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My Journey with a Chest Port

About 3 months ago, I made a really great decision. I decided to get a chest port. I was doing an infusion for my POTS once a week, now twice a week. I have very difficult veins and on an average, I usually get poked about 4-5 times before they find a good vein. When…

via My Journey with a Chest Port — Life with an Illness

VideoSince I Was Paralyzed Three Years Ago! 😎🤘🏻

   I Love My Life

I’m so glad I didn’t end it when I became paralyzed 3 years ago! I was really, really close to doing just that…. 😳 but I stuck it out and I am so thankful that I did! I realized I can still do everything I used to be able to do, I just have to figure out a different way to do it.

I started a business to help me financially if anybody likes beef jerky it would sure help me out if you could go to my website and buy a bag my website is jerkybiz.org

 

😎

#NeverGiveUp

Click This Link To See The First Steps I’ve Takin Since I Was Paralyzed 3 Years Ago! 

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Xx  M

Thought Someone, Right Now, Needed to Hear This.

to_the_world_001

“To the world you may be one person.

“But to one person you may be the world.”

I remember when I’ve been in the throws of my Specter, and consumed with such hopelessness and misery I believed no one else endured. That depression demon who is currently being held at bay in his cage of Lexapro and Abilify, but can attack at random times with a sucker punch to the kidney, leaving me without the breath for life. It’s at those times that one person can change your life. They are there. You just have to find them, reach out to them, and hold onto them. They will be there. You mean the world to them.

If you’re wearing the other pair of shoes and know of someone who needs to be reached out to. Use this post as an excuse to do so. You may save someone’s life.

There’s This at Work…

pie_001
My daughter helped me design this board at work.

I was prejudiced.

I prejudged.

I didn’t think that an office of  400+ onsite/offsite employees would support this.

I didn’t think a firm of 10,000+ employees worldwide would support this.

No, endorse this. Embrace this with such open arms.

This month of #mentalhealthawareness.

A good friend of mine (who I’m talking into guest blogging in the near future) organized the activities that make up this month’s Mental Health Awareness Campaign at our firm’s local office.

When she first started out, her goal was to raise $400 by having folks donate money towards the senior leader they wanted to “get pied” for charity. The leader with the most votes/money towards their name will get pied, while the leader with the least “votes” will get to do the “pie-ing”.

She surpassed that goal and employees have donated a little more than $600.00. She had to set a higher goal of $1000.00.

I work at a really wonderful firm.

I am fortunate.

I am blessed.

And I am thankful.

wh atma y me an s2 m3

Being mentally ill with depression means that people may not always get me. I’ve come to accept that.

I’ve also come to accept that it’s okay.

A lot of the times I don’t even get myself.

A.

Lot.

I guess “understand” would be a more accurate word.

It’s like trying to explain to somebody what May means to me, except it comes out sounding like this post’s title looks.

They may never understand what it feels like. And I’m happy that they never will. I would wish this on no one.

There’s so many things I’ve never understood about myself for years, and have only begun to within the past 5-10 years of my life.

A list of un-understandables in my life has been:

I don’t understand why I feel sluggish all the time. 

I don’t understand why laughing feels so forced.

I don’t understand why I want to be alone all the time.

I don’t understand why I don’t want to do things.

I don’t understand why I am always so tired.

I don’t understand why I see grey when it’s brightly sunny outside.

I don’t understand why at 42, I can still sleep until 1:30 on a Saturday afternoon.

I don’t understand why I set my alarm for 5:00 am and hit it until 6:00. 

I don’t understand why I think of suicide

I don’t understand why I pray to God to take me home in my sleep.

Over the years I have come to understand why though.

Depression.

A severe, deep-seated depression.

My Specter.

Picture 5

[SOURCE: https://indisposedandundiagnosed.wordpress.com/2015/06/10/this-is-what-chronic-illness-looks-like/comment-page-1/#comment-1817]

NOTE: This image is the original idea of Cass and her site at the above link. Check it out and give it a Like!


