You’ve been summoned…

I remember getting that yellow letter in the mail, you’ve been summoned for jury duty. I was so excited I’m 31 years old and I know people that have got the letter but it finally came to me! I was thrilled to do my civic duty.

Monday came I entered a room full of people over a hundred at least I was told over 200 were actually summoned. So one by one we all entered the courtroom. We were called up in groups of 12….I had been called in the first group…wow the questioning for jury duty is intense I felt I shared half my business with so many total strangers including the man on trial. The judge 👨‍⚖️ left the details to a very minimum to keep people and privacy under control. So after being asked the 12 questions we all have to answer each side gets to ask a few more questions (to help them decide who to pick) I guess each side the defendant and the state get so many choices. I still to this day wonder what question I answered to get me chosen and by whom.

After the first batch of 12 was set down they went through another group and another slowly but surely 5 jurors were chosen by lunch….and at this point I’ve been told that there was an alleged charge involving a death and possession. Let’s just say I no longer took this lightly….if I was chosen there had to be a reason for it. Well as people were called I turned into juror #4 and we began a six day journey.

I became juror number #4 all I could do for the next 6 business days was listen. Listen to every detail, listen to every witness trust that I would by the end of this trial have enough information to make the right decision. I sat in the courtroom from 9-5 listening and writing down information. Information that on day 6 would help me come up with my decision.

Now this wasn’t a minor traffic violation or a speeding ticket. The testimonies I heard crushed my heart at times both for the defense and the state. But this was a persons life we were altering from what I had been told was the defendant in this case was already in custody for the alleged charges for the past nearly 3 years. The other person that had been involved in this case was no longer alive. Emotions were high, I remember crying at night sometimes over the case that week. But I couldn’t talk to anyone other than in the jury room so holding all these emotions, questions thoughts was awful. By day 2 I had decided I no longer was excited about jury duty.

So six business days has came and we have come to the point of closing arguments. Here it is the make or break does one side have the missing puzzle pieces? The arguments ended I remember looking at the defendant and the state one last time before we left to deliberate. 3 hours later 12 jurors had reached verdicts on 3 charges that could change one mans life forever. Did we or didn’t we have enough information? Can we just ask a few of our own questions? Nope this is it. The evidence has been placed before you this is it. We made our decisions.

We walked back into a courtroom with people waiting for us to deliver good or bad news I’m still not sure which. But the judge was passed out verdict…..he read it allowed on all 3 charges we find the defendant-not guilty. I felt a weight literally come off my shoulders it was no longer up to me to make choices for someone else’s fate.

It’s been nearly 5 months since I made that decision. I still think about this case. I drive past the scene of the accident a few times a week for baseball games and now notice something I never noticed all the times I passed it before the trial. Sometimes I just wonder and have so many more questions. I was so excited for jury duty but I never expected it to change me in so many ways of my own life. I see the defendant (who is not guilty) in other people but I also see the deceased in other people I wonder with my anxious mind.

I pray for the family involved. I pray the person that was on trial now gets to live a full and hopefully happy safe life. But I’d be lying if I’d say this trial didn’t change me for life….

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ECT-Electroconvulsive therapy

10 days

one2many

So what is ECT you might ask…

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a procedure, done under general anesthesia, in which small electric currents are passed through the brain, intentionally triggering a brief seizure. ECT seems to cause changes in brain chemistry that can quickly reverse symptoms of certain mental illnesses.

NOW what are the RISKS-

  • Confusion. Immediately after treatment, you may experience confusion, which can last from a few minutes to several hours. You may not know where you are or why you’re there. Rarely, confusion may last several days or longer. Confusion is generally more noticeable in older adults.
  • Memory loss. Some people have trouble remembering events that occurred right before treatment or in the weeks or months before treatment or, rarely, from previous years. This condition is called retrograde amnesia. You may also have trouble recalling events that occurred during the weeks of your treatment. For most people, these…

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She’s not Just a pretty face…

For the sake of me not sounding snotty I’m going to share a picture of me when I feel I had my best “smile” since March. I’m sharing this because if you do or don’t know me personally you may know me for my “smile” I have been told its contagious. WELL here is my BEST smile Mexico April 2018 (for the sake of my husbands privacy I did crop him out but it did look much better with him standing next to me.)

