So Called ‘Recovery’.

Since this horrific journey began, so many unknown elements are being exposed to me.

Elements that seemed so acceptable and ‘normal’ (most disliked word now).

I read so many lived experience blogs and medical articles, some times, it feels as if the top of my head will lift off.

Professionals and non-professionals speak of ‘recovery’ for those of us who suffer mental illness.

I beg to differ strongly in the description of our individual experiences.

For many suffering mental illness, there will never be ‘recovery’.

It’s time society stops making these naive and, at times, patronising assumptions and statements.

We need to start treating mental illnesses as a cancer of the soul and mind. Not as if it is some mystical, untouchable, imaginary condition.

Robin Williams (may he rest in peace), is a prime example of a person with ‘soul and mind cancer’ (aka: mental illness), utilising many different methods of therapy and treatments, throughout his life. All of which most definitely contributed towards his life being extended to 63 years of age. If he tried coping without professional intervention, the educated assumption would be that his life would have ended many, many years (possibly decades) earlier.

 

I know of many friends who have been on medication for a long time and will probably be on them for the rest of their lives. I’m coming up to 3 years on my medications. They are keeping me alive, no doubt about it. If I stop taking them, my chances of dying increase greatly.

Now if we had Cancer and were taking medication or attending treatments to help us fight to remain alive, we’d be looked at as battlers and heroes.

But those of us with mental illness are looked upon as ‘weak and naive’ because we take medications which help us with our respective illnesses.

Also, just as Cancer can go into remission, so to it appears can depression and other mental illnesses. The treatments worked to give the sufferer a time of respite.

Then later something may trigger the mental illness and the fight is back on for survival.

Society needs to stop placing unrealistic expectations on people with mental illness (severe or otherwise). We already struggle with our inner demons enough, without having society expecting us to one day, ‘simply get better’.

I’m in the process now, of accepting the fact that my mental illnesses will be my lifelong companions. And as such there will be days we get along well and other days we hate each other desperately.

But recovery is a false dream for many of us, so stop shoving it down our throats.

 

‘Love Sometimes Comes Like a Dream & Leaves Like a Nightmare’

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“Are You Better Now?”

I had to return to my GP for a new referral to my psychiatrist. I had the Locum doctor who was obviously unfamiliar with my background.

While answering the standard questions about medications etc, another question was asked.

“Are You Better Now?”

And within seconds my eyes began to fill with tears and I took a deep breath before responding, “Well I do not cry every single moment of the day now.” And then the next 10 minutes of the appointment was spent trying to not cry because all I kept thinking was,

“How does anyone feel ‘better’ after child loss or losing a loved one?”

Because, no I am most certainly NOT feeling better. I am simply learning how to wear a mask and hide my emotions most of the time. I no longer struggle to hide my emotions from the general public, because most of the general public do not wish to see a woman sitting, drinking coffee, with tears streaming down her face. It makes them uncomfortable and wonder if I am about to leap up wielding a weapon and harming others. I can tell because of the looks of horror and uncertainty on their faces. As well as the fact I have had people move seats away from me lol.

Amazing that as a society we view genuine emotions with horror and discomfort, yet we encourage people to show a ‘strong face’ etc, in times of despair. Oh sorry, but my son died 2 1/2 years ago and you believe this to mean my feelings of despair should be over by now? Well let me tell you that I shall NEVER be over my feelings of despair and loss, regarding my child. And until or unless you experience this type of loss, you have NO RIGHT to expect me to meet your beliefs about this type of grief.

I am angry, so very angry. My son did not deserve to die how he did. My children did not deserve to lose their little brother. Jaie’s Fiancee and daughter did not deserve to lose him in any way.

So I am angry to be asked “Are you better now?” I am angry my baby is dead. I am angry his little girl will have no living memories of her daddy. I am angry that my eldest son spoke of everything being ‘tainted’ by Jaie’s death. I am angry that my daughter does not have an argument with her little brother, but in the next moment is defending him against  anyone else. I am angry that his Fiancee has been placed with so much sorrow and stress on her young shoulders. I am angry I couldn’t help my son.

But I am not angry with Jaie. I am simply devastated that my youngest child felt so bereft of hope he took his own life. I am saddened he did not realise that he had an illness which destroyed his mind and life. An illness which was manageable.