So for me, the new significance of May is about raising awareness of mental health. And in my case, severe depression and suicide. It’s about taking a chance, stepping out on a scary ledge, and talking about my mental condition to others.

Lessons Learned: Some Things I’ve Learned from My Depression

I would hope that you would take these things and hold them in your heart. Don’t forget them. Remind yourself of them. And learn from your mental condition.

A list of understandables in my life is:

  1. I have a condition, not an illness. I am not sub-human. I am not sick. I am an extraordinarily strong person because I survive through things other people can’t imagine having to deal with. I live my life a little differently than others because I live with affliction.
  2. I am perfectly imperfect, and that’s perfectly okay. I’ve learned to forgive myself and accept myself. I have a hard time believing the phrase, “I don’t let my mental condition define who I am.” I know what people mean, but I think in the end, depression has set some life parameters that I have to (or choose to) live by. If I don’t abide by those…rules, I start to hear Specter’s rusty cage hinges creak and I feel him scratching on the walls of my soul.
  3. What I feel is valid. I am not crazy. I may be a little broken. You may be a little bruised. But don’t you dare let anyone tell you you’re crazy. Don’t you dare let them make you feel that way. You. Are. Not. Crazy. Real talk.
  4. Only I will take care of myself. I must take my meds. Daily. I must eat healthy. I must exercise. Meh. I’m working on the last two. Have
  5. Strive to be empathetic and kind. You know why. You have struggles other people don’t know about. So do others. I remember a time my Lexapro had run out and I couldn’t afford a refill. I had been off it for about four days and I could feel the dizziness set in from withdrawals. Then the bottom fell out. Specter’s claws were dug so deep into my shoulders I could feel them carving at the bones. Someone put their hand on my shoulder and sat with me. I was in tears. I was choking my words out in a dark chair in a dim corner. He made a call to get me my medicine. That’s why.
  6. Be a servant when you can. Help others when they’re down. People have helped me when I’ve not deserved it. Free of charge. Pay it forward.
  7. Exude grace. Strive to give others the benefit of the doubt.
  8. Have grace on yourself. Learn to accept grace yourself. Be gentle on yourself. We beat ourselves up so much each day. Allow yourself forgiveness. See #2.
  9. People do understand – surround yourself with those people. There may not be too many. But you know what? That’s just about the right number anyways. Find your devout warrior supporters and cling to them. Share yourself with them. Open yourself up to them. It is empowering. It is healing.
  10. My God loves me. Me and God. Ahh, yes. For such a lifetime I’ve bashed myself for not measuring up. Engorging bucket fulls of self criticism, guilt, and shame for never feeling like I measured up. Never earning my dad’s approval, or my Father’s. All. Those. Years. And I got it wrong. His scars are enough to cover my soul. His Grace is the way to my healing. His forgiveness is the magnetic north to my moral compass. SOso many times I fail. Flat on my face. He’s always there to pick me up and hug me with a gentle, warm smile.

Now…Let’s take back our lives and make this our new fight song! This one’s for you Niki.

“Cry Thunder”

Time after time as we march side by side
Through the valleys of evil and the torturing souls,
Night after night, for the glory we fight,
In the kingdom of madness and the tales from the old

Death by our hands, for the higher command,
As the darkness surrounds us hear the cries as they fall
Fire burning steel and the tyrants will kneel
Hearts burning stronger with the power of the sword

Set sail for the glory,
Pray for the master of war (pray for the master of war)
Sunlight will fall by the wastelands,
Endless rise for the heroes before

Cry thunder!
Sword in his hand,
Titans of justice, fearless we stand
Cry thunder!
Strong in command
Blessed by the union, freedom of man

Reckoning day, for the demons we slay,
With the force of a dragon we will conquer them all!
Chaos still reigns devastation and flames
For the ultimate glory when the legacy calls

March on
Through the hellfire
Blazing for the darkness beyond (blazing for the darkness beyond)
Nightmare return of the thousands
Giving rise to the heroes once more

Cry thunder!
Sword in his hand,
Titans of justice, fearless we stand
Cry thunder!
Strong in command
Blessed by the union, freedom of man