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Anyways who cares right why the heck am I showing you a picture of me smiling right? WELL behind that smile shows the past 3 months of self-medicating and self destruction. My depression and bipolar slowly getting the best of me. I looked back to a post I wrote on March 17th about starting ECT (Electroconvulsive therapy) how I was starting ECT because I could feel a relapse coming on….well the ECT didn’t work that time around due to scheduling and a medical complication with my heart so we had to stop. So we increased my meds instead a month went by no luck. So while at home I started taking the maximum dose of my anxiety meds whenever I could. Along with a glass of wine at night to help with the nighttime anxiety. (Don’t drink on meds it’s not safe) I started self-medicating with alcohol. Vacation in Mexico came it was wonderful of course I ate my worries away along with taking my usual dose of medications and once again topped off the night with a glass of wine.  Before this year I stopped drinking so adding alcohol back into my life is serious its not healthy and really not healthy to do while being on medication.

As time has gone on 3 months of this has passed we have increased my depression and bipolar meds 2 times. I’ve gone to therapy every two weeks. I have also Traveled, helped with a 5k, went to a suicide training, #BENICE 5K, celebrated birthday’s, planned parties for my kids school, helped friends in need all with a SMILE on my face. HOWEVER all this time I was doing it while hiding the secret of self medicating with alcohol.

My depression is so real its so raw yesterday I cried my eyes out and all I wanted was my mom. I called her she listened to me cry. She thinks she doesn’t have the right words to help me but just hearing her say, “i love you” is enough. Then I cried again this morning, before my day even started, “i don’t want to get out of bed I just want today to be over already.” To feel this way is awful it’s not fair. But no one ever said life would be fair right?

I’m waiting on the call for a start up date for ECT the plan is 3x a week 12 sessions. I have the help and resources so this time around I hope things work. My labs are scheduled we are just waiting on the call from the hospital now. Please say a little prayer things work out for me.

If you or someone you know is struggling please call the national suicide hotline they are available 24hours a day to help. 1-800-273-8255

#one2many #suicidesucks

yea I’ve been here before…

I’ve been to this place to before, this pit in my stomach is real. It’s the place where you don’t know where your suppose to be. See I’m not suicidal lets get that straight from the start…I’m not suicidal. I don’t need to call the hotline, or phone a friend. I don’t have negative feelings like that it’s the in between place the place where your just not sick enough to need help. Sorry but this place sucks. I pace the floors wondering what I can do to pass the time but when I pick up the phone and look at the time only another two minutes has passed….it’s only 10 am. It’s noon and I’ve already taken my maximum dose of my anxiety meds for the day….so I guess I have to hope they last me the rest of the day, good thing bed time is 8 I only have 8 more hours to go and I can take my sleeping pills they provide me with some relief.

So what do you do In the “in between” place when your not sick enough to need help but your sick! Do you just sit here and muddle through each day like that hoping and wishing its going to get better…well thats what I’m doing because I do have hope it’s going to get better but it’s tough let me tell you…I cry when no one is looking. I am pretty sure I have OCD of some sort somewhere in me as well. But that kinda helps me get through some of my days it keeps me busy and keeps me passing the time on the long days but when my husband leaves for work. I clean and obsess over it-laundry, dishes, rinse and repeat. The kids are on summer vacation I think if the kids weren’t home I would obsess then sleep to make the time go by but I have them home so while I’m home alone with them I obsess then watch greys anatomy or take them to the pool because I can’t stand sitting in the house, or I obsess more. My anxiety is so bad right now I can’t sit still during the day then at night I crash. I don’t even know if this makes any sense I’m depressed yet manic to make the time pass. BUT if I had the opportunity I would sleep, and sleep.

I wish I could just take a break. I know thats not an option I’m a mom I need to buck up but I need my bipolar to give me a break and chill out.  So it’s 1:40…

I seen my psychiatrist two weeks ago when she upped my medication she wanted to try that and see me back in a month….if things didn’t get better she wanted me to call and look back into doing ect on a more frequent basis since I was only doing ect 1x per week she didn’t think I was getting the best results this time around. While I kinda agree with her it’s hard with my life to get ECT on an outpatient basis because of having not being able to drive and if I got ECT 3x a week I couldn’t drive monday-friday so basically I would have to have my husband take a week off work. I think after the past week I’m considering having getting it done again however it’s such a hard decision. My memory is terrible. Absolutely terrible, yes I loose my keys daily forget milk at the store but its more than that I forget peoples names. I forget memories. It’s such a hard decision to make, the other day I was out and I ran into someone that clearly knew me and I honestly have no idea how she knew who I was I felt awful.  I don’t want to forget the important stuff however ECT helped me for almost two years and this medication thing is not working right now and I have been feeling pretty awful since March.

