Daily Archives: September 10, 2016

There Is Nothing Easy About Suicide

Today is not simply a memorial to our fallen tribe leader, Ulla/Blahpolar. It is a day to draw attention to suicide and suicide prevention. Having said that…I’d like to go on record and state…I am so bloody sick of society’s dismissive “suicide is the easy way out” view.

No. There is NOTHING easy about suicide. Not one who falls so low they succumb to it, nor those who are left behind wondering if there was something else we could have done to make life seem worth living. To say suicide is the easy way out makes as much sense as going the long way around on a road of glass shards to get to the house next door. It’s non sensical and it’s rubbish. To reach the point where suicidal ideation becomes intent, well…It was not an easy journey.

It’s the end of the road.

And further angering me is when some ignorant person says “oh, committing suicide just means they were weak.”

NO NO NO NO.

You see, Ulla/Blah is the second person I’ve known on line to succumb to self destruction in search of peace. Back in 2004, it was the creator of the msn chat room I basically lived in. Kathy fought and fought some more. She was a mother to many of us, a friend, a sister, a jokester. She did battle to the best of her ability. And then she couldn’t battle a day more.

The truth is, there comes a time when whatever your demons, mental issues, drugs, etc- you hit the wall. I am lucky to have not hit my wall, merely come close. For those who do hit it…There’s no weakness, no selfishness involved. Their strength reserves are empty. They simply can’t go on anymore. It is not our place to judge them, blame them, or transfer our inability to understand suicide onto their actions.

Our place is to make sure their legacy lives on. I did not know Blahpolar as well as some did, but she was a good friend to me in a way that worked for us both. I will miss the link dumps and swapping bad puns with her. I will miss her heart which she poured into her posts, her humor, which was there even under the pain. I will miss her brilliant mind. And in an effort to keep her memory alive, so to speak…

I wrote this poem today. This is for Ulla/Blahpolar.

The Warrior

Like the warrior you were, you used every weapon in your arsenal

and valiantly you fought the demons within

Until those weapons dulled, crumbled- still you fought some more

You did battle without armor, you charged in without a shield

taking on shrapnel and bullets and wounds

You didn’t quit, didn’t give up, no surrender

you merely regrouped

Until one day the battle went on one day too long

you chose to retreat, waving a white flag

you laid down your arms

and finally found much deserved peace

Gone but not forgotten, always revered, imprinted on our hearts and minds

always you shall remain

Our hero, our heroine

 


Why keeping a positive attitude matters inspite of depression

It is frustrating to live with depression.  I get it.  I walk to the beat of humming depression almost everyday.  It is clearly frustrating to take a handful of medications and not eliminate my symptoms entirely.  

What helps me feel better is that I try very hard to maintain a positive attitude. Is it easy?  No.  But it is truly imperative.

I never realized how much depression could influence my thoughts until a friend gave me some feedback one day.  She said, “Amy, you and I are just different. You see the glass half empty and I see it half full.”  

Ouch.  I always thought of myself as a positive person with a good attitude but unknowingly I had gotten a bit cynical because of my untreated depression.  But as much as I did not appreciate her input at the time I can now look back and say I am glad she said it.

There is a lot to be said for paying attention to what thoughts we have going through our minds.  Practicing mindfulness is a great help in managing depression.  A bit of staying in check with whether my views are really negative or simply impacted because I may not feel well.  

Sometimes other people who don’t experience depression will not be able to relate to how I feel.  But I have learned I also have to understand how they feel too.

No one wants to be around a person who perpetuates negativity even if it is caused from an illness. But more importantly I have found the more I focus on being upbeat and positive the more my mood lifts.  If I am only feeling the hum of depression often times I can move my mood just enough to feel better.

Focusing on a positive attitude has really helped me.  I hope it helps you too.  And by the way someone who cares enough to give you feedback is worth her weight in gold.