[Solos]

Unholy darkness,
In the eyes of broken dreams,
Outside of the wasted and torn,
A land of tears still remains
Soldiers of destiny calling,
And the fallen will rise up again,
Conquer the forces of evil and fight to the end

Cry thunder!
Sword in his hand,
Titans of justice, fearless we stand
Cry thunder!
Strong in command,
Saviour of nations, freedom of man

Cry thunder!
Sword in his hand,
Warriors defending,
One final stand
Cry thunder!
Strong in command,
Blessed by the union, freedom of man

Blessed by the union of man
Cry thunder!
Yeah yeah

Name Change

Hello there. Welcome to this little gathering placeI’m glad you found your way here and I hope that you are able to take something away when you leave.

Some background

This post is not a typical one of mine. It’s not common to the past few that I’ve recently added. In fact it’s about as atypical as the ones I’ve recently written.

I’ve been in a bad way for about the past year. I’ll call these months the Dark Age. I don’t know if I’m coming out of them just yet, but I am blogging again. And that in itself is a huge step.

I’ve been apathetic.

I’ve been suicidal.

I’ve been drinking.

I’ve been living it up Netflix style every night with a party for one. Shades drawn. Door locked. A catatonic lump amassed on the tan leather couch that has become my safe spot. I don’t know if I’ve been particularly withdrawn because I’m a heavy introvert, but I have felt awkward and inept in social settings – yeah I don’t really dig those. I’m a big red X, Delete button kinda guy on those MS Outlook happy hour invitations I get once a month. Yeah buddy, cut my knees off and call me shorty – that’s me.

My posts have been increasingly dark and graphic. I’m like that anyways because that’s how my depression manifests itself. Actually, it’s not that they’ve become dark and graphic. It’s just that that’s ALL they are nowadays.

I used to do Saturday night funnies because they used to make me laugh.

I used to laugh.

I used to create these little phrases of hope in PowerPoint and post them. I used to write poetry regularly because I had it in my soul. I haven’t had those intuitions in a hot minute.

40+ pounds lighter and several years ago, I used to get up at 4:30/5:00 to exercise. Now I don’t even care to walk across the street to the beach for a stroll. It’s all I can do to come home, get changed, and plop myself on the couch where I mutate for the rest of the night.

Eating popcorn and Fringe binging.

I don’t have energy for a relationship, but have been in one for the past two years.

[I tried so hard to reach for the stars]

I feel like a failure and that I let people down every day just by being alive. That’s how depression does.

[But I failed you all]

I haven’t even played Rockband until just recently. Forced myself to.

Yeah lately, I haven’t had hope.

I’ve not been hopeful for my life.

I’ve not had “hope through Depression” like the subtitle to my site says.

It hasn’t all been suckwad

Ironically though, I have been productive in small areas of my life. Don’t know how THAT’S worked out, but it has. I earned a merit raise at my job during December’s rounds of performance reviews. I’ve been taking graduate courses for almost the past year…trying to complete a certificate in my job field. I have a beautiful daughter who I spend as much time with as her mother allows me to. But I swear, most days it’s the most I can do to drag myself out of bed after hitting Snooze for 90 minutes, wiping the sleepy dirt from my eyes, and getting in the shower then heading to work.

Soooo anywho, that’s been my life for the past, longest time.

Sass’ – the catalyst

A fellow blogger, a friend, commented recently that:

I think even we, with our own Specters, forget how overpowering they can be and that we don’t want to glorify when it happens. We just want to be honest about it. And in that honesty comes bravery, even if you don’t feel it.

I sent her a quick thank you for the impact that her statement had on me over the past 24 hours, particularly when she said, “we don’t want to glorify when it happens”.

That got me thinking about the title of my blog-

surviving the specter

Hope through Depression from a survivor of suicide. “Specter” is the personification of my depression.

It got me thinking about rethinking that phrase, particularly that little word, “hope”.

What’s in a name?

I haven’t had hope.

I haven’t portrayed hope.

I haven’t sought hope.

