Posted in Did you know?, Mental Health, suicide

World Suicide Prevention Day – September 10, 2019

World Suicide Prevention Day – September 10, 2019

 

 

 

Mental illness is something we are  talking more and more about but it’s still not enough! People of all ages especially the most vulnerable…youths and young adults need to hear the message loud and clear that mental health is as important as physical health.  One does not go without the other. If you are stressed about something for long periods of time, we know how that impacts on your physical health, right? And yet, how many people delay or never go to see a professional about this?  Too many and that is mostly due to the stigma.

I think the media is helping even though their main goal may be to get more readers, increase viewers or listeners but still, admittedly, it helps A LOT!  And if it can save one life…it is worth it!

When I hear of a suicide, it makes me feel we have failed as a society and yes, often as professionals …but that is an emotional reaction and not a rational one.

 

Light a Candle

Light a Candle near a Window at 8:00 P.M. September 10th to show your support for suicide prevention, to remember a lost loved one, and for the survivors of suicide.

stjosephpulse.com

 

On Tuesday, September 10th it is World Suicide Prevention Day.  It is an international candle ceremony that will be taking place all over the world, in homes, at work, on line.  For some it will be your way of remembering a loved one and friends who are survivors of suicide. My heart goes out to you.   I know you carry your love and your loss of someone “who matters” forever!

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have shared this story before but it is still one that struck me on how one person can make a difference in the life another…saving a life:

A young boy, teen, called thinking seriously of suicide.  He had been depressed for quite some time and he had a plan. After talking for quite some time,  he began feeling there just “may” be hope. At the end of the call, I asked him how he heard about the phone service.  “Oh, a buddy of mine slipped a tab from a Smarties box in my pocket without my knowing.  I just happened to find it tonight.”  (Youth line is printed on most Nestlé products).  So if you have a helpful link or resource to share with a friend, DO IT, you just never know how important that action could be…may even save a life and in the very least, offer hope.

Sometimes just smiling at a person waiting in line at the subway, grocery store or bank can make a difference not only in that person’s day but their life too!

 

 

 

Today, September 10th, take a moment to show someone they matter…your smile, your gesture translates in all languages: “You matter!”

© Cheryl-Lynn ‘19/09/10

 

 

Important links:

Suicide Action Montreal

Kids Help Phone – Jeunesse Jécoute

Canadian Association of Mental Health (CAMH)
Take 5 To Save Lives 
Suicide Prevention Australia 
Suicide Prevention in Canada 
Suicide Prevention London UK

International Association of Suicide Prevention IASP

Crisistextline.org  Canada, UK, South Africa, Ireland, USA

 

 

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Posted in anxiety, Compassion, Depression, Grief, Self-care, Sexual assault, Stigma Talks, Tournesol whispers, troiku

all in a day’s work (troibun) daily moments May 17 2019

 

Today was the day she was having a minor surgery on her big toe.  Oh boy, she could not help but worry about the pain.  She really hates pain. She has been tolerating it throughout her body for decades but her big toe…oh my, that was such an acute pain.  She remembers when she was pregnant for her second child, she had a plantar wart under her big toe.  Her doctor tried to remove it unsuccessfully with dry ice…OUCH…burrrrn!! Then she heard about a surgeon at a local hospital did this regularly. Why not?  It would be over and done with for good since surgically the doctor would see the root of that sucker. 

The needle to freeze her was brutal and the doctor lacked compassion. The weeks following were very uncomfortable.  She could feel her heart beating in her big TOE!  Thankfully she had her two-year-old son who brought a cane to her when she needed to get up. He was such a great helper all throughout her pregnancy.

Now today she kept thinking of that damn needle and it worried her. So what do you do when you have 5 hours to kill? — clean the apartment. May as well get it ship shape so when she returned if she needed to keep her foot UP, her place would be tidy and dust free.

She really liked her podiatrist.  Last year when she was on the verge of burning out and her work refused her doctor’s letter for time off…she would go for a pedicure and cry throughout the appointment.

Today, she felt she would not need that kind of support and she felt much stronger emotionally. Nah, she would not be crying today.

The podiatrist pricked her toe once, twice and then three times. It hurt but she did it slowly, just like her dentist does.  Yeah, she is special. After twenty minutes, the podiatrist returns ready to snip away but she could feel the knife…nope, one more needle here and then one more there.  After a few minutes she tried and nope, the bugger still felt pain. Darn!  After two more shots, she finally was able to get it done. And yes, her toe is quite big!

