May Our Souls Rest Tonight |For those We’ve Lost to Suicide


“This one’s for the Lonely, the ones that seek and find, Only to be Let down, Time after Time. This is for the ones who stand, for the Ones who think they can, For the ones who need a hand, for the Ones who Try again” – Comes and Goes in Waves – Greg Laswell (piano version)


This is for the Ones who are out there struggling, wherever you are in the world tonight, today. This is for the friends I’ve made who are struggling to hold onto hope and make it through their shitty times with life. This is for the Ones we’ve lost to suicide. This is for the Ones we still have yet to lose to suicide. And for everyone in between who feels worthless and alone and unloved and like a burden. This is for you, too.


This is for the ones we didn’t make it in time to save. This is for anyone out there struggling to make it through the day.


This is for me, letting go of the past. Accepting what I can control . . . and that which I cannot. No matter how difficult and sorrowful that is to make.


This is my public apology, for I am sorry to the Ones who have lost their lives, unable to feel joy and move through pain again. Unable to find that feelings are temporary and that pain ends, in this life, too. This is for the Ones who left this world prematurely. This is for the parts of me who resent that I haven’t followed in those empty footprints.


Trigger Warning: Suicidal themes. My perspective last year when I was suicidal. This is the poem I wrote, below, as my suicide note. I never used it. I began my third hospitalization June 2nd 2015. I’m glad that I did. ❤


May Our Souls Rest Tonight

Written May 29th 2015

It’s not easy to say goodbye.

It’s not easy to go before you’re due.

It’s not easy to live with a mental illness,
A physical illness,
A disability,
A problem.

We all have our struggles.
We all have something that keeps us up at night.
We all have our strengths….
Our weaknesses.

I don’t know if this is my goodbye or not,
I wish it were different,
It may be different,
It could be different.

I don’t know how this story –
My story –
Will play out.

We don’t get to know the ending while we’re
Still here, alive. Existing.
Sometimes we’re just yanked from the world too soon,
By chance –
Or by our own hand.

It’s ugly when your brain turns against you.
It’s miserable being a prisoner in your own head.
And it can be seemingly impossible to make it
Through each day.
Each crisis.

You’re strong if you make it through, I know it.
You’re amazing for having gotten up this morning.
You’re worth so much more than you know.

It is never and will never be your fault,
For the ones who have lives pulled away
From them too soon.

Sometimes we get to say goodbye,
And other times,
Words can’t encircle the pain in which we live
Encompassed by.

It’s neither right nor wrong.
Suicide just is.

It happens,
To more people than you may know.

This will never be and has never been your fault,
Never.
I know you won’t hear me any longer,
So I can’t emphasize it enough —
My death by suicide was NOT your fault at all.

I did as much as I could.
You did as best as you could.
You did your best.
You tried.
Maybe what I did wasn’t everything,
But we can’t always be everything.
Sometimes the storm just doesn’t let up,
But our resolve does,
And I can’t go on in this life with this pain.

I know I will regret my decision to depart prematurely,
I know it will cause such a grave pain throughout
All that I’ve known and had yet to know,
But I can’t hold on any longer.

I’ve tried my best,
And I can’t thank you all enough for bringing me
The joy and love and support
I’ve had in these 21 years.

I’m so thankful for the peace and friendship
And family I’ve had this whole time.
Thank you for helping me in part of my journey.
Thank you for existing, and I hope, and you better damn well,
Keep on existing for years after my own absence.
You are worth so god damn much.
If I could hold on longer, I’d hold on for you,
But this pain is too much for me,
And it’s time for me to let it go.

I’ll be okay.
Really.
I’ll be okay.
Depending upon your beliefs,
I’ll be either housing it up with the zombies
Or watching you from up above.

…. I am so sorry that this is how it ends,
Or how it may end….

I will miss you all so much.
And I know you will miss me too.

I’m so, so very sorry.
Be stronger than me. ❤
Take care of yourselves.
I love you so much.
This is not your fault.
This was my choosing.
Depression, OCD, they can be unforgiving.
Please do not follow me,
Take care of yourselves,
Get help when you need it,
Everybody deserves help,
And light and happiness in their lives.

There’s nothing I can say that will ever make this okay.
But these are my thoughts, for you, reading this.
I don’t know if anyone will ever even find it…
But it’s here,
For you to read,
When I may no longer be.
I’ll be with you, always.
I know it’s never easy saying goodbye.
But sometimes we just need to let go.
So, here we go:
Uncurl your fists,
Let your tears shed,
Curl up with one another,
Be there with comfort,
Treat yourself with compassion,
You will be all right again.