So I think it best that I modify the name of this little gathering place.

surviving the specter

Hope Surviving through Depression from a survivor of suicide. “Specter” is the personification of my depression.

Lyrics courtesy of DragonForce, The Day.

We are thrilled to introduce our newest member, Chris from Surviving the Specter

Surviving the Specter is a fighter.
Surviving the Specter is a fighter.

Survivors Blog Here is breaking out our best disco moves. Daniel has his well-worn Saturday Night Fever white suit, to match his personality, shirt buttoned to the top. He can’t get down like Travolta for fear of splitting his pants. The team is offering support for Daniel to “do the splits” Robert looks quite distinguished in his white suit and the splits, no problem. Why you ask? We’re excited to announce Chris from Surviving the Spector www.survivingthespecter.wp.com has joined our team. He is honest, funny, raw and leaves you waiting for next post.

Chris’s talent includes poetry, humor and writing. His site is laid out nicely, topics are easy to find. Chris has recently reconnected with his faith. He’s challenged everyday to leave negative feelings behind to move forward with a positive attitude.

Chris blogs to share and offer support. Comments provide important feedback the good, bad and ugly.

Welcome from the Survivors Blog Here team!

www.survivorsbloghere.wp.com

🙂 M

 

We’ve Been Liebstered!

“We are sun and moon, dear friend; we are sea and land. It is not our purpose to become each other; it is to recognize each other, to learn to see the other and honor him for what he is: each the other’s opposite and complement.”
― Hermann Hesse, Narcissus and Goldmund

liebster award
We’ve been Liebstered!

We recently received our first award here at Survivors Blog Here from Rob Goldstein. Rob’s blog,  Art by Rob Goldstein, is a collection of writing, poetry, art, and photographs that support his theme of living with dissociative identity disorder (DID) and the right to full access to health care for people with mental illnesses.  Rob’s many works give us a close-up view of the struggle with DID and the challenges of health care for chronic illness.  Rob’s talent and honest forthright approach humanizes this struggle by bringing it out into the light and showing us the face of a spirit that strives to live a normal and productive life, to gain acceptance by dispelling fear and judgement, and to educate us with a gentle touch and calm tone.  Thank you Rob! You are an inspiration and a true Liebster in the WordPress community. Continue reading “We’ve Been Liebstered!”

STICKS and STONES by Topaz Winters

One’s dignity may be assaulted, vandalized and cruelly mocked, but it can never be taken away unless it is surrendered. ― Michael J. Fox

Rose and Stone
“I sometimes pretend I’m a Phoenix” – Topaz Winters, from Sticks and Stones

 

It’s my pleasure to bring you another poem submitted by Topaz Winters. Her poem takes us inside the maelstrom of a wounded spirit stuck between feeling the reality of unrelenting anguish from abuse, trauma, abandonment, and the dream of love and life as first imagined. The journey to healing is never swift or without setbacks captured in the line, “I sometimes pretend I’m a phoenix.” Topaz’s advocacy for survivors and awareness is greatly appreciated.  Topaz offered her poem as a tribute to the readers and authors that know abuse and trauma all too well. Thank you for your continued support, Topaz.  And now, dear reader, I submit to you, Sticks and Stones by Topaz Winters. Continue reading “STICKS and STONES by Topaz Winters”

The End of War

This is a repost of a chapter from one of my short stories.  It wasn’t very popular as far as likes, comments or views. It seems counter intuitive to beat that old dead horse again here.  I replay it because much is said about post traumatic stress disorder in service members but it’s not well understood by the public.  It can manifest years after the event as the memories suddenly drift in like a cold breeze through a forgotten open door.  Internal dialog of scenes long forgotten play out when and wherever they will – triggered by a thought, sound, a vision, a taste or smell. Continue reading “The End of War”

Suddenly Alone

Survivors Blog Here is pleased to welcome Guest Contributor Heather at The Starting End.   Heather was first featured here with her poem, “Night,” a look into the grip of restive dreams.  She spun waking dreams in the reader’s mind with a soft touch and vivid imagery.  Heather’s talent at expressing love and life through poetry and prose is a masterful stroke from the artist’s soft sable brush. 