‘Love Sometimes Comes Like a Dream & Leaves Like a Nightmare’

Jaie’s Journey Inc… IA55787 …. We did it!!!

Well friends, we have finally gained official Not For Profit status. Took some time but better late than never. 

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Loose ends are being tied up and slowly but surely, the momentum is gathering to create something which will truly help those at risk of suicide and to provide postvention support for families impacted by suicide.

We have several large corporations/businesses coming on board supporting us for our future journey and the only way is up from here … positive vibes and positive ripples. With the communities being the people who benefit from it, which is the desire from ALL involved.

As I have previously discussed, I have attended a 2.5 day training program ‘Train the Trainer’ – Lived Experience with Suicide Prevention Australia and Roses in the Ocean (November 2015). Recently I completed event training with the Queensland Mental Health Commission & Roses In The Ocean in Brisbane (April 26th, 2016). On April the 27th, 2016, I also attended training in Postvention support with Standby Response (United Synergies) in Maryborough and a networking / renewing the partnership session. After meeting the Queensland Mental Health Commissioner (Lesley) on April the 26th, it was encouraging to see and hear how much dedication for a better mental health system, Queenslands own Commissioner has. Bronwen from Roses in the Ocean is still another amazing and inspiring person involved with this battle on suicide.

Olwen, our suicide support group Coordinator, has been carrying this banner for suicide prevention and awareness for 25 years (this year). Owen lost her youngest son Chris in 1991 to suicide and has been battling the systems and the stigma around suicide. Owen is inspirational and does not mince words. She is genuinely kind, generous and empathetic. I am so very grateful, Standby Response forwarded my contact details to Olwen. Between them all, they quite literally saved my life and have supported me (and my family) through this horrific journey. Owen is a wealth of experience, ideas and information and will be involved with planning certain areas of Jaie’s journey (I must advise Olwen is not a fan of my bike, so I just do not speak about it with her lol). However  the wealth of knowledge Olwen can contribute toward the prevention of suicide, is immeasurable.

Anyway, thank you to all of our dedicated followers and all who have helped us reach this pinnacle moment and I hope that you are able to stick with us for the rest of the journey to help others ❤ … For those who are new to our journey, welcome and we hope that Jaie’s Journey can help to make a positive influence in your own life ❤ …

 

‘Love Sometimes Comes Like a Dream & Leaves Like a Nightmare’

 

‘It is what it is’ …

 

Whenever I look at a photo of Jaie, I instantly reach toward it as if I can brush his eyebrow into a neat shape. When he was a baby and a little boy, this was one of our rituals if he was hyped up or just wanted mommy love ❤ …

He had the most amazing eyelashes (compliments of his fathers genes) and the most unusual green coloured eyes (normally), which were chameleon eyes and could change colour with his moods … No one in my family or his father’s family, have the same coloured eyes as Jaie … So we have lost this individual and unique part of him, with his death …

I am struggling to keep my emotions in line. Some days are harder than others. The motivation behind what is proving to be an ongoing journey,  which I should have begun decades ago, is cruel and relentless.

‘It is what it is’

I spend days sourcing so many options of support and activities to promote awareness of suicide and prevention in the long term and once I confirm certain events, I can then promote and make them public.

One week, and the offical work will begin to take shape … Six weeks and the backbone component of Jaie’s Journey, will commence … In 10-12 weeks, new connections will be made on a scale that I understand at this moment, is immeasurable until then … 24-26 weeks, let us hope that the growth and connections are continuing to grow firstly within the local community and outwards from there.

 

‘Love sometimes comes like a dream & leaves like a nightmare’

 

 

‘TRIGGERS’ ‘BEING TRIGGERED’ ‘TRIGGER WARNING’ …

The Bridge Between Suicide & Life – Ted Talks

The following is a ted talk done by a retired highway patrol man in San Francisco. He provides some unique and touching insights into the beast called suicide, the people who battle this beast and it’s darkness and the impact which suicide leaves on those left behind when a loved one completes a suicide attempt.

‘Love sometimes comes like a dream & leaves like a nightmare’

Reflection. Good or bad? (Article contains content about suicide. Please do not read if you are at risk or sensitive to triggers)

I do not wish anyone at risk of harming themselves to read this. I am trying to show that taking ones own life does not fix any problems. It simply passes your pain onto those you love the most.