Let the breeze swipe through your hair,
Let the ocean sway your mood,
Let the light enter your shadowy world,
Breathe in,
Out.
Everything will be okay.

I will always be but a memory away.

I love you.
I will miss you.
You did everything that you could.
I couldn’t have asked for a better time with my life.
Take care of my things.
You’ll have so much art to go through!
Get yourself help,
Because you will need all of the support you can gather.
There are groups, you know?
Find them.
Surround yourself with others fighting for a cause.

Goodbye doesn’t come easy,
But letting go can be so beautifully freeing.
I’m one with the stars now,
Mixing into the universe,
There’s always so much more that could be said,
But I hope these words have fed some comfort,
Some understanding,
It will be okay, I know it.

Letting go doesn’t have to be bad,
It can be releasing.

And we all need to be released.


I’m proud to those who’ve fought for as long as you have. I’m sorry that life wasn’t enough. May you rest peacefully. And may we do a better job as those left behind to prevent more lives lost for the future.

I’m sorry that for tonight I won’t be joining you. For that, I’ll thank myself in the morning.

R.I.P.

“The Piper” | Book Review | Please Read

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

I’m so excited!!! lmao I spent ALL day reading this book, The Piper by Lynn Hightower, for about a hundred and fifty pages in the span of 6 hours on/off? Yeah. Ohmygerd. So, a book review is in order!

WARNING: Spoiler LAND ahead. I really do recommend this novel, so if you’d like to read it, STOP NOW, ’cause I’ll be discussing it in length (but I’ll leave out some of the big surprises). You’ll find my thoughts on the book, what touched me, quotes, and my trying to make sense of ALL THE SHIT THAT WENT DOWN. So yeah, very excited!! Okay, that out of the waaaay.

(If you don’t want to read about the spoilers, skip to the quotes section where I relate my recovery experience to this book. You may find some pretty inspirational, life quotes down there! LONG post is LONG) XD

 


My Detailed Summary/Plot Line (SPOILERS) of The Piper by Lynn Hightower

First: My rating for this book is a SIX out of FIVE. Like an EIGHT out of TEN. IT WAS AMAZING. You know I’m serious if I’m using CAPS lock 🙂 😀

I really did love it though.

It took me a few days and the first fifty pages to get really into it, but I think that had to do with my own attention span and getting used to the characters and what was going on. Throughout today, especially, I had multiple moments of sighing to myself in frustration to the characters (like when you watch a movie and you’re yelling at the screen!), to being sweating and freaking out with a TWIST I didn’t expect and genuinely getting creeped out chills from it, to exclaiming WHAT OH SHIT THEY’RE DEAD multiple times as well. All of the excitement lies within this post. (And how lovely it feels to feel that physiological feeling within myself again, and so purely too!)

So, our main characters involve Olivia, mother of 8 year old Teddy (female), and Hugh, the father, whom there’s a divorce underway. Olivia gets a phone call from her brother Chris warning her about “the pied piper” and how he “had to pay the piper” and that the “Mister Man is after her”. All good and nice, except Chris has been dead for 9 weeks. O_O CALLS FROM THE DEAD

I promise, I won’t keep abusing the CAPS lock. I swear!

Anywho, so the Mister Man is their sibling code for what happened to their sister Emily and German shepherd Hunter, twenty five years ago (I think, there were lots of numbers involved) when they disappeared without a trace.

Teddy and Olivia have a current older golden retriever named Winston, so you know.

Anywho, there’s a lot of moving around and a lot of help from Olivia’s friend and Teddy’s PA (physician’s assistant) in LA Amelia as they begin to uncode what Chris’ warning meant and learn, as Olivia and Teddy move back to Knoxville, that there are bad vibes coming from Olivia’s old house (which she and Teddy are back in) and that Charlotte, Chris’ wife and three girls, know more than they let on in the beginning.

So after a lot of time, Amelia comes up to visit Olivia, because she told her friend from college, Alexis, that her young daughter was struggling to breathe (she was dying) and that it would be time for Alexis to let the daughter go. And Amelia told Alexis about Olivia’s phone call from Chris, thinking ghosts calling siblings would help give her comfort (leaving out the warning though) but it didn’t help and Alexis banned Amelia from access to her daughter. So Amelia goes to Olivia and they begin uncovering more about what’s been going down in the house.