During the procedure she talked about how her work had celebrated a 30-year anniversary last night and yet she felt sad. She had read about a young boy who had ended his life despite having given all his friends virtual messages that he would no longer be in this world.  His friends told their parents, but nothing was done.  She could not help but think of him yesterday when they were cutting that anniversary cake. Somehow it did not feel celebratory.

Suddenly, she felt tears running down her cheeks. The podiatrist asked her if she may be suffering from PTSD hearing so many traumatic stories.  “No,” she said, “I think today I was thinking of my friend whose son took his life 19 years ago today.  I met her over ten years ago and I find when it is personal, close to me, it is harder to set boundaries.”

As she was doing her “thing” or “magic” on her big toe, she was thinking about Adam. Gee, 19 years ago is when she started working at this helpline. People often tell her how great it is what she  does for a living.  She cannot help thinking of the ones who did not make it and hope there will be a time where there is not one ounce of stigma on mental health. She dreams of a time where a complete medical check up includes a mental health check up and that when a youth misses school for a week or two or even months for mental health reasons, it is not misjudged but treated by society as a broken leg that gets treated,  goes through physical rehab and in time gets strong and sturdy again.  And for those fractures that may cause rheumatism and long-term treatment, that too will not be criticized.

After big toe procedure completed, she limped to the pharmacy to get some items and on her way back to the bus stop, she noticed her bandage somehow, just flew off in the wind. Good thing the bus came early!  What a day!

Looking back on her day, she wonders if perhaps her work may be pulling on her heartstrings more and more in the past few years.  The productivity is so overwhelming that now there may be casualties on both sides of the lines.

playing catch-up
only keeping them at bay
putting out fires

playing catch-up
“Hello, how can I help you?”
twenty wait in queue

only keeping them at bay
child abuse, grief, depression,
suicide taunts them

putting out fires
spreading like wildfire
one at a time

Who can see
beyond the flames?
hell populates

© Tournesol ‘19/05/17

Daily moments all in a day’s work Troibun May 17 2019

 

 

 
Posted in Chronic Pain, Depression, Homelessness, Mental Health, poetry, Stigma Talks, Tournesol whispers

does the universe even care

      
 
mid-season blues 
like summer draughts that bring despair 
does the universe even care? 
 
summer love that has to end 
saying goodbye in September 
broken hearts and stolen dreams 
lovers mourn in muted screams 
wishing they would not remember 
 
autumn in its amber shades 
masking truths too hard to bear 
does the universe even care? 
 
school becomes a new distraction 
mothers scrimping for more pennies 
children’s shoes will not endure 
humbled with their meagre meal 
peanut butter spread too thin 
 
mid-season blues 
like summer draughts that bring despair 
does the universe even care? 
 
October ends in farce and fury 
poverty clothed in Halloween 
witches taunting mockingly  
nary a princess or a queen 
dreading winter, parents worry 
 
mid-season blues 
like summer draughts that bring despair 
does the universe even care? 
 
December heaves a downy blanket 
void of presents and empty cupboards 
January weighs a thousand woes 
hungry bellies and frozen toes 
housing they cannot afford 
 
mid-season blues 
like summer draughts that bring despair 
does the universe even care? 
 
social services cannot keep up 
greedy leaders just turn away 
their pockets lined with children's dreams 
parents working night and day 
politics drowning all their screams 
 
mid-season blues 
like summer draughts that bring despair 
does the universe even care? 
 
blindly seeking for a break 
depression hovers constantly 
winter nearing to an end 
melancholy lurking silently 
hiding spring’s utopia 
 
mid-season blues 
like summer draughts that bring despair 
does the universe even care? 
 
bound in darkness and despair 
breaking through with fiery rage 
some may find an ounce to share 
fill them with ample courage 
reaching out to one who cares 
 
mid-season blues 
like summer draughts that bring despair 
someone out there really cares! 
 
© Cheryl-Lynn ‘19-01-23  
originally posted at TournesolDansUnJardin  https://cheryllynnroberts.
info/2019/01/23/does-the-universe-even-care/


http://www.crisisservicescanada.ca/en/  Adults  1-833-456-4566 
For residents in Quebec 1-866-APPELLE   (1-866-277-3553) 
 
Kids Help Phone – Jeunesse Jécoute - Youths and young adult 
www.kidshelpphone.ca  www.jeunessejecoute.ca  1 800 668 6868  
 
USA https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/  1-800-273-8255 
Posted in Did you know?, Haibun, Mental Health, senryû, Tournesol whispers

Loving a person with BPD

It’s not easy struggling with BorderlinePersonalityDisorder and along with that often comes other mental health issues.  What is difficult is not getting a proper diagnosis…once that is achieved, the recovery starts.  

