Trigger Warning: This post contains subjects and issues that may be upsetting to some.
Editor Note: I saw a news report some time ago and it has been on my mind. I thought it is an issue that needs to be addressed. This issue falls under Mental Health, which is sometimes shoved to the back burner.
Over the past several weeks I have been hearing that helplines are seeing a spike in calls over abuse.
A former officer once told me that the worse times for calls concerning abuse was during the holidays.
The executive director of Battered Women’s Support Services based in Vancouver said that “the urgency and severity intensified”.
Relating what the calls are saying is, the situation of being in lockdown has created a pressure cooker environment, one that has no release valve.
The United Nations has said that the abuse that is happening would be considered a shadow pandemic.
One form of abuse is that women who have tested positive with Covid-19 being kicked out.
The calls from women are heart wrenching. Wondering if they go to a shelter will their abuser take them back.
This is a familiar story that I have heard for most of my life. Women are afraid to leave their abusive partner. They have been told they cannot make it on their own. Others stay in the abusive relationship because of the children. They are afraid to go through the court system fearing that they may lose their children. For any mother those fears are real.
Also, in the CTV News article, they state that in British Columbia at the time of this report, the Battered Women’s Crisis line received more than 1,800 calls. That is double the number from the same month last year.
Women abuse is something that goes on silently. It is due to fear of finances, accommodations, custody of children.
In every city there are halfway homes for battered women. The homes are never listed, they are in neighborhoods with no sign giving away their secret.
Laura Meyer, director of PRS CrisisLink in Oakton, VA., which also takes calls for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline told the NPR reporter this:
“It’s a difficult decision because we do know that by sending them into an overburdened health care system, they may or may not get the treatment they need. The resources may or may not be there, and we’re exposing them to the illness”
So dear reader those are some factors in the issue of battered women and the spike in calls to helplines across North America and around most western countries.
If you or someone you know is suffering abuse please seek professional help, call a crisis hotline!
Those who are talking about it may well be on their way of actually committing suicide.
In 2004 after my grandmother died I entered the darkest and deepest depression that I have ever known. I just couldn’t cope, I started fixating on suicide. After a month or so I started to give away the frozen foods in my freezer. Also, was thinking about who I could give some of my other household items, such as; television, stereo, computer, etc., It took awhile for my best friend to realize what was happening. I remember standing in my living room with both of us having tears streaming down our faces. I am not sure how long we stood there before I relented and admitted that I needed help. I found that help in the Mental Health Ward of the hospital.
I wonder how many people who were talking about it that didn’t have a friend to talk them out of committing the act of suicide. Did that friend shrug it off believing the myth that they wouldn’t follow through with it?
How did the family and friends feel as they walked by the casket of the person who talked about suicide and then followed through? Do they wish that they should have intervene to get them somewhere to receive help?
Encourage him/her to talk further and help them to find appropriate counseling assistance.
Ask if the person are thinking about making a suicide attempt.
Ask if the person has a plan.
Think about the completeness of the plan and how dangerous it is. Do not trivialize plans that seem less complete or less dangerous. All suicidal intentions are serious and must be acknowledged as such.
Encourage the young person to develop a personal safety plan. This can include time spent with others, check-in points with significant adults/ plans for the future.
So dear reader never assume that a person who is talking about suicide won’t commit suicide! Encourage them to seek professional help!
“Did you really want to die?” “No one commits suicide because they want to die.” “Then why do they do it?” “Because they want to stop the pain.” ― Tiffanie DeBartolo, How to Kill a Rock Star
***Warning, could cause triggers! This post has taken the better part of three days to write. I had to stop many times because of how certain emotions came to the top.***
Mention the subject of “suicide” and the room grows quiet. I really do not understand why, could it be that it is part of “death” that makes people uncomfortable. Or maybe they just do not know how to approach it without sounding ill-informed.