Teddy has been seeing a ghost who is dark and evil, named Duncan Lee. He has roots to being the pied piper from Germany, in which he was a serial killer who murdered many, many children in very brutal ways.

He’s connected to the family because Chris, Bennington and Jamison, when they were wrestling in high school had gone to the Waverly Sanatorium, an old TB hospital, that was thriving with paranormal activity and made a deal with the piper who is Duncan Lee. They all won scholarships at the match, but they had to pay back the piper. Jamison got into a car accident. Bennington’s wife lost their child. And Chris and Olivia lost Emily and Hunter. Whatever deal you made with the piper, the consequences were very, very high priced.

So what winds up happening, is that Duncan Lee’s the bad guy around the old house. Chris’ girl Janet gets severely sick with what may or may not have been cancer, and he made another deal with the piper to save her, but that meant his life being taken. That’s how he died.

Amelia makes a deal with the Piper to save Marianne (the little girl of Alexis). Marianne returns to life, Alexis freaking the fuck out, and Amelia pays her price.

A homicide cop named McTavish that has history with Amelia get close and lovey dovey which is cute and wonderful, gets more on board when the peeps start showing up all dead.

There’s all this weird shit happening in the house and Olivia finds out that the dog that’s been barking around the home turns out to be a limping Hunter. Yup, the dog her family had 25 years ago.

Then, Teddy and Winston disappear like – POOF! Gone.

So there’s this whole investigation into Olivia with the cops.

And Hugh comes down and believes Olivia’s story about the Piper. There’s a psychic named Ack who gets involved, but she’s been waiting for 15 years to deal with what happened when she went to the Waverly and provoked the Piper. She’s been sitting in fear for 15 years, pretty much. And feels therefore responsible not being able to help out Chris and the rest.

Hugh decides in his anger that he’ll bring back Teddy, and he mentions specifically a 5 number code about how many books he’d bring back for Teddy for them all to be a family again. Well, in his anger he goes to the house. And you guessed it, he paid the piper too.

So Olivia goes to Bennington to find out his story. Turns out, after having some tea with him, the dude she spoke with, WASN’T him! It was Duncan Lee! THE GHOST

Bennington and all his new family and dog? Paid the Piper!

EVERYBODY’S DROPPING LIKE FLIES

Lmao, this is so my style of a book review… I’m leaving out details too, again, I recommend reading it.

It turns out some other dude murdered that family. And then some other dude in jail says he knows where Emily is.

And so Olivia goes to Ack and they decide to go to the source, Waverly.

So they go. And a lot of shit goes down and it’s beautiful and I’m going to put quotes of it at the bottom. It’s beautiful really.

And Ack disappears. And Olivia makes a choice. And they find Emily and Hunter and that they had been murdered by some other killer from prison who never got caught for their murder and it was actually OLIVIA he was after (she was 5 at the time and Emily was 15) and that the Piper had been following Olivia around and watching her all these years.

And with that code Olivia had from Hugh, and following the ghost of her dead dog Hunter, she finds Teddy and Winston. And they live pretty happily off, with some scars Olivia has from the event to remind her of her choice. And that’s how it ends.

I pretty much ruined it for anyone who read this but, fuck it, it was a good book. Lots of things to keep track of for sure! Who was what killer and what happened where and what codes and numbers and oh my. NOW! Onto quotes and my thoughts!


QUOTES + Their IMPACT on Me

“She could save them all, Amelia and Teddy, if she could start the day again” = p. 122

This is after Amelia has paid the Piper and Teddy is having lots of troubles. I found it particularly heartbreaking from Olivia’s grief, and the desperation she felt to want to rewind time and create a do-over. As it turns out though, it probably wouldn’t have helped. ❤ 😦

“Anger could be magnificent. People always underestimated the power of a

good hard rage. The trick was to control it, rather than let it control you. It was

a skill you could learn but you did have to work at it” – p. 187

I liked this quote about anger because it’s very true and relate-able. I have found that using anger in my recovery with the OCD has been very helpful, there’s nothing like being angry at a circumstance you’re in and deciding, NO, I will not let you dictate how this shit goes, OCD. FUCK YOU. It’s great! Gets that old hand punching OCD in the face. There’s defiance and strength in anger. It’s good. =]

“And if you listen even a little it’s like it’s got a foot in the door and it gets

stronger and stronger and sometimes it feels like a friend, but it’s not. . . But the

more you listen, the more attention you give it, the stronger it gets” – p. 192

This is Chris’ daughter Janet speaking, warning Olivia about Duncan Lee, the ghost, the Piper and how he was affecting Chris and Teddy and all the others. I really liked this quote because it felt like a dawning truth coming to light over my head, where I felt this relates well to what OCD feels like and how OCD acts. The more attention you give to your OCD, the more strength it builds. And it is NOT a friend but with be deceiving and make it look like it’s on your side, doing YOU a favor. I found it just an amazing revelation while reading this book.