So many professionals are not skilled or knowledgeable to help persons with this condition. Too many medical professionals overmedicate them to silence them.  Once in a blue moon, they will find a compassionate and knowledgeable therapist who gets it and many times that is where the healing begins. 

Yet, there are many who never want to get help and see the world as having the problem and not them.  They don’t understand why family and friends often withdraw…sometimes to save themselves, other times because they just do not understand.  Most of the time it is because they feel awkward and ridden with guilt for not succeeding in making this person happy.  Too many times they feel it is their responsibility to maintain this person’s equilibrium and happiness. 

Loving a person with this condition is not so hard. Love is love, right? You love with the good and the bad and the in between.  It is the self-preservation that takes time to access.  It takes a while before you realize it is not always your fault that your friend, lover, sister, brother, cousin, mother or father are upset with you.  In fact, it rarely has anything to do with you. 

It takes so much energy though.  It is so exhausting!   When you actually love this person, you ache inside. When this person is confronting you, you are shaking many times and wondering what you could have done better…sooner. 

It is a wheel of constant confusion, suffering, guilt and when he or she is happy with you, you feel so good inside but you are still wary of when the axe will fall once more on your head for not being the person he or she needs and expects you to be. 

 echoes  
of discontent
haunt her

I love you, I hate you
you abandoned me
again


heart squeezes
head spins
still no answers

It is a win/lose situation until… 

(c) Tournesol ‘ 19/01/05

Posted in Mental Health, Reflections, senryû

misunderstood (troiku)

innuendos 

mixed messages 

guilt ridden 

 

drives one crazy !!

 

innuendos 

brewing questions 

so much guilt 

 

drives one crazy!! 

 

mixed messages 

unfinished texts 

crafty and skilled 

 

drives one crazy!! 

 

guilt ridden 

peppered with niceties 

plastic and fake 

 

 drives one crazy!!

 

all a ruse 

crafted to dig 

heartstrings torn to shreds 

 

never ENDs

 (c) Tournesol ’18/11/07

Posted in anxiety, Chronic Pain, Depression, Mental Health, narrative

Emily, Take One (1)

 

Image may contain: one or more people and close-up

Worrying, ruminating, obsessively imagining scenarios, procrastinating because of those unfounded scenarios and then you finally do what you have to do after spending days or maybe weeks imagining all sorts of “what if’s” and it all turns out just fine!  Boy, that really bugs her when she does that.  Does that happen to you too sometimes?

Emily calls it overthinking, daydreaming of things that escalate  into screenplays that keep her awake and during the day on her days off from work leave her paralyzed.

Lately, Emily has been trying to observe her thinking patterns more, such as what starts that tiny thought that turns into a saga.   So far she is noticing  that the worrying or dwelling is getting worse and she is not appreciating the “present” enough.   She avoids seeing people who may upset her and make me feel guilty about any passed decisions. She does not really avoid friends but she doesn’t reach out  to them much either and she knows that is silly because she knows many of her friends would drop everything to be there for her if she asked them. So why the hell does she do this to herself?!

Today she called her friend who flew from overseas and she made travel arrangements to see her on the weekend. She will be seeing another friend in the same city as well.   After she hung up the phone after speaking to her friend, she felt so pumped!! It was as if she  had just had an shot of serotonin.  Really! She was dancing and singing and jumping.  She was so happy and relieved to be  getting out of her cocoon.

And yet, here she is, two days after that same phone call to her friends, calling to work sick because she just could not get out of bed due to migraines and chronic joint pain.   She had only worked one day but with all the changes to her work, she is wondering now…for the past five years if her doctor is not “a bit” right in suggesting she retire.

Emily still has so much drive to go out in the world and still work…either teach or anything that has to do with people.  She is actually a people person.  Also she cannot afford to retire yet since she has not had the chance to put much money aside and has no company pension.  Living off the government pension will be surviving but no more travelling ever.  She still wants o visit so many places.

Is it possible some of her problems have to do with her work?  And yet, Emily doubts that since she knows she has had bouts of withdrawing even when she was younger and working elsewhere but she did not miss work then.  Also her work helps her get her mind off all the past decisions her children blame her.  No, it is not just her work but what her work once provided a workaholic, her nature may not have the same stamina it once had.  What to do?

