Medical Issues

Depression Be Gone

Depression Be Gone

Depression Be Gone

Hello, it’s me again Margaret.  This song makes me giggle and think of my granny.  I have no idea why but it floods me with warm sensations of her love.  There are days that I miss her so much I ache.  Today is one of those days.

As my daughter and I were going through books, yesterday, she found a tiny picture.  I had used it as a bookmark ages ago.  It was a picture of my granny, in one of her “costumes” and grinning from ear to ear.

That smile.  Oh, how I wish to see it again.

I’m Struggling

Life has been hard.  The last year and a half, it has been almost unbearable.  It is not like the unbearable after my son got sick.  That was a different type of unbearable.  It is an emptiness that I feel.  A deepness that is hard to describe.  There is such darkness that surrounds me that it is hard to see the light or the Light.

My journey with depression has been a long one.  Somedays, I think it is because I just don’t trust Jesus like I should.  Other days, I feel as if I deserve all the things because of all the wrongs I have done.  Somedays, more often lately, I am just ready to see the face of Jesus.

So Much Good

My husband is amazing.  Most of my children are healthy and safe.  I have a roof over my head, food to eat, a mama who would die for me, and sisters who love me endlessly.  Then, there is my first granddaughter, Charleigh.  Oh my.  She is glorious and brilliant.  Today, she rubbed her eyes because she was sleepy.  Brilliant.  She is 6 weeks old and she is going to change the world.

Yet

The darkness is still there, ready to overcome me at any moment.  Leigh Ann’s birthday is coming up soon.  I miss her.  There are so many days that I wonder why she did what she did.  Other days, I get it.  In that moment, I get it.  I have to snap out of that mindset because it is toxic.  Jesus has plans for me.  Plans to prosper me and not to harm me.  I have to remember that.

Her mom, Donna, I miss.  She passed away of cancer on October 15, 2020.  Sadly, she was diagnosed on October 6, 2020.  That day, that week…they haunt me.  I am not in a headspace to let my fingers, brain, or heart go there tonight.  It is not a safe choice for me.

Anyway, Back to This Post

Yesterday, as I looked at the calender for today, I realized something.  There were ZERO things I had to do.  *Cue angels.*  I have been so busy go here, there, and yonder.  There are days when i feel like I’ve met myself coming and going.  Yet, today, there was nothing.

I felt a spark inside me.  It was tiny, but it was there.  I was determined I was going to accomplish something.  Today was the day that something was going to happen.  Focusing was on the agenda.  Eating.   Bathing.  Schoolwork with Hunter.  Rocking Charleigh.  Pet cats.  I was gonna do all the things.

And Oh the Things I Did

I finished schoolwork with Hunter while running Irene (my robovacuum) *hence 2 birds with one stone analogy.*  Then, I let Hunter play outside while I fixed and ate a salad while also looking through real estate that we are interested in buying.  Can we say “dominating the day yet?”  When I finished lunch, I straightened up the school closet and got all the things that belonged upstairs actually BROUGHT upstairs.  Lastly, in a moment of glee, I had the boys CARRY DOWNSTAIRS what belonged downstairs.  I know.  Brilliance.

Through all that, I stopped and pet Inez, my feral cat.  She just ate her babies and was feeling a little left out of the pack of mamas and their kittens.  I just know she loves me.  Supper was underway.  I had one of my son’s phones getting prepared to return to him on a limited basis.

Oh The Things I Found

I found precious notes from my Lady to me.  A Bible that I have treasured.  Medical documents that will make me go cross-eyed.  I threw away 20 year old underwear that I was still wearing because I can still get a few good years out of them.  Occasionally, I ate candy.  All the missing cords were found.  Shocker.  All the missing socks found mates.  Then I realized I have too many socks, so I started a giveaway pile.

I dusted so much I will be sneezing for a week.  Honestly, I grabbed the garbage out from under my bed that had been there for MONTHS.  Why?  Because I’m too sad to put forth the effort to get it.  I only have so much to function for my family.

Wanna Know a Secret?

I started boxing stuff up and storing in my attic, until of course, I pull all those things out and reorganize them/label them.  Honestly, I am preparing for rain.  I feel like it is time that we leave our little home.  We are looking but the Lord has not moved.  If He doesn’t move, we don’t move.  So, right now, I’m just preparing for rain.

In light of that, I pulled the garbage out from under my bed.  Ran Martin (another robovacuum) under my bed.  Dusted all the things.  Boxed up so many thing.  I took a magic eraser and washed my doors in my bedroom.  GAG ME WITH A SPOON!  That was nasty.  Just straight up gross.

Bathroom Time

I spent A LOT of time scraping all the soapscum off my shower.  Daniel spent a lot of time washing the toothpaste that was clear to the ceiling.  How does that even happen?  Organized all the things.  I even switched out my toothbrush, tightened up some screws, pulled down some nails, disassembled some fans and washed them.

