically confined to one space.  How heartbreaking to wake up every day to the same thing day after day with no hope of getting out of that space.

The young man of the story is working, doing okay.  Raising children and trying to do life in the best way he knows how.  He copes with drugs and alcohol and still suffers from depression.  My hope is that boy these young men can see who they are in God’s eyes.  That they are loved beyond measure.

The Screams of a Mother

There is nothing quite like that phone call.  A mom who has given her life to raising her children in God’s light.  This mom loves her children and has made huge sacrifices for them.  She has made decisions that no parent should have to make.  Then, her young son does the unthinkable and succeeds.  It was the most heart-wrenching thing I have ever heard.  All I could do was pray for peace.  Her voice…

My Sweet Friend

I met this sweet friend at a place that helped my son.  She had a kind smile and a loud laugh.  Shortly after we met and became friends, she was diagnosed with cancer.  She fought that battle and won.  We missed seeing her every week, but it was safer to be home and not get sick.  Treatments are hard on a body.

I was thrilled when I saw her walking towards me one day.  She had her bandana on her head and a smile on her face.  My son was so excited to see her, as well.  Again, this is a woman that I knew had some struggles but for the most part, she “seemed” happy.  Until she wasn’t.

Sigh…I just can’t even begin.  Articulate properly.  Precious human.  She is now at peace though missed terribly here.

Then There was Leigh Ann

My loud, firecracker, sailor-mouthed friend.  Fearless.  Brilliant.  Beautiful.  All of the stories I told have taken a piece of my heart.  Leigh Ann, however, has taken a chunk.  Again, the horror of hearing her mama and the words coming out of her mouth.  The useless feeling that washed over me as I held her sweet son while he sobbed.  Her daughter.  Brother.  Even her dog was mourning.

I have written about her before and I will not go into detail about her life or death in this post.  There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of her.  Honestly, there is not a night that goes by when I close my eyes and I can see her staring back at me.  Her death was one of the most painful experiences of my life.  I am not okay.

Parting Thoughts

You, this whole month, I have dedicated to awareness and suicide prevention.  I have posted myths and facts on my Facebook page, as well.  Honestly, I have no idea how many people even read what I write but it is healing for me.  I heard, not long ago, this statement.  If a person were in their right mind, at that moment, they would never follow through with suicide.  I say this because if they were in their right mind, they would think about the NEXT moment.  For instance, who would find them?  How would they live in or drive by the place that it occurred?  What about their children, if they have them, what would they grow up knowing?

So many questions and so few answers.

Moments are fleeting but the Truth of the Lord remains.  Your life is worth more than all the rubies and gold in heaven.  He created you in the image of His Son.  Jesus loves you without abandon and you have to do nothing to earn it.  There is help and there is hope.  You are loved.  Your life is worth living.  Please think about that next moment, after you imagine your “success.”  Think about the other person who will find you and have to tell your loved ones.

Seek help.  Medication.  Therapy.  Self-care.

Some of my friends survived and too many were lost to suicide.  I have put off writing this and posting this for a month and all day today.  It is so hard and I know that I will have bad dreams tonight.  I am always trying to save everyone.  You can save yourself by calling any of these resources to help you!

Resources

1.800.273.8255 Suicide Hotline

1.800.799.7233 National Domestic Violence Hotline

1.800.422.4453 Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline

1.866.488.7386 The Trevor Project LGBTQ? Hotline

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Emotions From This Week’s Story

Emotions From This Week's Story

Emotions From This Week’s Story

My Emotions From This Week’s Story are all over the place.  I have loved this woman since before I even knew she existed and came into my life.  When I met her, it was like my other half.  The fun we have had, the tears we have cried, the food we have cooked, and the yardsales we have done.  My goodness.  Shared histories, shared life stories, so much of my adulthood has had her and her family in it.

I have been holding her hand for almost a quarter of a century.  Or maybe she has been holding my hand.  How’s about we just hold each other’s hands!  When one is up, the other is down.  Then when one is down, the other is up.  When we are both down, we say inappropriate things and bleach our homes.  It’s a thing and it’s our thing, so why mess with what works.

How We Operate

When we are both up, we are a bit hard to handle.  We giggle like schoolgirls, bake, talk, and fix the world’s problems.  I love all of our history.  It has shaped me into who I am today.  It’s like we can read each other’s thoughts.  We feel when things are not right and we call each other out, in love, when we are screwing up.

Life was good until it wasn’t for a season.

A Difficult Time

There was a moment…or decade…that we struggled.  That was a hard chunk of time because I missed my friend.  I knew she was struggling but there was nothing I could do.  Letting her go and not be a daily part of each other’s lives was the hardest thing ever.

Things happened, as you can read in her story.  Yet, there is so much of her story that had to be left out for a variety of reasons.  One day, she is going to share it for all to hear and it is going to be used for God’s glory.  The strength she has exuded has been that of Christ.

