Learning Strength And Wisdom Through Pain; My Journey Continues. . .

Learning Strength And Wisdom Through Pain And Grief; My Life Journey Continues. . .

“I eat too much. I drink too much. I think too much. I want too much.” Those happened to be the lines I heard from a song as I began this post while sitting on a train. I’m on my way to see Susan and Paul in Connecticut. This will be my second visit since their son, Michael, took his life four years ago.

The first visit was emotionally and spiritually tragic for me. I felt the pain oozing from Susan’s body with every move she made. I cried. I panicked. I ached.

Don't Give Up

After all, it was the least I could do, so I thought. . . to become some martyr to the feelings of pain.  As though I was paying my dues. Who was I to feel happy? This was my homage to Michael; to suffer his pains, and to be the friend I should have been to him while he was physically here. Then, maybe his mom would be distracted by my turmoil and I could take his place. And, perhaps, I could receive forgiveness from Michael too.

Yes, it may sound silly now but those were not only rational thoughts for me, but more like a set of obligations. I went to see Susan at her workplace on my final day of my visit. We both wept over this tragedy together. Suddenly, she gathered herself together, held her hands in mine and said, “Nora, you can’t help me until you help yourself.”

What an unbelievable woman she is, when I think to back to that moment. After losing both of her twin children to suicide, she was still capable of sharing the wisdom needed to guide me away from my self-destruction. It was a pure and sincere act of strength and love. It was the epitome of grace in its purest form.

Sadly, at the time, I wasn’t able to take her advice. I knew it was the right thing to do, but I didn’t want to yet. I wasn’t ready. I wanted to run away from my feelings, and I wanted to do it alone. That destructive behavior taught be a valuable lesson: No matter how far you run, your problems will always follow you.

So, here we are now, three years later and once again, I’m preparing myself for the emotional journey of grieving, laughing, crying and sharing. Except, this time, it will be different. I know better. I have grown and I have learned.  It is my time to share what I have learned after experiencing feelings that once seemed inconsolable.  This too shall pass. It’s been said that time heals all wounds. I don’t think that’s right. Love does.

Perhaps that is why I waited so long for this visit. It is time to see Susan again, and I know she feels the time is right too. We will not dwell in our pain, but share in our memories. We will not wallow in the darkness of our sorrows. Rather, we will rejoice in rising above our despair to find the light at the end of our once endless tunnels and truly understand the gift of grace.

My Wish For You

My Wish For You

“Where it was dark now there’s light. Where there was pain now there’s joy. Where there was weakness, I found my strength.” Through pain, we grow strength and compassion for people.  This weekend, we’ll drink too much, eat too much, think too much and want too much. And, frankly, I can’t freakin’ wait!


Rising Above Hopelessness And Despair

i swear.

Image via Wikipedia

A great enemy we all face is a cruel, punishing, debilitating tyrant– despair. Despair is caused by an absence of hope.  If you lose hope, despair is the cruel bully that quickly follows.

Despair leads us to many self destructive decisions and life choices. Despair leads us to addictive behavior and abusive actions , not only to others, but to ourselves. Despair robs us of our desire to move forward, have healthy relationships, or our desire to live.

Losing hope is the warning sign that we need help to restore our hope and to put a road block in the pathway of despair’s march to destroy us.

Our key to restoring hope is to get help.  Isolation kills.  People need people, especially in crisis.  All of us need an informal or formal support group of people we can reach out to when despair makes its march against us.

Do you have someone you can reach out to? As all of us should have a disaster survival plan in the event of an emergency, we should have a crisis intervention plan when we lose our hope and see the ugly head of despair glaring at us. Make a list of people today that you can reach out to, and reach out.  Do it today, ahead of despairs cruel offensive against you.  Don’t wait until despair has its ugly arms clutched around your throat, choking the life out of you.

With the help of people who care about you, you can rise above hopelessness and despair!

(For more help, please click on any of the organizations located on the left hand side of this blog. They are all free services and completely anonymous.)

May is Mental Health Month

May is Mental Health Month” began in 1949 by Mental Health America. This year’s theme “Live Your Life Well,” challenges us to promote whole health and wellness in homes, communities, schools, and inform those who don’t believe it’s attainable.  

May is Mental Health Month

“The heart of the program is theLive Your Life WellSM website—that provides 10 research-based, straightforward tools and ways to apply them in everyday life. From relaxation techniques to journaling exercises to simple ways to get better sleep and improve eating habits, the materials offer a wide range of resources to build resiliency and well-being.”

Tips for dealing with the holiday blues

Tips to prevent holiday stress and depression

helpful tips

Tips to prevent holiday stress and depression

Stress, depression and the holidays: 10 tips for coping

Don’t let stress and depression ruin your holidays and your health! Instead, follow these helpful suggestions from the MayoClinic as a way to cope during the holiday season. With some proactive planning and a positive attitude, you may actually find yourself enjoying the holidays.

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