Category Archives: Suicide

Pretending It Doesn’t Exist

Note:  This comes out of recent events we are aware of but not personally involved in and a conversation I had with someone.  The person I talked to is one of the sweetest people I have ever known and was receptive to my perspective as we talked.  She did not know about my mental health journey.  I am by no means upset with her; I just wanted to share my thoughts after this conversation.

A young man known by many in our circle of friends died by suicide earlier this week.  This lead many parents to have to consider how and what to discuss with their children.  In a conversation this week, a lady said to me, “I don’t talk to my kids about it.  I don’t want them to even know it [suicide] exists.”

I was floored.  Her kids are all in their teens and 2os.  Without meaning to, I jumped on her.

“But it does exist.  Kids need to know that.  I live with bipolar disorder and while it is not right now, there are times suicidal ideations (thoughts) are part of the illness.  They are a symptom of bipolar and other mental health issues.  Kids need to know that.  They need to know what it is and to seek  help whether it is a one-time thing or part of ongoing their mental health concerns.”

She knew nothing of my history, my journey or my battles.  To be honest, I share less and less of it openly.  But today, I was reminded why I sometimes have to speak up.

Mental illness almost killed me.  It almost tore apart my family, as it did this family earlier this week.  I do not know this young man’s story, but I do know suicidal ideations.  I know what it is to fight that battle with every breath in my body.  I know what it is to fight alone and with others.  I know what it is to have beat back the thoughts for now.  I know what it is to dread their return.

There are many causes of suicidal thoughts and none of them are because someone knew suicide existed.  We can not protect our children by never mentioning suicide or mental illness.  We can not wish or deny it away.  We can not cause our children to deal with suicidal thoughts by saying the word any more than we can make it disappear by never talking about it.

I am not telling you to spill out everything you know about suicide and every scary detail to every child–different ages call for different types and amounts of information.  Choose wisely, but please don’t choose nothing.



Running with the Girls

Saturday I modified my half marathon training to run a 5k with Caitlyn and Sue.  We ran the Mind Over Matter 5k to raise money and awareness to fight suicide.

It is a lovely course and incredibly important cause.

I was so proud to run with my girls.

We worked hard and all made it to the finish.  This race is one we will always have on the schedule.

Most of the time I run just for me.  Saturday we ran for others.

Brave For Who

Please join me over at Project Underblog where I talk about suicide and peoples’ reactions to it.  There is a disparity in how it is viewed.  That’s a fact, but is it right?


Dear Medical Community


I am writing as much to the insurance companies as the physicians themselves.

Let me start by saying, there are amazing doctors in every discipline out there.  I know there are.  I am privileged to be seen, or have been seen, by some and to know some on a personal level.  I also know, that our level of care here in developed nations is much better than many, many places.

But my eyes are still overflowing with tears.  I am trying to find a doctor who cares to help all of me.  Who understands mental illness.  Who knows it affects all areas of my life, but not to write off all medical issues to the Bipolar Disorder.  Yes, that happens more than you care to admit.  You give your history, you mention Bipolar and suddenly, all you need is some Valium.  Never mind that such treatment helps not at all and shows you to be disrespectful to me and my healthcare when you can’t understand that maybe, not being able so swallow might be caused by something other than an anxiety attack.  Call me crazy, which I am sure you do, but I might be pretty aware of my anxiety level and how it typically manifests. You might find listening to me a just a bit useful.  You might find your bedside manner improves when you care about the words that come out of your patients’ mouth.

Those of you who live with mental illness, if you have a doctor who gives a damn, hang on, at all costs, because most don’t.  I had one that I thought did.  My insurance changed due to job loss.  He doesn’t take the new one.  When I approached him about a cash scale I was told he only accepted full payment, you know the amount he does NOT get from my insurance company, and that I should look elsewhere.  Pretty much what I was afraid of but I had really thought he cared.  I am more than a little devastated to find out he is just a good actor when you are sitting in his office.

Yeah, that’s what I needed to find out–he didn’t/doesn’t care either.  It isn’t about the patient, it is about the dollars.

Just go to the hospital.  Yeah.  Would you like to know what happens there?  A body cavity search, most things taken away from you, a doctor who comes in once a day with no plan whatsoever on how to treat you; his plan is likely to take you off all meds and send you home.  Trust me, the hospital is not for care, it is to make sure someone is watching you so they can’t be held liable for your death by suicide.  It truly has nothing to do with taking care of the person, just saving face.  And each time you go, just brings more stigma and shame.  So please, don’t tell me the hospital is going to help me, they are not.  And if you happen to go on the weekend, the level of care plummets even further.

I was told again by a doctor office today  that I can’t be seen because of the type of insurance I have, and that they will not work with me for cash pay, when I know they have in other instances. I have been crying ever since.

Right now I see a doctor who is trying.  My appointments are 15 minutes long.  Not much time to sort out what is going on and happening.  And I am seeing a student therapist.  It’s okay for the 8 weeks until they rotate out.  But, that amount of time gives you time to maybe begin to trust the person, not to make progress.

Get help, I hear.  Take care of yourself, I’m told.  So I try, I do.  I take the meds that have a myriad of side effects, I exercise til I can’t think, I do the next right things, but that doesn’t always cut it.

