Passing it on

I came across this photo on my Facebook feed and it brought back memories…

suicide quote

I remember one of the last times I had attempted to commit suicide I thought to myself that the pain would finally be over.  ((About 10 or so years ago )) I remember thinking that this time would be it. I was tired of drowning. I was tired of feeling like it wasn’t going to get any better but when the deed had been done I remember thinking wtf am I doing. I wanted to take back what I had just done but it was too late.

I remember this like it was yesterday, my mom approaching me her eyes so big and full of fear. She didn’t know what to say. She was in complete shock,  scared and shaking. Now my mom had always been and continues to be my superhero. She is the strongest woman I know alive, has been through SO much and continues to persevere through so much and on that night when I saw her full of all those emotions, full of pain, I remember thinking that if I ever made it through the night and didn’t die, that I would never want to cause my mom that much pain ever again. I never wanted to see her that way EVER.

It had never clicked in my head before but that night I finally understood what this quote says, that those who take their lives away don’t end their pain but pass it on to those they love. I thank God every day that I had that revelation that night. That I realized that I never wanted to hurt the person who meant the world to me that way ever again. Even if life sucked. Even if I felt like I was drowning. I made a decision to fight and get through it with God by my side and over 10 years later I can say that I did thanks to Him. I have hit rock bottom in worse ways than that period in my life but not once did I think about killing myself and that to me is something worth celebrating.

So it is not impossible! You can get through it National Suicide Prevention Line 1-800-273-8255. They are there because they want to make a difference and help as many people as possible.

God was there for me and He is there for you too! 

Don’t give up! 

From Thoughts to Destiny

As we go through our struggles , there comes a moment (at least for me) where I feet stuck. As if I was on a merry go round of ups and downs with the same crappy things happening over and over again. I came across this quote that really changed my perspective on things. I have included different variations of the same concept. The end result of our lives start with our thoughts!

“Watch your thoughts, they become words;
watch your words, they become actions;
watch your actions, they become habits;
watch your habits, they become character;
watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

-FRANK OUTLAW
Late President of the Bi-Lo Stores

The only way to change repeating circumstances in our lives is by doing something different, and that all begins with our thoughts. If we believe that we cannot do something, than guess what? We will not be able to do it. But if we believe that we can, and we wake up every morning believing that things can change and will change, than that’s when change will begin to take place.

So for this week, be conscious of your thoughts. Be mindful of what you are telling yourself over and over again and if you realize that your thoughts are full of negativity, switch it up. Don’t dwell on that negativity because as the quote goes, your thoughts trickle down and become your character. And if that is not who you want to be than start at the core with your thoughts. Start thinking of positive things that are going to happen no matter how unrealistic it may seem and I can promise you that things will begin to change. Maybe not right away or overnight, but with time they will. Once your thoughts change, everything else will follow.

The thought manifests as the word,

The word manifests as the deed,
The deed develops into habit,
And the habit hardens into character.
So watch the thought and its way with care,
And let it spring from love
Born out of concern for all beings.

-Anonymous

*

We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts we make the world.
Speak or act with an impure mind
And trouble will follow you
As the wheel follows the ox that draws the cart.

-Anonymous

*

“Watch your thoughts, they become words;
watch your words, they become actions;
watch your actions, they become habits;
watch your habits, they become character;
watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

-FRANK OUTLAW
Late President of the Bi-Lo Stores

And if anyone finds the writer of these quotes, please let me know so I can give them credit.

Truth behind depression

Such a powerful video!

This video really hit home for me. Right now I’m still a bit speechless for a lot of reasons. I sat here trying to think of what to write and say but words just aren’t coming to mind. Instead I decided to post some responses to the video that I came across.

(All these responses are on the videos page on Facebook)

“”Ricky” is the guy next to you as you order your coffee, he’s the guy you may even have rolled your eyes at because he seems off or ordinary. He could even be that guy trying to fit in at work or at the gym. Point is, he could be anyone on any given day that you and/or I cross paths with.”

