Archive for the ‘suicide awareness’ Category

It matters to me.

July 26, 2017

I haven’t written in a while.  Partly because I am busy in my florist role, partly because I try to enjoy  every piece of what little summer we have. And partly because I wonder, does it even matter?

In the last year I have been disheartened and discouraged by the ignorance and lack of education I have witnessed  (often online because that seems to be the safe place to post ignorant things) and I have found myself wondering why I even bother trying to make a dent in lessening ignorance, stigmas and stereotypes surouning so many things but mostly mental illness.

I find myself shocked. Shocked by the lack of compassion, understanding or even willingness to understand or accept difference. And I wonder how my one little voice can help.

Because I am well aware of how many people on my friends list find my awareness and posts around mental health annoying.  I am well aware of the people who think I am over talking,looking for attention or have no idea what I am talking about because I don’t have a PhD behind my name or I am not peddling some miracle cure. That old saying “walk a mile in my shoes…” comes mind….

Then I realize those people are exactly who need to be “bothered”. Either they don’t understand mental illness on a raw personal level (congratulations) or they think it’s better to not speak of  such things out loud. Both are part of the problem. Sorry but they are. Instead of being annoyed take a minute to read instead of complaining about being annoyed. Instead of being quiet, make a  comment online or in person to show others they are not alone.

In my world openness and being vocal is crucial.  Not only for my loved ones but for others – I  have had frantic messages, visits and phone calls from those I don’t know well reaching out for support,advice or an ear. Had I not shared our journey on a regular basis, they wouldn’t have. Not saying they wouldn’t have found those things elsewhere but would they have felt comfortable or even known they could ask questions without judgements or gossip if I just sat quietly?  probably not. And I like to think maybe I was able to bring a bit of comfort. A bit of guidance.

I have been brought back recently that stigmas and stereotypes and ignorance around mental illness isn’t going anywhere soon, like a big ol kick in the face.

And I am committed; that as long as those who suffer feel judged or inclined to suffer alone or end it all, that I will be a voice for them.

Be it a little voice.  For the more little voices there are, the bigger the roar. And how I wish there were more little voices.

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Bipolar Moments 

March 28, 2017

There’s moments, sometimes long moments, in our house that we forget bipolar lives here. Well we do, the boy who battles, he never forgets . It’s always there for him. It’s always raging a war with in his mind. It never won’t. 

 Some moments  he wins. Some moments bipolar wins.

It’s those  moments that the illness wins, that we’re thrust back into a fraction of his reality.  It serves as a reminder that bipolar still lives here, it will never fully pack it’s bags and get its ass out the door.  

It’s those moments, when everything from pop cans to nail clippers are taken away, that we are reminded of the pain our child lives with every second of everyday. Reminded that sometimes that pain is to much. Reminded that the illness at any given time could win the battle in the ultimate way.

It’s moments that my child, is fighting to be alive,that the do gooders, know everythingers make me want to scream.  In the moments that bipolar is rearing it’s ugly head, that I hear such wonderful advice: give him vitamins. Rub his feet with oils. Try this drink. Get him outside. To much screen time. Be positive.Blah. Blah. Blah. 

I know that everyone who says such, in my life anyway, means well but seriously be quiet. Not only have we tried everything but by telling people who battle an invisable brain illness that those things will cure? You are adding to the stereotypes and stigmas these people fight daily. You add to the shame they carry.  You are not helping. 

Bipolar, really any mental illness, is no different from any chronic or life threatening illness.  And as with cancer or diabetes some of those things may help,because they do, but they don’t treat alone. Take your judgment elsewhere, better yet toss it out the door. Oh! And fyi, there is no cure.

There’s moments of peace.  And laughter. Those are my favorite moments.  Or they used to be.  But as I watch and listen to my  wise 15 year old during the crippling and hard moments I am learning.  I am getting a glimpse into a mind and soul so deep and so fragile and strong at the same time. I am finding myself liking those moments too, as hard and horrible as they are. They are favorite moments in a different way. A way that many people would question. But what my child has and does teach me through the ugly and the tears? Those are lessons many people will never learn. 

I am a mom. A mom of a complex and complicated child. A mom who has feared the next bipolar rear. A mom who will never know how long I’ll have my child. A mom who has screamed and cried,oh how I have cried. A mom who has learned and fought and stood up. I am a mom with many many moments that are foreign to much of the mom population . I am a mom who wouldn’t trade any of those moments for anything. 

I am a mom who some moments  will ask if he needs a hug. I am a mom who other times he doesn’t get a choice.

Oh my girl….

March 14, 2017

Where do I even start when I try to describe our punk? 

A girl who has never,will never be a cheerio seems like a good start.

My girl has inspired me from before she was born. Her determination, her humor and her heart and energy can’t be described. They can only be felt and witnessed. I have heard more often than not about the brown eyed girl “there’s just so about her”. And there is. And you just can’t pin point it.

There are some things that I had hoped to not pass on to my daughter. I had hoped her carefree and don’t give a shit attitude would see her through her years. Even though she will never quite change, she refuses strongly to be anyone but her, some of my fears for my girl have become a reality. 

I worried when her mind wouldn’t stop. I worried when the panic attacks started.  I worried when the negative self talk and thoughts started. I worried when the food control flags were raised.  I worried that the kid I’d known for 13 years would dissappear. 