I did all the things. Don’t get me wrong, there is still a lot to do.  But there is a glimmer of light.  When my bedroom gets gross…for a long period of time….that is my sign that something is up.  Last night, I just recognized it (after like 18 mths).  I took the bull by the balls and cut them suckers off.

I will finish tomorrow.  Even the closet (not the attic though…saving that for last).  A little goes a long way and if I can do it once, well, I can maintain.  Maintain.  That’s what I do.  I maintain.  My “friends” have drug me down.  Another person has dragged me through the mud and will tell everyone all the things.

At this point, it is what it is.  What God has brought me too with this current chaos, He will be faithful to bring me through.

Say a prayer if you are the praying kind.  I would appreciate it.

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Now What?

Now What?

Now What?

Now what?  Honestly, what am I supposed to do now?  Over a decade of friendship and now, aside from your son and the children, you are all gone.  This ache is deep and my tears flow freely at any given moment.  It is so strange knowing that you are gone because that is not what we talked about.

I Miss You

It has only been a few days but I miss you.  We would chat, most nights, until about midnight about all the things.  I would watch my car detailing videos, mute, and tell you about every detail.  Then, we would discuss the children and what they were doing.  We would fix the world’s problems and now I don’t have anyone to talk to.

 

Always Wondered

I have always wondered is it best for others left behind for a loved one to die quickly or to *know* that they are dying so you can say what you need to.  Honestly, I have experienced both ways and they both suck.  For me, they do.  The ones who have passed well, as a believer, once your eyes shut on Earth, they open in the presence of the Lord.

Instantly

When your loved one dies instantly, with no warning, there are SO many things unsaid.  That last I love you, the last I am sorry, the last smile…when did you hug them last?  For me, it has been 6 mths due to conflict.  I remember the last words spoken.  Furthermore, I remember the last words he spoke to me.  Also, I remember sitting in my car screaming at the top of my lungs just to get out the anger.

Anger is secondary to fear and/or sadness.  My fear was knowing how my husband would react to the words said to me.  My sadness was knowing what the outcome was going to be.  It was an outcome that I never wanted but was necessary in order for my husband to heal.  Yet, the pain that came in the morning was devastating.

A Small Amount of Time

This time, however, I have known of “not feeling well” since February or March.  What started out as vertigo and back pain ended in death.  Something so treatable as those 2 things.  Doctor visits yield Meniere’s disease, possibly.  Could be allergies.  Maybe it is stress.  Go to the chiropractor, get some blood work done, blah blah blah.

Those things led to not being able to keep anything down and losing weight.  Energy waning.  Speech slurred a bit.  Upset stomach and passing out.  She was “forced” to go to the ER where they said, “your electrolytes are low and you are dehydrated.”  Well, let’s pop in an IV and get that up.  For a moment, she was better.

Until She Got Worse

That moment was fleeting and we all tried to convince her to go to the doctor again.  This time they did x-rays, co-vid testing, and blood work.  There were bacteria in her bloodstream.  I remember her saying that.  Then she said, “good news, I don’t have co-vid!”  A sigh of relief.

Then silence.  She said, “but they found a mass on my pancreas.”  My heart went into my throat and I asked if it was cancer.  She said she did not know and she had an appointment with an oncologist on October 7th.  This was the day after her 61st birthday.

When I Got to Her Place

I walked in and there laid a shell of the woman I was used to seeing.  She had lost so much weight and was so jaundiced, I knew that this was serious.  I walked over and laid my head across her chest.  She patted my head and said “Brandi, I’m going to fight this.  It’s going to be okay.  I’m too mean to die.”

I snuggled up with her on the couch and we talked about all the things.  Once again, we solved the world’s problems.  I came by almost daily to check on her and the children.  At night, I would call.  Then she went to the doctor on the 7th…she said they called in hospice.

The Next Day

I came over and we started talking about other things.  Things neither one of us wanted to talk about.  Funeral homes, flowers, plans for her grandchildren and son.  She kept saying that this was all pointless because she was going to get a second opinion and fight.  This woman fought to the very end.

Most days she would ask me to “take her feet apart.”  AKA rub her feet because that felt SO good.  Then she would want me to play with her hair.  Somedays, I massaged her stomach because the swelling was so much that she said it helped her feel better.  Other days, I would just curl up next to her.  Sometimes we would nap and other times, she would nap and I prayed.

The Night at the ER

She finally could not take the pressure and swelling of her belly.  So, she asked me to call an ambulance just to have her checked.  They got there and the stress of moving her caused her to pass out.  We all thought she was gone and rushed to the ER.

Her son and I got there before the ambulance.  They wheeled her out and she cut her eyes at me and waved.  I crumpled in the parking lot.  It was like all the air being let out of a balloon.  Her sisters were there and we all rushed in.

