My Story’s the Opposite of EVERYTHING We’ve Been Taught About Mental Illness

“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”

~Martin Luther King, Jr.

One year, six months and eight days ago I was in the worst state I have ever been in during my over twenty-seven years of living with mental illness. I was severely suicidal and had been for many days and months in a row and was experiencing an elated mania mixed episode.

One year, six months and eight days ago I attempted suicide and thought I was leaving earth forever. I strongly wanted to and was ready. I faced the reality of what death meant and I was there…

Those were scary and heartbreaking words to write especially because…

today I am beyond blessed to be alive and I feel better and happier than I ever have in my life. I feel inner joy, a peaceful spirit and a mental wellness I don’t think I ever felt before…

My suicide attempt was a blessing in disguise because it forced me to go off Klonopin, a Benzodiazepine, the only psychotropic medication I was on at them time. Because I overdosed on Benzos (as well as other psychotropics I had saved and stored in my home for years), the psychiatrists in the hospital would not give me anymore Benzodiazepines while I was in the hospital. And after staying in the hospital for two weeks and beginning the severe horrible hell of Klonopin withdrawal syndrome, I knew I would never take another Benzo again.

After I was forced to stop taking the Benodiazepine, Klonopin, I never looked back.

After surviving the severe beyond painful and debilitating neurological like impairments for over two months from the withdrawals from Klonopin after over two decades of their use, overuse and abuse, I am mentally well. I made it.

After the damage caused from taking Klonopin and the many other combinations and cocktails of Psychotropic medications and after having over a hundred ECTs over a twenty-five year period, my brain continues to improve and rejuvenate every day. I keep improving both physically and mentally even at my ripe old age of 56. My arthritis is even improving. It is uncanny and unbelievably amazing.

This is great news and I thought everyone would be happy to hear it and receive the inspiration of hope from my story.

However, my words now are sometimes more difficult to share with the mental illness community than when I shared my thoughts and feelings of the pain from being suicidal. I am happy I could do that then to help others, plus writing about my pain was very therapeutic for me.

Maybe more people could relate to my posts about heartache, loss, pain and despair because that was what they were going through, as well. Maybe it is harder to hear the blessings of wellness because it doesn’t seem possible to them. Recovery and happiness seem so far away and out of reach many people don’t think it could happen to them.

I must reiterate a million times that recovery is possible and is in everyone’s reach. Some people must stretch further than others. But recovery and happiness are possible for everyone.  Keep going. Keep reaching for that first grasp of success and recovery. You can do it. Once you grab on to recovery never let go.

For years, we have been taught that mental illness means:

  1. Continued struggles and ups and downs with recovery.
  2. Mental illness diagnoses are forever.
  3. You will need to be on various psychotropic medications for the rest of your lives.
  4. Mental illness is a life sentence.
  5. You will never be normal.
  6. We can get you to live a functional life. Ugh.
  7. You must accept your diagnosis and use of medications as the first step in recovery or you will never achieve it.
  8. You must accept that this will be a lifelong battle.
  9. You must lean how to deal with the knowledge of this permanent life sentence before your journey of recovery can begin.

At lease those were some of the things I was told. Yikes. No wonder so many people struggling with mental illness attempt or die by suicide… There is not enough hope and sometimes there is no hope…

We must have hope for survival, recovery and wellness.

I want to help inspire that hope.

At first, I was so excited to share what I had learned and the positive experiences that happened to me. I thought people would be happy and receptive to hear what I had to say.

I received mixed reviews. Although people are happy for me they are very skeptical. Some think I am manic and that is why I feel well today. They think I am “crazy” and that this can never happen. I am living proof but it is almost like they can’t believe it.

I want them to believe it. I know it is true because I am living it and I must share my story. What else can I do? I hope people will listen and find hope from my story.

Some people get upset with me for making it sound like I am promoting for all people to be psychotropic medication free. This is not the case. Medications are necessary for many but maybe not forever for some people.

Psychotropic medications are not ALWAYS required, necessary or healthy for all people to take for the rest of their lives. The use of psychotropic medications needs to be evaluated more often on an individual basis for people after diagnosis. The pros and cons need to be addressed much more often than they are and the damage these meds can cause needs to be looked at very closely–ALWAYS.

