Be Like a Phoenix

by W. Joseph Stegner, Jr.

I repeat to you, what was told to me,
when I almost jumped from the Golden Gate.
“However gloomy the skies may be,
they will eventually clear, if you wait.

“If you jump, it will be permanent.
There is no taking it back.
When the skies clear, you’ll already be gone,
because, on the water you chose to smack.”

He did not tell me in rhyme,
but he told me with honest concern,
that things would get better, if only I’d wait,
through emotions that currently burn.

A Coast Guard Cutter had staged below,
to … Read more...

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome–the suicide disease

by Chris Skinner

I was a popular student until the fourth grade when my dad became disabled and was in and out of the hospital up to 180 days out of the year.  I cried constantly, became withdrawn, my grades dropped some, and I lost most all of my friends that weren’t cousins.

Did I talk about it?

No, men are strong and are not supposed to show emotions in public.

Through the court system, my brother asked to be removed from our household. After it took place, he became more involved with drugs, a story for another day.

We … Read more...

Social media and suicide

by Jody Betty

We are consumed with technology. It surrounds us at every corner. We not only cannot tear ourselves away from our cell phones, but simply being away from them causes us stress. After all, most of our lives are stored on that tiny device, from our banking information to the ability to lock your car or front door.

We avoid talking on the phone like it is the plague, I mean after all, why speak when you can communicate via text, so much easier right?

Social media is much the same, once we jump in, it tends to … Read more...

Living in Fear of the next Crisis

by Allison Whitley

She wakes up before 9:00 am and comes out of her room. She eats breakfast. She takes her medication on her own. She engages in conversation. Most importantly, she smiles and laughs. Today is a good day. So why am I fearful this won’t last?

My daughter suffers from mental illness. She is diagnosed with major depressive disorder, anxiety, and PTSD. She also has a secondary diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder. She returned home from her first semester in college and everything fell apart; the illness took over.

After she shared wanting to kill herself, she spent … Read more...

Did my child die because I lacked faith?

by Karla Helbert

This topic is important and praying people, especially Christian people, please note.

I saw a post on social media from a bereaved parent friend yesterday about a movie opening soon called “Breakthrough.” I had heard about this in passing, understanding it to be one of those movies that has an overtly religious, specifically Christian, message.

I generally stay away from those finding them to be trite, or too simplistic, to really address what I think are deep theological and/or social issues. Also, they are generally about pushing their own agenda for conversion. I am not down with … Read more...

A hug stopped me from killing myself

by Don Shetterly

I remember those days when life was more than I could bear.  I felt trapped and exhausted.  No matter what I did, life seemed hopeless.

There was no one I could talk to because I trusted no one.  I wasn’t sure what I needed to talk about because everything was swirling in my head. 

Then there was the shame

How could I even say what I didn’t want to acknowledge?  How would others take it if they knew?  Would they notice my shame and make me believe I was nothing more than the lowly piece of garbage … Read more...

My son couldn’t leave me alone with my grandson

by Emily Warner

I’m a 57-year-old mom, grandma, and sister.

I suffer from chronic pain from what my doctors referred to as a “life-changing” bike accident. Little did I know how much damage that bicycle accident in January of 2011 would do, not only physically but emotionally and cognitively. I had started riding my bike three months earlier and found this freedom and peacefulness in my new activity. I took safety seriously and always wore a helmet.

On that Saturday afternoon, I told my husband I was going for a ride in the neighborhood. I was going down a hill … Read more...

Surviving my son’s suicide with depression

by Gray Maher

It has been 6 years since my only child, Whitten, died by suicide. I am still seeing a grief therapist every 5-6 weeks. When I started seeing her, I was still in shock. I had barely started to process what had happened and what it would mean for my life. A dear friend got me in to see her, because she knew that if I didn’t get help, things could go very badly for me.

Surviving suicide is considered traumatic grief and is more complex than most. Losing a child is also considered traumatic grief. And all … Read more...

Do you want happiness or depression?

by Danny Gautama

I am not ashamed to tell you how bad my life was and how bad I struggled. I felt I was below rock bottom. It was like how hell felt like and I can imagine the Devil himself was winning the battle but I eventually won the War.

Depression was not pretty.

It was like living the worst day of my entire life over and over and over. It felt like Freddy Krueger and demons were haunting me in my dreams and this is just an understatement. It was horrible.

Some days I wanted to sleep in … Read more...

I’m a recovered anorexic perfectionist

by Christina Tinker

So many people say “I hate public speaking “Aren’t you scared when you get up in front of a group to speak?” they ask.   And very honestly, I used to say, “NO! I love it!” And to some extent this is true. But it’s only half the story.

It was spring of 2015, when, with just a handful of family in the audience, I stood on a stage in a beautiful new theater just off the Riverwalk in San Antonio, and told 250 strangers… my deepest, darkest secret.
The room echoed with silence as I stepped up … Read more...