The Beginning of the End

I knew that night, that she would be gone soon.  As I sat by her bed watching her breathe, we talked again.  She talked of her salvation, her husband, and her daughter that died before her.  David died 5 years ago of cancer and her daughter died 2 years ago by a choice that was horrific for her family.

She said they were standing up there going “oh hell, here she comes!”  I told her there was no swearing in heaven.  We both laughed a bit and then the topic got more serious.  She knew there was no fight left.  It was a matter of time and that time was up to God.

Final Words

She asked what would happen to Steve, her son.  Then we talked about Lexi, her granddaughter.  Next, we talked about Austin, her grandson.  Sierra, the precious girl that lived with them and expecting Donna’s great-grandson (whom Donna named).  She talked about Kenleigh, her great-granddaughter.  We got it all squared away.

Then, she looked at me and said “who is going to keep you out of trouble?”  I just sat and cried.  She said, “wanna crawl up in this bed, there is room?”  If I could have, I would have.  I told her we would get in trouble and she said she didn’t care.  She begged to go home.

We Got Her Home

Home.  She was not Donna anymore.  There were moments when she would focus, but we all knew the time was coming.  That time came…my Donna was gone.  Once again, I walked in and laid over her chest, and cried.  I listened to the wails and sobs of her son and grandchildren.  Her sisters.

I haven’t even fully processed it all but today is her funeral.  Everything changes for everyone.  Life never stops moving, does it?  I feel lost and go to pick up the phone and realize, there is no one to call.  Oh, Donna.  It wasn’t supposed to be like this.  We talked about that, remember?

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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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My Thoughts on This Week’s Story

My Thoughts on This Week's Story

My Thoughts on This Week’s Story

Well, this has been a story that I have been wanting my friend to write for along time.  Yet, she wasn’t ready.  This time, she was ready.  So many people need to understand the difference between “baby blues” and “postpartum depression.”  There is a difference.  So, My Thoughts on This Week’s Story is strength, pain, forgiveness, and mercy.

When I Met Her

She came in like a whirlwind.  I met her, her bitty babies, and her 5000 dogs.  Then, I scared her husband.  What a great first impression.  I knew, from that moment, that this girl was precious but she struggled in so many areas.  Tears, heartache, pain, resilience, love, devotion…so much wrapped up into this beautiful human.  Her strength drives me to do more and to be stronger.  Even in the midst of fear and pain…she yields to our Father.

Such a Scary Time

She was walking in a time that many things began to collide.  The premature birth and special needs of her daughters, her abuse, her familial relations, the realization of the loss of her beloved grandaddy, and so much more all landed at her feet with a thud.

She would call me and all I would hear were sobs.  So, I sat and listened.  She would come over and her emotions walked in the house before she did.  This baby (now in her 30s) needed a mama.  I became her mama.  Fantastically enough, I look awesome to have a child her age and a lot of grands LOL.

Once She Saw it, She Fought it

The realizations that she has made have been phenomenal.  Instead of being shrouded in fear, shame, disappointment, and ideations…she became a student.  A brilliant one at that.  We looked at every aspect of her life and analyzed the crap out of it.  The teacher taught the student how to read the book.  Now, the student reads the book in 5 different languages.

Once you become that student and learn, it takes the fear out of the equation.  It kicks satan square in the arse out the front door.  Now, she can process events and find joy.  Manage the sadness.  She may let the bird fly around her hair, but it no longer makes a nest in it.

I Cannot Even

This is the most precious human in the history of ever.  I am so thankful the Lord saw fit to cross our paths in such an unusual way.  Blessed.  I am blessed by her presence.  Her laughter is contagious.  The fearlessness she attacks things is amazing.  Yet, when she is struck at the knees, she ever so slightly bends and has a moment.  The moments do not last.

An amazing mama who has fought the good fight for ALL of her children.  She fought for her marriage and won.  Sadly, she fought the good fight with her family and made a difficult decision.  She made this decision with wisdom, clarity, discussion with her husband, and counsel.

Her testimony is an amazing one.  I am proud to call her a friend.

Resources

Postpartum HelpLine 800.944.4773

Suicide Prevention Lifeline

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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 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

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

Medical Issues

Reflecting on This Week’s Story

Reflecting on This Week's Story

Reflecting on This Week’s Story

In Reflecting on This Week’s Story, it was another tough one to publish.  The vicious cycle that has plagued this young girl is heartbreaking.   The generational curse of addiction plays a huge role in her life.  It has not just been an issue for her and her mom.  It has been passed down from generation to generation.

The thing about generational curses is that they CAN be broken.  You can plead the blood of Jesus Christ over them and He will break them.  That was a hard concept for me to accept, personally.  For me, I just thought I was “destined” to be so many things that I had seen in my family.  That is a lie straight from the pit of hell.