Please think about this regarding the use of psychotropic medications…

We repeatedly hear…

“Everyone is different and responds to medications differently.”

If that is true then why do we hear the blanketed statements, “Psychotropic medications must be taken for the rest of your lives. Never stop taking your medications.” If everyone is different than why do we assume EVERYONE will need to take their medications for the rest of their lives. We DO NOT know this to be a fact. Not yet anyway.

We also hear and read, “Bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses are lifelong chronic illnesses. You will have bipolar disorder, for example, for the rest of your life.” If everyone is different, how do we know this to be true for sure? I don’t think we do. We do not know this to be a fact as they do not have all the answers about mental illness. There are still learning as they go and we are currently their subjects.

We need to keep an open mind and keep the possibility and hope that mental illness is not ALWAYS a lifelong illness.

Also, some people don’t like it when I talk about the dangers of Benzos and other psychotropic medications. I know everyone is different, but still the dangers are very real and affect everyone differently.

I share my story to inform, educate, increase awareness and inspire hope.

Some people are not receptive to what I have to say. It is a very sensitive area. My story conflicts with what we have been taught about mental illness.

My story is the opposite of EVERYTHING we have been taught about mental illness. I share my current story about how…

  1. My recovery continues to improve and I have reached mental wellness.
  2. I no longer have bipolar disorder (I was told it was a misdiagnosis.)
  3. I am psychotropic medications free for over a  year and a half.
  4. I have less anxiety symptoms than before starting Klonopin and other medications (withdrawal symptoms from Benzos can cause an increase in anxiety like symptoms worse than anxiety was. We blame increased anxiety on mental illness when in actuality it was from withdrawal effects of Benzos and possibly other psychotropics).
  5. I feel like my old self before my initial diagnosis of postpartum depression 27 years ago. This continues to improve every day and is a welcome joy.
  6. I enjoy working again. I am a resident care assistant for patients with Alzheimers. I get paid to give love again like before my diagnosis when I was a special needs teacher.
  7. I am joining church groups and signed up for an adult tap class.
  8. Slowly I am learning how to be social again and I welcome that as well.
  9. Nothing is permanent.
  10. My mental health improved. I am better and can live a beautiful, productive and meaningful life (BEYOND FUNCTIONAL).

Once I was given a mental illness diagnosis, it was drilled into my head that it is permanent and will never go away. I was told I will HAVE to take psychotropic medications for the rest of my life. “You must NEVER stop taking your medications,” I was repeatedly told. “You will never be normal. We can get you to live a functional life but you will never be normal.”

These kind of things are also said to many people after being given a mental illness diagnosis. The rest of your life seems like an awful long time to endure the type of hell I went through. Maybe that is why there are so many suicides. People with mental illness diagnoses are not given enough hope.

I was diagnosed with mental illness over 27 years ago and have been mentally well about a year after the Klonopin withdrawal symptoms finally subsided enough to enjoy the beauty of living again. Maybe my recovery  took 26 years, but the point is… it is possible and it happens. Regardless of the length of time it took, reaching recovery and mental wellness is a huge beautiful glorious blessing and is worth every pain and heartache.

Keep going. Keep fighting. You will make it too and once you do you will know it was all worth it–every painful step and pothole of your journey matters.

The pain and suffering from mental illness does not have to be forever. It really doesn’t. It will get better. You will get better. You can do it. You can make it. I am living proof.

Never forget…

You are loved by many.

You are needed.

You are important and you matter.

Your life has value.

You can live a long, successful, happy and productive life.

You can and will make a positive impact on many people’s lives.

You can and will enjoy the beauty of living…

and hopefully one day without the interference of mental illness.

I pray that for all of you.

Never give up.

You got this.

When you don’t feel like you can do this…

GOD HAS YOU.

Much love, Sue


Photo credit: Photo by Dan Meyers on Unsplash

© 2019 Susan Walz | myloudwhispersofhope.com | All Rights Reserved

It’s All About the Flash (a Very Free Verse Poem)

It’s all about the flash,

the flash of the past,

the flash of what was

the flash of what could have been.