You see, I have these three little girls and this amazing hubby and a circle of friends and family who love me.  I want to be there for them, but the battle is long, the battle is hard.  I need a doctor to come alongside me and to listen and care, to go beyond meds to understand how my issues manifest so maybe they can actually be treated correctly and wholly.

I’m okay, I am not giving up, but each door that slams in my face just proves again, there is very little hope, for me, for many.

Dear healthcare works and insurance companies, please give us hope.  Please.


World Mental Health Day

I speak up, I speak out.

Some days it makes me feel better about the battle I fight.

Other days, it’s something I say by rote.  Saying I will use my struggles to help others.

Some days I want to just shut up.  I want to quit speaking out.  I want to just worry about myself and no one else.

But, I can’t.  One of the big lies of life is that it is all about me.  It isn’t.  It is about all of us.  It is about helping, sharing, walking with each other.

So I speak up today, and every day.

Life is worth living.

You are worth more than your diagnosis.

You are worth fighting for.

Choose a semi colon, a pause in life, instead of a period, the end of your life.

2014-10-10 12.46.35

Today and always

Peeing and Suicide


By deciding to Homeschool, I have given up any hope of ever peeing in peace, alone, or before my bladder is ready to burst.

Part of me wants to say it is the only thing I miss from working outside the home, this now missing luxury.  I worked in a male dominated field.  There were only 4 women in our entire facility.

I got to pee alone.  And while I miss the independence of that activity while at the office I could never walk into that bathroom again.  Not because I don’t work there, but because of the memories.  The thoughts.

It was in those stalls that I sat day after day, week after week, planning my death by suicide.  The pressure grows in my chest and mind just typing about it here in my kitchen 20 miles away.

I loved my girls.  I loved my husband.  I had friends.  I had it all.

I needed out.

Doesn’t make sense, does it?  I know that now.  I knew that then.  The pressure and panic inside of me were so overwhelming.  My mind couldn’t breathe.

It needed out.

I haven’t gotten out.  I’m gaining tools to give my mind other options when the clawing, damning pressure comes.

One day at a time.  I lean on those who love me, those who put up with me.

I have to.  There is no other way.


Your Feelings Toward Yourself Feel Like a Condemnation of Me

Lets start with this caveat, life has been hectic and I have not been as medication compliant as I need to be.  I am starting to feel the effects.  Emotions and reactions are getting overly strong.

Today I peeked into one of the support groups I depended on heavily in the early days of my voyage into mental health concerns.  I don’t stop in often anymore, as my journey has veered into permanent, not the temporary we all hope for when a postpartum mood disorder shows up.  (see this post)

And there I found a thought that I totally related to and wanted to rail against.  The mama listed all the meds she’s on, some I recognize as part of my cocktail.  And she said being on a variety of meds made her feel like she really was crazy.

I get it, I do.  And yet, I wanted to scream at her.  Rail at her.  Protest, how dare you be so callous?!!!  YOU feel crazy?  Gee thanks, what does that make me?  You take about half of what I swallow every stinking day and will for the rest of my life.

Y’all, I do get it.  I have been there.  I was there today, and yesterday, and the day before…

And yet, I want to scream at her.  I want to punish her.

She still has hope these meds won’t be forever.  I don’t!!!  Where is my hope?  Where is the end of my crazy?

My crazy has gotten so bad I have to aggressively avoid news stories about depression and suicide, because what others see as incomprehensible, makes a heck of a lot of sense to me.  I have been there.  Thankfully, I am not even close right now, but I have been.  I  have stared into that hole and wished something would give me just a little push to let me go headlong in.

And that’s with the meds.  Contrary to what some believe, the meds don’t make my brain work 100% as if the bipolar disorder did not exists, it just makes sure I can sort out the real from the lies.

That’s where I sit with my crazy.  That might be where I always sit.  I don’t know.  It makes me mad.  It isn’t really that lady at all, it is myself I am mad at.  It is my med cocktail that ticks me off.  It is the permanence of the struggle.  I don’t know how long I will be here.  I don’t know how long it will take peace and acceptance to come, but as of right now, it is not there, not even close.


Note:  I am not suicidal at all, but as I said to a mom in our Christian homeschool co-op, “it just hits too damn close to home.”  I’ll let you know if I get banned from co-op for swearing.


Sitting With It

The internet exploded.

My Facebook feed went crazy.

I thought all the thoughts.

I thought nothing.

Run.  I needed to run.

Yet there I sat.

Hands shaking.

Mind flying at a crawl.

Robin Williams.


Assumed death by suicide.

No, I don’t know him.

We weren’t friends.

Or acquaintances.

But I have clung to the edge.

Knowing I could fall into the abyss that is suicide.

At any moment.

My hubby sat with me.

I told him my thoughts.

“If he, who would have access to every resource for help with his mental health, couldn’t survive. how could I?

My hubby gently reminded me of the truth.

We don’t know if he took advantage of those options.

As far as we know he did not express a faith in Christ.

When the demons come, my faith is weak.

There are many holes in the safety net.

He sat with me.

My hubby and Robin Williams.

I wrapped myself in my book.

Sleep stopped my whirring thoughts.

My whirring thoughts woke me up.

My mind went into protection mode.

I deleted Facebook and Twitter from my phone.

No sense is being made of it all, no matter how my mind tries.

Protection is the only thing that makes sense.

Feeling safe is my pearl of great price.