A family member experienced the suicide of his son in the last few weeks. Sam was bright and energetic and accomplished.
And he was bipolar.
It made me think of all the loved ones left behind after such a devastating tragedy, trying to make sense of the insensible. Sometimes they wonder what was going through the mind of the mentally ill that would lead to such a drastic and irreversible action, yet feeling they may never know.
Maybe I can help bridge that chasm a bit with what has gone, and continues to go, through my mind.
I’ll try and speak up for Sam.
Continue reading To those the mentally ill have left behind…
I spent time this afternoon reading articles and posts and watching a clip from Good Morning America.
You’ve gotta love the Internet.
The newspaper article and the GMA clip were about the upcoming TLC show “My Husband’s Not Gay.” My first reaction was one of frustration. But being tired and a little mentally wacky it quickly turned to anger.
I was angry at the suggestion that it was okay to flirt with a waiter in front of your wife (or even flirt with a waiter, for that matter).
I was angry at the derogatory, demeaning, slanderous statements posted about the wives of such men.
I was angry at the comments posted about how if you are gay, you’re gay. Otherwise, you are deluded.
I was angry at the blatant hypocrisy of not being accepting of someone walking a different path than what the gay community has mandated.
I was angry at the insistence that homosexuality is NOT a choice.
Not surprisingly, I spent the afternoon arguing with my imaginary friends, or rather, perceived enemies. After feeling like I had worked my way around to a great rebuttal to the argument, I sat down and began to type.
Continue reading Why is the suicide rate so high among gay teens?
Today is the 13th anniversary of the attacks on September 11, 2001, more commonly known as 9-11.
Do you remember where you were when it happened?
I was in my home office, making calls and trying to get a little jog in on the treadmill. I had the news on and watched the confusion of the news anchors as they tried to process what was being, most probably, shouted into their ear pieces. The images of the twin towers and the planes flashed again and again across the screen.
Then the channel actually went dead for a short time.
I thought that their building must have also been hit. I had no idea how far reaching this attack was or what we needed to do about it.
So I sat in my office and waited.
The emotions of that day were pretty intense, to say the least. Air traffic was grounded. People were stranded far from home and their only focus was how to get back to their families safely.
For a short time, while the emotions were so raw, we shifted our priorities to focus on what really mattered. Congress learned very quickly to agree and move. Former adversaries were now able to link arms together and side by side face a common enemy. National pride and allegiance were again the norm and people vehemently defended Americans everywhere.
We hugged our children a little longer and tighter when they reached our doorstep.
Of course, now history has rewritten itself over and over. Continue reading Mork from Ork
I think many of us can remember the lesson in grade school about the ostrich. It is, relative to other birds, HUGE. But while other birds have the luxury of flying away from predators or danger, the ostrich is land bound. It does, however, pack a pretty powerful kick.
We’ve all heard the myth about ostriches burying their head in the sand, thinking that if they can’t see their enemy, then the enemy can’t see them. Ignoring the enemy will somehow make it go away.
It sounds pretty absurd, doesn’t it? Continue reading Is your head buried in the sand regarding the mentally ill?
This article is part 1 of a 5 part series.
For series summary, click here.
I’m sure that there are as many different stories of how one would end up in the psych ward of a hospital as there are people who are admitted. I won’t pretend to know all of them. But I do know mine. Maybe there are others out there who can save themselves some pain by recognizing similarities in our respective journeys.
Every day was turning into what I call “screamers.” I can usually handle one or two or three days in a row of these, but after a couple of weeks my defenses were wearing down. I just needed to get out of my skin, if even for a short time, to rest and gear back up. I had tried every weapon in my arsenal: trying to find an emotional or psychological cause of the screaming, enough rest, careful diet, consistent exercise, good music and sunshine, focusing on work around the house, time with my family, service and compassion for others, prayer.
Lots of prayer.
I called the psychiatrist’s office and let them know that I wasn’t going to make it through the weekend. The phone call resulted in a change in my dosage of medication and for that first week I was able to back off of the edge. I was almost giddy with relief.
But by the time my scheduled appointment rolled around I was again dangling over the precipice. I felt I just needed to step back from it all, step back from being what seemed to be me.
I didn’t know what else to do.
I had to be honest with my doctor and admit that I had become suicidal again. Continue reading Spinning out of control into lockdown