I cannot tell you how old I was, I guess enough to understand what people were talking about in very hush tones. It was about a great uncle who had died. I gathered enough of the conversation to understand that he committed suicide. It was years before I was told how it happened. He was found in the garage, doors closed, car running, he was laying under the exhaust pipe of the car.
When I abruptly ran into my bathroom with a bottle of sleeping pills, I turned on the tap, placed the whole bottle of pills in my mouth and drank some water. I really cannot tell you what all happened after that, except I woke up in the hospital, placed in the mental health ward.
This attempt was not pre-meditated, the only way I can describe the moment was that something inside me snapped. All sanely thought left my mind. I had no thought about what would my family and friends would think. All I knew was I just wanted this battle of hell that was raging with my emotions to stop, for the screamingto stop! Just to have some silent time! Thoughts of an after life were far from my thoughts, maybe I had reached the point where I just didn’t care one way or the other.
I wrote that part of my life for a purpose, to show that people don’t always experience suicide ideation. Mine, it seemed like it. came on me without warning. Now maybe in my subconscious the thought of suicide was brewing. I really just don’t know!
Myths About Suicide
Throughout the rest of the year I would like to explore the myths about the subject of suicide.
People Who Attempt or Commit Suicide Are Selfish
Here is my answer to that myth. When I attempted suicide it was not out of selfishness, but, rather it was that I just wanted the breath taking pain to stop. I was an emotional train wreck. At that time I did not know that there were avenues that I could access to get help.
Thoughts about my family and friends that I would put them through a hellish nightmare. They would have been wondering if there was any signs about the emotional state I was in. Leaving them to question if they were failures for not seeing those signs.
So, dear reader that those who attempt or succeed in the act of suicide is selfish is just a big myth!
Several days ago I had an idea which I thought might be interesting. The idea; flip the scenario of the interview. The questions would not be posed by me, but, it would be from someone else, the questions would be for me.
So, I needed to find someone to ask if they would help with this project. The person I turned to was Ashley L. Peterson of Mental Health At Home. I contacted her about a week ago to which she agree to help. If you have never visited her blog put it on your things to do list.
So below is the interview. I may revisit the questions to add to it more insight. I have tried to answer the questions with honesty and truthfully.
At this moment I want to say, “Thank youAshleyfor Your Help”! I truly appreciate this!
Were there things that your blog has allowed you to get out that weren’t able to express before?
There were many things that I could not express before. Some would be looked upon as weakness, short comings, others would be considered non Biblical. Things about gender, sexuality, race.
Did you ever feel it was necessary to mask what was going on inside you? If so, how did you do that?
Yes, I did wear a mask. The first that held that mask on was a lack of trust. I held many things to myself, not even telling my wives, family, because I learned that familiarity is dangerous. It usually ends up with them turning on you by breaking trust.
The next thing that I believe that held the mask on was ignorance. Believing what you have been told all of your life, things concerning the Faith. It wasn’t until I finally started my long journey of healing of my mental health that I started to question in earnest what I truly believed. I came to the conclusion that there were many things I felt was wrong, some that really did not have a sure foundation in the Scriptures.
Has there been any form of creative art or expression other than writing that’s been significant for you? What role did that play if your life?
My whole life has been about the music, it still is. I am thankful that I have a small home organ within my home. It had a fantastic price attached to it, “FREE”. I couldn’t refuse it. When I am totally at whit’s end when possible I sit and will play old hymns and other songs. It usually quiets my mind. There are other times, especially when I need a bit of inspiration, I turn to my iTunes music. One artist is foremost is Michael Bublè, his music is similar to that of Frank Sinatra.
What role has religion played in the course your transition into adulthood and beyond?
I am going to be honest and frank, I have held onto my faith in God, but, I have let go many other things. As I said this journey of healing has been intense. It has caused me to look inward, question everything, search all things, to become honest of who I truly was as a human being. Notice I did not say “person”, I could be any person, but who am I as a human.
