Featured

Sunshine and rainbows

‘This kid’s gonna be the best kid in the world. This kid’s gonna be somebody better than anybody I ever knew.’ And you grew up good and wonderful. It was great just watchin’ you, every day was like a privilege. Then the time come for you to be your own man and take on the world, and you did. But somewhere along the line, you changed. You stopped being you. You let people stick a finger in your face and tell you you’re no good. And when things got hard, you started lookin’ for something to blame, like a big shadow.

Let me tell you something you already know.

The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place, and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!

Now if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain’t you! You’re better than that! I’m always gonna love you no matter what. No matter what happens. You’re my son and you’re my blood. You’re the best thing in my life. But until you start believing in yourself, ya ain’t gonna have a life.

–ROCKY BALBOA–

Cemetaries

There is something cathartic about going to the cemetery.

I spent many years avoiding going there for anyone I had lost, telling myself that I could communicate with them wherever I was. Why would I need to get in the car and go to the last resting place of their body shell? Their spirit wasn’t there anymore right?

This goes against a lot of what I was taught growing up but my stubborn mind was made up. Every culture and every religion has their own belief, and while I fully respect just about every one of them I just couldn’t accept them into my reality.

In many ways I still can’t.

But I sat at the cemetery the other day and found myself talking in a way that I hadn’t with them, in years. Open, outloud, honest and raw. What was supposed to be a quick visit turned into over an hour. I had no plans of things to say but there was never a lull in things to talk about. There was laughs to break up the tears that flowed free.

When I walked back to the car there was a sense of relief that I hadn’t felt in quite some time, and suddenly I was aware of something else.

I could NEVER tell my mother that she was right.

Holiday Season Pass

I joined a new page on social media that seems like it came just in time. First holiday season since the loss of a close family member. I am noticing that those around me are also struggling. Its ok to feel those feelings, express those feelings and accept those feelings.

Just make sure you get back up.

Pure Intent

The month of giving thanks is upon us. It starts every year in November and is a wonderful use the holiday season. A daily social media blog post is not all that it is about however.

Its not about what people around you see. It’s not about the praise. It’s not about what you can write on your college applications. That shouldn’t matter. Well, it shouldn’t be the only thing that matters.

There is something miraculous that happens in your brain when you do things for people or animals in need. It releases a hormone that you could look up and learn the name but thats not really the point.

We all suffer from challenging mental health moments in our life. We all know that we could benefit from those happy and pure emotions. The extra tail wags or purring, the knowledge that someone will go to bed with a full stomach or warm coat that night.

There’s a warmth behind honest intent. Don’t stop searching until you find it.

Are they worth it?

Addiction and the recovery from it is a lengthy process that is super daunting when you face it alone. Yet so many people don’t have any other choice.

More often then not they are dealing with it alone because they have pushed everyone away with their behaviors.

Here is Alcohol Anonymous’s 12 step program. These are the steps every addict has to go through. Some skip a few or don’t do them in order, however they are all significant.

These steps can easily be adapted to any addiction process. Drinking, Drugs, sex, eating, Etc.

No one is perfect. I am surrounded by addicts of all sorts, in varied states of recovery. Some I had to give up on. Some I stayed too long. Some are worth the fight.

The 12 Steps, as outlined in the original
Big Book and presented by AA are:



1. Admitting powerlessness over the addiction

2.Believing that a higher power (in whatever form) can help

3. Deciding to turn control over to the higher power

4. Taking a personal inventory

5. Admitting to the higher power, oneself, and another person the wrongs done

6. Being ready to have the higher power correct any shortcomings in one’s character

7. Asking the higher power to remove those shortcomings

8. Making a list of wrongs done to others and being willing to make amends for those wrongs

9. Contacting those who have been hurt, unless doing so would harm the person

10. Continuing to take personal inventory and admitting when one is wrong

11. Seeking enlightenment and connection with the higher power via prayer and meditation

12. Carrying the message of the 12 Steps to others in need

Surviving suicide loss

For the person you lost, the pain is over. Now is the time to start healing yours.

A Handbook for Survivors of Suicide, Jeffrey Jackson

I discovered the term ‘survivor of suicide loss’ only when I lost my husband to suicide last year. Until then, death by suicide was something that happened to others. It happened in other families. Not in mine. People who died of suicide were faceless, nameless statistics. However, all these defenses crumbled when I had to confront the staggering reality of my loss.

A survivor of suicide loss is someone who has lost a person dear to them to suicide. A close family member, a dear friend, colleague or a health care professional (notably mental health professional) could at any point be a survivor of suicide loss.

You are a ‘survivor of suicide’, and as that unwelcome designation implies, your survival —your emotional survival — will depend on how well you learn to cope with your tragedy. The bad news: Surviving this will be the second worst experience,” writes Jeffrey Jackson, a survivor of suicide loss, in A Handbook for Survivors of Suicide.