– Leila Alverado 

*

“You still aren’t seeing the whole picture… They’re both depressed. With the main character in every splice, it is obvious he is depressed. However, with Ricky it was not obvious, until it was too late. Some cases of depression are easy to detect, while other cases are not so easy. Which is the exact point that Buzzfeed is making through this video.”

 -Dalton Locke

*

“This tripped me. Woah, what a valuable video. The greatest of attitudes doesn’t mean total happiness all the time. We treat people all kinds of negative ways and we have no clue what they’re dealing with. We don’t care until they’re gone. That’s the scary part.”

-Trenton Scipio

*

This really hit home with me, I suffer from depression and have since I was a teen. All my friends and family knew me as the “happy” person, even now I’m the “good morning” and “good night” person at work and at home. No one knew until very recent that I not only struggle with depression, but a history of self harm as well. I cried and had to watch this a few times, I know from experience that people who really suffer put on that happy face because we don’t want to bring everyone else down with us, or because we don’t think anyone will understand or even care. It’s hard to reach people like us because we don’t want anyone to know we’re suffering, for whatever reason, we don’t want that attention

-Jasmine Thompson

*

“The sad part is that the signs -are- there, they’re just not the ones we’re looking for. Sometimes depression looks like the guy in the video, but sometimes it looks like Ricky and I’ll tell you why. The way people cope is different, as many already know. Ricky was trying to repress his depression and loneliness by brightening other people’s days so that they don’t have to feel the way he does. Greeting others was also his way of reaching out, of trying to get “attention” (not in a negative connotation), in hopes someone would smile back or say “hey, how was your weekend? Wanna meet up later this week?” But he didn’t receive it.”

– Danny Giraud

All About Perspective

“Here’s the important lesson: the labels we give people do not actually determine who they are, only how we perceive them.”

Click here to watch the video if the imbedded video above is not working.

This video is a perfect example of what the topic of this post will be about today.

The video is about an experiment titled “Decoy” where 6 photographers are asked to photograph the same man in a manner that expresses his background story.  What they don’t know is that they each have been told a different background story. The results of the photos were drastic. Each photographer had taken a photo of a man they believed they had known based off of what they had been told. The same man had been perceived in 6 different ways.

The point of the experiment was to teach photographers about the importance of perspective, which leads me to this post.

Perspective is everything. As humans we tend to assume we know everything. Our assumptions place us in a box that keep us tied down and limited. It blinds us from everything that is outside of the box. We tend to get tunnel vision and are only able to obsessively focus on what’s right in front of us failing to see the bigger picture.

We do the same thing when it comes to our circumstances. Growing up we are told who we are, who we are to become, what we lack, what we aren’t and all of these statements place us in a box.

We are constantly categorized.

We then begin to believe what is said and most likely become a reflection of those very statements that may not even be true. Just like the photographers who captured what they believed to be the true identity of the man. The man became categorized and in turn the photos taken evoked false truths based off of false knowledge.

People may think you are crazy, ugly, poor, depressed, unstable, emotional, needy, etc. but it doesn’t matter what everyone else has to say. Don’t let their perceptions of you become you. Be who God made you to be. (And if you don’t believe in God that’s okay. The point is to be the best version of yourself) Don’t let others perspective of you become your perspective or your truth. All these titles and categories force us into a box. Just because you are emotional, needy, a millionaire, homeless, depressed, etc doesn’t mean that those things make you YOU. They may be a part of your life right now but they don’t define you.

All I ask is that you take a minute to reflect on your perspective. Are you perceiving whats true, or are you perceiving false “truths”? 

Just remember, sometimes our own thoughts can hinder and taint our perspectives and in those cases we are the ones that are placing ourselves in a box. Whether it’s us or someone else, remember that we are the only ones that control our outlooks.

We can choose to listen to everyone else (including our inner negative thoughts) or we can choose not to.

We can choose false truths or real truths.

Don’t let categories define who you are.

Fix me ups

Things that are fixed half assed tend to find a way of always breaking themselves once again. If someone needs stitches, a band-aid isn’t going to really do much if anything at all.

This week I’ve been working with mothers who have gone through so much pain and hurt from their past and present. They have been unwilling/unable to make the necessary changes needed to heal and overcome the different challenges they are facing. Failing to understand that by doing so, they will be so much better off. Of course they can’t see it because they are in the middle of it. I couldn’t see it either when I was going through hard times.