Twitter- Amygamble

http://www.amygamble.com


On this Day I Remember

The word suicide is hard to utter for me. Hell, just saying I need help takes all I got. I’ve stood on a bridge peering down to frigid waters wondering if it would truly seal the deal. The mist and moisture emanating from the water combined with my own salty tears kept me paralyzed for hours. I paced and I paced along that bridge. Full of despairing despair. Full of frightening fear. But also full of just enough perseverance I called someone. I used to refer to it as desperation. And maybe it was. But somewhere within, I have no idea where, I found the courage to utter the S word. Out loud. To someone else. I landed at my mental health clinic and was promptly admitted. This happened to be the same day Robin Williams took his life. I learned this in the hospital and was quite devastated.
My second, rather serious, brush with an attempt took place in my car. I always promised myself I would not end my life at home. At the very least, I would not traumatize my husband even further by being the one who found me. I don’t remember all that much honestly. A hopelessness I had never felt wrapped itself around my body and mind. The ups and downs, psychosis, worthlessness, searing emotional pain I didn’t know how to let out held me hostage. I could no longer see myself carrying on, navigating the world, being of any consequence to anyone. Burden was tattooed on my forehead when I looked in the mirror.
Without much thought I literally swiped all the medication bottles of my personal chemical shelf into a bag, slung it over my shoulder and headed for the river. I sat in my car with probably 20 medication bottles I had stockpiled on my lap. I sobbed. I sat up straight. Opened those bottles and poured pills down my throat. A friend new I was struggling. He sent me a text. I replied..it’s done. The emotional warfare was finally over. The mind is an interesting and amazing creature. My friend said he had no choice but to call 911. I freaked the fuck out. Begged him not to. Pleaded. Said it wasn’t fair. All this through frantic texts. I don’t know if I was suddenly filled with regret or shame. I know for sure I was terrified at what I had done.
I drove home. The river is 5 min from my house. I took more pills. I sat on the floor. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know what I wanted. I called my husband yelling incoherently into the phone that 911 had been called. I was sobbing uncontrollably. He was an hour away. By the grace of some higher power a friend of a friend was in my town. She too called 911 and came over. I asked her NOT to come over but she came anyway. I was slumped on the floor. Couldn’t hold my head up. I saw black boots. EMT boots. Heard a mans voice asking what I took, how many. I truly didn’t know or remember. They loaded me up into the ambulance. I couldn’t stay awake. They kept yelling my name. I couldn’t form words, but I wanted to say..please let me die. I was convinced I should exit the world. I woke up hours later in the hospital. In and out of consciousness I woke enough to squeeze my husbands hand. Then back out. Hours later I woke again needing to use the restroom. I could barely walk. I couldn’t support myself. It was scary. It was sad.
About 24 hrs later of IV fluids and whatever else they released me to the psych ward. I was angry I was still alive. Angry 911 intervened. I stayed angry for about a month. Angry at the thought of living with my private hell of bipolar one more day. But, as they do, things got better. Outpatient program, ind therapy, walks in nature, and the unconditional love of my husband slowly reached me. I returned to living.
I continue to battle suicidal thoughts. Just 2 weeks ago I wrote a post that couldn’t possibly explain what I was feeling. I was trying to figure out how to say goodbye. I was on my knees knees. The chatter in my mind screaming I don’t belong. My soul perishing. The concept that I matter to anyone shattered by the voices. I had a plan. A solid plan. I wrote a note to my husband. But, how to say goodbye? That stumped me. I sent that same friend another desperate text. Do you know his reply?! Wherever you are. Whatever you are doing. stop and just breathe. BREATHE. And I did. It took a minute or 2 but I found my breath. I slowed down. I could almost think. I was somehow allowed to rest.
On this particular day, World Suicide Prevention Day, I’m just going to breathe. Consciously draw air into my lungs and feel the expansion. Exhale all the invisible pain each of us feel in our own way. Be present for those suffering. Acknowledge those who lost the battle. Conjure up that sometimes elusive perseverance to make it through another day. To all my fellow warriors I squeeze your hand. You matter. We matter.


World Suicide Prevention Day- Goodbye Ulla

Hello everyone, I never imagined that a day would come where I had to say goodbye to one of my colleagues. I never imagined that I would sit on my […]

World Suicide Prevention Day

world-suicide-prevention-day


Meet and Greet: 9/10/16

Originally posted on DREAM BIG DREAM OFTEN:
It’s the Meet and Greet weekend!! Ok so here are the rules: Leave a link to your page or post in the comments of this post. Reblog this post.  It helps you, it…

Delay, Light & Dark: World Suicide Prevention Day

Here be dragon

Here be dragon

A wise friend once told me that even the most negative of character traits can be helpful, in the right circumstances. Take, for example, procrastination. Also known, by those of us who use spellcheckers a lot, as delay.