So Im in the “in between” I”m not sick enough to be hospitalized or need to be but I’m sick. Please think of me when you pray. I could use the support. I really don’t know what to do about my medication situation or if I should try ECT again.

Am I still in the mud? Read on…

You’ve got the phone call or you received the news….your world has just changed. Forever. Suicide. Your loved one is no longer here. You take the time to grieve you, take the time you need. When your finished grieving what do you do now? Do you close off from the world and be bitter about what has happened or do you do make a change in your own life for the better. I know one person personally CAN make a difference, one person CAN change another person’s life.

When I got the call that I lost my best friend, I was that person that grieved and fell into a depression. However one person has stayed in my life and made a difference, she didn’t have to she chose to. That one person has also reached over 50,000 other people by sharing her personal story and how she was affected by suicide. One person can make a difference when they grieve it’s just a matter of what they do with their grief. She has made a difference in thousands of people’s lives especially in mine.

MANY people have stayed in my life and made a difference YOU also can be that person to stay in someone’s life and make a difference by choosing to continuing to fight for suicide awareness. I know my journey throughout the past few years dealing with my grief hasn’t all been pretty (it really has been just down right ugly at times) but what I do hope is that at the end of the day I am now making a difference and doing something positive with my grief.

So I started to wonder if that was true…am I doing something good out of the loss of my friends. I decided I would ask 3 people that are pretty close to me a question and ask them to give me an honest answer and let me share it with you all. Now before I tell you the question that I asked these 3 people I will let you know that I told them to be honest with me and I would be prepared to hear what they had to say. (Like I said my journey through the losses that I have went through has not been all pretty it has been dark at some points really dark.)

The question I asked 3 people that have been close to me for over a decade are

“How do you think I have changed since loosing a loved one to suicide?”

1-“I think you have gotten a lot stronger in accepting this disease in life from other people and seeing how it effects their loved ones and gotten closer to God and know how important to get help from others. Seeing that and talking about others struggles with this disease and helping them and that you know you help save them because everyone faces struggles out their in life sometime or another and just need to know that they aren’t alone and there is help available! and that they are important, and you helped your one anonymous friend we might not be able to help everyone but we can help one person at a time. You have become so strong.”

So my takeaway from this persons comment is thank you, I do believe I become strong finally it took a long time to get here but I am stronger than I was, Yes we can help one person and even if its just one person at a time we are making strides! That one person matters ❤
“to the world you may be one person but to one person you may be the world”

2-“Initially, I think you did what most people do and wondered if you were somehow responsible and if you could have done something to change the outcome. You wrestled with this for quite awhile and punished yourself for something that you eventually realized was beyond your control.
Eventually, through friendships, God and family you were able to realize that while this was a tragic event, you could learn from it, looking to the future and not the past to make a positive change. Once you were able to set your mind on the future, you realized your potential to help others and make a real difference. ”

So my takeaway from this person’s response was that yes I punished myself in the beginning, I did. It somehow took my pain away (I don’t recommend this course of action for anyone it did not help). God, family and friendships pulled me through and helped me see that making a positive impact on other peoples lives would be better than dwelling on the loss of my friend. I hope to make Jes proud and help others in need.  ❤

3-“In the last 3 years, since my daughters suicide/your best friend I have seen you question me about things that no best friend should ever have to wonder. I’m grateful that we are close enough you knew you could ask me. I saw you feeling blame and guilt and wondering if you somehow let your best friend down. Like you weren’t there for her when she needed you most. I saw you hit rock bottom while battling your own mental illnesses, which are very similar to Jessica’s. Then as if a light clicked on, I saw you find hope and your own mission to help others. Your deep understanding of mental illness and understanding all of the stigma that follow suicide will guide you in helping so many people. I’m very proud of all the things you have accomplished in the past three years and can’t wait to see what’s next for you. 💕 Jes will always be your wingman.”

So my takeaway from Julie’s answer (she said I could use her name) Julie you have been a rock for me your strength amazes me. Knowing I could come to you in my times of need was a blessing, you were always there for me growing up and it hasn’t changed even now. You helped me through my rock bottoms and you are with me while I’m hopefully “changing the world” one person at a time. You are doing amazing things making Jes proud Mamma. So many lives have been touched, thanks to you sharing her story.