It’s hard to see the end of the storm when it’s raging all around you. 

People tend to focus on the negative and the hopelessness of a situation but we need to continue to fill ourselves with hope and determination to keep on keeping on.

One particular mother chatted with me today and told me how she wanted to end her life. How she couldn’t take it anymore and thought that the best solution was to leave this world and avoid dealing with everything. The thing is that by leaving this world, not only do we fail to overcome our challenge, we also miss out on the many beautiful opportunities life is waiting to give us.

I can remember many occasions in my life that I sat there completely checked out and over it all. I’ve felt like I was drowning, barely keeping my head above water. I’ve struggled so much to stay afloat that I couldn’t do much of anything else. I’ve had moments in life that I’ve tried to commit suicide because I didn’t see any other solution. But from experience I can say that if I made it, you can make it too. I no longer get suicidal thoughts. I haven’t had a suicidal thought pop into my head for over a decade. I still get in moments of feeling down where I feel like I’m just over everything but to me I have come a long way and that in itself is a huge accomplishment.

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This illustration I came across on dA is a beautiful example of what it feels like to be overwhelmed and drowning.

Emotional Overload

Emotional Overload by Len-Yan

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That’s why it is crucial to work on yourself. When you feel this much hurt inside, this much confusion, take a step back and help yourself get through it by working on you and healing from any past/present hurt you may be going through.

Remember that you are an amazing person and will do amazing things. Remember your worth and take a day at a time because it will get better.

Art touching lives…

Art has the ability to reach out to people and touch their lives. It has the ability to reach out to communities and bring hope to those feeling hopeless, love to those feeling loveless, and even strength to those feeling weak. Art has the ability to make people cry, to touch their hearts and make a difference.

Art can raise money, bring awareness, make a statement, and become a voice.

Art CAN touch lives…

And so it begins…

Here is my story…

All or nothing I suppose. Pen on paper, words typed in a document, emotions expressed through the clicking of keys on my MacBook Pro. My finger tips find their way to the letters needed to express the feelings of a broken heart. Wearing my heart on my sleeve.

I’m starting a series called “Broken Heart.” It is/was/started as a healing project. Healing from blindly “falling in love” with the wrong person, healing from my past abusive relationships, and healing from past hurt that still lingered in the depths of my heart.

I believe that everything happens for a reason and I know this was a much needed learning experience for me. Regardless, this moment in my life resulted in a pain that I had never felt before. There’s nothing like losing a loved one; figuratively or literally.

Pain is pain no matter how it’s dished out.

It begins with the sleepless nights, analyzing EVERYTHING, the dreaded what if’s, the inability to eat a single damn thing. I’d get up in the morning and just cry. Cry because it hurt so bad inside. I couldn’t feel anything else but that sadness. I had no energy for anything and I went through the motions. I completely shut down and lost myself along the way. I realize now how lost I was throughout my relationship and how lost I became afterwards. My solution? Numbing myself to everything around me. Smiling when I needed to, laughing when it was appropriate, going to work, coming home, eating the little I could, watching a TON of Netflix because it helped me to avoid what I was feeling, and then it’d start all over again the next day.  I prayed a lot because without God I wouldn’t have survived. Without God I was completely underwater, with God my head was at least afloat. The problem was I wasn’t doing anything to change my circumstance. I was kind of just floating around, just getting by by maintaining my numbness.

Then there were days where I was sick of crying and sick of feeling dead inside. I’d try and get up with a positive attitude and out of the blue that feeling of sadness and brokenness would overcome me. Paralyze me. And just like that it would start all over again. The pain of losing a loved one is never something dealt with easily. Unexpected loss, expected loss, tragic loss it honestly doesn’t matter the adjective describing the loss. It still hurts and it’s still painful.

