People Will Move On

People will move on.

Even when you treat them like gold.

Even when you truly care about them and they truly care about you.

And there’s nothing you can do to stop them.

Nor should you.

Thank you for being with me. Let us rebuild a healthy state of mine.

Sending you Angel Love and Blessings.

Love, Francesca

National Suicide Awareness Month

September is National Suicide Awareness Month and September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day. You never know what other people are going through. Be kind whenever possible; it’s always possible. Maybe this is something you don’t show much concern with because it had never affected you directly. You never know who in your life may decide to take their life. Even if you think someone is self-harming because they want attention, that doesn’t make their pain less valid. Existence is pain. Sometimes that pain is overwhelming. We can overcome that pain if we seek help from both professionals and from people in our lives.

If you’re hurting, or think your life is meaningless, there are plenty of places to seek help. If this post speaks to you, I want you to leave a comment. I may not respond, but if you feel alone, look at some of the other comments. Many people, hundreds of thousands, feel the same about their lives. You’re not alone because so many people have the same feelings. Reading articles from TheMighty.com helped me when I was looking for some comfort. I felt people there were in the same boat and I felt less alone. I’m sharing the resources listed on The Mighty website below.

Suicide Prevention Resources

If you are feeling suicidal, there is hope. 

You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255

You can reach the Crisis Text Line 24/7 by texting “START” to 741-741

You can call The Trevor Project, an LGBT crisis intervention and suicide prevention hotline, 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386.

You can call Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860 if you live in the U.S. Call 877-330-6366 if you live in Canada.

To find local resources in your area, visit To Write Love On Her Arms.

If you are hard of hearing, you can chat with a Lifeline counselor 24/7 by clicking the Chat button on this page, or you can contact the Lifeline via TTY by dialing 800-799-4889.

To speak to a crisis counselor in Spanish, call 1-888-628-9454.

If you are a veteran (or your loved one is a veteran), you can reach the Veterans Crisis Line by calling  1-800-273-8255 and Pressing 1. You can also send a text to 838255.

Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

For additional resources, see the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and SAVE (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education).

You can read the following stories from people who’ve been there (from The Mighty):

And for additional messages of hope, click here

You are not alone.  

National Cheer Up the Lonely Day

Tomorrow (July 11) is National Cheer Up the Lonely Day. With social distancing, isolation, and quarantine, this holiday is important now more than ever. I’m certain many people have never heard of this day. The holiday was founded by Francis Pesek. His daughter, L.J. Pesek said he “was a quiet, kind, wonderful man who had a heart of gold. The idea came to him as a way of promoting kindness toward others who were lonely or forgotten as shut-ins or in nursing homes.” July 11 is also Francis Pesek’s birthday. I have yet to find any other information such as when Francis was born or what year the holiday was founded.

Autophobia is the fear of being alone. While many may not have the full-blown phobia, everyone at one time or another is afraid of being alone. For me, I’ve feared people would leave me which added to my insecurities and caused me to drive them away. I created my worst fear. When one feels this way, the smallest gesture can have the biggest impact. Sending a short message, an email, or letter can brighten their day. On social media, tagging a friend or sharing a link or post in a direct message (DM) can bring a smile to their face.

Remember, if you spend most days having conversations with several people, that doesn’t mean everyone else does. You may be the only person one of those people talks to for the entire day. There was one time a couple years ago when I went an entire week with no contact or conversations with anyone outside of work. I felt ignored and unwanted. I know others have felt this way. It takes little effort to remind people that you care about them. It’s also important to not assume someone is lonely because they spend a lot of time alone. Don’t jump to conclusions. Just tell them you care about them.

James Pack is a self-published author of poetry and fiction.  Information about his publishing credits can be found on his personal blog TheJamesPack.com.  He resides in Tucson, AZ.

SNAKE (part 2)

I wake up covered in vomit. There’s a tinge of daylight outside the shed. It’s cold. So cold.

O God, no.

Why did you make me wake up? I pleaded with you, God. Did you not hear my voice? Did you not see my life? My struggle?  WHY , God?

I lie in the vomit on the sandy floor and watch the sunlight creeping up, up, up  in the sky.

A new day has dawned.

I am alive.

And so is the guilt.

What have I done? How will I explain this ? How, o God, will I carry on ?

It’s the thought of my son that gets me to move.

I walk to my car. Slowly. My legs are wobbly, my brain fuzzy, there’s a roaring in my ears. The world outside comes into focus, then disappears into a bleak black and white landscape. But I start the car.

