Tag Archives: death

How it Feels to be Suicidal

Jumper

 

I have come back from the brink of suicide. I have visited that place several times. During the depression years, before I changed my life circumstances and also found a med that helped, I felt mostly heaviness in my chest and was hopeless, tired, and apathetic. During those 6 years, I “knew” I had no future. I couldn’t hold down a job for longer than 12 months, so I’d be on government aid and not enough of it to actually live a semi-comfortable existence. Severe depression is crippling and scary. I was often afraid I would never find my real self again. Was she in there somewhere or had this helpless slug of a woman taken over completely?

“When I was suicidal, it was because every single day was literally the worst day of my life.”                                                                                                                                Thoughtcatalog.com (13 Heart-Ripping Testimonies of How it Feels to be Suicidal)

I married at 19, and it lasted 25 years. We had two fantastic children who are now successes in their careers and family lives. For reasons that are saved for another blog, I ran away from home and husband at age 44. I ran wild for almost a year before my mind slowed and reality appeared. I was without a degree, training for an occupation, and had no previous work (to speak of) to complete a decent resume. Employers want to hire 20-somethings or 30-somethings. I was past prime, and it showed by the employment rejections. Depression became worse over each year until I came very, very close to speeding my car off of a high , multi-level interstate system. I drove, cried, and considered my options for type of demise. However, there was a tiny flicker of light still within me because before I chose the moment I could jump in front of an 18-wheel truck traveling 70 mph, I turned the steering wheel and exited the freeway. It was my gynecologist’s office exit. I knew Sally would try to help me. She was always empathetic and helpful. It worked, and the emergency feeling lowered to  just plain depression masked with humor. Always crack a joke and no one will know you hurt inside, right?

(In same article on Thoughtblog.com, the following testimonial was given)                                “I understand that feeling of utter hopelessness that can so easily consume a life. I’ve suffered from depression on and off for most of my life. My mother suffers from bipolar disorder. As a result, both of us have struggled with suicidal tendencies. It’s hard to go through life when your own brain has turned against you. Getting out of bed is a struggle. Taking a shower is a struggle. Looking in the mirror is a struggle. Ah, I wish I didn’t understand. Honestly, for a long time I thought that suicide was the nicest thing I could do for myself. I knew it was selfish to put my loved ones through, but at the same time it was so goddamn difficult to stay alive just for the well-being of others. I could easily rationalize it and say that they were better off without me. God, depression is a bitch. It has taken so much intense therapy and self-reflection and, yes, even medication for me to realize that giving myself a chance to heal was the kindest thing I could do for myself. So I guess I’m trying to say that I empathize with suicide victims. When your own mind betrays you it’s hard to get back up again.”

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Today, 8 1/2 years from the time I ran away from home for a different life, I’m on an antidepressant, remarried to a kind man, keep 4 precious kitties, and enjoy my family and friends again. I live in a house again and not a tiny apartment or noisy duplex. I get to decorate this home and even have the desire to do so. I now drive a 2 year old car instead of a 15 years old one with no sun visors or key fob. We’re going to Hawaii next month and to New York in December. Life did a 180 for me, and it happened quickly! Before meeting my current husband, I had zero hope of gaining the strength to break up with an emotionally abusive boyfriend, moving out of an undesirable location, or having a regular income. Then, a new friend helped me leave the codependent relationship I was in, and I soon (and unexpectedly) found love. Life is settled. The depression isn’t crippling and no more suicidal thoughts. But guess who has moved into my home?! Perimenopause! Ugh. I’m dealing with up and down mood swings – like way down. I still take an antidepressant and keep Xanax on hand for anxiety or insomnia. I’m very thankful that summer is at its end. Not so many hot flashes!

If you find yourself in a depressed state that doesn’t fully leave and that often (or always) confines you to your house or bed, have hope. I’ve been there and stayed there for years. However, you can find the strength to change your life situation – even if you were like me and saw NO way to do that. It just took someone who took charge and helped me jump a few hurdles to make changes for the better. My one take-away from this blog is this: don’t try to kill yourself. It turns out that “they” are correct . . . nothing lasts forever, and you will be happy again. Yes, it’s an every day climb but it’s very worth it. It’s your very existence we’re talking about, right?

