Last Night

Last night, you dragged me home from the pub -drunk- after a drink too many of Chardonnay. And this morning, as I nursed my hangover, you  shared with me how scared you were last night. And yet, I have no recollection of the night’s events.

You are not the only one to tell me that you’re scared. My therapist says that my nihilist attitude scares her. My friends and family keep checking in on me, because they are afraid I might act on my suicidal thoughts. Strangers keep a distance and think twice before befriending me, because I scare them away.  And I know you have my well being in mind, I know you want the best for me, and you mean well when you check in on me. But, still, it hurts to know that I scare people.

Let me tell you how I feel. I’m scared too. I scare myself every night. And when I wake up in the morning, the fear is still there. I am scared by my suicidal thoughts and even more so that I can’t stop them. I am afraid that I might not be strong enough today and engage in self harm. I am scared by my bitter attitude, knowing that it pushes people away and leaves me on my own to fend for myself in this scary world. I’m scared of my urges to drink and smoke, because I don’t know if I’ll be strong enough to not act on those urges. I’m scared to look at my bottle of medication, because it triggers more fears. I wake up afraid, and go to sleep afraid; I can be my biggest enemy.

Last night, when you dragged me home and told me how scared you are, I wanted to hold on to you, keep you close, and tell you how scared I am. I don’t want to scare people away, because I know how it feels to be scared of myself. Last night you experienced what I experience every night. (and sometimes every day)

So please, when you feel afraid, know that I am just a frightened little girl and I need all the support I can get. I know it’s hard, but together we are stronger and together we can conquer our fears.

Life After Trauma

I have written a poem to portray one of the many feelings that are commonly experienced after trauma; anger or rage. In the past, I used to be afraid to admit to myself that I am angry, which only led to further suppressing my emotions. This week, something strange happened; I had an epiphany. And I realized that I can run; but I cannot hide. And so I faced my anger. It’s hard but it’s not as scary as I thought it would be. And the bonus? A beautiful and touching poem that perfectly expresses how I feel. Here goes:

Bloody, red Bordeaux’s in bottle-green glass,
and warm light saturating the room;
my mother picked violets to spoil me,
but I want to throw it all away.
I pop five corks, hurting after three,
and let my nostrils welcome the aroma of aged oak.
I mourn for the fermentation, filtration, and clarification;
for I will never taste the Cabernet Franc meticulously grown
in the magical valley of Loire.
The process of oxidation unleashes an inner fury,
as I hear the shattering of glass in my body.
Have I inherited violence in my genetic code?
Because nothing makes me feel at peace,
but three hundred sixty-five pieces of broken glass;
when shards and shards puncture through my body,
and the color of my blood, like watercolors, mixed with wine
creates deathly hues in deep shades of reds,
and stains pristine white linen.
My mind only stops its death march,
when droplets of expensive Merlot run down the walls
and form puddles on the granite around me.
Sleep only comes to rescue me when once beautiful blossoms,
drown in those cursed little ponds; home to glass fish.
And only after,
I have exerted myself-flinging bottles, hurling objects
and taring flowers-
has my soul finally reached the point of tranquility,
for me to fall asleep on the floor,
in my own havoc.

New Dawn, New Day, New Life.

My bad choices
Of yesterday
Mustn’t influence
My choices of today
I can’t allow myself
To spiral downward
Because I slipped and fell.
If I follow the line
Of the past
Death would be
My middle name
If I let the past reign
I become the oppressed
In a dictatorship
Needing to be overthrown.
I will make new choices
Today and tomorrow
Begin a revolution,
Break the cycle.
Because I can,
Because I want!

Let’s Meet on the Road to Recovery

I am currently in the process of healing, having been through several suicidal attempts due to my anxiety and depression. Recovery is a rather slow course and a long road. Yet, each day I am one step closer to my final goal. I say it is a long road because sometimes I fall back. They say, old habits die hard. And they’re right. It is hard to tackle stress when the only coping mechanism my brain knows is suicidal thoughts. Still, I don’t let those instances of relapse define me. I am patiently teaching my mind and heart new and healthy strategies on how to cope with pain.