I start the drive home.

(ps. This was a record of my 4th suicide attempt. I survived an overdose four times. During the above event I swallowed enough tablets to have killed me. They didn’t.

It is now ten years later. 

My life has made a complete turnaround due to the correct medication, cognitive therapy and eventually Electroconvulsive  therapy  (ETC).

When I posted SNAKE (part 1) I ended up feeling like a fool. 

I felt that the post was overly dramatic and that people who read it would think I was just looking for sympathy and attention. 

But I feel that if someone ( even just one person ) read the post and saw the eventual positive turn my life took afterwards, I was prepared to feel a bit foolish!

Remember this :

The suicidal brain is not functional normally anymore. The suicidal state ( which I call “The Snake” ) is convincing the individual that THERE IS NO WAY OUT. It is hard to argue with your own brain when it has become suicidal. Your brain is telling you death is the only relief. But if we can just WAIT IT OUT for a few hours, the suicidal impulse does pass. 

There was a time when my first impulse after an argument, a hurt, a rejection was to swallow endless amounts of pills. 

I now have a warning and a reminder on the door of the medicine cupboard . It says :

“Die Jirre lief jou, Finish en Klaar!” ( Afrikaans for : God loves you. No Ifs and no Buts)

To me these words mean :

STOP.

WAIT.

THINK.

I hope my post has reached someone ready to end things.

I hope you WAIT. STOP. THINK.

And know that you are not alone. Your situation is not without hope.

“Die Jirre lief jou. Finish en KLaar!”       

   

If you would like to read more I’d love for you to visit my personal blog about my life on a farm in South Africa and my career as a teacher at a rural Xhosa school. 

https://teachingtough.wordpress.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SNAKE ( part 1 )

The evening starts with the best of intentions. I have bought snacks and the wine is cooling in the fridge. Candle light flickers across the dining room ceiling. I pray that my restless 18 month old son will go to sleep soon. This evening is important. I need to make it work.

Conversation between me and my husband starts to flow instead of falter. The wine is relaxing my nervous brain. It literally feels like a flipped switch. Icy cold insides, followed by warmth and comfort. Thank you to the god of alcohol.

And then suddenly he says something. Something about how I’m handling our hyperactive son. I take it the wrong way. He says.

He says he didn’t mean it to sound quite as harsh. He says it’s the alcohol clouding my judgement.

…and ….we’re off!

Accusations flying. Bitter words. Angry, resentful words. Blame, disappointment, disillusionment with how ours lives have turned out.

His hands are in the air and he says he’s going to bed. Because this argument is pointless. We are going around and around in circles.

He turns his back on me.

The snake is there. Just like that. Inside my mind.  I’m not thinking anymore. I grab the pills from the cupboard where I’ve stored them. Grab two bottles of wine from the fridge. I’m in the car. I know I’m driving too fast. I don’t care. I can’t anymore. There is no way out. I can’t be a mother. I don’t want to be a wife. My son deserves so much more. I need to leave so he can get to that good place where someone capable will take care of him.

I’m on the dirt road. There’s a shed in the distance. I turn the steering wheel sharply towards it, landing in the veld. I flatten the accelerator , my only aim to reach the small building.

When the car stops, I open the first bottle of wine. Drink from the bottle. Open the pills and start swallowing them in handfuls. They stick to the corners of my mouth. Swallow, swallow. More wine, more pills. Until there’s nothing left.

I’m on the floor in the shed.

God. I can’t. Forgive me.

I say these words as I fall asleep.

Sh*t.

I just posted this fantastic blurb about things really looking up and just like that, it’s gone.

Where do I even begin? It is a long drawn out bit but I am going to try to summarize. My mother lives with me and depends on me both physically and financially due to her being disabled. My grandparents split her costs with me because I am not making as much as I will be once I get a higher position since finishing my degree. My father pays spousal support to my mom which helps with bills. It is chump change at 2something a month.

In the past week: My sister gets furloughed and moves into our 500 square foot home with us because she can’t cover rent on unemployment with her other bills.

My father’s plant shuts down permanently and he is unable to send the spousal support.

My grandfather (and sole income for my grandparents aside from my grandmother’s SS) loses his job.

So I am the only one working. No pressure. Just over here holding myself in the fetal position. It is weird. The only personal negative I really saw to this pandemic was that I am losing any strides I was making in getting away from self isolating….but this is really about to test my mental health.

