Friday, January 8, 2016

BRAIN LIES


You keep living until you feel alive again that is what I keep telling myself as the holidays passed. There has been so much going on that sometimes you have to stop and just breathe. Stop and just maintain your current position so that you are not compromising the rest of what you have left. During the holidays, I found it to be such a wave of emotion. I wasn’t sure what the next moment would bring. Sometimes it was easy to put on my smile face for my family and other times it was like trying to lift the Empire state building all by yourself with a fucking spoon…feeling like such a failure when you don’t make any change to the current situation. I never in a million years would have guessed that I would be in the place that I am in my life. I had already lived through hell. I lost my dad, my grandma, my best friends…I had nothing left to lose….at least that is what I thought….I had it all….struggles and accomplishments…I had people tell me that they wanted to be like me…I was a rock and a woman who worked through struggles and overcame them… I was a walking statistic in regards to overcoming shit and crap in your life…I was unstoppable in what I wanted in my life. It all came crashing down that July day…Sara was a beautiful 16 year old girl who really had a great and easy life from what her father and I provided for her. There was nothing that she didn’t have. Outside looking in…we had it all. Perfect life shattered in an instant…with whom to blame? No one said that they blamed me, yet I blame myself for not seeing that she was hurting so bad… I thought it was just normal teenage shit… sometimes “collateral damage survivors” experience things where the brain tells you it’s your fault…”you weren’t enough to save her”.  I call these brain lies…the last five months since her death we have experience a lot of firsts without her…one of the toughest was the first holiday’s without my baby girl…She should have been here to get new presents that she didn’t need and drive me crazy with ignoring my text or helping me make Christmas cinnamon rolls like the last 15 fucking years.  This holiday was more than different. This holiday wasn’t going to ever be the same. Every year on Christmas Eve we would spend the days prior preparing for the evening festivities. We had matching plates and d├ęcor. All planned out and perfected to the letter.  We would prepare a huge meal for all our family. We had the cutest decorations that we would pick out. Santa would even come say Hi to the kids. 15 years of traditions all flipped up because of just one bad day that turned our lives into a living nightmare. This holiday posed to be more difficult than I could possibly prepare for. I wanted something to go right but instead everything was going horrible. 
            A week before Christmas I had mouth surgery and got dry socket. The medicine they put me on made me mentally unstable. I was angry one minute and crying the next and fake happy the next. It was a roller coaster of emotions that I couldn’t get a handle on.  Christmas Eve was spent working while a huge hole in my heart felt like it was bleeding. It feels like an open wound that will never heal.  We didn’t do anything that night which poured into the next morning. I found myself laying her in bed with tears running down my face…bawling uncontrollable. I couldn’t get out…I kept telling myself that I have to get out of bed but I couldn’t. I felt helpless and hopeless…nothing was worth getting out of bed for…so I kept laying there wishing to be with her…wishing to see her face…wishing to hug her one more time. What I would have given at that moment to be with her…after many hours of just complete and total meltdown…my husband helped get me up and moving. I would have probably laid there forever if I was allowed. We had to get things ready cuz my bonus (step) son was coming over to the house to celebrate Christmas with us. It was something different this year and I could handle it if I just keep moving. This was for him. He was alive and needed me to pull my shit together but even the living couldn’t pull me away from feeling dead. Even the living, didn’t help me from what demons attacked my mind.  That is what grief/depression/anxiety does to you. Your brain lies to you. Your mind lies to you.  While my husband went to go pick him up, I sat and prayed to all above that I could get through the next few hours without ruining the entire day for everyone. I just needed to find enough power inside to sustain for a few hours. I found myself breathing over and over. Focusing on anything that I could see and feel. I have been working on coping skills in therapy for many weeks and why couldn’t I figure out how to tap in to those damn things now…brain lies again. “You’re not enough to handle this” played inside my mind over and over. The garage door opened and I am taken back to reality…back to center….breathing…breathing…hold steady I kept telling myself…hold steady…don’t move until you find your footing…I center myself again and rush to the living room to see his face light up when he sees the presents under the tree… (It wasn’t our tree; it was a different tree the grandma’s put up. I couldn’t stand to look at the 15 years of ornaments and memories attacking my soul so the family tree stayed in the basement…I couldn’t wrap presents this year so my mom wrapped them for me, Jason and I didn’t do anything for each other this year….we just couldn’t…between the therapy bills and the medical bills there was very little left over to do much with. So we only bought for the kids. Austin got presents Legos mostly and Sara got a donation made in her honor to the Tennessee aquarium for Bobber and his friends) Austin gives me a hug…brain lies again… “you’re not enough”…I find my mind twirling inside…I can feel the taste of anger on my tongue at the thought that she is missing this moment with us…how can I possibly celebrate anything right now…how can I possibly enjoy anything while my child that I carried for 9 months is no longer here…brain lies… “you weren’t enough”…I shake my head as if shaking it will shake the lies out…I do this a lot actually and often…it’s like my own defense to shake the images out of my head or shake the thoughts out of my head…brain lies to me all the times…telling me that I am not enough…its part of the battle I now face losing my child. I suffer from PTSD, acute anxiety disorder and a list of other things.  
So I muster enough to get through opening some presents while we wait for some family to arrive. I kept telling myself just a few more hours until you can find solace in your sleep…as if sleep provides any comfort. We had asked a few friends who have walked this horrible path how they did the first holiday and after talking and talking we decided leaving was a good plan. We decided to travel on Christmas so that we could change things up from the last 15 years. We rented a van which was a pain in the ass. I may never rent from Hertz again. They gave me a dirty van with broken windshield, and no window washing fluid which was good since the van had a broken window I guess. We wanted to go see my brother and sister in law in Tennessee. This was harder than I anticipated it being. I thought that getting away from the house the held me captive would be a great thing. It was hard because I had never made the trip without her. I was either picking her up or taking her back. Never was there a time in Tennessee without her. When we arrived I expected her to be there lying on the sofa sleeping. When that was not the case and the days went by that she was not there the brain lies attacked over and over…by day 4 I couldn’t fight them off…”you were not enough”…I found myself crying at the sight of a bench…a bench that the year prior we had sat on to take pictures. I found myself unable to smile at the living moments. I was in her favorite place on Earth and I couldn’t be there with her…why was life so unfair…is this how she felt all the time? hopeless…afraid of falling apart…scared…exhausted at fighting the brain lies off all the time…this battle would not be possible if I didn’t have the support, love and guidance from my family, friends, group family, supporters, therapist and those who tragically walk in the same nasty horrible, no refund shoes that I wear every minute of every day. You can never undo suicide. You can never unsee things. You can only learn to carry yourself through the fire each and each day… taking one step at a time.  Sometimes I take a step forward and some days I take a step back…each day I just try to keep living until I can feel alive again.  Each day I fight to be present and to be her voice. Each day I keep moving and sharing her story in hopes to save someone else from this horrible path. We have made T-shirts, hoodies and car decals to share her story so that others find the courage to SPEAK UP. We make sure our kids eat well and get plenty of sleep…why not check on their mental state as well. Have the conversation…even if it’s a difficult one. Keep having it until it’s no longer difficult. Someone recently asked me “Are you suicidal?” “Are you in danger of hurting yourself?” While my answer was “No I am not. I am in a good place right now but I am having a tough day. Can you just talk to me for a while?” I was thankful that they did because it gave me the chance to talk about what things were attacking my head. It opened the door that I knew was there but didn’t remember because sometimes those “brain lies” are so loud and abusive that you forget. So remember that if you are struggling through life to be nice to yourself. Hold Steady! SPEAK UP!!!!!!!


Please share this post so that it may help others. You never know when a simple action can make a difference in someone’s life. I know it does mine! Thank you for your support. 

18 comments:

  1. This is the hardest thing I have ever had to do as a mother. My son has been gone for 3 1/2 years and I miss him every single day...

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    1. I wish it wasn't for anyone....hold steady.

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  2. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I felt like I was reading my own story, you so eloquently stated everything that goes on in my head. I too lost my son to suicide, January 2015, the holidays SUCKED to put it lightly. The anniversary of the day we found out is coming up fast and I feel like I have it under control but I am not blind enough to know it could strike at any moment. I have founded a project that I would love to share with you, I hope that you will spread the word. I intend to come back and read your posts and figure out a way to link your page to our page (I am still learning this blogging stuff) . God Bless you. Janeane Founder of Shane's Hearts of Hope www.Shanesheartsofhope.com we are also on Facebook. You are in my prayers dear sister in this awful mess we have been a part of.

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    1. Thank u Shane's mom for reaching out. I think it's great what u are doing to spread kindness and awareness we should talk and see we should talk and see what diff we can make. Sara loved Penguins so maybe we can do a blend of hearts and Penguins. Just throwing ideas out there. We r on fb as well. Let's connect when u have time. Always in my heart. Our babies....this Jan will be 27 years since my dad ended his battle with depression. One day at a time.

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  3. 10 years now since this.....those words are my words, just typed by you, change just a few of those details. The Holidays and Birthdays hold no expectations for me, who knows what will happen in my brain. The key thing i heard, was reach out, which it took 8 years for me to do, and well I go to a therapist and thank God I do. It is hard hard hard, but it has ups and downs, I had not let good things in, in reality the ups and downs of emotions hurt worse then sitting in the downward of hell. Bless you for writing this for me to see.

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    1. Thank u for reading this. I hope that it lets u know that we are not alone. Keep fighting those brain lies we all have to keep fighting

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  4. I lost my son 14 months ago. Your words are so familiar. Everyday is a struggle in every way. I ask myself so often why my son? Why my family? Thus is by far my hardest battle that I know I will never win. Everything you said is so true. People that have not been through this will never understand this kind of grief. Getting up and just functioning in this new life and all that is expected is me tally and physically exausting. I too thunk often did my son live with such pain and sadness. Breaks my heart to think that he probably did and all those lost to suicide. The loss that each famiky goes through is heart breaking.Thank you for sharing.I will always honor my son and continue on my mission to spread awareness and will promise to SPEAK and be the voice for us all til my last breath. God Bless. I will pray for us all. Stay strong, keep your faith and push forward even on the worst days. We can make a difference if only one person at a time.

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  5. I lost my son 14 months ago. Your words are so familiar. Everyday is a struggle in every way. I ask myself so often why my son? Why my family? Thus is by far my hardest battle that I know I will never win. Everything you said is so true. People that have not been through this will never understand this kind of grief. Getting up and just functioning in this new life and all that is expected is me tally and physically exausting. I too thunk often did my son live with such pain and sadness. Breaks my heart to think that he probably did and all those lost to suicide. The loss that each famiky goes through is heart breaking.Thank you for sharing.I will always honor my son and continue on my mission to spread awareness and will promise to SPEAK and be the voice for us all til my last breath. God Bless. I will pray for us all. Stay strong, keep your faith and push forward even on the worst days. We can make a difference if only one person at a time.

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    1. As you know our journey is long and not without extreme amounts of effort and fighting. I have found that sharing Sara's story and my nightmare can make a difference in peoples lives. So I would encourage you to continue your fight and continue to speak up. We need to make a difference in this world that they left us in. I dont like living without her so I have to change what I have been given...even if its just to save one life...or to save one child...or just to save me from plunging into despair of grief. My hope is to not only change the stigma but also change things in regards to FML and things in the work place. We have tons of work to be done and it starts with us....I will be the MLK of Mental Illness. I want to be a guest speaker and help others who are like us. I will not suffer in silence. I will challenge every one and everything around me. Keep fighting and holding steady!

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  6. It's been 32months for me. I lost my precious son Trevor to suicide on 4/21/13 and every day is hard. Your words are the words of my heart and I still have a hard time coping with the loss. I feel like it was my fault and struggle with this every day. I pray for gods forgiveness for the things I've said and done. I was recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder and am now on medication for it. I have a 12 1/2 year old daughter who is not the little girl she was when her brother passed. We are all different now: her, me, my husband. We have all changed. This year was our third Christmas without our Angel and we decided to leave for "home" which is in south Texas. It was the first year I didnt wake up in constant tears. Being with my mom and dad, mother in law and sister in law helped keep them at bay. See we are all alone in Arizona most of the time. Getting to see our family was a much needed escape. My mom, dad, and I talked about Trevor and felt him with us. It was so wonderful that I want to move back. As soon as we got back I was back in that depression. I miss my Angel so much. Its hard to do anything without him. I am still struggling every day and unsure of anything that I do. I ask myself all the time why why why...but until I am reunited with him I'll get no answers. But when that day comes nothing else will matter and the questions will become meaningless. I pray for all of us on this journey every day.

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    1. Kim-I know how it feels to blame myself for our childrens actions. My daughter used my own personal weapon to end her life...in my house...in my room...I struggle with those demons as well...I think we all have different ways we deal with a loss such as this...it ages us..it changes every aspect of who we are...we will never be who we were and that for me is really a hard thing to grasp. I want to return to the prior person...because that person loved and laughed and had it all...Trevor and Sara I can only think suffered such a horrible experience that they were unable to continue to battle...my daughter suffered in silence...only reaching out to her friends...she never reached out to her family or an adult that could help her. We didnt see it. I too take meds to help me at times with the emotions. God is amazing in that he forgives all of us. He does not want us to feel the pain that we do...Hold steady Kim you are not alone. We walk together. My advice is if you can move closer to family...do it...life is too short not to..I miss Sara every moment...I cry a lot...Sometimes the best answer comes in the form of forgiving yourself long enough to allow a good memory into your heart....I know that this life is just a bleep of whats ahead...prayers...hold steady and be strong.

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  7. My son Eddie, decided to end his life on July 27, 2015. Eddie was 31 years old. Just 20 years and 1 week after his father committed suicide... Eddie was 11 years old.

    The demons never left him, in fact, through 20 years, Eddie gathered more and more demons, pain, anger, hate, torment, self-destruction. Eddie knew how badly suicide devastates those of us left behind. How could he do this to us? I never thought my daughter would discover her brothers body, or that I would have to do CPR on my Son. I never thought I would have to see my son in a body bag...make funeral arrangements, attend his funeral and bury him next to his dad! I never thought I would have to say goodbye to my baby, or never again hear him on the phone tell me, "Heelllooo Mamasan."

    Eddie even posted on his FB account that he would never hurt his mom that way. We had a special bond a spiritual bond. I loved him so much and I accepted him for who he was. We had been through so much together.. I did my very best to help him overcome his past; to live up to his potential; to be a responsible person. Everyone who really knew Eddie, loved him. He had an enormous heart and would give you the shirt off his back. He lost his way (now, I don't know if he really ever had a road), I begged him to get help as he was addicted to alcohol and drugs, he became homeless. He refused help.

    My only comfort is that when Eddie died, all of the torment, pain, anger, hurt and demons were gone, completely gone. He was at total peace, for the first time in 20 years.

    I however, am devastated, my heart is completely broken, I know I will never be the same, just like everyone else to loved Eddie, his daughter, sister's and brother, cousins, and all other family members. All the friends who loved him dearly. The holidays were hell for me, I couldn't wait for 2015 to be over, thank God it is.

    I am sending love, light and healing energy to everyone who has lost a child to suicide. May God bless you and keep you in his embrace.

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    1. As you know our journey is long and not without extreme amounts of effort and fighting. You lost your baby just 3 days before Sara ended her life as well…. We are on the same timeline for dates…. I lost my dad to suicide when I was 8 years old as well. He was 33. I knew the signs and Sara didn’t have them. I lost my daughter when I was the same age my dad was however she was 16. In 34 years of life I have been handed one spoonful of shit after another. Sometimes the demons become too much and society isn’t been changed enough to help us. I have found that sharing Sara's story and my nightmare can make a difference in people’s lives. So I would encourage you to continue your fight and continue to speak up. We need to make a difference in this world that they left us in. I dont like living without her so I have to change what I have been given...even if its just to save one life...or to save one child...or just to save me from plunging into despair of grief. My hope is to not only change the stigma but also change things in regards to FML and things in the work place. We have tons of work to be done and it starts with us....I will be the MLK of Mental Illness. I want to be a guest speaker and help others who are like us. I will not suffer in silence. I will challenge everyone and everything around me. Keep fighting and holding steady! What I have learned is that I can not do this alone. I have to allow others to help me. We carry the same horrors…I found Sara that day and there was nothing I could do to save her…then I had to call others to let them know what had happened. It will never leave my mind…my own screams scare me…you are right we are never the same after we lose someone we love like we did…we are forever changed and forever different. I am not sure that I like the path that I have to walk but I hope that my story will get out there enough to show people we are not alone. I want people to see what suicide does to those around you. Know in your heart that Eddie loved you and he fought as long as he could. Mental illness is a disease that attacks every fiber of who we are and then your brain lies to you. You get so used to living in your own head for fear that sharing will make people run away or judge you that you keep it in…the only thing you hear is your own brain lies…over and over…until one day…it becomes too much…its then that I want to find a way for people to reach out and ask for help or people to know the signs so that you can be their voice for them….Suicide shattered our worlds….while I will never put all the pieces back together…I’d like to at least rearrange some of them…blessing to you Eddie’s mom…May you find comfort that another mom is saying his name and praying for peace.

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  8. Allie, we lost our precious 21 year old son (had just turned 21) just 67 days ago. This horrific, hellish journey is unbearable most days. Just like Sara, our Joseph took his own life with our weapon, and in our bedroom. He was in college (but at our home, not his apartment) most days and nights. He loved his home and told us that all the time. We knew he was struggling, but he hid his depression and would not share with us, saying that "he had this under control." We had no idea the depths of his pain. He was seeing a counselor...we told him if he wasn't going to share with us, he had to share his feelings with someone. We were so very ignorant. We thought he was just having typical teenage and college angst. Nothing like depression. He wrote a journal and said he had to hide his feelings and felt like no one should know...that he wore a mask most every day. He told us he loved us and couldn't have asked for better parents. He gave us a gift by writing a journal, but it does not help our pain and sorrow. The grief is unbearable.

    Our demons are alive and well. Why didn't we know? Why were we so ignorant about depression? All the could of, would of, should of's. Why didn't we save him? He was home that morning and his girlfriend had broken up with him. Why didn't I watch his every move that morning? I made an appointment with his counselor for 3:00 that day. He was getting ready for the appointment. There was no thought in my head that our son would take his own life. The grief, the emptiness, the despair, the heart ache, the physical ache, the guilt, the regrets, the loneliness, the feeling of not wanting to live without him...every emotion overcomes you and you just can't breathe. This is our daily journey. This is a journey that will never end for all of us. We hope and pray that time will ease the pain and our guilt so we can function in life. We have a 24 year old daughter. We have to live for her. We have to live for Joseph to carry on his good works in his short life. We have to live so that we can educate others about this horrible, silent disease. God bless and help us all on our horrific journey.

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  9. I too lost my daughter on July 18, 2013, she took her life with my husband's pistol on our front porch. Never in a million years would I have ever thought that she would have taken her own life. She and her boyfriend had broken up several weeks before, I too thought it was just something she would get over. The evening before her and one of her friend's and myself went out to eat. Afterwards we went to have a cupcake at a local cupcake shope. Laughed and shared a cupcake and even a glass of milk. I thought this is good! She is getting out with her girlfriend and she is going to move on! But the next day about 3 PM she went to his house to retrieve a water bowl for her dog that he had at his house. And that is when she discovered he was with another girl. All she wanted was for him to call her.... i discovered this a month later after I had her phone unlocked after I got it back from the sheriff. I also learned then that she had made some remarks in text messages to him in referenced to maybe his life would be better if she wasn't around. Also made references to saying HI to a young man that too had taken his own life just a month before. But this so called boyfriend never let anyone know about these text, not ANYONE! HE was friends with my son and road to school for 6 mo everyday with him prior to this and he didn't feel the need to share this information with him ! I have talk to Lots and Lots of her friends and people that knew this boyfriend and NONE of them had any idea that my daughter was this depressed ! Everyone seemed just as shocked as me! She was living in my house, and I feel so blind ! I was involved in every aspect of her life, her health, her upbringing, her school, her activities from the first piano lesson to the last band concert. But I wasn't aware of her mental health, how could i not have seen this coming............. I ask myself this everyday. I talked to her on the phone just min. before she arrived home and all she said was "I'm going home"

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    1. mlc9289-this road we walk is long and unending. We are just days apart in this journey. I was like you as well..never in a million years. Sara didnt have boyfriends or boyfriend issues. She didnt even like boys. Sounds like you had the same days before Sara passed we had fun mom and daughter times. Real bonding and laughing. We need to educate young people to see the importance of reaching out and telling an adult if someone makes comments in regards to hurting themselves. I ask the same questions to myself how could I not see this coming? What if others did but didnt say anything or what if they didnt know what to look for? So many questions that we now are forced to live with... you are not alone. I blog to escape the demons in my head. I have a safety plan on my phone for times that the brain lies try to take over. You are not alone. I understand how you feel. I do. Thank you for reaching out. Feel free to reach me directly on FB if you ever feel like talking more. Til then hold steady. Speak Up for your babygirl.

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  10. I lost my son Jeff 10/8/16. He struggled with depression and addiction for many yrs. I now travel to meet grieving families and speak against drugs, bullying and about suicide awareness. I have a facebook group dedicated to those that lost someone to suicide or OD... https://www.facebook.com/groups/forjeffssake/
    God Bless You And everyone else in this boat with us. Jeffey's broken Mom

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