Have you ever thought about suicide?

I am at a 2-day training.  “CBT for Suicide Prevention”

First of all. I should note I am bad at trainings, conferences, workshops, symposiums (I don’t know that I’ve ever actually been to a symposium, but I’m sure I would hate it). I hate them. I am that ADD 6-year-old boy in school wiggling in his seat, bugging people next to him, playing with anything he can get his hands on, getting up to “use the bathroom” over and over, etc. Think I’m kidding?

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So yeah, I look miserable and like I am not paying attention, but I actually am taking it all in; which was the original point of this blog before I got immediately sidetracked.

If I ask you if you have ever thought about killing yourself, have I suddenly put the idea of killing yourself in your mind?  Have you read this and now are suddenly thinking, “Shit! I never thought of that idea! You know what? Imma kill me today! OMG TYSM!” No. You aren’t. Yet we don’t ever ask the question even though suicide is one of our country’s leading causes of death. Every time we hear of a suicide, we hear things like, “We had no idea.” “He never said a word.” “She seemed fine.” “She seemed happier than ever!”

When the presenter was talking about this, I parallelled it in my mind with people who don’t want sex education in schools because then kids will want to have sex. Then I thought to myself, “What a great analogy to use with people! Just like sex education at schools doesn’t cause kids to fuck, asking someone if they have ever thought about suicide won’t cause them to shoot themselves!”

Then  I remembered we are living in the Handmaid’s tale era and there are still a large majority of people who still think sex education causes sex.

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Moral of the story: Ask the question even if it feels weird. You could save someone’s life.

Take it from someone who knows… I Jumped Off The Golden Gate Bridge

 

 

 

 

 

This is a puke-free zone.

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Last night I said, “Honey…..” and my daughter said, “What?” I replied, “Not you, honey; Lonnie honey.” She said, “I know, I was just kidding. You have a very specific Lonnie voice.” My gut reaction was a feeling of awkward, indignant embarrassment. 1. That I am so predictable and 2. That I have a ‘Lonnie voice’ and other people notice.

Fortunately, I am a MASTER at thought replacement because of all the self-help podcasts and books I listen to.

And you can be too!  I responded within 2 seconds  with a giggle and a smile and, “I know I do!”  Our brains are AMAZING. Within those 2 seconds, the following conversation happened inside my head.

“WOAH…. I’m having a negative emotion about that! What’s that about? Why does it bother me that she pointed that out? Oh. I know why? Because for most of my life I was a ‘tough guy’ and equated snarky and sarcastic with being cool and strong, but I’m past that now and I am trying to live my life modeling love, especially for the kids because I was such a terrible role model for them with their father. I KNOW I have a ‘Lonnie voice’ because I want him to know I love and care about him with every word I say, and because I feel happy just talking to him and it comes out in my voice!  I want everyone in the world, ESPECIALLY Jessi and Sean, to have a special person who brings out a special voice in them too! So I’m gonna OWN AND ROCK THAT SHIT!!!”

screenshot_20180604-095258_snapchat43249595_10156848241724581_1724424228268146688_nOne way I worked on this issue was to recognize when I was having a negative reaction to people displaying love by rolling my eyes or thinking, “OMG GET A ROOM,” or “gag me with a credit card and put me on layaway.” or the puke emoji. I decided every time I caught myself doing this, I would stop myself and replace the thought with a smile and “Aw. I love love. They look happy and the more happy people in the world, the better!”  (even if I didn’t really feel that way yet as I knew I was a ‘lover of love’-in-training)  The smile is important. Saying it all out loud is even better. When you accompany your thoughts with physical actions, your brain locks that shit in! With years of practice, my instant, involuntary response to people kissing, holding hands, or taking couple selfies, is now a smile and a feeling a happiness.

I think that’s pretty great!

Overheard in my weight loss forum…

“Gross. I don’t come here to see big fat asses jiggling around,” pixie-of-a-girl said loudly to her friend at the gym, ensuring said fat-assed woman would hear.

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“Oh my god, I wish I could wear a shirt like that. I would never feel comfortable with my arms out like that,” said to me when I posted a post-workout photo in my favorite fun tank top. (Note: I didn’t take this as her suggesting anything was wrong with MY arms, but I was sad she felt so badly about her own.)