The flash of dreams you want to come true,

dreams that would make your life better.

You know it.

You can feel it,

so you pray

and wait

and dream some more

for a better life.

Then you dream for better flashes,

flashes that tell you you are good.

flashes that tell you it will get better,

flashes that tell you people care about you,

flashes that tell you people love you,

flashes that tell you you will make it again

because you did it before.

Then more flashes asking why

and when will life get better,

flashes of other people’s lives

that seem so much better,

so much easier

than yours.

Then you just pray–

pray for acceptance of what is

and acceptance of what was.

Pray for peace

and patience

for your faith to become stronger.

You keep trying and fighting,

praying you will feel better soon

and then

you just pray.

Pray for happines

and peace

to come

again.

This is what recovery is

over

and

over

again.

I keep typing until I feel better.

It hasn’t worked yet

but I will keep trying,

fighting,

typing

woking through it.

Typing to feel,

to love

and live.

I will make it again.

I have made it before

and I will make it again.

Type, type, type

to feel real.

Type away my sadness.

Type, type, type.

The sadness–

it is still there,

so I type.

I type some more

and pray for happiness and love

to fill my soul,

for loneliness to leave me.

I will make it.

Recovery is possible.

Remember.

I am living proof.

I will never forget.

I am living proof.

So I keep living

and fighting

always.

I am ALIVE.

I am breathing.

I am a survivor.

I am ALIVE

to enjoy

the beauty

of living.

~Written by Susan Walz 


This is why I write and blog. Sometimes I know I need something, so I just type–to feel, to feel real. Thanks for reading. I hope you can relate to this.

Keep fighting, feeling and being.

Sometimes all we can do is “be.” Just “be.” Give yourself credit for accepting when you need to just “be.” Today is a day I just need to “be” so I am ‘being” for a little while until I can “be” more than I am now–until I  can feel more like me–the better me.

All of the “me’s” I have are okay

and all of the “you’s” you have are okay too.

Some days are like that. We need to give ourselves a day to just “be.

BE all that you can BE.

BE the best you

you can BE.

Much love and hugs, Sue


© 2019 myloudwhispersofhope.com | All Rights Reserved

We Grow Stronger After We Break

Music has always played an important role in my recovery–mostly praise and worship music or anything inspirational. I love music that touches my heart and speaks joy into my heart–or makes me FEEL something–especially when I was empty and couldn’t feel anything.

Today I repeatedly listened to the song River by Josh Grobin and wrote a post on my blog with the video on it. Here is the link if you would like to see it.

The song River touched my heart. Sometimes a song or music in general does that for me. I can lose myself in the beauty and power of music and art–it captures my soul for a while and I lose myself within it. It is extraordinarily healing, soothing and can be exhilarating. I love that when it happens.

This is part of the uplifting chorus to the song River:

“I walk down to the river,

Though I might not understand it,

It’s not always as we planned it,

My Loud Whispers of Hope–My New Blog Name and a Poem

“Turn loud whispers of hope

into shouts of joy

for the triumph of life and living.”

~Susan Walz


My Loud Whispers of Hope

When I finally accepted the theory that Bipolar 1 Disorder was in fact a misdiagnosis for 26 years, a heavy ugly weight has slowly been lifted from my being and soul. It is in a small sense an emptiness–void of a label I worked long and hard to finally accept after many years of fighting it. Now there is a huge lightness and freedom from this release of a hugely stigmatized label that was branded on my forehead like a flashing neon light for the world to see.

Since I have embraced the lack of the bipolar disorder label from my list and my LIFE, I realized it was time for a new blog name. I wanted to keep the name My Loud Bipolar Whispers similar so I just removed the word bipolar and wanted to name my blog My Loud Whispers but it was already taken. Rats.

At first I thought My Loud Whispers of Hope was too long, but then I decided it was perfect. Hope was the key to my recovery and beginning of my journey of wellness.

I wrote the following poem AFTER I changed my blog name. I started writing my blog post and this poem was transpired.

I hope you like my poem and I hope you like my new blog name.

Be well my friends.

Much love and hugs, 

Sue


My Loud Whispers of Hope

The silence of shame

ate at my soul,

weakened my spirit,

and extinguished my light,

until God ignited my spark,

rekindled my flame

and unmuted my voice

with loud whispers of hope.

