Hope Is Eternal | Article

By Raquel Lyons

Can you really not help someone who does not want to be helped? How true is this statement? Or, do we just say it to ourselves to absolve any guilt we may have over not being enough to save someone that we love?


Hand in hand to this is the concept that you have to help yourself first before you can help someone else.


I don’t believe it is necessarily an entire truth that you can’t help someone unless you’ve helped yourself. I think being placed in that kind of position gives you the ability to act and respond with compassion and mutual solidarity that other people may not have the luxury of having.


And, at the same time, to be away, at arm’s length of the situation gains you much more insight and ability to help someone than only being able to relate to someone as you are both knee deep in quicksand.


So, like most things in life, the answer is both yes and no. It’s a shade of gray often unaccounted for.


I believe that thinking someone can only help themselves is a dangerous concept at its worst.


I don’t believe it to mean we shouldn’t try to look out for others. They may not take to our aid or even our words of advice, and that is something within their very own right to do, and I don’t think it means we should never try.


Because sometimes at some point in time our words and our actions could become the critical point to which another person chooses recovery or chooses to fall more unsteadily down a particularly dark path.


We just never know when one or the other–or to complicate matters, both–will occur.


I’ve heard it said before that the same information could be presented at both Point A and Point B and that within those two points the information could be differently encoded.


Basically, I could tell you the story of X and at two separate moments you have built up a series of life experiences that will cause you to react differently to the information that is provided to you.


No one moment can ever be truly replicated. We are all unique, complex individuals who can never really experience the same exact event twice.


I will never fully appreciate the setting sun in exactly the way that you do simply because I am not you.


Although I may never experience your life in the same way that you do, we both experience this life in some of the same, similar ways.


And so, that means that in this moment of my handwriting this, in the moment of my typing these words, and also in the moment of you reading these words, we *are* united.


We are *not* alone.


The next time you feel that no one will understand the darkness within your soul that you struggle to convey, think only of this word: empathy.


Empathy allows us humans to feel with each other, to imagine such horrors and to be understanding of them even when we have not undergone the tragedies ourselves.


Instead, we feel *with* you, and by feeling with you while being separate from you, gives us the perspective to aid you in ways you are unable to see right now.


Additionally, I think if we tell ourselves someone can only be helped when they themselves are ready, they don’t realize how *bad* mental illness can get.


I fear this is the same misguided logic behind the concept of having to hit rock bottom before you can get help.


Really, what is being said here in that statement is: “I’m not worthy of help,” “I don’t deserve help” and “my situation is not ‘that bad’”.


The problem with all of these negative thoughts is you or your loved ones may become so ingrained in denial that you are incapable of seeing how “bad” things have gotten.


And, by simply being human, for being someone who is struggling either publicly or privately, you inherently are someone who needs, deserves and is worthy of help.


Reaching out for help will always be a brave, courageous act; because you do not have to experience deep emotional pain as your last experience in this life.


Because it does get better, and it gets better as you put in the work and the effort for it to get better.


Pain is temporary. Our lives have guaranteed endings at an unknown period of time. We make the most of it, because without it, we’d be lost.


And you are no longer lost, but rather, you have been found.


Part of the inspiration for my writing this article came from Linkin Park’s song “One More Light” with the chorus: “If they say who cares if one more light goes out? In the sky of a million stars it flickers, flickers. Who cares when someone’s time runs out? If a moment is all we are. Who cares if one more light goes out? Well, I do.”

Legit crying over this song STILL.

I really want to pat my sleepy Mocha but I also wanted this sucker up tonight, too. I’d love to hear any of your feedback or thoughts on the matter or these issues!! 🙂

I made a heated Twitter thread today that is what inspired this article and then my reading “Before I Fall” realllllly kicked it up a few notches, adding in this song and BAM! We got this sucker out. I have a RAW version and an EDITED version, this is clearly the latter so that I could make it fit within an 850 word limit.

Any who, I will likely be adding a photograph to this piece in the future, maybe of which I will create tomorrow.

Thank you for reading and stumbling along!!

The title was difficult–got it inspired again in part from the novel! So many thoughts, gwah! Originally it was “Saving Someone from Themselves”

Written October 30.2017

PS You can be damn well sure I’m going to do another music mental health post with THIS song. ❤ I love it so much and also, RIP Chester Bennington. I’ve cried many times today, I’m thankful that your talent and marvelous voice have been captured in time by the art that you helped to produce. You were an amazing soul and even though I’m just a small voice in the crowd around you, I know that one voice has the power to inspire thousands of other voices and in that sense, we are never truly alone.

Please, if you are struggling tonight, or any night, call 1800 273 8255 if you’re in the US. You’re worthy of this life. Please, please be around to live it.

Okay, that’s enough outta me!

A Message Brought to You by Unit Z | Article

Articles THUMB

Abandonment: It has a salty taste to it because, at the time of writing this, my tears are running down the sides of my face. I write this article in my Timeless Tree journal I got from Barnes and Noble, as I am eating a small chocolate ice cream and the classic Lorna Doones of Unit Z.


I’ve been here for what is just becoming my fourth week. It has been four weeks of BS.


My social worker, whom I dutifully named DC for reasons I cannot go into here, has been working my case. Unfortunately for me, DC and the psychiatrist want to take me to court to get me court ordered to go to a state hospital.


Luck is on my side, however, because it is a long process to get into state hospitals. Also when people go to state hospitals they go for months and or years at a time.


I do *not* have time for that BS. I have a puppy at home that needs me. I have a family to go back to. I have friends to see and hang out with. I have articles to write, a blog to upkeep and a Twitter page to tweet out with. Not to mention I have a Youtube channel to provide videos and content for.