Even in the darkest moments, she knew that she was His daughter.  A daughter of the King.  I cannot even properly articulate how proud I am of where she is now compared to where she was 20+ years ago.  Honestly, or even last year!

Getting the Call

When I received the call that something had happened, I did not hesitate.  I rushed to the hospital and I stood by her side.  There were moments when I fixed her hair, cleaned her up, and whispered in her ear on things that she would find funny.  I prayed over her.  With her family, we all prayed.  We didn’t know if she was going to live or die that day.

Anger ensued as a particular person was there and I made a decision to “use my words” with this human.  It wasn’t received well, threats were made, and I stood my ground for my friend.  He was no longer going to hurt her.  Her family was rallying around her, I was there, where I should have been and we were all going to protect her.

That we did.

The Days Following

Man, they were hard for her and her family.  She woke up and saw the people she loved most.  Her children and family.  She and I talked like we had not missed a beat.  Things were discussed.  Plans were in place.  She had a system and everyone was working towards helping her.  It was amazing.  God is so good.

There have been a couple of relapses where she didn’t use the plan.  Yet, this time, she made a call.  She wanted to live but for a moment, she yielded to the internal pain of all that has happened in her life.  It has been unspeakable the pain that her family went through.  That I went through, as her friend.  Yet, her pain was 1000 times more.  In her right mind, she would have never chosen this.  She was sick and needed help.  The first time help almost didn’t arrive in time. The relapses…they did because SHE made the call for help.

She Has Come So Far

My goodness…it seems like a lifetime ago that all this happened, but it wasn’t a lifetime.  It is still fresh and raw in my mind. This is a situation that I still have not fully allowed myself to feel because if I did, I would explode.  Now, we have talked about it, some, but not much.

When she has a bad day, she calls and we work through it.  She has an amazing husband and bonus daughter now.  She has 3 grown children who still like to come over and eat and play games.  Sometimes she has to be reminded how strong she is and how proud we all are that she chose to live.

Her relationship with Jesus is wonderful and she is a strong prayer warrior.  She is in counseling, seeking help, in church, and reaching out to those she loves and feels safe with.  Every day is a day that is filled with blessings and challenges.

For Me

I am SO glad she lived.  My life has been better with her in it.  I never want anyone to feel the pain and desperation of what she felt.  Never do I want someone to yield…for just one moment.  I can barely breathe when I think about those times.  She is loved by me.  Loved by her husband and children.  She is loved by her family.

I have to go and cry now…my feels are really feeling things.

My friend…I simply love you.

Resources

If you or someone you know is being abused, PLEASE reach out.

Domestic Abuse Hotline

National Domestic Violence Hotline

Suicide Prevention Lifeline

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Suicide Awareness and Prevention

Suicide Sprinkled Throughout My Life

Suicide Sprinkled Throughout My Life

Suicide Sprinkled Throughout My Life

In Suicide Sprinkled Throughout My Life, I talk about how I was “introduced” to suicide.  Sadly, I didn’t really understand what it really meant until I was older.  I mean, I saw people sad and I knew that people had died but that was the extent.  Honestly, I didn’t really understand what death meant.  I believe I was 10 years old before I had ever even heard that word.  When I was 14, that is when I experienced what death really was.  There was a deeper understanding because my grandfather had died.

Throughout My Series

Throughout this month, dedicated to Suicide Prevention Awareness, I have documented stories.  All of the stories are from people I personally know and love.  I have been blessed to be in a chapter of the book that God is writing for them.  It has been hard for them to live, much less write.  Also, it has been hard for me to read and publish.  Yet, I tell them that their stories can reach other people.  Their story may be the light that another person needs in order to seek help.  They must go through the pain in order to find healing on the other side.

My Heart Aches

To know what these people have been through, hurts my heart.  I yearn for Jesus to just erase all the bad and come quickly to stop all the hurt and abuse.  He will come, like a thief in the night. He will not come when I want Him too.  Jesus says that all things will be used for His glory, as well.  I have to rest in that knowledge.  He didn’t ordain these acts, abuse, hurt…that was due to free-will of man.  Yet, He did allow it and it will be used for good.

Introduction to the Foreign Concept of Suicide

I was about 10.  The young man was a friend of our family and he loved to ride horses.  I remember, once, riding our horse and she threw me off.  There I was, on the ground, and terrified of this “beast” of a horse.  **I say ‘beast’ because she was just a pony about the size of a large dog.**  She had definitely knocked the breath out of me.  I guess she got spooked.

This friend of the family was outside watching.  His leg was broken and I remember the cast going all the way up his thigh.  I was in awe how he maneuvered around.  As I lay there…crawling away…ready to go and cry in my room and NEVER get on a horse again, here he comes.

Amazing Feat

First, he tossed those crutches (I may be exaggerating here but I was young and the memory plays like a black and white film in my head) down.  Then he leapt on that horse and “tamed” the beast.  Cast and all.  Once he calmed Baby, he jumped off.  I remember him looking me square in the eye and saying “get back on.”  Surely, he was not serious…yet he was.  I tried to squirm out of it and he would not let up.