I’m here if you need to talk or have questions. Leave a comment, as well. Love to you!

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline   1-800-273-8255

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Started a New Book . . . Quick Intro!

falling_mountain

 

Hello blog followers and friends! I’ve begun a new book. Will you read this brief intro and tell me your thoughts? If I “lost” you anywhere, etc. Thanks!

(This material copyright March 15,2016)

I stood at the precipice’s ledge – between me and whatever lies out there. My bare toes lined the craggy rock edge on which I stood. Such a place to be, present between two realities. Will I wake up somewhere else or just die and never again know what if feels like to inhale, filling my lungs with cold, moist air? Never again go to bed with an aching heart – a heart that never behaved properly anyway. It loved those who didn’t deserve it and was hurt by those closest to me. I teetered on the rock, almost falling before I was ready. Was I ready? Was living one more minute worth it? I’d only feel the pain from the fall for a short while but living was torturous every moment of every day.

I was ready to jump, eyes focused on my footing then on the expanse of sky in front of me – a cloudless, blue day. Quickly fighting with losing my balance, and righting my stance, I inhaled deeply, knees bent. Then, I propelled my body from the rock. Rushing wind pushed my hair back and gave resistance to my descent. I thought the fall would be faster, easier but time crept and gravity eased its grip on me.  Scents of mountain air, fresh water running below, and evergreen trees invaded my nostrils. It was a wondrous mix of smells but fear – realizing I’d actually done this – kept me from lingering on the beauty. Then, time sped, between hitting a large, jagged piece of rock sticking out from the mountain – first with my left shoulder then the opposite hip. Searing pain enveloped me. Raw, opened flesh and broken bones diverted any attention I may have given anything else. The whip of pine needles on my injured arm from passing saplings stung and gave final insult. Before I lost all thought, I wished I had held on . . . tried to live longer.

The wind continued to rush past my then unconscious body. Face downward I fell silently, as though no other thing in the world existed but my beating heart and faint respirations. Down, down, face into a rocky creek bed. The impact of my landing presented a unique and dull thump on the earth. Heavy, pushing out what air was left in the lungs. Breaking facial bones, skull. Gray matter as gelatin, neurons firing to communicate. Pulsing without answer. Firing without returns. There was no life. No time. No second thoughts. No second chances.

My question, though, was answered. There was existence beyond an earthly one, and I stood staring into it.

She Went From Fine to Dead in Three Weeks

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My sweet friend, Ann, a long time survivor of ovarian cancer was a published author of a nonfiction book on the subject of her ordeal and survival of that cancer. Her book was organized to help the cancer patient, her caregivers, and family. It was a fantastic compilation of biblical scriptures and uplifting advice from someone who had lived the disease and come out on the other side healthy!

She lived over a decade with much energy, fervor for life, a generous nature, helping others, and caring for her ailing parents and disabled husband.She gave me inspiration.

We, both, being writers, would set regular coffee dates and sit in out of the way booths with our laptops, paper, pens, books, and espresso-filled coffee concoctions. We laughed, shared the happenings in our lives, then we’d write for a bit and read the resulting masterpieces to each other for a quick critique or kudos. It was fun.

Then, I moved to Dallas to attend mortuary school and lost touch with Ann. When I finally moved back home, Ann and I didn’t get back in touch again. Our lives were full and changing. However, we “knew” the other was “there,” and that was somehow enough.

On November 4th, 2015, a fellow writer friend told me that Ann had suddenly passed away from cancer that had gone undiagnosed until it was too severe to treat. She was diagnosed, went into hospice care, and died within three short weeks. I didn’t know about it until she was gone.

I realize that true friendship doesn’t have to mean you see each other often or talk every day. You just have to know the other is nearby and just a call away. I knew that about Ann. I loved her, and I knew she loved me.

I wish I had taken the time to see her just for a coffee date, though. It would have been such a blessing to me now. I’m going to pay more attention to the people I love. I’m going to make it a point to tell them I love them. Life is too unstable, uncertain, and fleeting to assume anything.

Thank you, Rebecca Ann, for teaching me that lesson. God bless you my dear.

