Trigger Warning: Strong emotional content and suicide method referenced. If you are in crisis, text “help” to 741-741 or call 988
by Dave Snell
About five years ago I read a speech Wil Wheaton gave concerning his dealings with Chronic Depression and Generalized Anxiety. More importantly, it was about how he is not ashamed of admitting that he lives with those diagnoses. What troubled me though was he only focused on a couple of particular types of mental illness. Like cancer, there are many types of mental illness, but we seem to focus on a few of them. I have … Read more...
My first three psychiatric hospital stays were involuntary.
I was forced in against my will. However, the last seven stays up until 2019 were voluntary. I walked into the emergency rooms, head held high, turned to the intake nurse (with a loved one present) and said, “I need to be here, or I won’t be here. I am thinking of suicide.” Each stay was vastly different while simultaneously feeling the same. The difference festered … Read more...
And success is made up of a bunch of lessons learned from failures.
The screw-ups, break-ups, surgeries, traumas, illnesses, natural disasters, losses, and accidents, are all woven into the tapestry called life. They are not events we want to happen but they do. And the best way to come back after any one of them is to learn and grow from it, not bury the feelings that go with these experiences.
Because if your feelings are covered up and buried, you get stuck in a really raw place for a lot longer than you need to.
A trigger is an event, sound, sight, smell, or touch, that elicits an emotional response or prompts the memory of a trauma or unpleasant event.
A red flag is a warning sign of danger ahead.
A friend of mine, Alissa says that whenever she burns something on the stove it reminds her of a time when her mother cooked crack cocaine on the stove, a period in her life when she and her sisters went hungry, felt unloved, and neglected. While it has taken years, she has learned to appreciate that she endured this journey, is no longer in this … Read more...
Whether you are chatting with friends or scrolling through social media, we’ve all paused and had that thought, “must be nice” in response to something someone else has or has posted. Maybe we have that same stab of jealousy when someone has a swanky car or an enviable handbag.
We tend to dive into this mindset when we are feeling low and have a hard time seeing anything great in our lives due to our current situation. (Which, by the way, is the worst time to be scrolling through social media.)
You get a feeling and then you “logic” your way out of believing your gut. Either from fear, denial, disbelief, or something else.
You don’t want to trust something so kumbaya.
So many times in my life, I allowed my brain to talk me out of what I knew to be true. At times the universe had to present hard and fast evidence for me to believe what was happening right under my nose while my gut had been telling me for days or months.
The most difficult episode was when I didn’t answer my son’s last phone call one … Read more...
We are often conditioned to look for the sad person when we think of depression. The above picture is what I saw, a happy-go-lucky kid with a revolving door of friends. When we finally got a depression diagnosis for Charles after a psychological evaluation I was shocked. I had thought about it but he did not seem to fit the criteria I had been reading. People rarely do.
They call it post-traumatic growth. I say that with a cringe. Because I didn’t accept this descriptor without denying it and pushing it away because I worried it sounded braggy.
Over the last two years, many have pointed out that I was more than a survivor at this point in my journey.
Post-traumatic growth (PTG) is a theory that explains transformation following trauma
This theory, developed in the mid-1990s by psychologists Richard Tedeschi, PhD, and Lawrence Calhoun, PhD, posits that people who endure psychological struggle following adversity can often see positive growth afterward.
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We’ve been playing Scattegories. Not the actual board game. We found an online version and we use notepads.
This got started as a new tradition after the death of my son, Charles, by suicide. He loved games. So we make an effort to play one in his memory to bring the family together and create a new tradition. I’m grateful for the fun, laughter, and connection that my younger son has inspired in his memory.
It took me about a half hour to dress to walk today because it was 19 degrees Fahrenheit. With the wind chill factor, it was 5 degrees. Thank goodness for old ski clothes. because that is cold for this Southern girl.
This little husky pup was waiting for me. Now I don’t normally pet strange dogs but this one and I go back a ways. He greeted me, anxiously expecting some attention which I gladly gave. I didn’t see many people or dogs today because saner folks were staying indoors where it was warm. But there was sun and I … Read more...
It rained all day today. But instead of staying inside, I went out in it. I put on my raincoat, rain pants, boots, and umbrella. That’s my umbrella in the photo. It’s the kind that doesn’t drip on you when you fold it up.
I am not going to say I love dark, dreary rainy days. But they sure do help me appreciate the sunny beautiful ones.
We do get a good amount of rain. It’s not too much but there are so many areas now that are drought-stricken. So our plants are nourished and our water is not restricted. … Read more...
As hard as this time of year can be from the standpoint of loss, once I get closer to the actual day, I zone out and enjoy some downtime. This year I’m not putting on the big spread and that leaves me with a bit more chill time to relax and just stop going, going. going. It feels good.
That’s my feet in the photo above covered with a blanket. Because this is one lazy picture. No judging. I’m chillaxing.
Some downtime at the end of the year is something for which I am grateful on day #10 of the … Read more...