“I want to walk, but I don’t want the whole neighborhood to see me out walking because I’m embarrassed.” said by so many. Too many. swap out ‘walk’ for ‘gym’ and there are umpteen more.

These posts make me so sad. And angry. This morning I was jogging down Route 1a (aka Main Street), thinking about these posts, and then crafting this blog in my head. A social-worker-at-heart; I want to help everyone. I want to find out what the pixie girl has gone through to make her behave so cruelly. I want to force every fat chick in the world to wear cute, funny tank tops until they don’t give their arms a second thought. I want to teach people who are embarrassed to exercise to NOT GIVE A FUCK about what other people are thinking!

THERE WILL ALWAYS BE ASSHOLES!

Pixiegirl McFatshamer’s life brought to a place where she thinks it’s ok, and maybe even FUNNY, to be nasty. Her behavior has NOTHING to do with you. She has a black spot in her heart that needs healing. That’s HER issue; NOT yours. Think about it this way… You own a company. Fatchick McWorkout and Pixie McFatshamer are applying for jobs. Who do you hire? Fatchick McWorkout and Pixie McFatshamer are standing in the Karma or Heaven or whateveryoubelieve line: Who is getting promoted or heavened or whatever?

It is not lost on me as I jog down 1A that some of the people driving past me are having nasty thoughts, laughing at me with their friends, or making snarky comments. I DON’T GIVE A FUCK. It is also not lost on me that MAYBE, JUST MAYBE, one person will see my fat ass jiggling along and my eyes black-and-blue because my “good jog bra” was in the wash today, and think, “Wow…. if she can do it, maybe I can too!” And that makes me happy 🙂

I’ve been dreading this…..

screenshot_20180829-153934_samsung experience home3819688419122669314..jpg….and here it is. I’ve reached the practicum/field experience/internship stage of the MSW program. As of Saturday morning, I officially have no life outside of work, classes, and my practicum placement. OK; that’s dramatic and not even true. And a bad attitude. Let’s try that again. As of Saturday, I will have less free time and need to put a bit more focus into organization and time management so I can enjoy the free time I DO have!  THERE! Much better! For real though… looking at my calendar makes my heart race a little. I have carefully crafted my schedule to at least have Sundays free for family time, because they are my top priority!

I’m definitely scared and worried– partially because there is still a lot up in the air, but I also know I’ve got this. Lonnie is supportive. Sean seems to have his shit together. Jessi doesn’t even live around here 😉 And I feel good about at least having Sundays reserved for them. My biggest worry is working all my new healthy habits into this new busy lifestyle. I am kicking ass and taking names and I don’t want to throw away all I have learned. And I’ve not going to. MARK MY WORDS!

 

Socialworkishsunday: Something Happened

As a crisis worker, I spend a LOT of time in emergency departments. Up until about a year ago, I think I witnessed ONE overdose coming in, and then something happened. These days, I usually don’t get through a work shift without an overdose coming in. Sometimes they die. Narcan isn’t made of magic. Overhearing these people dying (because even if they live through that overdose…. they are still dying) day in and day out really takes a toll on me. So many people with so much life yet to live. But something happened, and now their life belongs to drugs.
There have ALWAYS been drugs and there have ALWAYS been people addicted to them. Something happened and now we have an epidemic. WHAT HAPPENED!????
I see people post the most disgusting and heartless memes recommending we just let all the drug addicts kill themselves, suggesting Narcam shouldn’t be readily available, saying ‘it’s their choice to do drugs—it’s their problem,’ etc. What if is ISN’T their choice? Do you really think ANY 5 year old out there is spinning around with their arms spread out daydreaming about the first time they get their hands on some smack? Coloring at the table imagining their first night as a homeless person? Getting ready for an 8th grade dance thinking about how excited they are to grow up and trade their first blow job for an 8-ball? No. But SOMETHING HAPPENED, and the it’s starting to seem like drugs are just as likely a future as college for kids growing up right now.
It is SO. EASY. TO. JUDGE. But I PROMISE YOU that EVERY overdose I overhear was once just a ‘regular kid,’ with hopes, dreams, crayons, and swings. EVERY overdose I overhear is someone with family members JUST LIKE YOU about to hear the worst news of their life; That any hope they were holding is gone.
We need to figure out what happened and then work on fixing it. Judging, ignoring, alienating, demonizing and ‘not-my-probleming’ is just making things so much worse.