So Many…

There are so many men and women out there during this pandemic, waiting, longing and eager to send their friends, partners and parents flowers.

So they waited a long time to show these flowers how pretty and wonderful these people are. But they have to wait a little longer…

Thank you for being with me. Let us rebuild a healthy state of mind.

Sending you angel love and blessings.

Love, Francesca.

Bringing Color Back.

If you have followed along, you would know that I have had some pretty big gaps in medication management. Whether it be from my own failure to comply, medications that didn’t work, or just a hard time finding a doctor that stuck; it has sucked. I had been seeing a doctor since I got back from Texas and she was working to find the missing link in my medications. I was feeling so much better after resuming my meds that I was taking before the big blackout where I stopped everything. I still had this edge. This darkness peaking through the cracks that was slowly consuming all the progress I had made. I was cranky and then depressed and then fine. It was just a hint to let me know that something wasn’t right.

Then my doctor quit. She left the practice without a forwarding address. So on to the next.

WOWOWOWOWOW. This guy. He has just painted the color back into my world. He found the combination that worked and just in time. I was making some progress in getting back out into the world when every fiber in my body just wanted to stay home where it is safe, no judgement, no chance of troubles. Then BAM! Stay home because all my fears came true, it isn’t safe out there. So here I am, working from home. I am so blessed to have that still. To not have that taken away from me and further rock my little raft. I think about my people here all the time. I hope that you are all doing well. I would love to have a hang and maybe chat with some people if interested. I need that social connection just as I am sure others do. It is just as crucial as my medication.

Stay strong, keep on keepin on friends.

Getting Back Out There.

I have had a lot of changes happen over the past ten years. Aside from the obvious (the big diagnosis), I have grown in my career, put myself in a mountain of debt, gained a couple of degrees, gained a lot more weight, and completely lost my self confidence.

I used to be so outwardly silly and carefree. I acted the same around everyone, regardless of how they acted towards me. I had more confidence. I was secure in who I was and what I looked like. I think with all of the work I have done on myself on the inside, I put off my physical health. I dread disappointing other people. Like they will see me as the ugly girl my friend brought along. Most of the time people don’t introduce themselves to me, look at me, include me in a conversation. They direct their attention to who I am with and if I try to include myself, they act as if I have been incredibly rude.

I know what some people are thinking and what they will most likely say, “don’t worry about people like that, they are jerks” or “If they act that way they are the ones losing out” or “they aren’t the kind of people you need around you then”. I completely agree. I am funny, I have a lot of interesting parts to me, I am more than what I look like, I am a good friend. It just sucks that it isn’t what starts a conversation.

Is it weird that I am concerned with inconveniencing others? Like, I have had guys that I am friends with on facebook ask me out (people I haven’t seen in person in years) and my first thought is that they will notice my weight gain. It isn’t that I hide it but I am not posting the most unflattering pictures of myself. I am concerned that I am not what people think I am. I am embarrassed when people mention that I am about to complete a degree and am afraid people will think that I am not that smart. I feel like I don’t really deserve the promotion at work I am desperately working towards, I don’t feel that I am good enough to date or be seen out with.

I feel like a fraud. I don’t know if that makes sense. But it feels right. It feels like it is how to describe how I feel and view myself. I know you can’t go walking up to people and dump all your baggage on them, but it sure would minimize the wasted time and heartache that I feel when it finally gets to that point. I want to say, “do you feel uncomfortable or not ready to understand bipolar?”, “do you understand that I am not 5’5 and 120 lbs”, “do you understand that I was not handed things and have more responsibilities than most people my age?”.

But I can’t. I can’t just put all the bad stuff out there beforehand. There is no sparing my feelings. I can’t just play it safe forever. I hate it. I just want to stay in bed. I want to go to work, come home, and be. I don’t really need interaction. I don’t desire to date. I am content. Not complacent. But I also wonder if I just feel this way because it is the only/easiest option.

My Demon Said To Me

Broken and alone
Chilled to the bone
Confused, spinning
From the chorus in my home
‘You’re not enough
You’re not enough
You can’t do it on your own’

I concede
I give in
Okay, I’ll listen
I must admit
I’ve come to love
The way the cold blade glistens

But when I close my eyes to go
Among those who
Took fate by the throat
Something whispers
Soft and slow

I tilt my head
To lean in to the muse
And my demon says
No one can hurt you

As long as I’m here…no one can hurt you.