I know what despair feels like; I’ve been there not too long ago. And, nobody should ever have to feel what darkness is like. That is why I am writing. I have launched this blog to talk about the bittersweet and to spread awareness. In no way though, is this in place or instead of professional help from a trained or licensed individual. 

I am profoundly touched and honored when people come forward and tell me that I have made a difference. Even more so, when it is the people in pain who reach out; for I know their world and I know what strength it takes to break the silent and isolated suffering. Yes, it is for those of you that I write. I want to give that secluded world of heartache a voice; the voice it so deserves. Furthermore, I want to encourage you to take a step out of that world, reach out and ask for help.

But, I am not -and cannot be- in place of professional help. I am not a trained professional. I am not a licensed therapist. I do not have a PhD in psychology. Nor do I know you or your life-story. There is no way for me to know what makes you tick and what triggers you. Thus, I will say that asking me for professional advice is not a good idea. I am not in a position to give you that. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t reach out. You should. But please, reach out to someone who can help you; someone professional who will guide you through the ups and downs of mental illness. If you tell a therapist that you are thinking of hurting yourself he/she is mandated to alert the proper authorities and together they can work out a plan of care that works for you. So many wonderful and caring professionals are willing to assist you in your journey if you only allow them.

I am in recovery myself and I cannot allow myself to be dragged back into those dark places. I cannot afford to be triggered into destructive behavior again. I want to be a good friend and be here for everyone; but first myself.

Reach out to someone trained and professional who can help you with real, solid advice. Get started on the road to recovery and we can meet there.

 

Breaking The Silence

Fake smile
dried eyes
scratched wrists
bruised thighs

white pills
rope tied
gun loaded

suicide.

There, I’ve said it. The word. The word that has killed people in pain, has torn families and friends apart and has been ignored for far too long. And I’m here to change that. No, my words cannot change the world, but maybe it can ignite a small flame. A flame that with the help of others can turn into a fire too big to be extinguished by turning a blind eye.

Suicide. It is real. It’s out there consuming everything in its way. To suicide it doesn’t matter if you smile on the street and what others think. To suicide it doesn’t matter that nobody is aware of the fatal struggles taking place in the battlefield of your own heart. To suicide it doesn’t matter how many Facebook friends, Instagram followers, phone calls, family dinners or parties. When suicide strikes, you’re out.

I, myself, have dealt with suicidal thoughts for quite some time. I’ve contemplated my end and struggled to fight the urge. Yes, it is hard to fight alone. People struggling with suicidal thoughts or feelings generally feel very isolated and alone. They tend to feel like there is absolutely nobody out there who would care enough should they choose to disappear forever. They believe (and when I say believe I mean believe with utmost certainty), they are a burden to society and they will make everyone’s life easier by leaving.

You might argue that those thoughts aren’t rational. I will agree with you. But I will also tell you that suicide transcends logic. And when a person reaches that point it is a point of no return. Those thoughts, beliefs and emotions become who they are until there is nothing left of them but an emptiness that only death can cure. It’s frightening. And it’s not the kind of scary that passes after the movie is over. Because, whether we’d like to admit it or not, more people are hiding behind a facade than what we think. And so many of them are family, neighbors and good friends.

And therefore, I am writing today. If you have a friend who’s distancing or isolating him/her self, please, please reach out. If your friend’s smile doesn’t reach their eyes please ask them how you can be of help. If your friend talks of life as if it’s over, please tell them that you are there for them. And if your friend seems to be suffering, please reassure them that you care and they are not alone. Don’t believe them when they tell you they are fine. Behind the words ‘I’m fine’, lie the biggest demons.