Socialworkerish Sunday

 

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Jessi’s snapstory today (Yes, I asked before posting!) was my inspo to write since this has been on my mind too!

We all know social media is basically the devil, yet we all keep on comin.’ A year or so ago I attended a lecture discussing one of the dangers of social media being how we tailor our newsfeeds to match our beliefs. I struggle with this because I allow myself to get so worked up about some people’s posts because I genuinely cannot wrap my head around their statements! For example, someone recently posted that if I am ok with abortion, I also have to be ok with mass school shootings. WHAT EVEN IS THAT!!??? I ABSOLUTELY understand, and even respect, that some people have religious or moral beliefs against abortion. What I DON’T understand is the leap to drawing a parallel between the abortion and school shootings. In my head that is like saying, well if you eat peanut butter sandwiches, you obviously have sex with farm animals as well.

 

I have been listening to Oprah’s Supersoul Sunday podcast lately and there are a lot of discussions about cultivating happiness and peace within yourself. With these discussions in mind, I stopped listening to the news all the time. From there, I went on to delete the Facebook app from my phone and reduce my time spent on Facebook. I’ve had limited success with this because I have no self-control, but I HAVE stopped posting things other than Instagram and Blog post shares.  And I went on a “hiding” spree.

But is that the right thing to do? Honestly, at this point I think I have more people “hidden” than not.  If I am surrounded only by people who agree with me, sure, I don’t get all pissed off every day and that’s healthy for me as an individual, but at the same time…. Conversations can’t happen if we all stay in our own lanes!  But… nobody is changing anyone’s mind about anything on a social media post. We aren’t there to have discussions and open minds. We are all there to grandstand and thump our chests in  proclamation my “rightness” over your “wrongness.”strauss-bird-flightless-bird-big-bird.jpg

I don’t know.  Stay on Facebook, see it all, and stay in-the-know about everything? Hide or unfriend all the people you don’t agree with and live like an ostrich with your head in a hole (Is that real? Do they really do that?) Quit social media completely (omg I can’t!)? All I know for a fact is that my husband, who also has strong feelings about topics and is glad to discuss them face-to-face, stays off Facebook for the most part and seems much more content. Of course, he is also an introvert……  but that is a WHOLE ‘NOTHER blog post!!

 

“Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid…”


“Die in a fire, faggot!” “Kill yourself!” I laugh with them as they read through the comments on their videos.  Peppered into the laughter are statements of disregard for those who say these things. Disregard certainly painted on as armor; layer-by-layer, with each comment, each look of disgust, each rejection.

But why? How does Jeffree Starr’s pink hair and outrageous behavior affect someone’s sense-of-being so much that they want him to die?  How does Manny MUA’s winged eyeliner and just-a-little-too-orange foundation make someone tell him to hang himself? I know people who think this way. Feel this way. I have disassociated myself from most of them, but the nature of my job as a crisis worker often puts me eye-to-eye with statements like those above. I have asked the question; Why? I have never gotten a real answer. “The bible says so!” “It’s not natural!” “It’s just creepy.” I take particular exception to those who wave the bible while spewing their bullshit. I {unfortunately-but that is a blog for another day} went to a Christian school and Sunday school for many years. I even went to church camp. I know what the bible says, and doesn’t say. I also know those same people wave that bible, don’t live the teachings of the book. None of them are spewing their venom at divorced people, or people who didn’t wait until marriage for sex, or cheaters.

I believe everyone does everything for a reason. Why does one person just think, “Ok, too weird for me.” and change the channel, or pray for Jeffree Starr’s soul, while another takes the time to type something hateful, or even threatening? My opinion; anger is their armor. Armor built of fear of things that are weird or different, causing feelings of discomfort. “Fucking Faggot,” gets out that discomfort. Puts you on the offense. Quickly dismisses any actual consideration of that person as a fellow human with a life, a story. Quickly dismisses the possibility that maybe you share similarities. Quickly dismisses your mind from wandering to places you fear.