Today  (10 September) is World Suicide Prevention Day, as per the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) As anyone who has tried or considered killing themselves, been bereaved by suicide, or worked in mental health would tell you, every day is suicide prevention day. So is every minute.

Here be dragon ...

Here be another dragon

As someone who has tried to kill herself, and nearly succeeded, when it comes to feeling suicidal, delay can be good.

Want to die? Thought of a way to do it? Then hold on, and wait. Delay taking any kind of action long enough to think of what, for you, is at least one good reason to keep going, if only for awhile. Delay long enough to contact a friend, lover (ex even, depending on your relationship with them), relative, mental health worker, and/or helpline. Delay long enough to do something positive for yourself, such as have a drink of water or a cuppa, a meal, a bath, get dressed, watch a DVD or a clip of something you love. To rant out loud, over the phone to that friend, or on paper.

Crest of a dragon: St Pancras Hotel, London

Crest of a dragon: St Pancras Hotel, London

Delay, until you can get help, create your own help, or the mood passes. It doesn’t have to pass entirely. Just enough to keep going, to stay alive. It’s perfectly possible to spend comparatively long periods of time wanting to die, without actually doing anything about it.

How do I know this? Because I’ve done it. Because I’ve lived that way, off and on, for over a decade, now.

If the above sounds like a place of total despair, it’s not. Because whilst I wanted to die, I wasn’t dead. “Where’s there life, there’s hope” – cheesy sounding, yet, like a lot of cheesy stuff, true.

Yet delay, so helpful to the person doing the despairing, isn’t when it comes to everyone else. If someone you care about seems hopeless, flat, emotionless, etc., don’t delay, do something. And no, I don’t mean get straight on to the ambulance service – unless your friend is actively suicidal, of course.

Usually, however, the first step is to talk. Just talk. Encourage them to do the same. Even if they react in anger, and walk away, keep talking.

Because what’s the worst thing that can happen, if you keep talking? Keep asking questions? Your friend may shout at you. But if you don’t – if you give up, or delay having that conversation – who will?

If you’ve lost a friend to suicide, and later said, “I didn’t realise”, then please, do not go down a road of guilt, blame, and the like. That’s not what this blog is about. And, sadly, suicidal people often do keep their feelings, and intentions, to themselves.

Why do we – the despairing, and suicidal – do this? That’s the subject of another blog, another time.

For now, if you’re worried about someone, please, talk to them, now. If you yourself are feeling suicidal, please, delay taking any action. And please, talk to someone. Friend, helpline, even your pet: initially, at least, it doesn’t really matter.

It’s always time to talk, it’s always time to change. And yes, there’s always hope. Even when, like faith, it’s no bigger than a mustard seed.

If you’re feeling suicidal, and you live in the UK, please click here for more information from the NHS. In the US, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Helpline.

Many dragons: Leeds Market, 2016

Many dragons: Leeds Market, 2016

Tagged: bereavement, despair, mental health, NHS, suicide, Time to Change, Time to Talk Day, World Suicide Prevention Day

I’m an “Overcomer”

Trigger Warning: Discussion of suicide and bipolar episodes To honor Blahpolar (Ulla) who recently passed away, and today being World Suicide Prevention Day, I have decided it is time to tell a part of my story that, while it might … Continue reading

Goodbye Homie; Goodbye Ulla

*lights a candle* This is going to be a bit all over the place but I’m going to try to say goodbye. She knows I was the type of person to be all over the place so I guess it’s okay. My Homes, I understand why you did it. I really do. Your brothers and … Continue reading Goodbye Homie; Goodbye Ulla

Should be Happy

I have a wonderful husband, a wonderful home. I want for nothing. I’m so miserable it’s giving me headaches and body aches. I find it difficult to smile or be involved in anything. I’m easily overwhelmed and just feel horrible.

I am lucky to have someone who supports me and wants to be happy but I wish I could be better for him and I feel guilty that I don’t feel better.

Life sucks right now.