My loud whispers of hope

became clearer words

of strength,

recovery and healing.

My loud whispers of hope

became lyrics and melodies

of courage,

inspiration and faith.

My loud whispers of hope

became shouts of joy

for the triumph of life and living.

~written by Susan Walz

“Turn loud whispers of hope

into shouts of joy

for the triumph of life and living.”

~Susan Walz

Copyright © 2019 | myloudbipolarwhispers.com | All Rights Reserved

Regarding Stigma and Addiction

I have been researching a lot lately about addiction and recovery as I have come to realize that most of my struggles and pain from living a mental illness life were caused from the stigma of mental illness and my addiction to the Benzodiazepine, Klonopin for over twenty years.

Regarding stigma–it was not the illness itself that caused most of my problems–it was the stigma of mental illness that created the hardships and roadblocks along my painful destructive life. If my illness was treated with understanding and compassion like most other illnesses, I would not have lost my career, friends, relationships with my family, my dignity, respect and my own identity. Those would have all remained intact while I battled the pain from my illness. Instead, the stigma of mental illness–being shamed and shunned for the name of my illlness–ripped out my soul beyond repair for years. I am in the process of removing and repairing my shame.

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Regarding addiction–my physical dependency on Klonopin caused increased anxiety, depression, insomnia, mixed bipolar like episodes and suicidal ideations for years of my life. Instead of realizing Benzos were the culprit, Psychiatrists, my now ex-husband and family blamed me–my weakness, character flaws and my mental illness labels–they thought everything was all my fault.

I also blamed myself and hated myself for taking extra Klonopin and overdosing. I never understood why I did it. I was never told or learned until now–now that I am finally psychotropic medication free for over a year that it was caused from being addicted to the prescription medication, Klonopin my doctor prescribed me for over twenty years.

Image result for klonopin withdraWAL SYNDROME

Additionally, I unknowingly experienced Klonopin withdrawal syndrome for years. Going through complete Klonopin withdrawal is a hell like I had never experienced before. However, it is a hell I would gladly go through again now that I survived and know how amazingly beautiful it feels to be free from all Benzodiazepine use. After suffering for over twenty-six years there is nothing better than feeling mentally clear and a peaceful serenity inside my body.

Taking Benzodiazepines and other psychotropic medications for over twenty years at a high doses actually damaged my brain. The magical beauty and miracle is that the brain can heal. It can transform and repair itself back to a new normal. It takes time but it happens. While you take medications like Opioids and Benzodiazepines, schedule II and schedule IV drugs your brain adapts to them and changes. When you stop taking those medications your brain must relearn how to function without them again. It takes time for your brain to transform, and recover, but the beauty and gift is that it can heal.

I know everyone is different. I share my story to inform others of the possible dangers of some medications as I do not want others to go through what I did. I share my story to inspire hope that recovery and mental wellness are possible. I am living proof.

It has been a year after my near fatal suicide attempt–

a year of being psychotropic medication free,

a year of no hospitalizations,

a year (minus three months of the excruciatingly painful recovery from Klonopin withdrawal syndrome) of living with mental wellness.

It has been a year of new discoveries

and a celebration of life and living–

My Life is a celebration over death.


Just an FYI–my psychiatrist has completely removed the label of bipolar disorder from my medical files and charts. What????

Wow. It has been a process but I am beginning to accept this as true. My psychiatrist says I was misdiagnosed for over twenty-six years and do not have bipolar 1 disorder. My diagnoses instead are borderline personality disorder and PTSD which were on my long list before. Two diagnoses are enough. He kept BPD as my diagnosis because bipolar disorder and BPD have similar symptoms and people with Borderline Personality Disorder can learn to cope with symptoms and can recover. Bipolar 1 Disorder and generalized anxiety disorder have been removed from my list of psychiatric disorders. A weight has been lifted.

Whether or not I was misdiagnosed, I will never know for sure. The point is I do not have symptoms now and my new psychiatrist believes most of my behaviors and severe symptoms came from taking high doses of the Benzodiazepine, Klonopin for too long–over twenty years. I will elaborate more on my process of accepting a misdiagnosis on a later post and…

I believe when there are no explanations–

IT MUST BE GOD!