Has your sense of who you are and how you relate to the world changed over time?
The resounding answer is, yes I have changed in relation of discovering who I really am. I couldn’t see it while I was in the midst of it, but, looking back, even just over two years, I can see change. I really do not have fear about how people see me. Yes, I hope they see the real me. Yet, I can understand that they may have, like me, trust issues. That is where true acceptance comes into place. I hope people would respect where I am in my walk of healing, I also hope I can respect others on their walk of healing in obtaining great mental health.
How did mental illness enter your life, and what are some of the ways it affects you?
I look back at my life, especially my teenage years through my early adult years and I can see signs of mental illness already showing itself. My sudden outrage for even the littlest thing, comment, etc., Also, I can recognize the times of mania, and deep depression that inserted itself during those years.
It wasn’t until around 1990 when I started experiencing panic attacks. One time while grocery shopping in an almost empty store I suffered with a severe panic attack. I left the cart in the aisle and ran back to my bachelor apartment a block away. It wasn’t long after that when I attempted my first suicide.
At times it has left me mentally crippled, all my interests seemed to melt away. On the mania times it was almost nonstop activity.
There were many mornings where I would wake up with no memory of the night before. No recollection of conversations, what I ate, what I did like watching television. My best friend would find me passed out in the oddest places, once under my sewing machine. It left him terrified every time he would come into my house in the morning.
What have been some of the most difficult times or circumstances you’ve dealt with in terms of your mental health?
The hardest time of dealing with my mental health condition was the very first time, the time when I woke up in the mental health ward after the attempted suicide.
I basically stayed to myself, did not interact with others who were also dealing with mental health issues. My memory of it is vague, basically going to the smoking room. There was the first day that they decided that we should watch the movie “Groundhog Day”. I remember, why this, what does it have to do with me getting out of here. Honestly, I still have no answer for that movie.
Has family played a major role for you? Have there been certain family events that were particularly significant in your life?
Family meant something for me, I should clarify, my maternal family. I was very close to my grandfather and grandmother. I felt more at home there then I did at my parent’s home. I felt accepted there, yet I am glad they were not around in my worst days. I sometimes wonder how they would have reacted.
I only have one blood relative that I am close to, being my maternal aunt. She has always been a part of my life, babysitting, singing, just there. After she goes my connection to that part of family will be gone.
I am now a grandfather of three, my daughter, and those children are now my world. They love talking with me when they are here, they have their heads in the right place. The oldest, my granddaughter, just turned thirteen.
Were there things from your childhood, either positive or negative, that have really stuck with you over time?
There are two things that have stuck with me over time. How I deal with others, growing up in a multi-cultural area it wasn’t a big thing to have friends, acquaintances, from other cultures, etc, Maybe it was because of my mother and grandmother. I never heard an unkind word, slur, put down, to come from their lips. I could take any of my friend’s home or to my grandmother’s knowing they would be accepted without question.
The other would be anger. I decided as a kid that I did not want that in my life. My dad would explode at the slightest slight. It was to the point that I would make excuses when he would ask if I wanted to play a game of Chess. I always said no, I knew if he lost, it just might mean an eruption of anger. If I am around someone who shows anger of that sort I find myself looking for the exit. I can be angry at something, but never to the point where it is physical or emotionally.
Are there life choices you’ve made that you feel grateful for or regret now?
There are probably many things I regret now, only because hindsight is always twenty-twenty. Dropping out of high school, two divorces, not always being there for my daughter while she was growing up. Those are probably the ones that come to the top of my thoughts.
The biggest thing that I can be truly grateful is that I can to the acknowledgment that I needed help, that I sought help, and that I continue to work to achieve great mental health.