Today we want to share Heather’s personal insight into her eventual discovery of a new life after the unfortunate loss of her husband in, “Suddenly Alone.”  Recovery from trauma and loss can take years.  Each person is different and must take whatever time necessary to come to grips with the truth of their life’s story.  At some point we realize we are no longer walking our path looking over our shoulder but lightly afoot, eyes forward to a new horizon with untold promise of brighter things to come.  Please enjoy, “Suddenly Alone,” and visit Heather’s website. You will understand why we are so excited to have her as our guest.

A special thanks to Randstein for writing the beautiful introduction.   XO M



SUDDENLY ALONE

Suddenly alone, we find ourselves. Be it from divorce or perhaps death, the chapter of our lives that we never read in our imaginary “Book of My Life” now puts on an unknown page. Continue reading “Suddenly Alone”

I Remember That Day

“The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.” ― G.K. Chesterton

Veterans
I REMEMBER

In flames and rivers of blood they lay,

With weary eyes, they saw their fate.

As the chaos of war reached for their souls,

Courage bid them rise and fight that day.

When the battle raged and wounded fell,

Death threw open the burning gates of Hell,

And good men carried the Brave away.

Remember Our Veterans

A Walk With Eternity

“We are travelers on a cosmic journey, stardust, swirling and dancing in the eddies and whirlpools of infinity. Life is eternal. We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other, to meet, to love, to share. This is a precious moment. It is a little parenthesis in eternity.” ― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

The Journey

 

I promised myself long ago that my life would be a walk with eternity.  I didn’t pray to be spared sickness, heartache or any dark moment life can bring.  When those dark moments found me, I never prayed for the light, a cure, a way around.  I prayed for strength to carry on.   Continue reading “A Walk With Eternity”

Things Unseen

Sail the things unseen

“In imagination she sailed over storied seas that wash the distant shining shores of faëry lands forlorn, where lost Atlantis and Elysium lie, with the evening star for pilot, to the land of Heart’s Desire. And she was richer in those dreams than in realities; for things seen pass away, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”  ― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of the Island

Castle Walls

CASTLE WALLS

“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.”

― Joseph Campbell

Castle Walls

 

Juron felt safe in his castle. He was of noble stock, the ruler of his domain – a population of one soul complete with body. Juron and his two aether-friends lived a carefree life. They roamed about the castle of their own free will. Juron’s imagination and shadow played gleefully but never too far away from him. The freedom to choose where he would go and what room he would visit gave him a sense of the explorer’s wonder. Continue reading “Castle Walls”

Of Joy and Shame

“Watch out for each other. Love everyone and forgive everyone, including yourself. Forgive your anger. Forgive your guilt. Your shame. Your sadness. Embrace and open up your love, your joy, your truth, and most especially your heart.” ― Jim Henson

Joy and Shame

 

Joy and Shame

The voice of Joy and Shame,

Forever call my name.

I hear their pleading day and night,

Step from the shadows into the light.

Come to me, the voice calls;

One rises, the other falls.

The touch of Joy, a fleeting game,

The rival player, a crying Shame.

I love them both, I cannot choose;

Side-by-side, they play my Muse;

At the end, I turn away,

They’ll be back another day.

Neither hopes to ever win;

But, they  know; I’ll play again. Continue reading “Of Joy and Shame”

The Wind Upon My Face

Windmill

I lived for the wind upon my face.
Rain and sun cleansed me;
But, the wind was my fate.
No storm pushed me from its path.
I stood steadfast and strong.
In time, the work I lived to do,
Nourished the soil and did no wrong.
My toil was the measure of my worth,
And all rejoiced in song.
I turned to the wind and gave my life,
My reward a productive earth.
But, then I aged and skipped a beat,
My body bent and worn.
I’ll not die an untimely death,
brought down by grueling pace,
My value from me torn.
I’ll stand erect, locked in my stance,
And weather every storm.
I shall simply live for the wind upon my face.