Emily has always felt she did not fit anywhere.  Growing up she was faced with being told over and over that  “her kind” had no place here.  Even in her family she often felt displaced.  If you thought differently than the rest of the family you were judged, teased or criticized. That part will never change, so it is Emily’s job to not react to it or just steer away, but how do you steer away from people you love?

Her first trip on her own far from her family was eye opening.  She could see there was so much to discover and since then she has always felt one foot in her current home and the other ready to run off somewhere but where?

This is where she is now, contemplating on what to do, how to do it and when?  Have you ever felt this way before?  If you have, how do you manage those thoughts that take over your life?

(c) Clr ’18

Posted in Dementia, Mental Health, Stigma Talks, video

A word about World Suicide Prevention Day

Mural street art – Montréal Clr’13

Another glorious day, he thought, looking out the window when he pulled his thick drapes in his studio.   Shuffling to the kitchen to make his coffee, the same thoughts come flooding his mind.

“Yep, today, I need to get out. I need to pump air in the tires of my bike and get off my butt and greet the world!!”  He snickers at that thought, picking up his laptop and sits in the darkness of his studio apartment.  He knows he will probably not go out…again.  He will probably not do much but sit, read the feeds on social media and try to distract the gnawing voices in his head that weigh so heavily on his spirit…

Sound familiar?  Been there, you are thinking, bobbing your head?  If you know someone may be going through something like that, send them a friendly text…just a heart or two maybe…tell them they matter before it’s too late.

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD).

[…It is estimated that each day in Canada, 11 people end their life and 210 make a suicide attempt.”] read more here -SuicidePrevention

Suicide is very inclusive.  Did you know that?  It includes anyone regardless of age, culture and socio-economic status.  A person can be loved by friends and family, have good grades in school or college, have a great job and still become another tragic statistic.

So today, think of something you can do for WorldSuicidePreventionDay (WSPD)…like the link says above , take just one minute to do something…share a story, an awareness post, call a friend, text a friend…just one minute.

I am ending with a song that has saved many lives. My friend, Sue, shared this song in memory of her son, Adam.

©Cheryl-Lynn Roberts 2017/09/10

CMHACanadian Mental Health Association

Canadian Crisis Centres – resources and helplines

Canadian Crisis Centres – resources and helplines

National Suicide Hotline U.S.A.

Kids Help Phone – Canada

Child Helplines around the world

 

“Adam’s Song”

I never thought I’d die alone
I laughed the loudest who’d have known?
I trace the cord back to the wall
No wonder it was never plugged in at all
I took my time, I hurried up
The choice was mine I didn’t think enough
I’m too depressed to go on
You’ll be sorry when I’m gone

[Chorus:]
I never conquered, rarely came
16 just held such better days
Days when I still felt alive
We couldn’t wait to get outside
The world was wide, too late to try
The tour was over we’d survived
I couldn’t wait till I got home
To pass the time in my room alone

I never thought I’d die alone
Another six months I’ll be unknown
Give all my things to all my friends
You’ll never step foot in my room again
You’ll close it off, board it up
Remember the time that I spilled the cup
Of apple juice in the hall
Please tell mom this is not her fault

[Chorus:]
I never conquered, rarely came
16 just held such better days
Days when I still felt alive
We couldn’t wait to get outside
The world was wide, too late to try
The tour was over we’d survived
I couldn’t wait till I got home
To pass the time in my room alone

I never conquered, rarely came
But tomorrow holds such better days
Days when I can still feel alive
When I can’t wait to get outside
The world is wide, the time goes by
The tour is over, I’ve survived
I can’t wait till I get home
To pass the time in my room alone

 

 

Posted in Mental Health, Stigma Talks, video

A story about a “Pill Journey”.

How many of you have gone through months of feeling more than sluggish and deep inside you know it might be depression because the symptoms are there?  Insomnia at night and wanting to bury yourself under that duvet when it’s time to get up.  What about loss of appetite?  For some it is eating and eating and eating some more to fill that void.  Why is an “emptiness” so painful?  Shouldn’t one feel relieved to not feel a heavy weight pressing on our shoulders?  Oh wait, what about feeling like a truck drove over you and decided to park on your chest for a few hours a day.  Ever feel like your mind is racing so much with “What if”s” you feel like you are on an out-of-control merry-go-round and you’re afraid to try and get off because you may NOT survive the fall?