Healing is possible.


Copyright © 2019 | myloudbipolarwhispers.com | All Rights Reserved

My New Year’s Resolution is One Word

Hello everyone. I’ve missed you all. Since I began my blog two years ago, I have never written so few posts. This is only my second post in December. Sorry for not writing or contributing on The Bipolar Writer more often but I have been extremely busy writing my memoir and now the grueling process of editing it thoroughly and many more new and exciting things to share with you–gradually.

Today, I got an alert from WordPress telling me my stats are booming and I thought, “What on earth? I haven’t even been writing any posts.” So, I decided to take a look at what was going on at “My Loud Bipolar Whispers.”

A post I wrote last year with the same title as this one got a lot of hits. People must have been googling New Year’s Resolutions is my guess. I wrote My New Year’s Resoultion is One Word on January 4th of last year, which was about a month before my life altering near lethal suicide attempt.

On that post I wrote an overview of my mental illness life. You can take a peek if you would like. It is full of my struggles and I know I wrote it when I was not in a good mental state as a year ago today I was not doing well and had not been for many consecutive months. I was fighting to stay alive and was at my end of my shredded rope.

I will not bore you with the details here, but I wanted to share the beauty of the fact that miracles happen. There is hope for everyone. If you look at my posts from a year ago, you can read and feel the excruciating pain I was in and see how sick I was then.

I am living proof that recovery is possible. I have been completely medication free for over ten months now and am symptom free for the most part. I am under a Psychiatrists care and he can’t quite figure it out either.

I am living proof that recovery and healing are possible. God is good.

My New Year’s Resolution is one word…

God.

With God in my life, living my life for Christ and serving the Lord, I know 2019 will be an awesome year–the best year ever.

When I keep my focus on God everything else will fall into a good place.

When I let Jesus’ love shine through me, I will always be the best me and that is who I strive to be in 2019.

I pray 2019 will be a happy, healthy, joyful, love-filled, peaceful and abundantly blessed year for all of you

Happy New Year!

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I think “God” is a very feasible and attainable New Year’s resolution and…

with God by my side,

nothing is impossible… 

everything is possible.

Love, Sue

BTW… It’s nice to be back writing on my blog and contributing on this blog. I hope you are all doing well.

God is my New Year’s Resolution.

What’s your New Year’s resolution for 2019?

Image result for new year's resolutions 2019
Image result for new year's resolutions 2019

WE CAN ALL DO IT!!!

 

Copyright © 2018 | myloudbipolarwhispers.com | All Rights Reserved

Ripple Effect of PTSD and Mental Illness

I wrote this about a week ago after a visit from my parents. My PTSD was triggered significantly after only seeing them briefly, but I made it through once again. What an indescribable joy it is to feel peace and wellness after being consumed with overwhelming anxiety, anger, sorrow, shame, regret and suicidal ideations again. Plus, what a spectacular feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment it is to overcome after becoming undone.

My childhood and life experiences may not have been a warzone, but I can experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) just the same.

The ripple effect of PTSD and mental illness is like a Tsunami. I learned I must prepare for the Hurricane’s arrival by fleeing the scene or not going anywhere near the presence of the storm to begin with. I must stay away from the destructive properties of the storm for my own safety, survival and well-being and for the lives, well-being and happiness of others.

A Tsunami is a ferocious dangerous storm that does not care who it hurts. A Tsunami is never good and there is nothing good about it. It does not discriminate and has an eye and deceptive mind of its own destroying everything in its path. I must stay away from the eye of the storm—his piercing destructive glare wounds deeply.

Image result for PTSD quotes

I must avoid the storm from hitting again. The mere thought of it sends shivers throughout my entire body causing panic, terror, anger and sorrow from memories of past abuse, pain and destruction.  Even if I do not know the outcome of the storm, I can never take a chance. It is not worth the amount of work and energy it takes to recover. The risk is too great and the wounds and destruction are too painful and sometimes costly. I have had to struggle to survive and overcome too many past storms the Tsunamis in my life have caused throughout my lifetime and I will never do it AGAIN. I am finished with this natural disaster in my life.