The other is that I have learned how a true friend acts. I write about my best friend, twenty plus years. He has been there through my worst. Days where I lashed out at him, times when I would threaten to move away from him. He has been in the room with my family doctor, Psychiatrist, and all other specialists. He also manages my medications, which came about during one of my inpatient times. While at home I was double dosing my Oxycontin medication. So there was an agreement between myself, my doctors, and at that time my Pharmacist, that was back in 2004. He still goes with me to my appointments, sometimes is because my mobility is not at its best, mostly because my short term memory is spotty.
P.S. – That is the interview. Let me say this, I am not done with my journey towards great mental health. There are issues that I am still struggling with, issues that at this time cannot disclose.
If you read this, if you are also on your journey towards great mental health, let me give you a word of encouragement.
You are not alone, there are others on a similar journey with issues all of their own. There will be others after you. Please help those who are coming up with words of encouragement, make them feel at home that they have a safe place.
It is very tempting to take the side of the perpetrator. All the perpetrator asks is that the bystander do nothing. He appeals to the universal desire to see, hear, and speak no evil. The victim, on the contrary, asks the bystander to share the burden of pain. The victim demands action, engagement, and remembering. Judith Lewis Herman
Growing up in my generation there was a silent rule about children, they were to be seen not heard.
I am not sure how old I was when I first understood death, but I was probably ten years old. I can recall my grandmother and others talking in hush tones about a great uncle. I heard enough to know that they found him in his garage, doors closed, laying under the exhaust. I learned several years later that it was called suicide.
The very first funeral that I ever attended was that for my maternal grandfather in 1975, I was thirteen. I still can see him laying in the coffin. That image made me to never want to see a funeral ever again with an open casket. Why, because that is the last image that you see is the one that you usually remember.
There were too many things that those adults thought a child shouldn’t hear. Well sometimes I needed to hear your voice. Yes, hear it when I was being beat on by my father. When in 2000 sent a message during my mother’s death that he was going to kill me, I couldn’t hear you then either.
Maybe I would have loved to hear your voice after school that you were proud of me getting good grades, only to be asked “can’t you do better”?
How about someone sitting me down to explain why things were happening in my body, why my voice was changing. You know all those things that a young male should be told going into puberty. Oh I hear, your silence led me to have to learn about all that on the streets. Information eventually to be wrong.
I needed your voice to talk with me before I was going to be married. How about what I should expect on the wedding night. Yes, maybe if you would have spoken up I wouldn’t have been so crazy nervous.
Now, about that young man who is being beat upon by a group of thugs, several people watching, but the voice of the bystanders silent where they should have helped or at least called for help.
So many different times where if you would have broken your silence things would have had a different outcome. The woman who is being abused, the child who is being kicked around, the student in the school yard being bullied. Yes, you could have made a difference, but, you just kept silent.
So dear reader those are times when their silence was too loud!
Today I took some time to catch up on some tags that I follow. Below is one that caught my heart. Beth has a story to tell one that may help others. I have a feeling she is new to the WordPress community. After reading this post drop her a line in the comment section.
Entry 1. 15 September 2020. Bucharest, Romania. Hi. I’m Beth. I’ve struggled with my mental health for as long as I can remember. Well okay, not as long as I can remember, but for a long time. I was first diagnosed with depression at 13 (maybe 14?) years old. I turn 30 next month. I […]
“It is a better thing by far that the lad should break his neck, than that you should break his spirit.” ― Robert Louis Stevenson
It was in the late eighties just a year or two before I tried to commit suicide the issue I wanted to end was that my spirit was totally broken, crushed.
I left the ministry, a second marriage on the rocks, worried about my daughter who was coping diabetes. All those events felt like the four walls were closing in.
At times in the past twenty-five years I feel envious of this millennial generation because they have no barriers about issues like those of my generation didn’t speak about publicly. Subjects like marijuana, gay life style, living common law, from the surface they are more at ease with the those issues.
I recognize that they still have their issues, break ups, depression, body image shaming, low esteem. As I read many of the blogs in this WordPress community I admire how many feel totally free to bare their souls without fear.