“No one can see it unless they agree. It has to be a choice.” – p. 192

Again, I love this, it’s still Janet talking and describing the Piper. It makes me think so much of OCD. And it IS a CHOICE and I always have a CHOICE whether I pay attention to it or not. Whether I strengthen myself or its inflated ego. There’s always a choice. ❤ This was very striking to me. I feel like I’ve been enlightened into recovery again, just a spoonful of it, where I wasn’t expecting it to be.

“If you’re ready. If you want to face it. Don’t you think it’s time to stop running

from this? Aren’t you tired of living under its shadow? Maybe we were meant

to do this together, you and me.” – p. 223

This is Olivia talking to Ack, trying to convince her to go with her to Waverly to face Duncan Lee at the source. I really enjoy the teamwork, companionship in this quote. I also like that challenging your worst fears notion, again, something that ties hand in hand with recovery from OCD. (or any issue!!) It feels like declaring war on the OCD, on the Piper, of fighting back, whatever the cost.

“To be strong if you get . . . targeted. You can’t just stand on the sidelines with

these things. Keep going, come on, the only way out is forward. There isn’t any

other way. Think of your little girl and keep walking. Keep walking, okay?” – p. 229

This is Ack talking to Olivia as they are walking through the Body Chute of Waverly. Ack is in front of Olivia, leading the way, and the shadows of lost souls are forming all around them, and so there’s no way for them to turn back now, they can only move forward. I like that Ack is getting Olivia to think of her values, her daughter, the reason she’s fighting her fears and going to places, to the ends of the Earth, to save her daughter. This is very much like the journey with OCD, you focus on your values as the treatment of ERP causes you to face your greatest fears. Like the Robert Frost quote, “The best way out is always through.”

“She felt the oddest sense of recognition, like she’d known him all her life.

Taking his hand would be such a relief. No struggling anymore. She had not

understood how much she would want this, how good she knew it would feel.” – p. 231

This is Olivia under the lies and deceit of the Piper, telling her to take his hand and make a deal and then that everything would be okay and she’d get back Teddy in exchange for her life. She is under the spell of the Piper, as he glorifies what making a deal with him will be like. As I’m sure you can see, this is like how the OCD I deal with glorifies suicide and self-harm. Making it seem like the perfect release.

“But on some level she felt it. That she was the special one, she always had

been, and there was something evocative about the feeling it gave her,

knowing she was chosen. She felt the urge to accept, to give in, to take the hand

that beckoned her on. If she gave in now it would be easier, she would find

peace in her heart. Just the thought of it made her feel warm, bathed in relief.” – p. 232

Again, this is more of how I feel with the OCD, how it lies to make me feel like a special person, the one and few who would come to act on the very thing I fear. To act out what it wants from me, even when my values lie elsewhere. How it glorifies the end of life into this sweet, honey land of escape and release, when really it would horrible and torturous for all (myself, my friends, my family, people I knew online, people I had yet to meet, people I didn’t even know I could affect). It is deceitful and yet tempting, so very, very tempting sometimes. It would be so simple. So easy… And sometimes there’s just that urge to relapse, like where I’m at now, to just wander down the other path… but for what, really? For what purpose?

“Olivia had felt important then too, but it was nothing like this feeling. Then

she had felt the tie between mother and child, but there was no ego involved,

only a sense of responsibility and love.” – p. 233

This is when Olivia is realizing she has a choice, and she remembers a memory of her and Teddy and compares that feeling of love to how she feels with the Piper’s request. This makes me think of the promised feelings I supposedly would receive if I listen and do what the OCD says, but that I never really get, not for long. Not as long and ever lasting as Responsible Raquel and Recovery Raquel. I miss those two. (So today, May 3oth 2016 marks my new journey of recovery again)

“There was good and bad in life,

and the thought filled Olivia

with dread because she knew

what it might mean for Teddy.