He hoisted me back up on that beast and off she walked (she was too fat to run).  I was amazed at him and what he did.  He tamed that beast and told me not to be afraid.  After that, I was thrown off many times.  Yet, I remember Lee and I remember that image and those words.

I was no longer afraid.

Then It Happened

Whispers.  Small details.  Crying.  Lee no longer came around.  I didn’t understand and no one said anything above that whisper.  The silence was deafening.  I think of him, often, when I get scared.  Fear is a liar.  I am no longer afraid.

Quickly after that was my next memory of another friend of the family.  Again, same scenario.  He was there, whispers, small details, crying.  He no longer came around.  A sadness fell upon those I loved and I didn’t understand why. The word ‘suicide’ was never used…yet now I know.

In Another Decade of my Life

I lost another person that I loved dearly.  Completely unexpected.  He was so loved by so many people.  Talented beyond anything I could comprehend.  This one rocked me to the core.  Horrible.  It is unnatural to bury your child (even an adult child) due to suicide.  This time, I was old enough to understand all the things and my heart sunk.

And It Keeps Coming Around

My friend that I met in a Christian group…she struggled with so much.  She could not see her worth the way I saw it.  Oh, she is so precious to me.  She has gone through ebbs and flows of her life but in the end, she is one of my people whom I love dearly.  I am so thankful that she was not successful in her attempts.  The Lord knew she was needed and loved.  Sadly, though, I remember getting a message from her telling me her sister had succeeded in her attempt.  The devastation was beyond my comprehension.

The Pain in her Voice…I Still Remember

She still lights candles for her sister and talks about suicide awareness because she wants to spare another family from dealing with what she had dealt with.  I cannot imagine what she still goes through, to this day.  What her parents go through.  That hole never heals.  Again, this generational curse can be broken.  Praying the blood of Jesus to break this and He will.  Seek help, start meds, get into therapy, talk to a friend, reach out.  You could be saving a life.

Now, I Understand

Next week, I will share more memories of loved ones that have affected my thoughts and my heart.

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Suicide Amongst the Elderly

This is When It Began

Suicide Awareness and Prevention

Suicide Amongst the Elderly

Suicide Amongst the Elderly

Suicide Amongst the Elderly

Suicide Amongst the Elderly a very serious problem. Although the elderly (age 65 and older) comprise about 13% of the U.S. population, they account for over 18% of all suicides.

The most common cause for elderly suicide, as for all suicides, is untreated depression. Thus, elderly depression needs to be recognized and treated.  And about one third of the seniors who are 65 or older experience depression.

Depression

Some individuals believe that depression is a normal part of being elderly, which is completely untrue. Depression is not normal for people of any age. Elderly people with depression have a chemical imbalance in their brain. And that chemical imbalance is extremely common and highly treatable.

However, it is important that an elderly person who exhibits symptoms of depression receives a thorough physical exam from a medical doctor to determine if there is a physical basis for the depression. Some physical conditions and the use of some medications may cause symptoms of depression.

The following disease and physical problems may cause symptoms of depression:

    • thyroid disorders
    • diabetes
    • Parkinson’s disease
    • multiple sclerosis
    • strokes
    • tumors
    • some viral infections

 

The following medications may cause symptoms of depression:

 

    • blood pressure medication
    • arthritis medication
    • hormones
    • steriods

Kevin Caruso has so many resources and help on his website.  My Lady struggled so badly after her first round of TIA’s and her stroke.  When her keys were taken away, it was devastating to her.  I remember that she found them and drove to my house.  There I was, homeschooling my kids, and she comes honking in my driveway.  She said she was fine and she wanted to prove that she could do it.  Well, drive she did, she came to me and then went home.  Luckily, we didn’t live far apart.

Depression Set In

Her depression set in because she knew that that part of her life was over.  Her Jerome had gone to be with Jesus and now she couldn’t drive.  My heart sank. I spent everyday with her because I loved her and I couldn’t stand to see that sadness.

Please, check on your elderly neighbors.  Take food, offer to run an errand, just sit and glean from their wisdom…it is so worth it.  My life is better because she was in it.  I adored her.  She stays a part of me everyday.  My dad went through this, as well.  I can see where they feel like a burden to other people.  Remind them that they are not a burden and that they are loved beyond measure.

Statistics

According to the AAFMT Website   “In 2002, the annual suicide rate for persons over the age of 65 was over 15 per 100,000 individuals; this number increases for those aged 75 to 84, with over 17 suicide deaths per every 100,000. The number rises even higher for those over age 85. Further, elder suicide may be under-reported by 40% or more.”

Resources

If you or someone you know is being abused, PLEASE reach out.

ChildHelp Hotline

National Domestic Violence Hotline

Suicide Prevention Lifeline