One of the huge problems with this storm is the lifelong damage it has caused and maybe even greater is that this storm continues to destruct. It will not die, go away, change its path or course of destruction it chooses. It sometimes just selects different victims which actually wounds me even MORE. I could not stop this storm myself and I can’t protect the other victims as much as I should have. This saddens me as well. This storm continues to be a mean beast of a storm wounding and damaging others in its lifelong destructive path. I have not been the only victim. I must stay away from the evil eye of the storm… and warn and protect others… if only I could.

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We must stop abusers and bullies, all bullies. Sometimes the biggest and scariest bullies live in our own homes. Then there is no place to go for safety or protection The person or people who are supposed to protect you the most are the ones that hurt you the most. Who can you trust? It makes it a lonely, scary and unhappy place to live.

How can we help those we do not know need help? We need to educate. If when I was young I knew how dysfunctional my family was and I had someone to talk to, maybe I could have gotten help. I will never know that, but I pray no one will ever have to go through what I did. So, I continue to talk, to educate, to inform, to start dialogs. I am trying but I know I am not doing enough. I pray I can do more. I pray God will show me the direction I need to go so that I can best help myself and help others at the same time.

Please keep fighting and keep keeping on. Please do not let suicidal thoughts ever win.

Related imageI must confess that after the visit from my own Tsunami this past weekend, I was triggered and my brain took over. I went to my past thoughts. My hope. My way out. My only way I thought I had to end my pain. The only thing in the past that gave me comfort, peace and hope. As sad as that was for so many years of my life, suicide was my hope. I saw no other way out. Please fight those thoughts. I had to fight through them again over the last two nights.  I fought and I won again. I will never let that storm or storms win. I beat that storm before and I will beat it again and again. So can all of you.

I know from experience that it will get better and suicide is not the answer. Recovery is possible. Look out for YOU. Take care of you and know that you matter and you have a huge value and purpose in this world.

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For me, the answer is Jesus. Jesus saves. Jesus saved my life numerous times. He can and will save yours too. Let Jesus help you. Let Jesus enter your life and heart.

Open your heart to Him. Have a relationship with Jesus. I guarantee you it is the best relationship you will EVER HAVE!

Have hope and faith. It does better. Pray and pray some more. Have people pray for you. Have them lay their hands on you and pray. Get on your hands and knees and pray. It works. I am telling you it works.

God answers prayers. Recovery is possible. I am living proof of that.

To pray is to let go and let God take over. ~Philippians 4:6-7

Copyright © 2018 Susan Walz | myloudbipolarwhispers.com | All Rights Reserved

The Things I would Have Missed

I am a suicide attempt survivor and because of that I will never be the same again. On February 17, 2018 I should have died. On that day I should have closed my eyes for the last time. On that day I should have taken my last breath.

February 17, 2018 should have been my last day on earth

but

it

was

NOT.

I am alive

and

I appreciate and celebrate

each day of my life

more than I can comprehend.

I am beyond blessed to be alive. I am thankful every morning. I am thankful every second of every day. I can now experience the beauty of living more deeply and beautifully than I ever have before.

To live every day as if it had been stolen from death, that is how I would like to live.

~ Garth Stein

Right now a beautiful acoustic song plays in the background as I type on my computer and sit on a soft black leather couch in a coffee shop with my oldest daughter. I am beyond full of a peaceful contentment, joy and thankfulness for this day understanding how close I was to never experiencing ANYTHING on earth again.

I was too close to becoming NOTHING on earth. I was so close that my children almost did not have their mother on earth ever again. I’m assuming my oldest daughter is enjoying this moment with me at the coffee shop, as well. She most likely is not enjoying it as much as I am, but she was the one that invited me. She almost did not have a mother to invite. How awful that would have been. That is a lot to take in. It is an indescribable feeling that there are no words to convey the true meaning to the fullest extent of my emotions.

It is bittersweet in the fact that I know I am so blessed to be alive and I appreciate that and then the thoughts of suicide flood my mind with an overwhelming heartbreak of what suicide really is and is capable of. Suicide and suicidal thoughts are like a disease in and of itself. It could and should almost become its own illness separate of anything else. It is more than a symptom. Suicide and the thoughts that endure and destroy behind the monster it is take on a life of their own. Suicidal thoughts that lead up to suicide and/or suicide attempts are an apocalypse within a mental illness life and world of its own.