Life was consequences, for

having children, for falling in love,

for having hope.

Happiness meant people you’d lose one day.

There wasn’t going to be an easy way out.

In real life, there

never was.” – p. 233

I just love this quote. It speaks such honest truth, in a raw and emotional way. It gives Olivia the strength to face her fear and tell it ‘No, I will not make any deal with you.’ It makes me think of how it’s better to get to know someone today, even though one day you’ll miss them and they’ll be gone. The whole, better to have loved at all than never before thing. While they’re in your life, they could have an impact on you and you on them. It could shape who they are for the rest of time. Or, add to it. This also recognizes that shit happens in life and life can be amazing too. We’re only here for a limited amount of time, so what are you going to do with yours?

“She still felt it sometimes,

the compulsion

she’d had when she’d reached

for that ghostly

hand, and she sometimes

felt the lure, that

yearning grief for

her childhood home,

thought she heard the

piper whispering in her

ear. But when the urge

got too strong, she had

only to touch her throat,

to listen to the hoarse

damage in her vocal cords,

and it was enough,

it was, to keep her safe.” –

p. 250

I got these last two quotes in larger text, specifically this one because it’s important. I feel actually, from the journey of writing up this book review, that this quote above really encompasses what RECOVERY (and RECOVERY TO WELLNESS) is all about.

The urge will still be there. The Piper, the OCD, the depression, the BPD, the whatever it may be, it will still be there even as we recover, the difference is that we have a choice now, we have a choice to how we manage, how we cope, how we move forwards. Is it easy? No, hell no. Fucking hello no. Yet it’s so very worth it.

And we may be able to see the effect of our journeys on our bodies, our flesh, or our memories, and still, we are SURVIVORS. We are living proof of a story unfinished. We are those semicolons. We are gladiators and victors.

Recovery is a journey, not a destination. We can always learn and grow more.

And it’s okay to break down. It’s okay to not be okay. It’s okay to lose sight sometimes of where we’re going, what we’re doing, what our purpose is.

But with a little introspection, a lot of love and support, friends around us — virtual and real — with a good book, we can find the light again.

 

“The light doesn’t need the dark,

but the dark needs the light.” –

p.188

And Breaking I Shall Be

Today’s Prompt | Blank

I feel . . . minimally.

I cannot cry from my internal pain. It’s so minimal, it may not even be considered pain.

I have relapsed in self-harm, in the OCD . . . and yet, I can barely feel.

I want to cry like the sky is dark and crashing into the light and crying now. I may go outside to just be in the rain. To try and feel. I feel that I cannot feel . . . not adequately.

I am losing myself into blankness. Into nothingness. The depression is so far at bay, it’s laughable. The OCD mingles with the whispers in my mind… its whispers. And still, I can barely feel.

Last night was difficult to fall asleep, to settle my wings into unburdened dreams. Eventually I managed, a variety of sound videos later to help cool my mind, as the OCD was reeling, deciding it’d be a merry time to obsess over obsessing.

I woke up from my slumber multiple times, coming close even to publishing words filled with aches and pains. But fear gripped me, minimally, that it may be too much fixation on the OCD, that it may be me giving further into its powers and that I was just another pawn yet again in its plans… So I found a new sound to listen to and fell back to slumber.

Because of this pattern, I am heavily exhausted. I feel a dense brush of evergreens in my mind, behind my solemn eyes, that cannot feel internally.

Why oh why must the tears be so hard to find?

I require a simple release. So tear I did into my innocent flesh. A blank space contorted into streaks of red lines, skin tearing apart from its clutches of home into the air of the unknown. A sting, a resolute crisp of my vision, alert and awake and present I felt – the rain came down and I could hear the singular droplets, the air became lighter, feelings evoked – and the short term relief dissipated . . . forgotten into scars and soon to be uncovered regret.

I fear these mere words aid only in the OCD lurking in my mind.

 

With emotion I say, it is not enough. I feel incapable of taking my own life, which is good, yet hellish. Yet this pain is so minimal, how could I forget? I know not where the journey goes from here. I am merely spent.

I feel as though I have acted unlike myself. This blankness, this foggy light, makes me forget who I am and why I am sat here forming words together and together, stringing them like lights over the branches.

I do not know. I cannot know.

This place is not for healing. It is for breaking. And breaking I shall be.