Adults worry.  Mothers worry about the safety of their children. Fathers worry (working moms too) if they will be able to maintain a decent home; Parents worry when they have to say “no” to private lessons in this and that.  Not all kids have the luxury of playing sports.  But do children worry too?  Sure they do.  They are little sponges soaking up all the vibes in the home, at school on the playground and unfortunately on the bloody tube…internet, tv, computer, tablet…heck, even on their Ipod!  All things that were made to entertain youths has drawn them into another world…of hopelessness.  Children sure don’t see the world the way I did as a kid.  Heck, at five I just wanted to be Dale Evans riding into the sunset with RoyRogers and when I really fantasized, I was Marilyn Monroe in a pink convertible Cadillac!  But did I worry?  I guess I did too when my mother looked sad or cried but I quickly forgot about all that when I watched Mighty Mouse or Donald Duck.  Television was monitored in our home so we did not watch violent shows.  The news? It just was not graphic as it is today.  My first memory of a “sad news” was watching the funeral procession for John F. Kennedy and feeling so sad for the children.  I could not imagine losing a father so young! Gosh, I was still missing my grandfather I had lost at 6!!

These days, through my work, I am aware how children and teens worry and many do suffer from depression.  Some are lucky and get the help they need but as they share with us, it certainly can be a long journey before they get a proper diagnosis and the proper treatment required.  It gets complicated with youths.  Their brain is still developing and once a health care profession finds the right dosage of a particular medication, their brain tweaked a little more.  I admire anyone (youths and adults) who continue to get the support they need for their mental health and become more self-aware so they are part of the equation in their treatment.  That’s right, they are the expert on what is going on in their mind, their body and their spirit…what they contribute only gets them that much closer to finding a proper treatment leading to recovery.

I just saw this video I am going to share here and it says it so much better than I could ever, so, take a look and listen. You may have to watch it a few times to allow the “common sense” to sink in.

This is a testimonial of a person’s “Pill Journey”.  I have listed mental health resources below.

©Cheryl-Lynn Roberts 2017/07/26

CMHACanadian Mental Health Association

Canadian Crisis Centres – resources and helplines

Canadian Crisis Centres – resources and helplines

National Suicide Hotline U.S.A.

Kids Help Phone – Canada

Child Helplines around the world

Other links and resources on my Page here

Posted in Bullying, Learning Differences, Reflections, senryû, Stigma Talks

Embrace your differences

cropped-me.jpgI am sharing a mother’s plea for parents to talk to their children about embracing their differences as well the uniqueness of others.

The video was made after her nine year old son came home upset that he was the subject of racial jokes.  Listening to her plea made me think how we, as adults, need to be better models not just in how we interact with different cultures, races and religions but also in the face of any differences. I love how Dianne does not talk about “tolerating” but embracing our differences.

A child growing with a learning difference , a teen experiencing a mental health condition, a youth struggling with his or her sexual orientation or sexual identity or a youth growing up with physical or intellectual challenges should embrace their differences and other youths should as well.

Children are not born prejudice…it is learned…modelled.  I’m not saying all children learn this from their parents.  We all know how our children learn and change when they go to school.  If they have learned a biased way of looking at the world through jokes or racial slurs they heard on the playground, then we, as adults, educators and parents have a responsibility to talk to them about this on so many levels.

Perhaps we, as adults, need to take a moment or two and take inventory on our own beliefs and feelings before speaking to our children.  Children are sensitive and savvy and can see through what is real. So take your time to reflect on your thoughts first.

We are not perfect but let’s try to be the best human we can in this imperfect world.

Who am I but me?
in all my imperfections,
I am perfect!

 

(c) Cheryl-Lynn ’17/02/06

Posted in Depression, Did you know?, Mental Health, Self-care, Stigma Talks

CURTAIN CALL

The approaching holidays can be a difficult time for many and even moreso for anyone suffering from a mental illness. Don’t let social stigma prevent you from getting the help you deserve.

HASTYWORDS

Maybe you feel alone? Maybe you feel worthless? Maybe you think you waste everyone’s time with your problems/feelings. Maybe just breathing fuels your feelings of despair and the only thing you can manage is sleep.
 
Congrats…
 
You probably won the depression lottery. It is estimated nearly 350 million people worldwide suffer from depression according to the WHO.
 
Social stigma is one of the biggest factors preventing effective care.
 
Do the whole world a favor and be proactive with those you love. Let them know they are NOT alone.

Depression doesn’t respect the holidays.  It is the Grinch.  It is the Scrooge. It is the devil in a red Santa suit come to steal all your beautifully wrapped silver linings.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Phone Number

1-800-273-8255

cl-yn0nvaaamgzxAll the channels

Dance with static

As she sits silent

Inhaling the dark

Perspective fuzzy

And Vodka blurred

Turning memories

Of…

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