SO I did it I asked a hard question….NO In the beginning of my grief I was not well….you heard it TWICE actually I hit ROCK BOTTOM, I even punished myself for the loss of my friend. However something changed, God, life, family and amazing friends got me through my grief and I decided its time to make a difference. I am going to do big things and I am going to continue to be an advocate for mental health and suicide awareness. Don’t let your story end ;
oh and I’m not still in the mud.

cropped-jeschanged
Its true she touched my soul, changed my life and my goals….. #one2many

#one2many #jes4punk

Taking a Break…

Yeap this blog is on my personal page and it talks about suicide and mental illness deal with it…stop the STIGMA. It needs to stop….I encourage you to continue to read however because I do have a few decent things to say…I mean it’s me c’mon its always good stuff!
AND you should probably read till the end because thats where all the good stuff is…

In the past few days the world was once again struck with horrible events.  The loss of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain have shocked many people and caused some very hard conversations for others. For those that haven’t personally been affected by suicide it has raised questions and for those that have it has shown us more more more that suicide does not discriminate once again. I have heard negative things from people about the losses of both of these individuals its heartbreaking, suicide does NOT discriminate. Suicide doesn’t define someone. MENTAL illness doesn’t care if your rich, famous or how old your child is! MENTAL illness is exactly that an ILLNESS! I heard about Kate Spade the day I went to see my psychiatrist and read more in depth about it when I was sitting in the office then I decided I knew enough she was struggling, Im sorry someone wasn’t there to help her more. It’s not my business to keep reading the rest of the gossip, so I stopped reading. I heard about Anthony on Friday same way scrolling through Facebook, then I looked it up to confirm that what I was reading was true…he as well was struggling. I stopped reading because what I started to read wasn’t helpful at that point. My prayers are with both of these families and the journey that their loved ones are about to go on without them. Its going to be tough, really tough.
Social Media and the internet can be tough to navigate through if you yourself are vulnerable with depression. I know me personally when social media is full of tragedy and sad news I know I need to step away and either get respite time or take a break from social media all together. When I get tired and I do get tired and I feel like the world is trying to take me down sometimes I listen to a song…and it brings me grounded again.
Great I am….

I want to be close, close to your side
So heaven is real and death is, a lie
I want to hear voices of angels above
Singing as one
Hallelujah, holy, holy
God almighty, the great I am
Who is worthy, none beside thee
God almighty, the great I am

I listen to this song and I feel power, I feel like the world is ALL better I feel close to God again and calm. I love the lyric in the song “Loving the world and hating the dark” Because thats truly how I think we all should want to feel.

I took time for myself yesterday after asking my husband “what would happen if i had another struggle right now?” I mean its been since 2016 since I have had a relapse and been hospitalized. I am a stay at home mom, the kids are out for summer vacation, family is over 3 hours a way,  and my oldest is completely dependent on me.  Well I guess the answer is I probably shouldn’t. I mean I shouldn’t relapse anyways but “what if?!?”

I try to take time for myself when I can and take care of my self and I know my own warning signs, blogging helps, staying away from trigger situations helps, I know my LIMITS and that helps. I’ve grown since 2016.  I hope I can help others grow too and help them know their own signs because thats important to stay on track. Yesterday I put myself to bed at 6pm because I hadn’t had a solid night sleep for the previous 2 days and I know when I don’t sleep my mind doesn’t function. I slept till 7:45 this morning and it was much needed, lets just say when I woke up today I though it was Sunday I was so confused…I was actually thankful though it was only Saturday and I didn’t have to rush out of bed for church and could savor a little longer under the covers and some coffee.

So with all that being said I think I need to stay away from social media for a bit…take a facebook vacation…I have noticed my trigger FACEBOOK.
I Run a page on facebook that is important to me #one2many but my friend Brandon from SAVE is going to step in and take the lead on there for me while.  I will be back but it’s time to focus on a few close people in my life including MYSELF and a few friends I picked up from the #one2many group along the way….you can however reach me on messenger I will NOT deactivate that I am just deleting the app from my phone so that way the #one2many group will STAY active!

So a few things to leave you with 1/5 adults struggle with a mental illness, DEPRESSION is the leading cause of disability in the WORLD, Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death, only half of americans actually receive treatment for their depression, a suicide in US occurs every 12 minutes, EVERY YEAR a quarter million people become suicide survivors….these statistics are real you can look them up too…. save.org, nami, afsp. Something NEEDS to change people NEED to change we need to step up and start living differently #benice to those around you because you don’t know the struggle the person next to you is facing and even if you do #beNICE anyways they are a person and deserve it. I have lost #one2many friends to suicide and this week children have lost #one2many parents.

Please love one another and do it deeply……See you all very soon I’m sure my vacation will be short I can’t stay away long. ❤

If you are suffering please call 1-800-273-8255 or text 741741

#one2many #benice #jes4punk