In the sixties the young were seen as rebellious, named by the those looking inward “hippies”. Love ins, men with long hair, smoking pot, loud rock concerts. It was that generation who protested the war in Vietnam. Every night on the evening news footage showing them protesting everywhere including in front of the White House.
I have found that when someone has a broken spirit they turn to self-harm, alcohol, hard drugs, the list too long to put in one post.
A broken spirit is not so easy to heal, when it does the scars can be raw and easily ripped opened. There are still some scars that if I am not careful they get ripped opened. A drama who is portraying certain subjects brings about a tidal wave of negative emotions.
I have at times have asked friends who without knowingly bring up a subject to please find something else to chat about.
So dear reader if you are one of those with a broken spirit there can be a light at the end of the tunnel. There is no shame in having one, if you have a friend who you can trust wholly reach out, start a conversation, unload to them for in so doing your broken spirit will start to mend.
“The advice I’d give to somebody that’s silently struggling is, you don’t have to live that way. You don’t have to struggle in silence. You can be un-silent. You can live well with a mental health condition, as long as you open up to somebody about it, because it’s really important you share your experience with people so that you can get the help that you need.” — Demi Lovato
The other night I was talking with my daughter somewhere during the conversation it turned to mental health. She already knew I was bi-polar but what I was about to tell her was that I tried to commit suicide by taking an overdose of sleeping pills, Amitriptyline. I also told what led up to the mental health condition I was in.
I still know the city where I was living, Cambridge, Ontario, the street I lived on, Cedar Str. Down one block was a Tim Horton’s Donut store, going in the opposite direction was a Sobey’s Grocery Store.
I can remember vividly about my first night in the Mental Health Ward there. The reason being is that during a group session they had us watch the movie “Groundhog Day”. To me it made no sense of why we were watching. It was still back then that you could smoke in the hospital. They had a dedicated room for the smokers, it usually was filled with blue smoke, the smell of nicotine heavily filled the room.
After I was discharged I just couldn’t stay in Ontario for one simple reason I didn’t want my family to see me in the mental state I was in. It was probably more like I was ashamed of myself. Growing up going to church hearing all your life that suicide was sin.
Why did I wait so long to tell my daughter? Here is some reasons for that:
I wasn’t sure how she would react, I just wouldn’t be able to handle that she may rejected me.
I needed to create a safe place first. Through my best friend, then I started to tell my story here on WordPress.
Having those safe places allowed me to feel that I would not be shamed. What I found was support, people who understood exactly how I was feeling for they were there themselves.
The other safe place was on the Mental Health Ward in this city. There was no pressure to talk about your feelings, yet you could, that nobody would think less of you. Among that safe place was the nurses, the aids, and of course my psychiatrist. I also knew when I was discharged that if I hit a low spot I could return to that place.
I would hope that anyone who is struggling with mental health issues has a safe place. Someone they can talk with, a shoulder to cry on. Maybe a place they can go and feel safe to talk with others in a group setting.
So dear reader breaking the news the other night lifted the heavy weight off my shoulder. For the response that came back to me was, “do not beat yourself up for it”!
“Definiteness of purpose is the starting point of all achievement.” ―W. Clement Stone
Every on in awhile I have at times asked the ultimate question, “what is my purpose for living”. Just the other day was one of those times.
For the whole population of planet earth the question would be as unique as is the number of those living on the big blue marble.
I have a vivid memory of telling my mother that I was going to be a preacher, I was not much more the eight years old. Then circumstance brought me to a fork in the road. My home church was needing a musician, it had been filled by my grandfather with his guitar. So, I added learning to play the piano to my purpose.
I worked hard learning the piano, studying the Bible with the same vigor. It wasn’t long before my purpose became reality. I would travel with an evangelist as the organist, then at certain days I was able to preach.
I have learned over my lifetime that purpose will fluctuate due to varying circumstances, such as marriage, children, career change, etc.,
I truly feel that some of my depression came when I lost the sense of purpose. When I stepped down as a pastor, it was shortly after that event that I tried to commit suicide. There have been other times of depression where I can pin point the event where I lost my sense of purpose.