Suicide, as we all know, is an intentional self-inflicted death. Edwin Shneidman, the pioneering suicidologist, vividly describes suicide as “psych ache” or intense psychological pain. Not surprisingly, mental health issues have been identified as a predisposing factor in 90 percent of deaths by suicide. According to the American Association of Suicidology, “the primary goal of a suicide is not to end life, but to end pain.” 

The statistics are indeed grim.

  • Globally, 800,000 people die of suicide every year
  • Every 40 seconds someone in the world dies of suicide
  • Every 41 seconds someone is left to make sense of it
  • Suicide occurs throughout the lifespan
  • It’s the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year-olds globally. 
  • The suicide mortality rate in India is 15.7  people per 100,000, and the regional average 12.9 (WHO 2015-17)

Death and the resulting emotion grief — the loss of someone we love — are universal experiences. However, a death by suicide, has been described as a death like no other. Suicide, like death by accidents, murder (homicide) and even unanticipated sudden death, is another form of traumatic death. However, death by suicide does not elicit the same level of compassion and empathy in people to support the bereavement process. This huge empathy deficit makes a survivor of suicide loss feel isolated and excluded.

The American Psychiatry Association (APA), says suicide bereavement is “catastrophic” and on par with a concentration camp experience. According to the APA, family members of individuals who die by suicide — including parents, children, and siblings — are at increased risk of suicide – almost 400 times higher than others.

Survivors of suicide loss are invisible and marginalised. They often encounter blame, judgment or social exclusion, while mourners of loved ones who have died from terminal illness, accident, old age or other kinds of deaths usually receive sympathy and compassion. Thus, grief and the grieving process for survivors of suicide loss is complex and complicated. It is compounded by negative societal attitudes based on stigma, shame, secrecy and silence around suicide. This is because we tend to view suicide through a morality lens rather than a public health crisis and mental health issue, which it truly is.

“It’s strange how we would never blame a family member for a loved one’s cancer or Alzheimer’s, but society continues to cast a shadow on a loved one’s suicide,” writes Deborah Serani in Understanding Survivors of Suicide Loss.

There is a strong sense of shame associated with suicide. Most survivors of suicide loss prefer not talk about suicide; of someone who died by suicide. We are deeply ashamed to admit this. Instead, we tend to create ‘acceptable’ explanations of the cause of death that we choose to tell others. If a loved one dies of suicide and someone asks us about the cause of death, we often tend to say, “It was a heart attack” or some other ‘natural’ cause of death that is socially acceptable.

We do not seek to glorify suicide; nor do we condemn it. People who die of suicide are not heroes; nor cowards; nor criminals. Suicide is not a crime. It is a public health crisis. It is a mental health issue that is treatable and preventable.

Such informed perspectives can change conversations on suicide and also ensure supportive spaces for survivors of suicide loss to rebuild their lives.

Dr Nandini Murali is a communications and gender and diversity professional. A recent survivor of suicide loss, she established SPEAK, an initiative of MS Chellamuthu Trust and Research Foundation, Madurai, to change conversations on suicide and promote mental health.

https://www.whiteswanfoundation.org/mental-health-matters/suicide-prevention/what-does-it-mean-to-be-a-survivor-of-suicide-loss

These are not my words, in any way. I am a suicide loss survivor. This year marks 21 years. I am still struggling. While looking for resources I stumbled across this and found it very in touch with reality. Even if this link does not give you the sources you need to heal, please keep searching. Keep working. Keep healing. In whatever way you can.

Scars in Heaven

If I had only known the last time would be the last time
I would’ve put off all the things I had to do
I would’ve stayed a little longer, held on a little tighter
Now what I’d give for one more day with you
‘Cause there’s a wound here in my heart where something’s missing
And they tell me that it’s gonna heal with time
But I know you’re in a place where all your wounds have been erased
And knowing yours are healed is healing mine
The only scars in heaven, they won’t belong to me and you
There’ll be no such thing as broken, and all the old will be made new
And the thought that makes me smile now, even as the tears fall down
Is that the only scars in heaven are on the hands that hold you now
I know the road you walked was anything but easy
You picked up your share of scars along the way
Oh, but now you’re standing in the sun, you’ve fought your fight and your race is run
The pain is all a million miles away
The only scars in heaven, they won’t belong to me and you
There’ll be no such thing as broken, and all the old will be made new
And the thought that makes me smile now, even as the tears fall down
Is that the only scars in heaven, yeah, are on the hands that hold you now
Hallelujah, hallelujah
Hallelujah, for the hands that hold you now
There’s not a day goes by that I don’t see you
You live on in all the better parts of me
Until I’m standing with you in the sun, I’ll fight this fight and this race I’ll run
Until I finally see what you can see, oh-oh
The only scars in heaven, they won’t belong to me and you
There’ll be no such thing as broken, and all the old will be made new
And the thought that makes me smile now, even as the tears fall down
Is that the only scars in heaven are on the hands that hold you now

381

Scars in Heaven

Casting Crowns

%d bloggers like this: