Monday, June 30, 2014

Facing my demons - 6

This is the first demon two of us face.
Only the One friend
urges entry through the gate.
The other and I bicker
Bring up old angers that should have been buried
long ago.
So long ago.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Facing my demons - 5

I don't know how long I stand there
transfixed by the horrific gate
Suddenly I am aware
two friends have followed me.
They have not deserted me, as I had thought.
One - I am relieved to see
for he can face my demons with me
keeping me strong. 
But the other?
Why have you come here?
It is dangerous!
He looks at me
his eyes a chaotic mixture
He, too, has demons to face.
We will face them together.
The three of us.
A team.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

To ASIST or not to assist...

This month, I have been training to answer texts for a crisis hotline aimed at teens. My first shift is tomorrow, and I'm really looking forward to helping out teens in crisis. I think this is the best decision I've ever made in my life. 

Let me tell you a little secret - I've battled on and off with suicidal thoughts myself. At times, to the point where I'm honestly afraid that I will kill myself. Almost no one who is suicidal actually wants to die. These people want to live, and they send out signals. They ask for help. Too many people ignore these signals for one reason or another. 

Some people have absolutely no empathy for suicide - they feel that if someone wants to die, let them die. After all, isn't that "Darwinian selection"? What these people fail to see (whether they are willingly blind or not) is that suicidal people are ill. Their perception of reality is often distorted, and they honestly feel that death is the only way out. They need to be reminded of why life is wonderful. They need (and want!) help. Suicide is a tragedy - not only for the individual, but for all the friends and family. 

Some people have empathy, but they are squeamish of mental illness and suicide. They are not comfortable talking about such things. And although they might see the signs, they shy away from providing help, often leaving the suicidal person feeling abandoned. I, myself, have felt that way....and it is one of the most painful emotions I can imagine.

And some people would like to help, but they just aren't able to recognize the signs or they don't know what they can do. 

But we, as a community, can change this. We can educate ourselves about suicide, and learn to encourage friends and family (and even strangers if we're willing!) to talk to us. Because it's the people who talk that end up living. There are lots of ways to educate yourself about suicide. For instance, my blog, Resistance is Futile, is going to host an annual Suicide and Mental Illness Awareness theme read in September and October. I will post about suicide and mental illness (hopefully with guest posts too!) and list book reviews from all participants in the theme read (everyone is welcome!). Hopefully, this will spark discussion about how to raise awareness in our community.

Another way to educate ourselves is by taking awareness classes. Several are offered as community classes, but I highly recommend the one that I completed last weekend. The ASIST workshop organized by Living Works. In this two-day workshop, I learned what signs to watch for, how to address the question "Are you feeling suicidal?", when to listen to and then remind that person of what he or she has that's worth living for, and how to create a safety plan. It was probably one of the most important training events of my life. And I hope that many, many other people will also get such training. Living Works also has a less expensive class SuicideTalk (or eSuicideTalk)

Suicidal thoughts can happen to ANYONE. No one is immune. I am lucky enough to have a large, loving family and an AMAZING bunch of friends. I'm intelligent and have accomplished a lot in life. I (usually) have faith in a spiritual system which frowns upon destroying "the temple of our flesh." I should be immune to such thoughts. But I'm not. It can happen to anyone. And I want to help create a world in which people aren't afraid to express their feelings and openly ask for help. Who's with me on that?

Rachel's Media Update



Update Memes

Stacking the Shelves with @Tynga's Reviews

Friday, June 27, 2014

Facing my demons - 4

The walls of the catacombs
pulse inwards
The path downwards is claustrophobic.
At times, I slither on my belly
through tunnels slick with...
is it puke?
The smells combine
choking me
I retch.
Suddenly, I am sliding
out of control
I land with a splash in a knee-deep puddle.
Try not to think about the reeking, slimy mess.
I have arrived at the Gate.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Facing my demons - 3

The screams of despair intensify
like razors slashing my soul
like a heavy net entrapping my essence
confining me.
The heat sears my lungs
smoke stings my eyes
I cannot breathe!
My movements are slow
I turn back to the entrance
but it is gone.
I am committed.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Facing my demons - 2

I hesitate before taking my first step.
Once I make this choice
down is the only way out.
Am I ready for this?
Or will I be just another lost soul?
Unable to retreat
Too afraid to face the demons further down.
My friends outside have become quiet
have they given up?
moved on to happier friends
who walk easier paths?
Why burden themselves
with my problems?
I take the step.

Facing my demons - 1

I sit in a tomb
dark, except for a flickering red glow.
Eerie screams of tortured souls
slither up from the catacombs.
The despair of the lost
potentiates my own.
But they're not really there.
All in my head.
My friends outside
push and heave at the tombstone.
They want to save me.
But they can't.
Because they're not really there.
All in my head.
Shall I go down?