I have asked that question, I feel at this time, this place, that I have purpose. Found in events, people that I would have never thought of. Having a sense of purpose brings about a calmness to my mind, a feeling of peace, tranquility.
So dear reader do not think that you are alone in this world when you find yourself asking the all important question, “what is my purpose in life”?
As much as social media is great, it also has a negative effect on mental health. Statistics show that the rate of suicide,self-harm, depression and anxiety have risen in the last few years due to social media, especially within the teens and young adults.
I read this blog of how one person went through a horrific ordeal in coping with depression.
I do not usually comment on the importance of a re-blog, as you read this post you may, like me, feel the pain this blogger experienced!
Hello, readers and bloggers. I don’t really know how to say this. I don’t like talking about this, but I also don’t want to keep it a secret because I have shared so much in the past within the book community. I’ve talked about it on Instagram, Twitter and my past life on booktube. A […]
While I know that people tend to be somewhat skeptical of statistics, I thought it would still be interesting to explore some of the stats that are out there related to mental illness. Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) These figures come from CAMH in Toronto, Canada, on their Facts and statistics page. Mental […]
“Understand that sexuality is as wide as the sea. Understand that your morality is not law. Understand that we are you. Understand that if we decide to have sex whether safe, safer, or unsafe, it is our decision and you have no rights in our lovemaking.”
― Derek Jarman
preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience.
“English prejudice against foreigners”
I have been giving this post a lot of thought over the past several days. I wanted the best quotes I could find about the subject. The first one is new to me, but, the second one is from the Senior Prime Minister Trudeau, which I learned about in high school.
I feel safe in saying that many of us have preconceived ideas about one thing or another. Where did we learn these things, from our parents, peers, school, reading, or television.
Imagine if our preconceived idea of seeing a man and woman holding hands was repulsive. Maybe denied insurance coverage for being a heterosexual being, or portrayed on tv shows as some type of freak. Now, how would you feel? Some would hide the fact of their sexuality, pretend to be gay, or just outright be proud of being heterosexual.
Now how would your mental health be doing? Over time not so good, thoughts of depression, inferiority feelings, to the point to where there is contemplation of suicide.
I believe I have described the life of a LGBTQ person over the past forty years. Here are some facts from Homewood Health
LGBTQ+ Mental Health Facts1:
Members of LGBTQ+ communities face higher rates of depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive and phobic disorders, suicidality, self-harm and substance use
Members of LGBTQ are twice as likely to experience childhood maltreatment, interpersonal; violence, and personal loss
The risk of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) within the LGBTQ+ community is double that of those that identify as heterosexual
Sexual minority individuals are two and a half times more likely to attempt suicide and are one and a half times more likely to have depression and anxiety than heterosexual peers
LGBTQ+ youth face approximately 14 times the risk of suicide and substance abuse as heterosexual peers
Some research suggests that abuse of alcohol, tobacco and other substances may be two to four times higher among those that identify as LGBTQ
So dear reader, when you are thinking some preconceived idea about a person, persons, gender, think about this post!
Sometimes I find myself thinking of how I was before I saw a psychiatrist and started taking medications to treat me for being bi-polar, it makes shudder.
I truly do not know how I survived throughout that time. I would become enraged at the most insignificant thing. I would scream, cry, threaten to move, and on and on and on. I was a total mess. There were times I would be up all night sitting at my computer just wasting time, then sleep most of the next day.
I was someone who really was overwhelmed with all types of anxieties. Never knew when I would have a panic attack, did not know anything about what is called “triggers”.