I know better. I am ashamed that I selfishly worried that my spit fire would no longer have her spark. I know better. I don’t ever want her spark to fizzle. And I’m secretly scared it will. But I know better. 

I didn’t worry in the same way I had with dude so many years ago.  I am better equipped to handle these humps now, I have a good handle on the support stuff, I knew who to call, what to do. (Though admittedly I have royally screwed up in some of the things I have said.  That happens. I’m human. ) but I still don’t do well with my kids hurting. That I kinda suck at.
 That spark that has served her well after all, she is who she is. It is the determination of and heart that has brought her to be open with us instead of shutting down and retreating. That will serve her well in the perseverance it takes to get to that other side and hopefully one day carefree attitude back. Her heart will just continue to grow through this part of her journey.  And she will grow and take the world by storm. 

She will laugh her way through because that’s what she does.  If you ask her it’s all my fault for passing on these things, with a twinkle in her eye and a smirk on her lips 😉

Not an excuse. 

February 7, 2017

If I hear one more time that I use my kids as an excuse, or make excuses for them, well let’s just say you don’t want to be the person to say it. My children are not an excuse,  they are my reality.  And our reality is a bit different from many others. You not understanding it does not make it an excuse. Count yourself lucky if you don’t understand our reality, but do not assume you know or judge ours.

Being a kid/teen can be hard. I remember fun and laughter and friends and freedom when I think of my childhood.  There were hard moments but the good and easy outweighed the tough and hard. It is the opposite for my dude. As he inches toward adulthood and finding his voice he’s not only coming to grips with his illnesses but his childhood. His tough and hard outweighs the good and easy, easily. What he remembers anyway. You see a childhood of endless appointments, hospital stays,suicide attempts and bullying resulting in ptsd, has left much of his childhood locked in a dark box within his busy brain. At times fragments sneak out, but not to often. When they do,they often leave tears streaking my face. 

Surprisingly he is not bitter. Surprisingly he has grabbed his diagnosis and past trauma by the horns and educated himself,learned to cope, to function the best way his 15 year old self knows how. He hopes to share his story,little black box and all one day so people understand the difference between excuse and reason.

And with that I have learned, significant amounts of how his bipolar, anxious,sensory, ptsd brain works. I have learned that even when stable, life is hard to live for him. I have learned just breathing for another day, just coping with his brain for another day, is exhausting and frustrating. I have learned that even when there’s a smile on his face there’s still pain.  And I have learned there’s still days that he’d rather just end it all. 

Recently his sister has been having her own fight with the god forsaken anxiety. She’s not handling teenage years well at all. She’s full of panic attacks, self criticism and fear. A lot of fear. 

No you see my kids needing me is not an excuse.  My kids, illnesses or not come first. It just so happens that sometimes when they need me now, first, it’s not to make supper or run a bath. It’s to talk them through or off the ledge. 

It quite literally can mean life and death. Not that it should have to for parents, mom’s, to not be guilted about putting their children first. 

Suicide silence. 

September 19, 2016

Candid post warning. 

September is always one of reflection, being suicide awareness month. 

Suicide sucks. Period. End of story. 

As any death does. 

I think it’s harder to understand because we don’t all feel so lost or weighed down by the pain that those who die of suicide do. Often we can’t fathom how death would ever be an ideal option. Most victims are loved, and love after all. I assure you those who pass of suicide don’t die because they don’t love us,or think of us. They do. A lot. 

They aren’t as selfish as society makes them out to be.  

Some churches still refuse funerals for those lost or consider it a mortal sin,  some won’t pay respects because of archaic beliefs or stigmas attached.  And that is just plain sad. These are people. Amazing, strong and courageous people who succumbed to an illness. 

The loss due to suicide doesn’t hurt less than other deaths.  Albeit they may leave us more confused, likely questioning and carrying guilt.  It’s something that crushes us to the core, yet we still stay quiet, we don’t speak of the pain leading up to the passing, often we’re left in shock. We stay silent because it’s easier than discussing such a taboo subject. 

I speak often of doing all we can to prevent our son from dieing of suicide.  It’s a daily thought in our minds, have we done enough? We just don’t know. 
 What I don’t speak so much about is that I am a survivor of being on that brink. I wasn’t there because I was selfish. I was there because the pain was unbearable.  Putting my family through my pain was unbearable. Thankfully with help and support I survived. I am here, where the thought no longer creeps in, where I am living a full life. I survived. 

I also don’t speak of the double digits of childhood friends lost due to suicide. Their stories aren’t mine to share. But with every one I’m brought back to the others. With every one my voice gets a little louder for those who are silent or can’t find their voice. 

We must remember suicide is not our fault. Suicide is not their fault. 

Many don’t know where to go,many don’t get treatment or help, especially boys and men, because of stereotypes. That needs to stop. 

Shame and embarrassment is often piled on top of the already agonizing pain, to the point death truly does seem to be the only way to help. There is no shame, or there shouldn’t be. 

 There is support,and help and often stability if we just open our minds and hearts enough. Sometimes, as heart breaking as it is, those aren’t enough. I truly believe that less lives would be lost if there wasn’t the added stigmas and shame of asking for help however. 

I am not promoting suicide, quite the opposite, I am promoting support, help, ridding of stigmas and stereotypes. Most of all I am promoting love and compassion for those who are lost.  
Remembering and hoping ❤