In Honor of National Suicide Prevention Month.

As you may know, September is National Suicide Prevention Month. In honor of this, I have some special projects and posts which I will be unveiling throughout the month.

One is a project that I have been working on since news of Robin Williams’ suicide was made public. I’m really excited to share it with you, and am proud of all the work that has gone into this. If you have struggled with depression and would like to help, please email me at cloudywithachanceofcatholic@gmail.com .

I’m also fundraising for To Write Love On Her Arms, so if you are able to donate anything at all, I would really appreciate it πŸ™‚

Thank you so much πŸ™‚

I think we need to have a chat about suicide.

As you know, the other day, beloved comedian, actor, friend, father and husband Robin Williams lost his battle with depression. When I heard the news, I was devastated.

My heart ached for his family, friends, everyone who he loved, and everyone who loved him.

But mostly, my heart ached for him and the pain I know he felt.

Maybe that’s why Matt Walsh’s article caused me so much anguish.

This semester, I found myself in a pretty bad depression. I felt alone, like no one cared, and I was hours away from any of my family or friends at home. One sleepless night, I found myself contemplating how easy it would be for me to simply roll off my lofted bed and end the pain I was feeling and the pain I was sure I was causing others.

Thank God that I never went any farther than that, and a breakdown after daily mass and discussion with the chaplain of my school forced me to reach out to others. But, this isn’t the first time I’ve felt like ending my life was the only option, and other times, I had a plan, and attempted to commit suicide.

I have been at the brink of life and death. I have found myself grasping for relief and peace from my suffering. I have seen the light come in the form of ending my life.

So when someone says something about how, by commiting suicide, you are showing “The willingness to saddle your family with the pain and misery and anger that will now plague them for the rest of their lives”, I’m bound to disagree. Vocally.

Were we there when Robin Williams sadly ended his own life? No. no one was, not even the all mighty Matt Walsh. Maybe when he chose to end his life, he thought he was relieving his family, and in a way setting them free of various burdens that he could have felt were put on them. Maybe he realized the wrong too late. Maybe as he died, he regretted it and cried out in sorrow.

We don’t know, and it’s wrong to assume that anyone who committed suicide suicide understood what his family would have to endure after his actions.

In memory of Robin Williams, reach out to people. Love them, show them that they and life are beautiful.

Holy Archangel Raphael, appointed by God to guide, protect and heal, I entrust to you all people who at this moment are contemplating suicide. You guided young Tobias on his journey and protected him from the spirit of death which sought to destroy his life. I ask you to protect all people from the road that leads to physical and spiritual death, especially those in most danger of despair and suicide. Just as you led Tobias by the hand, lead them away from the sadness of addiction to peace and joy. O holy Raphael, whose name means, “God has healed”, bring them the Lord’s healing. Lord God, hear the prayer I make together with your faithful servant Raphael. Amen.

 

There’s no such thing as a small victory.

ImageYesterday, I was super sad. Like, I climbed up in bed and cried for a good hour sad. It was not pretty. I remember when I was crying to myself, I was afraid that this meant that I was going to be in a major depression for the rest of the semester, like last year. But somehow, I was able to reach out to a friend, and told her I needed to talk.

I never did that last year. I kept it inside until it hurt, and refused to tell anyone, including my mom and therapist. But this time, I reached out and asked for help.

I referred to my ability to do that as “a small victory”, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it wasn’t small, in the least.

I could have decided to stay in bed crying, feeling sorry for myself, instead of reaching out and asking for help. I could have resorted to self harm, which I had in the past.

But I didn’t.

That’s no small victory. That’s just… a victory. And it shows just how far I’ve come since this time last year.

There’s no such thing as a small victory. Every victory is a sign of strength in its own way. Don’t downplay your successes by calling them small. They’re awesome, and I’m proud of you!

God is too. He doesn’t require we succeed in big huge ways, every small success, He’s so proud of us. He really is. He only asks that we try.

And if you don’t succeed, He’s right there, with a hand outstretched, ready to brush you off and help you try again. Reach out to Him. He wants to love you. Don’t forget: saints are just sinners who got back up.

I’ll be praying for you, warrior. Please pray for me!

Sometimes I win.

The inescapable discomfort.Today, I got my driver’s permit. Due to the fact I’m twenty years old, and sixteen is the legal age in CT to get your driver’s permit, some of you may be confused as to why I’m bragging about this.

Here’s why: I took the test for the first time when I was sixteen. I psyched myself out and failed. I took it again right before my eighteenth birthday, and failed again. My anxiety told me it was because I was dumb and not ready to drive. Actually, it told me I was worthless and too messed up to be able to drive. Ever.Β 

Even though I didn’t have my permit, I’d practice driving with my parents. The knowledge that my driving wasn’t legal caused a lot of anxiety within me. Over Easter break last year, I was backing out of the driveway when I almost droveΒ through my neighbor’s fence. I burst into tears, and refused to get behind the wheel again. My anxiety won.

My anxiety has been more controlled lately, so two weeks ago, I made an appointment to retake the test, for the third time. After prayer, and lots and LOTS of studying, I went to the DMV today.

I was terrified as I sat at the computer screen. Some questions, I had NO idea of what the answer could be. I was certain that I was going to fail. But when I clicked ‘finish test’… I discovered I had slayed the dragon that was my anxiety.

If you ask me, I screw up all the time. I allow for my mental illnesses to take hold of me, and to run my life. I fail. But today, I won. And that’s an accomplishment that I’m proud of.