Everything came to a full blown explosion. After my grandmother died in 2004 I lost myself overtaken by grief. It just wasn’t her death, but it was on top of losing my mother four years later. I started plotting how I would take my life. I started giving all my food to my best friend. There was nothing logical about the things I was doing, and to be honest I truly didn’t really care. After a couple of hours my best friend finally realized what I was planning. All that I know was a short time later I was being escorted into a police car, on my way to the hospital to be admitted to the Mental Health Ward in the local hospital.
I was like someone who jumped into the wrong end of the pool and finding out you are in over your head. Now from what I understand is never start flailing your arms around like crazy. This burns up your energy, the best thing you can do until help arrives is, just tread water.
I really do not have much permanent memories of my first admittance for treatment. I do remember how I felt. I was going through the motions, but I was totally disconnected from everything happening around me.
So, now when I start feeling overwhelmed, just stop flailing my arms wasting my energy. I just need to just tread water until help arrives!
In an news article found at: 1130 City News wrote about that the Canadian Mental Health Association is telling the feds that there could be an “echo pandemic” of mental illness. The article gave a summary about the article, it listed three things.
The CMHA is calling on the federal government for more funding to help people struggling with mental health issues
Association says feds need to help Canadians struggling now, before problem gets worse after COVID-19
If funding doesn’t come through, CMHA fears an ‘echo pandemic’ of mental health after the health crisis ends
I have paid attention to some interviews that the news has picked up from people who are keeping video diaries during this shutdown. They all spoke about the anxiety they are feeling.
Some are expressing how they feel helpless because they cannot be with a family member or a friend during their dying hours.
It is a frightening thing to have feelings of not being in control. Nerves become frayed, tempers flare, depression sets in, all manner of anxieties enters your life. Physical and emotional abuse ticks up in calls to authorities.
Of what I understand here in Canada the government has already planned for four months of restrictions in place. In America people are protesting the stay-at-home orders.
When I was living in Toronto that’s when things went spiraling out of control. My doctor prescribed Prozac, which left me feeling numb. I was a mess, living but not feeling.
When I first started having panic attacks I still can remember how I felt like everything was out of control. This lead to my attempted suicide.
I have no suggestions on how to handle the feeling of being out of control. Circumstances widely vary from person to person, house to house.
So, all that I can do is brace for a long ride into fall!
At this time everyone is facing great challenges. Every challenge is unique therefore it requires an unique plan to face it.
I have faced many challenges, sometimes I think that it is more than one person deserves. I have broken bones, recovered from a motorbike accident as a passenger, loss of loved ones, marriages that have fallen apart.
I look back on all of them and wonder how I made it through some of them. I did hit a brick wall, a wall the crashed on me with my mental health. For that challenge I decided not to conquer but, rather I surrendered to it. My answer was attempted suicide by taking an overdose of sleeping pills.
I know now that lashing out in anger that is destructive, I have learned to channel my anger to achieve constructive results. The former saw me burn relationships that could never be repaired. The latter, I now explain the action that angered me, it is not directed to a person. No name calling, no shaming, etc.,
Now, that doesn’t mean when I am challenge that I lay down like a door mat to be walked on. It means I have learned in a constructive way when something, someone, has crossed boundaries.
So, once again I have to summon all that I have learned, focus on the situation, conquer the situation, and do not surrender to it!
***I saw the story of this child on the Global National last night. It will break your heart, they showed a video where the child wishes he was dead.
Hugh Jackman wanted to send Quaden Bayles, the nine-year-old victim of bullies who in a dramatic video declares he wants to die, a message in which he offers his support and friendship. Wolverine’s interpreter has joined other sports and entertainment stars, including Jeffrey Dean Morgan, to condemn bullying that has profound consequences for the victims. […]
Not sure how it happened, suddenly there I was in the hospital, what’s more the mental health ward. I don’t remember being admitted, for that matter do not remember much about arriving at the hospital. My last memory was me running into my bathroom and downing a bottle of sleeping pills.
