On Suicide and Mental Illness

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

If I remember correctly I have addressed mental illness briefly in this blog after a tragedy.  I had hoped, in vain, that maybe, possible there would be a real discussion about the mental health issues in society.  Obviously, this is not the case.

People are still stigmatized by their mental illness.  People are still isolated.  Even the people who have access to the best medicine has to offer, are over powered by these diseases.  These diseases (and that is what they are: diseases- just the same as diabetes, asthma, cancer- and just as deadly) are powerful.

It is not cowardly to commit suicide (it is an act of desperation) it cowardly to call a sick person names and judge them.  The illnesses are powerful and scary, they can take over and rip lives apart.  The illness is in control not the individual.

A person with depression or mental illness has as much choice in the matter as someone with any chronic illness. Would you tell someone with kidney failure to just think positively, or to make their kidneys work?  No (and I certainly hope not). Then don't do it to someone with a mental illness.

Robin Williams was a genius, a gifted man.  Sadly, he was also a tortured soul as so many geniuses are.  His dramatic roles in (Dead Poets Society and Good Will Hunting are two of my favorites) changed lives.  His comedy was brilliant. He brought joy to so many people. He was able to reach into peoples hearts and touch them. The world has lost a great man.

O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
                         But O heart! heart! heart!
                            O the bleeding drops of red,
                               Where on the deck my Captain lies,
                                  Fallen cold and dead.

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
                         Here Captain! dear father!
                            This arm beneath your head!
                               It is some dream that on the deck,
                                 You’ve fallen cold and dead.

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still,
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will,
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done,
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
                         Exult O shores, and ring O bells!
                            But I with mournful tread,
                               Walk the deck my Captain lies,
                                  Fallen cold and dead.
 Walt Whitman

Patch Adams and his character's suicidal feelings seem all that much more poignant now

She really is just a kid

Sunday, August 3, 2014

The kids have had to learn a lot of hard lessons about life since I was sick.

They have had to learn that sometimes even mothers get sick.  That sometimes as much as we want them too things just don't go as planned.   This summer has been great as I have not been sick much at all and have had lots of time to spend playing with kids and enjoying the summer.

A lot of times they are incredibly mature.  They are compassionate and empathetic to everyone.  Which, sometimes leads me to forget that they really are just little kids.

Then they do something that just reminds me that they really are just kids.  Most recently, this was the ice cream truck.

All of their maturity in the world goes right out the window the second they hear the ice cream truck.

The fun of childhood is pretty great.

Feed the birds (ducks- in this case)

Monday, July 14, 2014

Today we had a lot of fun-- and spent a whole $1.31.

We fed the ducks.

It was awesome. Every once in a while I bring the kids to a local park to feed the birds and ducks.  Last time we did it,  LittleDude was terrified of the geese and ducks- they were giants to him.

This time he loved it he laughed and squealed- and he wasn't the only one! We all did! Even a woman walking in the park stopped to video tape the fun.

We got out of the car waled towards the pond as we did, the ducks figured out what was happened and came over.  Even a mama duck brought her babies to see us.  The kids gleefully threw food to them and laughed and giggled at their antics. 

Soon the geese figured out what was happening- and came over to have a snack.  The geese were not nice to the ducks and the kids defended the ducks!

Here are Pixie, Peas, and LittleDude feeding the ducks- the mama duck was right there with her babies. 

Now LittleDude quacks like a duck in addition to his other animal sounds. 

So much fun! I am so thankful to spend this time with them.

Canon in D

Sunday, July 6, 2014

I had all of my music on "shuffle" today; which if anyone listened to it they would think I have several personalities- everything from classical, to opera, to hip hop (and more- I think I have things from every genre on my ipod. 

Canon in D came on and I immediately got goosebumps.  I turned it up and let myself sit and go remember.  This was the song my sister walked down the aisle to be married with. 

I really did not want her to get married.  Change is not easy for me, and her getting married would be a huge change.  My sister is several years older than me, and while I never had a traditional sister relationship with her, I love her fiercely.  I felt somewhat safe with her, not like I had to play a mental chess game. I idolized her and saw how much my parents loved her and respected her and was (am) jealous. I could never be her.  I could never be as good at (insert something here) as she is. My father told me I would never hold a candle to her - maybe when I was 7 or 8... and I carried that around with me forever as a reminder that she would always outrank me. There was a photo of her with her violin and I slept with it because I wanted to be just like her. Desperately, I wanted to make my parents proud of me, like they were of her and I always fell short. Always.. As an adult that is hard, but as a child it was crushing.

So here getting married felt again like I wasn't good enough to have her as a sister- that she wanted to be with someone else, and I was so hurt.

On her wedding day she was beautiful.  She was radiant, glowing and so in love.. just what a bride should be. 

Its been over 20 years since then and she is still amazing.  I have not lost my sister- we have grown closer now that we have somethings in common. She has three great kids and is an inspiration to me as a mother and a wife-  more than a few times I have thought to myself "what would my sister do?" before saying something or doing something that would be rash. 

The song still makes me cry and gives me goosebumps though.

And she really was the most beautiful bride.

Animal Love

Saturday, July 5, 2014

I love animals  Always have. Now my kids are learning to love and care for them as well.

One of the best things about being a mom is teaching my kids how to love and care for them.

LittleDude runs up to our dogs and kisses them pets them and just is super adorable.  He loves helping to feeding them, and walk them.  The other kids are the same- they help to care for the animals in our family.

Pixie loves the black kitty, "Misty", but she Pixie never calls her Misty. Its always "black kitty".  She will sit and pet her and cuddle her.  Misty actually loves it.

Princess really enjoys helping take care of Jessie- the horse. She loves to take care of her, groom her, and ride her.

Stinky is always willing to help wherever asked.  Which is great. I am so thrilled to have such a willing helper.

Peas is also amazing.  She loves to help clean up.  The other day she cleaned up the entire back yard- with two large dogs that is a lot of.... um... stuff.

They are so compassionate to the animals needs, I am continuously astounded.  It goes both ways though- if the kids are under the weather or sad/scared/otherwise upset the animals are quick to comfort them.  

Everyone in our family is loved- humans and animals. 

BiPolar Horses

Saturday, June 28, 2014

I think Jessie is bipolar.

The other night she had a hell of a time trying to kill me and gave me a run for my money.  She even gave the trainer quite a ride.

Today, aside from taking off from the mounting block. She was amazing.  Responsive. Quick. Energetic. Supergirl.

The only thing that makes sense is that she is bipolar. I wonder if she can undergo cognitive behavioral therapy.

Yeehaa. Bike Rides. Summer.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Summer has started!

For the past 4 years summer has not been the high point that they should be, they have been in and out of the hospital and generally pretty sucky.

This summer its all different.  I bought a bike trailer and put it together myself then took all of the kids on a bike ride.  Only LittleDude rode in the trailer because Pixie can ride two wheeler now!

We have spent countless hours at the barn playing with the horses.  Princess has had lots of time in the saddle and all of the kids have made friends with the horses.  LittleDude loves Jessie with the innocent that is totally captivating.  We have had great times with our family (blood and friends who are may as well be family).

So far we have had a great summer- I am so excited to start the summer.