Suicide is the end.

Suicide is the result of making the biggest decision of your life at your weakest, darkest and worst moment of your life. ~Susan Walz

I often think of what I would have missed. This is a timeline of sorts. If February 17 , 2018 was my last day of my life, this is what I would have missed and my children would have missed having a mother for:

  1. My daughter Alexia winning grand champions at a Show Choir competition. I missed it as I was still in the hospital at the time, but at least I was alive to share her joy with her and tell her congratulations.
  2. Seeing my daughter perform at two more Show Choir competitions.
  3. Being there to see my daughter Kylie and son in-love Dennis move into their new house on April 12, 2018.
  4. Going to my children’s dance recitals. My oldest daughter Kylie, son Keagan and son in-love Dennis are dance teachers and choreographers. I love to watch dance and especially dances they are in and/or choreograph.
  5. Going to church with my children.
  6. Going to my daughter Alexia’s last show choir performance, and choir and band concerts as a senior in High Schoool.
  7. Going to Alexia’s convocation ceremony to see her receive three scholarship awards.
  8. Attending my daughter Alexia’s High School graduation.
  9. Bringing Alexia to the University of Minnesota to attend her college orientation and participating in the parent orientation. If God didn’t save my life, my Alexia would not have had a parent to attend her orientation with her.
  10. Going to my nephew’s wedding with my five children.
  11. Moving into my oldest daughter Kylie and son-love Dennis’ house. I needed to move because I couldn’t afford the house I was living in anymore and I am now on a waiting list for a townhouse to open up.
  12. Having wonderful heart to heart talks with Alexia. We had some of our best talks.
  13. Taking my daughter Alexia to the University of Minnesota to move into the dorms as a college freshman.
  14. Being there for my daughter Alexia when she called from college. She needed me, her mom. I love that.
  15. Starting my new job at an alternative school for special needs students. I get to teach and work with special needs children and young adults again. I get paid to give love. God is soooo… goooood.
  16. Having a wonderful time living with Kylie and Dennis.
  17. Going to the coffee house with my daughter Kylie, today.

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I continue to feel better every day and I continue to appreciate the beauty of living and just being ALIVE. When life gets tough, I try to remember how I was almost not here. Nothing can be worse than that and nothing feels worse than I felt at that moment in my life. I thank God for saving my life, every day.

I am not saying I am completely symptom free and that my life is super easy because it isn’t. I still have to cope with occasional anxiety, but nothing like it was when I was still on Klonopin. I have PTSD and have been triggered by PTSD symptoms lately. I am dealing with that and will be starting therapy shortly to help tackle it. I occasionally still have some minor rapid cycling and mixed bipolar episodes. However, my symptoms are nothing compared to how severe and debilitating they were before and at the time of my suicide attempt.

I have finally learned how to cope with my symptoms better and I look for the beauty in life and find it easier to find now. I do this and can do this now because I was so close to not having a life to live due to my suicide attempt. I am beyond blessed to be alive.

Today. Right now. This is a good day and moment. I try to appreciate them and hold on to them when they happen. I live one moment at a time and enjoy it because I never know what tomorrow will bring. None of us do.

Life is a blessing and a gift. Handle it with care. Life is fragile, but don’t be afraid to live your life. Take some chances. Don’t be afraid to fall because sometimes you have to fall first before you can F.L.Y. (first love yourself), thrive and soar.

Do you know Jesus? He saved my life.

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September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

So, I will write and share a post every day during the month of September containing important facts, statistics and educational information about suicide and suicide prevention. The name of my campaign is called…

Remember in September.

Prevent suicide yesterday.

Today, may be too late.

Don’t let there be anymore “what if” or “if I only” yesterday statements.

Make your today never become a yesterday you will regret. 

Save lives. Talk about it. Don’t wait. Get help. Don’t let yesterday become too late.

If you have any stories or information about suicide prevention you would like me to share on my blog, please let me know. I would love to share any information you have. Thank you in advance for your contributions.

