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World Suicide Prevention Day

A heavy topic for a Monday, and  Monday filled with joy in my world!

  • I am excited about vacation
  • I have an amazing husband and I adore him
  • I just spent an awesome evening my with family
  • I got little boy cuddles from both of my adorable nephews
  • Today is my Dad's Birthday
  • Today is Angels first day in a new job
  • Today is Karyn and Tamara's wedding day
  • We are all healthy and happy 
  • I have a good paying job and a beautiful apartment
  • I am blessed and loved by God.

But this was not always the case in my life and I know in the lives of many others.   Today I felt compelled to share my story in case you needed to hear it:

In 1997 my life took a pivotal turn....I had made the decision to attend Bible College and after only a week there I was in a terrible car accident.   Thankfully no one was seriously injured and only the cars were destroyed but I was left with a tremendous amount of pain and some health issues that have lingered to this day.

Shortly after this I was approached by a woman who had been praying for me and she told me that God has spoken to her and she wanted to know when I would break my silence.   I immediately broke into tears and knew that it was time to end my silence.   Out of respect for others I will not go into details but something horrible had happened to me for many years in fact several horrible things.   She invited me to join a support group run by a psychologist and I began my "spanish lessons", yup that's what are secret little group called it...Spanish Lessons! LOL.  

I was empowered to take back a piece of my life but it meant not hiding it any more.   When I went to my family to talk to them it went great with my immediate family but not so with the extended.   For quite some time I was shunned and not believed.

So now I am in pain and feeling awfully hurt in my heart.    Later that year as school was wrapping up a close family friend of ours lost his battle with Cancer and I happened to be near home during the service (i was on tour singing with the Choiristers).    I went home to Edmonton with a heavy heart after a painful episode with my extended family and decided that I was going to try and stay in Edmonton and work.   I had decided not to return back to school as I had become disillusioned with my faith, with people, with life.

I had not idea but I was already sliding  into my first major depressive episode.   I had a very difficult time finding work in Edmonton and my sister helped me secure a job at home.   I had been living with my best friend and her three kids and I felt incredibly guilty about sponging off them when they had so little.   I decided to return home and she was furious with me.   We ended up getting into a huge fight and eventually I had to phone the police to help me come get my things from her house.   I was so devastated that I sobbed uncontrollably until after we passed Jasper.  

I skipped a step....While in Edmonton I met a man and he decided to come to Vancouver with me.    We tried hard to make it work but life was becoming very difficult for me.   I was so sad all the time, I put on a brave face for everyone because that is what I was thought I was supposed to do, but deep inside something had snapped.   Cory and I had started fighting a lot, he was having a hard time keeping a job and I was having a hard time with life.

It started off really wierd, like every time I drove across the bridge I would imagine what it would be like if I would just turn the wheel and drive off.   I would try and laugh it off.   Many times I would just end up in the car crying and crying wondering why I was so crazy.   I don't really know how it started, but I started stealing and hoarding medication....If a staff member had pills in their desk I would take a couple, I even stole someone's meds from the laundry room.   I kept them in a bottle in my purse.   One day after a huge fight with Cory I finally snapped, I went to the basement at my parents, I swallowed a handful of pills and sat down to watch tv.  

I ended up calling my best friend and she wasn't home, her mom noticed that something was wrong  by the way I was talking and to be honest I am not really sure what happened after that.   I know I went to the hospital....I can't remember how I got there by ambulance or car.   I know my best friend called my parents upstairs to tell them something was wrong.   I remember being in the hospital and having to drink charcoal and I remember the shame of having everyone there.

That only made the aching pain and sadness worse.   I wanted to crawl in a hole and really die now!   I started seeing a psychiatrist and was prescribed Zoloft...this did not go well, I became psychotic.  I felt crazy all the time and the doctor told me to just let them work.   After a particularly huge fight with Cory in which we broke most of the plates we owned, he stormed out and I went into the bathroom and slit my wrists.   Well tried to anyway...it hurt like hell and I didn't do it right, I bled all over the bathroom and then curled up on the couch.

Again I am a bit fuzzy on the details here, I think he came back to get his crap, saw me, called Jenn and said she did it again and I am getting on a plane and he left.   After that I went back to the psychiatrist and got put on Paxil which worked great for me.

The worst part of this whole story is that while I had been in university in Alberta, I had been the team lead for the Suicide Prevention Hotline.    I was just so mired in my own personal hell that I couldn't figure it out on my own.

It took a long time for me to feel better and to put the shame behind me.   Seeing the psychologist and taking medication worked for me.   Life isn't perfect, after Cory and I divorced I went through another major depressive episode, but knowing the signs I reached out for help and with some intervention and some Wellbutrin (amazing stuff!) I was back on the right road again.

I still have little funks but I make sure that I take my vitamins, get lots of sleep and try to eat healthy.  When the weather gets dark, sometimes I go for a tanning session or make sure I fill my days with things that bring my joy.   Some days you just have to fake it until you make it!

So why unload all this?   Well maybe someone out there in the great wide internet just needed to hear that you are not alone.   That there is someone else who has carried that heavy weight and who will gladly help you carry your weight!   You can message me or email me or you can call a Helpline!

Here is a list of the helplines  for all over the world and you don't have to wait to call them until  you have a handful of pills.   Sometimes it just helps to talk to someone who isn't involved in your life.   No one will laugh at your problem or tell you that you shouldn't feel the way you do.  

If you look at my story I had a series of bad things happen, not one of them was life ending but when I piled them all one on top of the other and combined that with a chemical imbalance in my brain, it was unbearable to me.    It was like a pile of tiny pebbles covering me, no pebble alone would hurt me.  I probably could have even dealt with a few handfuls of pebbles at once.   But as each one piled on the other I was buried alive under the weight.

Here is some info for you, if you are concerned that you are or someone you know is feeling depressed or thinking about suicide:


What Are Symptoms of Depression?

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, symptoms of depression may include the following:
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
  • Fatigue and decreased energy
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness
  • Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism
  • Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
  • Irritability, restlessness
  • Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex
  • Overeating or appetite loss
  • Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment
  • Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" feelings
  • Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts

Are There Warning Signs of Suicide With Depression?

Depression carries a high risk of suicide. Anybody who expresses suicidal thoughts or intentions should be taken very, very seriously. Do not hesitate to call your local suicide hotline immediately. Call 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) or 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) -- or the deaf hotline at 1-800-799-4TTY (1-800-799-4889).
Warning signs of suicide with depression include:
  • A sudden switch from being very sad to being very calm or appearing to be happy
  • Always talking or thinking about death
  • Clinical depression (deep sadness, loss of interest, trouble sleeping and eating) that gets worse
  • Having a "death wish," tempting fate by taking risks that could lead to death, such as driving through red lights
  • Losing interest in things one used to care about
  • Making comments about being hopeless, helpless, or worthless
  • Putting affairs in order, tying up loose ends, changing a will
  • Saying things like "It would be better if I wasn't here" or "I want out"
  • Talking about suicide (killing one's self)
  • Visiting or calling people one cares about


What you need to remember is that:

Depression is an illness, its not something to be ashamed of or hide.   

There are treatments and they can change your life!   That black hole...it doesn't need to consume you and I am telling you from personal experience.

PLEASE talk to someone!  anyone!  I want you to know that I am here supporting you, praying for you and loving you unconditionally!

Tara

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