Thursday, September 17, 2015

I'll Be Your Voice

On Wednesday the 16th of September, I was given the opportunity to make a brief speech at a local event.  The event was for people that have experienced the pain and loss of suicide.  We spoke to one of the coordinators a few days prior and asked if it would be alright if I presented a different angle.  This was the speech I made. I was terrified and trembling on the inside, but I did it!  Some of you have heard all of this before, so I will apologize ahead of time.  I felt like this was something I absolutely had to do.  It was well received, and many people approached me afterwards.  It felt good.  
Let me know what you think.  

I’m here to provide a different perspective on suicide.  When I was 19, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.  I just turned 42 this last year, so you can imagine it’s been quite the journey.  In 2008, I lost my mom to lung cancer, even though she hadn’t had a cigarette in 21 years. We had a large family, six kids all together, and we were never the same again. I’ve never felt that kind of pain in my life, and I had no idea how to process it.  In 2011, on March 23rd, my dad called.  What he told me made my knees buckle underneath me.  My brother, Dana was dead.  It was my birthday, and I was just told my brother was dead. 

He had been found brain dead in a hot tub with people none of the rest of us knew.  The hospital called my dad to say he was gone.  He was a lifelong alcoholic and had apparently started using cocaine as well.  He was often depressed and miserable, so we have no idea if he did it on purpose.  I was never able to say goodbye.  We hadn’t spoken since the year before. 

While my mom was on her death bed, I leaned over her, and I promised I would take care of the family.  That everyone would be OK.  It wasn’t a lie.  I tried, but I was failing miserably.  My husband and I have always had a happy marriage, but I haven’t always been a happy person.  The bipolar disorder was wreaking havoc on my life again in 2013, and I decided to take my own life. 

As someone that used self-injury as a coping mechanism, I always kept sharp instruments around as a security blanket.  I cut myself several times and took an entire, 30 count bottle of one of my prescriptions.  I didn’t even tell anyone I did that until we got to the ER.  The state of Michigan had me committed to a horrible place, and I worked as hard as I could to get myself out of there.  When I did, I vowed that this was NEVER going to happen to my family or me again. 

Since I couldn’t find the kind of help I wanted or needed in the medical community, I decided to go back to something that had always given me comfort before.  Writing.
I started a blog that got very popular on the Internet, all over the world.  Eventually, I started to feel so good that I was helping other people while I helped myself, that my husband and I took to making it into a book.  I am proud to say that the story of how I got my life back is on sale on Amazon right now.  It’s Not Your Journey is just that.  MY journey of how I had to damn near die to learn how to live again.  I’m helping people, and it feels amazing. 

This book is for anyone.  If you’re depressed, if you are married to someone that is depressed, or if your child is depressed.  It will give you insight that you could never have expected.  I’m not here to sell books.  I’m here to speak for those that can’t speak for themselves anymore.  The ones who are called cowards for taking the easy way out of life.  The people that were in so much pain that they simply saw no other way out.  They deserve a voice. 

We all do.  

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