Together we can do this. It takes a village…

and this wonderfully beautiful blogging community…

24/7 CRISIS SUPPORT

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Copyright © 2018 Susan Walz | myloudbipolarwhispers.com | All Rights Reserved

I Can See Jesus Through the Beautiful Scars You Wear

***Possible Trigger Warning***

This post contains content about cutting and self-harm.


When I woke up this morning, I lifted the blankets off me and swung my legs around and off over the edge of my bed. As I lifted my covers off the rest of my body, I saw my bare legs which are always a painful reminder of how I once lived. On my left upper thigh I saw ten opaque straight horizontal self-inflicted scars all lined up vertically going up my thigh in a strategically placed location placed there hoping no one could see them.

These scars are just some of the many permanent cutting tattoos I have covering my body from years of self-injurious cutting behavior. I self-harmed to ease my pain temporarily. The physical pain felt much better than any mental pain I endured for many years. Self harm distracted me from bad, painful and negative memories and thoughts and my debilitating mental pain from bipolar 1 disorder, PTSD and generalized anxiety disorder. I have been ashamed of my scars for years and am still ashamed of them, but now to a lesser degree.

The shame of my cutting behavior has reduced gradually over the years and hearing a song like the following song helped me greatly. The first time I heard this song, Amy Shreve and her husband performed live at my church. This song whispered loudly and strongly to me as if Jesus was talking directly to me encouraging me lovingly and letting me know everything was going to be okay. I was okay.

This song is titled “Beautiful Scars” by Amy Shreve and the song may have different meanings for her and for other people, but this song spoke to me and inspired me greatly in many ways. It mostly spoke to me about my cutting behavior. The words made me feel better about the many scars I wear permanently in many places on my body.

I instantly felt less ashamed of my scars and myself. I can proudly wear my scars now. They are a beautiful part of who I am. My scars are a clear reminder of everything I have overcome. They remind how strong and resilient I am to continue to persevere and overcome all that I have survived. I can see Jesus through the beautiful scars I wear. 

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I can see Jesus through the beautiful scars I wear and I pray you can too. If not today, than one day soon. I pray the following song will help you reach that point as it helped me and continues to every time I listen to this beautiful and inspirational music.

I believe these words are for anyone that has bipolar disorder or any mental illness. These words are for you if you are living with chronic pain, a chronic illness an invisible illness or an illness of any kind. These words are for anyone that has been hurt or abused in any way during their lives. These beautiful words are for you if you are someone who is surviving the loss of a child or a loved one or if you are a suicide attempt survivor. These words are for anyone and everyone who has suffered or struggled during their lives. These words are for everyone.

Scars, wounds and blood shed can be visible and invisible. This music and these words are for you. Listen to these beautiful words. Let them speak to your heart and soul. Let these beautiful and inspirational words fill you with God’s love and spirit. Let God’s love shine through you and touch others.

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“Beautiful Scars” by Amy Shreve

The beautiful acoustic music is a guitar and a harp. I hope this music and the lyrics touch your heart and inspires you. I pray your cup of life overflows with bountiful blessings of love, laughter, joy, good health, hope and peace today and every day.

Much love and hugs, Sue

“Beautiful Scars” (Lyrics) by Amy Shreve

I’ve heard your story, I think you are brave, and I can’t imagine half of your pain.

Your eyes bear the mark of a child of God. Whether near or far, you’re here in my heart. Whether near or far, you’re here in my heart,

and I cry when you’ve been wounded, and I die when your blood is shed.

I am a part of you, and I can see Jesus through the beautiful scars you wear,

so don’t think it is hopeless or yield in despair, ’cause I want to help you and God hears our prayers. The morning will come when there’ll be no more harm. ‘Til then, I hold you here in my heart, ‘Til then I hold you here in my heart,

and I cry when you have been wounded and I die when your blood is shed,

I am a part of you, and I can see Jesus through the beautiful scars you wear,

I cry when you have been wounded and I die when your blood is shed.

I am a part of you, and I can see Jesus through the beautiful scars you wear.


Copyright © 2018 Susan Walz | myloudbipolarwhispers.com | All Rights Reserved