 

Mid-life Suicide

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Suicide is not the taboo subject it once was, and rightly so – as the he act has risen 30% in just the last THREE years! It’s a scary statistic. Please click on the link below and read this well-written New York Times article concerning mid-life suicide. Educate yourself.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/03/health/suicide-rate-rises-sharply-in-us.html?smid=fb-share&_r=0

The Aokigahara Suicide Forest

 

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(from It’s Just Morbid Curiosity blog)

 

The Aokigahara forest has the unfortunate distinction as the world’s second most popular place to take one’s life. The first is the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Since the 1950s, depressed Japanese citizens have wandered in, and at least 1000 of them haven’t wandered out. In 2002, 78 bodies were found within the forest, exceeding the previous record of 74 in 1998. In 2003, the rate climbed to 100, and in recent years, the local government has stopped publicizing the numbers in an attempt to downplay Aokigahara’s association with suicide. In 2004, 108 people killed themselves in the forest. In 2010, 247 people attempted suicide in the forest, 54 of whom completed the act.

Japanese spiritualists believe that the suicides committed in the forest have permeated Aokigahara’s trees, generating paranormal activity and preventing many who enter from escaping the forest’s depths. Complicating matters further is the common experience of compasses being rendered useless by the rich deposits of magnetic iron in the area’s volcanic soil.

Due to the vastness of the forest, desperate visitors are unlikely to encounter anyone once inside the so-called “Sea of Trees,” so the police have mounted signs reading “Your life is a precious gift from your parents,” and “Please consult the police before you decide to die!” on trees throughout the forest.

The place has long been associated with death. Ubasute, literally translates to ”abandoning an old woman.” Ubasute may have been practiced there into the 19th century, and the forest is reputedly haunted by the Yurei (angry spirits) of those left to die.

(via scruffylittleboots)

 

 

Embalming the Family

*****WARNING! ****** THIS BLOG POST IS VERY, VERY GRAPHIC IN NATURE. EMBALMING AND RELATED MATERIAL IS EXPLAINED IN DEPTH! **** WARNING TO THOSE WHO ARE SQUEAMISH OR WHO DO NOT WANT TO KNOW POST-DEATH PROCEDURES, DO NOT GO FURTHER! *** THE FOLLOWING IS FICTION ONLY***

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(Fiction only)

My first visit to the largest prep (emblming) room within the large city in which I lived, was as though I were stepping into a slasher film. In my new surroundings, bodies everywhere, some fully covered, others only partially. An arm off a stretcher here, eyes open on another. So many bodies. I was in the middle of many of them. They rested, though seemingly uneasily, in hallways, along walls, in every open space available. It was crowded, and I was ready to flee. But, I knew this was my chance to learn the career I had always wanted to master. Keep a straight face, I thought. Don’t let these men see you wince.

Deceased in other rooms were in further stages of preparation and had white powdery make-up on their lifeless, moulded faces. Those rooms were as still as the inhabitants themselves.

One small room held one very large casket. I’d never seen a special oversized casket before. The light was off in the small area, but I ventured in and took a look inside. A very heavy woman lay hands crossed right over left. Her face fully made up and hair prepared. She was ready for viewing. The darkness of the space and the reality of where I was caught me off guard, and I scooted out.

Autopsied bodies lay half covered, their entrails in red biohazard bags and placed inside of their body cavities. My eyes took in my surreal surroundings, but my brain wasn’t keeping up.

The place was unlike any I’d experienced; odors of decay mixed with ammonia invaded my nostrils and burned.

I can do this, I thought. This is what I’ve always wanted to do as a career. This is my chance. Get throught the beginning shock of it all, and you’ll be fine.

We were picking up bodies to help the large facility, as they were extremely overloaded at the time. These particular bodies would be embalmed, cleaned, and returned to the huge funeral home.

Our three pick-ups were a family. I listened carefully, thinking I had heard the supervisor incorrectly. A mother, father, and grown daughter. All murdered by a family member and all had been autopsied – in other words, they were filleted, with multiple, deep stab wounds thrown in for good measure.

I tried to help move one of the carriers with the quite-heavy mother on it. I accidentally pushed the collapse bar, and her entire foot portion fell to the floor. Oh my god. I had just dropped half of the poor woman! The more experienced men helped raise her feet again and said nothing. Thank god. The accident could have broken my foot or hands.