God is Bigger

God is so much bigger than all the things that run through my head and this sweet girl’s head.  When I see her, I see beauty.  Not only physical beauty but a beauty that shines from within.  Her laugh is infectious.  She is LOUD yet timid.  Loves Jesus, yet so unsure of herself.  This young lady has my heart and then some.

There is a strength about her that she has, yet it is buried under all the pain.  She wants to hide in the darkness but the Lord will not allow that, so He shines brightly on all those dark spots.  He says in His Word in Psalm 139:11-12 “If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.”

Wisdom

This brilliant young lady is being so wise.  She is seeking help, reaching out, saying the hard things, and admitting her struggles.  Furthermore, she is seeking medical care from doctors, therapists, and friends who understand.  This includes counseling, medication, meditation, writing, getting rest, and trying to eat better.  All these things are amazing for her.

What I Want Her to Know

Sweet girl.  You are loved by me, your friends, your church, and your family.  I am so proud of you for simply breathing every day.  Jesus wants nothing from you.  He just wants you to turn your eyes unto the hills because that is where your strength will come from.  You are beautiful, gracious, loving, and kind.  Your life has meaning and your testimony is powerful.

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Suicide Awareness Prevention for First Responders Resources

Suicide Awareness Prevention for First Responders Resources

My dad is a retired police officer.  I have a sister who worked in Criminal Justice for a very long time.  Also, my husband, daughter, and son-in-law work in this field.  I have dear friends who are First Responders.  These people deserve so much respect and love.  These are some Suicide Awareness Prevention for First Responders Resources.  You can go to Police1 for more information.

By Police1 Staff

Public safety is a difficult profession that can lead to mental health struggles – and those struggles cannot be left untreated. More police officers died by suicide than in the line of duty in 2018, as was the case the previous year and the year prior to that. A study commissioned by the Ruderman Family Foundation found that firefighters are also more likely to die by suicide than in the line of duty. The following is a list of suicide prevention resources for first responders. Whether you’re on the front line and in need of immediate help, or in a leadership position looking to offer better prevention programs and help for your staff, this list should point you in the right direction.

PROGRAMS

Suicide Awareness Prevention for First Responders Resources

The following programs will directly help you or help connect you to the resources you or a loved one needs. The majority of these are tailored specifically to first responders. Also, keep in mind that many of these websites list additional resources to the ones listed in this article.

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline

The lifeline provides 24/7 confidential support for those in distress or in need of help for their loved ones.

CONTACT: Call 800-273-8255 or visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org

Crisis Text Line

A text will connect you with a trained crisis counselor, 24/7.

CONTACT: https://www.crisistextline.org/ or text BADGE to 741741

1st Help

1st Help matches first responders with appropriate services based on a brief questionnaire, which determines what specific assistance you need (emotional, financial, religious, etc.).

CONTACT: http://www.1sthelp.net/

Safe Call Now

Safe Call Now is a 24-hour crisis referral service for those in public safety and their family members.

CONTACT: https://www.safecallnow.org/ or call 206-459-3020

First Responder Support Network

FRSN provides educational treatment programs for first responders and their families.

CONTACT: http://www.frsn.org/ or call 415-721-9789

Serve & Protect

Serve & Protect helps connect public safety professionals with trauma services.

CONTACT: https://serveprotect.org/ or call 615-373-8000 for the crisis line.

Cops Alive

Cops Alive provides resources and strategies to help cops live happy and successful lives.

CONTACT: http://www.copsalive.com/

CopLine

CopLine is a 24/7 service that will connect you to a peer support counselor.

CONTACT: http://www.copline.org/ or call 800-267-5463

Treatment Placement Specialists

This program offers treatment guidance based on the individual needs of officers.

CONTACT: https://www.treatmentplacementspecialists.com/first-responders/ or call 877-540-3935

VALOR

The Valor Officer Safety and Wellness program is a Bureau of Justice Assistance funded initiative that provides a ton of resources.  Also, online training focused on improving officer health and resilience.

CONTACT: https://www.valorforblue.org/Home


ADVOCACY

The following organizations are working to raise mental health awareness and treatment options for police officers.

Blue H.E.L.P.

Blue H.E.L.P. is an organization working to reduce mental health stigma in law enforcement.  Also, raise awareness of the problem of suicide in LE.

CONTACT: https://bluehelp.org/

Badge of Life

Badge of Life’s focus is on educating.  Furthermore, it is on training agencies on mental health.  Also, suicide prevention in law enforcement.

CONTACT: https://www.badgeoflife.org/

First Responders First

Here is a blog that gives information on mental health and treatment for First Responders.  Please visit Saving the Lives that Save More Lives.  They have written a blog post that about First Responders and PTSD.  Thank you to Mariah Jorgen for bringing this website to my attention.

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