You might be the one to save a life. We have lost too many and we cannot afford to lose any more. Reach out. Show your friends and family that you care. I am here today to write this, because people cared enough to worry about me. And I am eternally grateful to my lifesaver. And I know that I can only repay him by letting the world know that suicide doesn’t discriminate. Suicidal thoughts happen to the best of us and nobody deserves to suffer alone.

Now. Now is the perfect moment to reach out. Place that phone call. Send that text message. Check in with your fellow friends. You might be the person to prevent the next tragedy.

And to those of you suffering of suicidal thoughts. You are not alone. Please, reach out for help. People care for you; a lot more than you think they do. Nobody wants you to suffer alone. There are many resources out there that can help you. Been there, done that. And I am glad to be here today.

Life does get better.

Thank you to all of my good friends. And thank you, Mordechai. This one is for you, for you have saved my life.

Unsweetened Tea

Flare-ups. They happen to Crohn’s disease patients. They happen to me too, though I don’t suffer from Crohn’s disease. I deal with depression. Yes, I take care of myself and yes, things are under control. Still, sometimes, the monster inside me will pop its head out, my jack-in-the-box.

If I’m with you when this happens, don’t get scared. It’ll pass. If you want to help me, give me just a little bit of time and space and I’ll be right back. You might want to ask me if I need a hug. It is not your fault that my monster emerged in your presence. No, you didn’t say anything hurtful. Nobody hurts me more than my own thoughts.

Recently, I spent a week on vacation with wonderful friends. As we were grooving one night, a flare-up happened. I stopped dancing and walked away to be with my own thoughts. I stared at the city skyline, flashing lights and black sky and felt so alone in the universe. My friends found me and came to sit with me as I sorted my thoughts out in poetry version. Suddenly, I didn’t feel so alone anymore although they were silent all throughout.

Your presence makes a difference. Be there for your friends. They need you.

Unsweetened Tea

Black sky
Flickering star
Shimmering sea
Where do I belong?

Rolling in grass
Staring nowhere
Feeling the groove
Trying to write my song

Big city
A lost soul
Flashing lights
For what do I long?

Jumble of sounds
Confused brain
Search my heart
What have I done wrong?

Blank life
Unsweetened tea
Take me or leave me
I wish I was strong.

A Bittersweet Symphony

“‘Cause it’s a bittersweet symphony, this life”

– song by The Verve

Life; a symphony comprised of highs, lows, bitter, sweet, good and bad. While we each play a unique role in creating the music, we also play to a common rhythm. There is a common denominator bringing all of us, humanity, together. And though, we each see life differently, deep down, we all strive for common goals and live for the same reasons. We all experience sadness and appreciate kindness. All of us, want to be happy, feel loved and make a difference. At different levels of intensity, we all experience the same emotions. We are unique and yet, we are identical. Today, I humbly invite you to join me as I focus on what brings us together. In penning my thoughts, I hope to bring you some insight or inspiration on what we call life.

Bitter? Sweet? Life happens. And I’ve discovered that bitter and sweet aren’t all black and white. There is a sour, pungent lemon base to lemonade and a heavenly aroma to unsweetened tea. I’d like to believe, that my pen is my stirrer and with it, I unearth the unsweet in lemonade and the sugar in unsweetened tea. Perhaps, it is my baton with which I conduct the bittersweet symphony of life.

Somewhere, along the way, we began worshiping the sweet, the victories, the happy. Maybe, just maybe, the time has come to discover the sweet in unsweet; to talk about the unsweetened tea, that which defines us. No, I don’t believe in simply ignoring the sweet. I do believe in a brutally honest portrayal of us, people. Our strengths and weaknesses, our pain and joy, our bitter and sweet. I’d like to believe that by sharing my bitter and sweet experiences, my bitter and sweet thoughts and emotions, I can inspire change for the better. Even if it’s just me.

To sweet and unsweet. To unsweetened tea and lemonade. To writing and inspiring. To penning my happy and sad and the things that bring us together. And to the bittersweet symphony of life. Cheers!

And welcome.