Each of us students wheeled a gurney to two waiting vans. We drove the multiple-lane highways, quietly, with the family members in tow. I wonder what they would have thought if they had known how they would die. So violent and all at the same time. Each time we stopped at lights or signs, the gurneys moved a bit.

Once back to our emblming facility, it took eight hours of work on all three. Mama had at least twenty stab wounds to suture. In addition, each person had to be sutured from the autopsy cuts. My mind raced, and my knees wanted to give way, but I, being the only woman in the room of seven men, stood straight and got to work.

The actions I’d never have imagined, the odors I never knew until that night, and the tactile portion – even through thin latex gloves – brought up the hairs on my arms.

They had such cold skin. Blood everwhere. My surgical apron appeared to have been dipped in cherry drink mix. I’d never drink Big Red soda again.

I will spare you the more graphic details. The sounds, the visuals.

Those three dear family members were my first three cases as a student. I would go on to suture more autopsies, suture for hours on a bone doner, a very young man, and embalm elderly people from 90 pounds to almost 400.

I am no longer a student of mortuary science.

Life is a matter of one breath, one pulse of blood, one heartbeat.

And death is not as peaceful as I had hoped.

Suicide: How Can I Help You?

(Photo credit- Wikipedia)

My friend, Becca, wrote an exceptional blog. I copied and pasted it below. Also, here is the direct link to her post! http://moorestorms.com/2012/04/25/suicide-how-can-you-help/

Thank you, Becca!!

According to Suicide Prevention, suicide is among the top 10 causes of death per year. 34,598 deaths are attributed to suicide, 34,598 preventable deaths. That’s 11.3% deaths per 100,000 people. 11 attempted suicides occur per every suicide death. Those statistics are both staggering and disturbing.

Two of the main reasons for suicide is Depression and Bipolar Disorder. You can find symptoms for both of these here Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder.

It’s important to respond to the person with strength and courage. If you are afraid to talk about the topic with them, then you are likely to lose out on your chance to help them. Please realize that suicide is not some flaw in a person’s character, nor are they weak and they are absolutely not cowards. These feelings do not just go away and treatment is necessary.

The symptoms mentioned in the link above, combined together could lead someone to consider suicide. Reminding the person that recovery is possible can be encouraging to the person contemplating their own death. When someone is going through depression, they often use something called “selective memory”. This is where the person only focuses on the negatives in their lives. This is a symptom of their illness and requires attention and treatment.

With treatment the person can find hope to push through this difficult time.

Recognizing the Signs

  • Feelings of despair. The person may talk about their situation as being unbearable or overwhelming. They may express self-doubt, self-blame or guilt for something they have done. The more someone talks about these things, the more they are contemplating suicide.
  • Taking care of personal affairs – For instance, making sure family members will be cared for once they are gone. Taking out life insurance policies, assigning beneficiaries, settling trusts and custody arrangements for their children.
  • Rehearsing their suicide.
  • Discussing certain methods.
  • Talk of suicide come and go in an attempt to build up to the impulsive action.
  • Drugs and alcohol abuse as a way to help them with the impulsive action.
  • Beginning to feel better – with affairs in place, knowing the end is coming soon, most feel better and at peace with their decision.

How can you help someone contemplating suicide:

  • Take them seriously. Do not blow them off and think they are just venting. This is NOT the case. They are reaching out to you for help.
  • Involve others – friends, family members, their psychiatrist, their therapists, the crisis hotline
  • Express your concern – Give concrete evidence that the person is contemplating suicide.
  • Listen closely to the person, hold their hand, hold them close to you and comfort them.
  • Ask direct questions – Try to find out specific details of their plan, determine which method they are considering using.
  • Offer reassurance. Remind them that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Remind them that there is help available to them.
  • Don’t promise confidentiality. A true friend or close family member will seek out help for the person they love, the person that is in crisis.
  • Take all guns, medications and harmful objects and put them some place out of reach. This includes ropes, knives, plastic bags, ect.
  • Don’t leave the person alone until they are in the hands of a trained professional.
  • Express sympathy – Do not play therapist. They don’t want to be told what to do.
  • Talk about it – Talking about suicide does not plant the idea in the person’s head. It lets them know you are there for them and not afraid to talk to them about their concerns. This is a oppurtunity to explore how they are feeling, their thoughts and actions. This can provide you with valuable information to your friend who may be depressed. Take any mention of suicide seriously!
  • Take note to when, where and how the person plans on following through with their suicide.
  • Describe behaviors and events that bother you – How they have changed. This could strike up the conversation enough for them to open up to you about how they are feeling.
  • Work with professionals. Call their pdoc, tdoc, crisis line. Don’t be afraid to call for an ambulance if your friend or family member isn’t willing to go to the hospital voluntarily.
  • Stress how important the person’s life is to you. How devastated you and others would be if they were to take their own life.
  • Be prepared for them to be angry with you. They may feel betrayed, but later may thank you for saving their life.
  • Be supportive – They may feel guilt and shame. Assure them that you understand it’s their illness.
  • Take care of yourself

I have contemplated suicide many times in the past. I can count 2 attempts that didn’t get me the help I needed and numerous threats that have also not gotten me the help I needed. It wasn’t until I reached out on my own before I got any serious help. I urge you not to put someone else in that position. They may feel as though their pleas for help are going unheard and they may act. Do not make yourself wonder what you could have done when all these examples are in front of you.

If someone you know is in crisis, please, reach out to them, offer them support, call the crisis line at

1-800-273-8255. If the person is in serious danger call 911 and have an ambulance sent and them taken to the closest Emergency Room. Once a suicide is completed, there is no turning back.

Until next time…..

Becca ♥

 

When I Run Out of Money, I Run Out of Time

This was me – happy

 

It has been 4 1/2 years of madness. Something clicked, and I left my home and marriage of 25 years, and in a manic state, I changed every single thing I could.

At the time, I didn’t see it as mania. I thought I had a “little breakdown” because my first child left home. Now, I’m on day 2 of treatment for Bipolar-2. I’ve been on Xanax and antidepressants for the other 4 1/2 years. Nothing really “worked,” and every day has been an uphill climb.

I have been severely depressed for months now. I had to quit school, I can’t work, I don’t even leave my bed. Some days I cry. Some days I am completely apathetic. I find joy in nothing. I lie to my family about it. I do love my family and grandchildren. I just have no reason for existing, other than to not hurt my loved ones with my death.

No, I’m not suicidal. Yes, I wish things were different in my life. I wish I had a lifetime supply of money to live on, because I can’t draw anything to speak of from Social Security. I’m on a carousel, trying to enjoy the music and the ride, but knowing it will soon end. Only, I am not really enjoying the colors, sounds, and smiling faces around me. I fake a smile, but my eyes show honesty.

I hurt. My mind makes my body hurt. I sit here crying, typing, wondering why I ended up this way at 48 when all I ever did was try to make my husband and children happy and healthy.

My daddy had this evil disorder, too. Right before his suicide in 1987, he saw a counselor (once) who said he’d have to say, after one visit, that daddy likely had bipolar. Not only did the man make my childhood a nightmare, he left behind more a legacy of pain. He’s not really gone at all.

So, I type. Writing is my only outlet. The most effective method of expressing myself. It always has been – even as a child, an only child. God, a prevailing sense of loneliness has been my shadow for a very long time.

I live now until my savings runs out. When I run out of money, I run out of time.

 

Sam – A Rhyme of Life and Death

Death Notice: Sam

 

From obituary to sanctuary, his actuary, by the statuary, eyes Sam’s subsidiary.

No donation for cremation. Unnecessary. A casket, customary.

Director directing. Mourners mourning this gray morning.

Smelling of a lily, his widow Lily, a lively filly, secretly did killy our friend Sam.

Family teeth gnash, as she gets his cash.

Lily, beneficiary – ruled the judiciary. She’s no monetary revolutionary.

Tears fall. Tears of joy. No one knows. All know.

Her itinerary, the voluptuary, once his secretary, is nothing ordinary.

Bury Sam. Finish the scam.

Rudimentary commentary with Sam’s brother. She’s a budgetary visionary.