Before all of that. Let me back up I knew something was happening, sliding into the abyss. Here I was in Toronto living in a rooming house because my second marriage had just ended. Trying to keep things together at my job, manager of the breakfast shift at a fast food franchise. That didn’t last either, I handed in the keys, outfit and waved goodbye.
Around the corner was a walk in clinic which I had used before. There I was telling a doctor how I was feeling, the feeling like I was on an island and the water was rising all around me. Ten minutes later prescription of Prozac in my hand.
I can imagine this is not strange for some who read this, but, to me it was defeating. My head felt like it was twice it’s weight. My arms and legs heavy like iron, I was moving but not connected to reality.
Finally I moved out of Toronto away from the rat race. I moved back to the area near where I use to live. A bachelor apartment on the main level of a converted house. Down the street a new grocery store had just opened twenty – four seven. My friend went with me to buy some groceries. I thought I was safe going at midnight avoiding a lot of people. I was wrong, a cart full of groceries and then a severe panic attack. I left the cart and bolted for home.
So, that was the slow spiraling trip as a cast away!
During my worst depression which occurred after my suicide attempt in the morning all I would have is coffee and a cigarette.
While in treatment I came to realize that I was not alone immersed in the habit. Along with that I big dose of self-pity. Remember, this was before the phase of hospitals and public places banning smoking. I have been admitted in two different hospitals and both had rooms for the smokers.
While having that smoke it felt like it was a contest to see who had the best pity story. The issues were vastly different with each person.
I have now quit smoking. I now have coffee, but, I also have breakfast each morning. Self-pity tries to rear it’s ugly head. There are times I start to fall into that trap, mostly when I am alone and feeling lonely. There are even moments when I think about having a smoke thinking how nice it would feel to soothe my jittery nerves.
So, I have learned that it seems that coffee, cigarettes, and pity-parties are great friends!
Suicide definition Based on the National Statistics definition; Suicide includes all deaths from intentional self-harm for persons aged 10 and over, and deaths caused by injury or poisoning where the intent was undetermined for those aged 15 and over. Suicide is the act of intentionally causing one’s own death (Wikipedia.org). Some Risk factors Mental health disorders, […]
I have been given this much thought over the years. It is alarming what some people must bear because of the bigotry of others.
Put yourself in these shoes, you are in an ethnic group, you also have a mental health issue. That puts you in a situation of “double trouble”.
Within the borders of Canada we have groups of people, First Nations, living in sub standards housing, under a “boil water” advisories, a bleak outlook for their future.
In the 1960’s there was a policy concerning “first nations” children where authorities went in, grabbed the children, and place them in white Anglo-Saxon families, with the goal to drive out their “Indian” traits from them
The Sixties Scoop refers to a practice that occurred in Canada of taking, or “scooping up”, Indigenous children from their families and communities for placement in foster homes or adoption. Despite the reference to one decade, the Sixties Scoop began in the late 1950s and persisted into the 1980s. Wikipedia – 60’s scoop
The Canadian Government gave these children “double trouble”. Many survivors of this are now dealing with a multitude of issues, one of them being mental health trauma.
Fast forward to this current century and Canada has an epidemic within it’s borders. High suicide rates within the First Nations youth.
Suicide rates across First Nations, Inuit, and Metis communities continue to be considerably higher than that of non-Indigenous peoples in Canada. A Statistics Canada survey from 2011 to 2016 found that, when comparing suicide rates of Indigenous peoples to the rest of the Canadian population, First Nations people had a suicide rate three times higher, Metis had an estimated rate two times higher, and Inuit communities were found to face a suicide rate as much as 9 times higher than the national average. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_in_Canada
This is a story that has not been given much light shone on it. There are other issues that needs to be brought to light, but that is for another post.
I do not know what the correct solution is, but, I would start by actually treating the First Nations people as a whole like the human beings that they are. Not with prejudice of color of skin, nor the ethnic group label we have placed upon them.
So, maybe the next time I want to whine about my circumstance maybe I should consider those who from the start have “double trouble”.