I read this article and it threw me back to only 24 days prior to Jaie dying. I’d had the worst year ever so far. I was in a health crisis (impending major surgery), had lost my job I loved and had believed at that point that I’d lost someone precious to me, as a friend. I had been diagnosed with severe depression and put on anti depressants. And referred to the MHU in that town as priority. After attending the MHU under my gps orders that day, I was not allowed to leave until they spoke with my daughter. I was an unknown quantity to them.

I had relocated to live with my daughter. I could not stop the thoughts crashing in. I simply wanted to sleep. Forget about everything. And then ‘that’ thought entered my head. How many pills could I take just to go to sleep and not think. Once the thought had popped into my head I could not stop it returning. My mind was racing. I could not think straight. “The beach!” Was the only coherent thought I could find in the mess called my mind. I walked out to my bike. No word of any kind to my daughter who I had to walk past. Started my bike. And rode off. I almost took myself out on the first intersection. It was a monumental struggle to obey speed limits. I somehow made it to a beach I’d never been to before this day. And I sat there trying to find a door in this long hallway of black and white, which offered me hope. But all I could think was what a waste of space I was. That I had nothing to offer anyone anymore. Not my children. Not my granddaughter. Not my family. Not my friends. Nothing. And no one. And I cried. I made one phone call to the MHU/acute care team at the hospital from where I had been living prior to relocating. I refused to give a name. But the staff member who took the call twigged when I mentioned the town I was now in. She remembered me as a near intake only 2 weeks earlier. Try as she may she got no further details. I hung up on her. My last words were as much to myself as to anyone else, “it doesn’t matter.” The beach was not going to save me. Everything was washed out and lifeless to look at.

Not long after I hung up the phone rang with a blocked caller. I declined the call. Then my daughter text me. And called. I ignored her. I switched the phone off. I was stepping closer to the precipice. Figuratively and literally. People started to arrive where I was. My quiet spot of solitude became too busy. It broke me out of my reverie somewhat.

I walked back to my bike and left that spot. I must have wonderful guardian angels. It was a brief, but dangerously intense ride to another quieter location. I was still sobbing the whole time. I simply could not find a way to ‘fix things’. To make my being here seem worthwhile. My phone at this point had been off for at least an hour.

I parked my bike where it was difficult to see from the road. And I began one of the hardest struggles of my life. I was looking into the abyss and I needed to really weigh up what the loss of me would do to my children. No one else. And that was when I looked for a lifeline. It was sitting there on the seat in front of me. I switched my phone back on. Missed calls from my daughter. Missed calls from a good friend. Numerous texts from both and private numbers. I went straight to my daughters texts. I finally replied. The police had called her. Asking her where was I? My friend called just after I sent my girl a text. He was beside himself with worry. He stayed on the phone with me until my daughter arrived. After making sure we were both safe he hung up. My daughter then spent over an hour convincing me that life was worth living. She also had to contact the police who were on standby to list me as a missing person if she had been unable to locate me safe within an hour or so.

i was a single mum. Main support was my parents and some wonderful friends when my children were growing up. I fought to stay here to protect my children. By harming myself I would only be harming my precious children. They are the only reason I fought. I knew it would do irreparable damage to my babies so I fought. And I’ll say to anyone now, as dark as it may get. As difficult as it may be to fight that insidious darkness, look for someone who cares. And I can assure you they care 1000 fold more than you realise. Fight for that.

2-3 weeks was all it took me to start entering that dark place. Same as for my just turned 22yr old son. However, I do not have bipolar, my support network was close by and I was not self-medicating at all. Jaie was drinking. And alone for the first time in his life. We never knew how much he’d been drinking over that last week, until it was too late. Please, if you have any form of depression or mental health condition. DO NOT self medicate. See a professional for forms of support. I am now seeing 2 doctors and 1 psychologist. I’m on antidepressants until further notice. I was depressed before we lost Jaie. Now I am destroyed. And the thing is, if Jaie thought for one second that his death would cause us so much pain, then I doubt he would have done it. But the illness of his mind prevented him from thinking clearly. Safely. And it took him from us as effectively as cancer.

‘Love sometimes comes like a dream & leaves like a nightmare’

http://www.thenewstribune.com/2014/08/24/3344306/could-robin-williams-death-bring.html