I have not stepped outside in a month. I have been stuck inside these four walls and a length of two hallways for a month with crappy hospital food and clock run medications.


I have made new friends, people I hope and envision staying in contact with when I do walk out of here.


And I do believe I *will* walk out of this hospital.


I *have* to believe in that.


Otherwise, there is no point in doing anything. There would be no point in living at all.


I have to believe there is more to life than ongoing hospitalizations. I have to believe that I am stronger than this situation. I have to believe that I am brave and that I am a survivor. I have to believe that this situation will only make me stronger.


I have to pull out of the fall 2017 semester. Which sucks, plainly put.


But, school will always be there.


Our trials and tribulations are time sensitive and temporary.


This moment of BS will not always exist. I have a choice in how I handle my downfalls.


And I am choosing to be strong. I am choosing to have faith. I am choosing to be better than I have been.


It will get better; gradually and one step at a time.


DC likes to tell me the cognitive distortion that I have no choices in my treatment and in my recovery.


I continue to reframe their distortions by affirming to them that I *always* have a choice.


I regret to report that I have not been the safest during this hospital stay. I spent a couple of nights alone in the Quiet Room. I’ve self-harmed in new, rather ingenious, ways. I have the scars to prove it and I’ve attempted to kill myself on more than one occasion.


To cope with this, they’ve changed my medications while I’ve been here and I’ve received six rounds of electroconvulsive therapy or ECT.


I carry around my stuffed animal dog, who has been renamed Ruby, like a child lost in the mall.


I am a child lost in this psychiatric unit. My security blanket has been snatched away and I’m left wondering how much of that my fault is.


My brain reminds me that I am a burden to those around me. It reminds me that I am a waste of space and that I can’t even kill myself properly.


I fear that I’ll die in here. I fear that I may not be strong enough.


But I have to put on a brave face. I can’t let them see how weak I feel. Because I *am* strong. And I am brave. And this situation is merely temporary.


I will survive this. I will get better. Sometimes it has to get worse before it gets better.


This is just a roadblock in my recovery journey. The real work begins outside of here.


I may not always want to live but I can still choose to take a deep breath, pause in my journey and begin again.


I don’t always wish to be here–both on the unit and in the world at all–but I’ve got to be strong.


I’ve got to be strong for you, for me, for all of us.


This is my confession: I still struggle, too.


And, I know I’m going to get through this.


I have to; because my story isn’t over yet.


And my legacy is just beginning.


“Be the change you want to see in the world.”


And recognize that you could be the shining beacon in someone else’s life.


Don’t deprive the world of your sparkle.


If no one has told you today: You matter. You are important. Without you, I’d be more lost than I would be found.


Shine brightly, and thank you for existing.


And now a small discussion piece:

I hope that you have enjoyed the production of this article and that it gives you some sense of faith, not alone-ness, pleasure, enjoyment and the strength that you DO have within your soul to face another day and PUNCH your mental illness IN THE FACE like a BOSS!

Today is the first day since I’ve been out of the hospital where I am feeling happy and inspired! My OWN words have inspired me as I had to read and re-read them over and over again to get from 1,034 words down to about 850 words! Also, I’ve been listening to good music such as “We Are Okay” by Joshua Radin and legit “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus because I seriously had that song stuck in my head throughout my hospitalization, no joke (I’ve also written an article about that which you’ll see later on).

I would also like to submit the full version of this article that actually was more of a journal entry sometime in the future, but not now and not today. You will see it though because I plan on typing and uploading all of my journal entries from when I was in the hospital to my blog and other locations (like deviantART).

PS DC stands for Douche Canoe. 😉 And I actually made them a bracelet, that I left behind on the hook in my room, that says “Douche”. 😀 It’s unlikely but I really REALLY hope they get it delivered to them!!


Thank you for reading!! And of course, for the amazing SUPPORT! You know who you are. ❤ ❤ ❤ This article was written 10.15.2017


To be free once more . . .

via Today’s Daily Prompt: Release

I am the wilderness, locked in a cage.

I am a tree reaching for the sun, please don’t hold me down.

I am a rolling wave without the motion.

I am an asphalt flower breaking free.

I am the fire burning desperately but you’re controlling me,

Release me.

Release me.

Legit, I thought of this song when I saw the word chosen for today’s daily prompt. It took me a few moments to remember who it was by and to find the right video, but I did it and I have about 8 minutes left to tell you about everything that’s been happening.

First, I’m only allowed 4 hours, at the moment, per day of Internet time. I know, scary, right? 😉

Second, I have a shit ton of journaling posts that I’ll be uploading over the course of the next month, likely, and then continuing each day from then on.

Third, I’ve been MIA because I’ve legit been in the hospital for an entire month.

You read that right.

An entire MONTH.

I got hospitalized for the tenth time on September 18th 2017 and I just got out today, October 20th 2017.

Mocha is officially a DOGGO. She’s so big now you guys! And tall!!

I’ve been keeping a journal, and writing articles (of course!) four actually that I will be working on uploading and submitting soon.

I got a change of meds and because of money will be changing them again.

I got ECT (six rounds of it).

I did some shit while I was inside. (Not good stuff).

I made lots of new things.

And overall, I’m a lot better than what and where I was before (most of which I can’t recall, anyways).

As you will come to see in my articles–I have been released from the confinements within my skull. The world is an exciting place for adventure and fun. I look forward to what tomorrow holds.


Stay safe, my dear, dear friends. ❤ ❤ ❤


PS I would put this into the mental health song a day challenge but I can’t actually remember what that pattern and scheme looked like. 😉