Now I am someone who laughs ALL THE TIME, am super silly, love having fun and spreading that to others and here I was withering away to sadness. My emotions would switch from anger to sadness to numbness and I couldn’t keep up. On a roller coaster of torture. No matter what anyone else said it didn’t make any of it go away. Not to mention finding out a loved one was diagnosed with cancer and would soon die, my family was going through a lot and I felt guilty bc I wasn’t there, some personal things were happening and it was all happening at once. Add that to the hurt I’d been carrying around for years and you have yourself quite the recipe for overwhelming hurt and brokenness.

This is how “Broken Heart” was born. It was/is my personal project to heal from this pain and past pain and hurt I had endured. It took a broken heart for me to realize I had hurt from the past I hadn’t quite healed from and a current broken heart that became the last straw.

My parents separated when I was young so I already had a very negative view on love. My AIM was ‘Lovesacruelgame’ if that doesn’t clearly explain how I felt about love. I couldn’t wrap my head around how people who say they love each other could possibly leave one another. I didn’t get how you could tell someone you loved them yet lie and cheat. It didn’t make any sense at all. And so my concept of love became corrupted. I dated here and there but always kept guys at arms length from my heart. I saw the pain my mom went through and had decided I wanted nothing to do with that kind of hurt. I began bouncing around from state to state and job to job because of my inability to commit. Commitment was serious and I wanted to avoid it at all costs. It was too permanent for my taste and I saw what commitment had done to my family growing up. ((I would later learn that my misperception of love and relationships was nothing but that; a misperception.))

Like every story goes… I moved to a new state, started a new job, then met a guy who I decided to let in and “fell in love”.  Fell in love with our little family we had created. But just as quickly as things started, things fell apart. Had I not been blinded, I would have seen that it would have never worked out in the first place. It’s funny how our gut knows so much and without fail we tend to ignore it. To ignore those little red waving flags telling us to runaway, turnaround, leave but we continue taking steps forward anyway. Just like those damn Lemmings. Don’t get me wrong, this guy is truly wonderful and one of the sweetest men I know (when he choses to be), we just weren’t the match for one another. Too many differences causing us to spiral and fall apart.

I had lost loved ones due to sickness, accidents, some more traumatic than others and now I could officially check off that little box next to losing someone you fell in love with.

It dawned on me how many people in this world are feeling this same exact kind of pain. I’m blessed enough to have an amazing support group consisting of my family and friends who have received countless phone calls but what if others aren’t as lucky to have created this support just yet? I can’t imagine surviving and slowly getting through it all without the love of my family and friends. As impossible as I thought it was to overcome this pain, I slowly am. Slowly healing and finally letting go of hurt from many years ago. I’ve gone through many dark battles. I know what it is to hurt and attempt suicide just to get away from said hurt. Battling those dreaded inner demons that don’t seem to go away. The point is that we all go through some form of pain. Some are lucky to get through it, others are barely staying afloat, and sadly others don’t survive. Because they’ve given up, are tired of fighting such a long battle, are lost, or the shore feels too far away. But let me remind you that it is not. Let me tell you to keep on fighting. Keep that head above water because you WILL get through it.

I want to use my “Broken Heart” Series to help raise awareness for those in pain. Those that are lost, those that are hurting, those that are so broken down they feel there is no point at all to get up. My “Broken Heart” series will consist of different illustrations depicting the pain I felt/still feel from this past relationship and past life experiences. A depiction of being drained of life, feeling trapped, lost, angry, and blinded. Those whose loved ones have died, those going through divorce, a terrible breakup, those struggling with life’s battles, those that are insecure, single moms and dads, veterans who have seen so much and done so much only to come home broken apart, those abandoned by their parents and friends, those that are feeling alone. EVERY single one of you out there, this project is for you.

Those who know me know that I am an extremely private person. The majority of people I know have no idea what I was going through and am still going through. But I refuse to let this be a fear that keeps me trapped and paralyzed. Paralyzed of confronting what I went through because to be honest with you all, I had avoided my project for the longest time. (Over 2 years now) It would stir up memories, emotions, sadness, anger, you name it that I had tucked and locked away and wanted to avoid. But I’ve had enough and I am ready to let it go. I want to be there for others who may be going through a fraction or times 50 of what I went through.

So there you have it… My up and coming project to help those that have hurt and are still hurting inside…

The #BrokenHeartSeries

-R