You’re Present Doesn’t Define You

You are not your tear stained face.
You are not the dirt and sweat that trickles down your back.
You are not the stares of those who do not understand your journey.
You are not the sobs you cry in the middle of the night.
You are not the loneliness that plagues and haunts you.
You are not a pauper because you have had to receive help from others.
You are not the reckless and painful words that others pierced your broken heart with.

You are not the shame and embarrassment you feel.
You are not the crisis you daily try to overcome.
You are not the scars that you wear from a broken heart.
You are not the foreigner you feel like…like the one who doesn’t belong.
You are not the humbled places you are living and dwelling now.
You are not the rejection and abandonment you have experienced.
You are not the burden you feel you always carry.

You are not the loss of everything that was ripped and stolen from you.
You are not hopeless like the circumstances tell you.
You are not unlovely or less than beautiful just because your pain is in your eyes and your troubles have made the wrinkles around them.
You are not forgotten like the love you once had from someone.

But you are the tender and sweet spirit that came from your pain.
You are the strength you never knew you had.
You are the courageous one that gets up everyday.
You are the soul that reaches her hand to help others.
You are the brave smile you show even when you desire to cry.

You are the one who fights for and reaches to keep hope alive.
You are the one who has been loyal and faithful to God even in the midst of adversities.
You are the one who keeps believing for better and brighter days.
You are the one whose beauty and essence has been formed by your crushed petals…Yet your bruising has been your sweetest perfume.

You are the attitude of perseverance.
You are the kindred heart that embraces others who are hurting too.
You are the one who has gleaned great wisdom from your mistakes.
You are the one who doesn’t have to show herself off- your heart and character already do.
You are the one who has walked closely with your Poppa God. He has been your best friend, confident and strength.

You are the one who has gained great treasures through this season.
You are the one who has worked in fields of GRACE.
You are the one whose walked the road of tears that will eventually turn to songs of joy.
You are the one who is soon being embraced, celebrated and covered.
You are the one who has been so strong to let go of her losses so she will gain her divine destiny.
You are beautiful, loyal, and known to be faithful and true.
You are…

I Will Destroy You

“I destroy homes, tear families apart – take your children, and that’s just the start.
I’m more costly than diamonds, more costly than gold – the sorrow I bring is a sight to behold.
And if you need me, remember I’m easily found.
I live all around you, in schools and in town.

I live with the rich, I live with the poor, I live down the street, and maybe next door.
My power is awesome – try me you’ll see.
But if you do, you may never break free.
Just try me once and I might let you go, but try me twice, and I’ll own your soul.
When I possess you, you’ll steal and you’ll lie.
You’ll do what you have to just to get high.
The crimes you’ll commit, for my narcotic charms, will be worth the pleasure you’ll feel in your arms.

You’ll lie to your mother; you’ll steal from your dad.
When you see their tears, you should feel sad.
But you’ll forget your morals and how you were raised.
I’ll be your conscience, I’ll teach you my ways.
I take kids from parents, and parents from kids, I turn people from God, and separate from friends.
I’ll take everything from you, your looks and your pride, I’ll be with you always, right by your side.

You’ll give up everything – your family, your home, your friends, your money, then you’ll be alone.
I’ll take and I’ll take, till you have nothing more to give.

When I’m finished with you you’ll be lucky to live.
If you try me be warned this is no game. 
If given the chance, I’ll drive you insane.
I’ll ravish your body,  I’ll control your mind.
I’ll own you completely; your soul will be mine.

The nightmares I’ll give you while lying in bed.
The voices you’ll hear from inside your head.
The sweats, the shakes, the visions you’ll see.
I want you to know, these are all gifts from me.
But then it’s too late, and you’ll know in your heart, that you are mine, and we shall not part.

You’ll regret that you tried me, they always do.
But you came to me, not I to you.
You knew this would happen.
Many times you were told, but you challenged my power, and chose to be bold.
You could have said no, and just walked away.

If you could live that day over, now what would you say?
I’ll be your master; you will be my slave.
I’ll even go with you, when you go to your grave.
Now that you have met me, what will you do?
Will you try me or not?
Its all up to you.
I can bring you more misery than words can tell.

Come take my hand, let me lead you to hell.”

Signed,
DRUGS

Don’t Suffer Alone

If you or someone you know is in distress or considering suicide, there are places to turn for support right here in our province, including your doctor or Newfoundland and Labrador’s Mental Health Crisis Centre at (709) 737-4668.

The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention website also has information about where to find help.

You NEVER have to struggle alone. Sometimes it’s easier to talk on the phone than it is face to face and that’s why these services are available. You can access them from all over the world, not just in Newfoundland. So if you are struggling, I urge you to take the biggest step of all and break your silence by confiding in someone.

I wish I had known about these services when I was in that dark place. But I’m glad I know now because I can share it with you guys. I hope you all have a safe night 💜

#SuicideHotline #SuicidePrevention #DontSufferAlone #SufferInSilenceNoMore #DepressionHurts #PickUpThePhone #SomeoneIsWaitingToTalkToYou

Please Accept My Apology

My dearest Body,

Oh, how I have treated you so unkind. Oh, how so unkindly others have treated you. Yet, you still remain intact, bearing the physical, emotional, and psychological scars of unpleasantry for so little to see. Body, you have carried my being for years. You are much younger than I am in here. For reasons not yet completely known to me, there have been times where I have pinched you until you bled, cut you until you bled, starved you, poisoned you, and exploited you. Through all of this, you still remain with me: A young, beautiful shell carrying an old, bitter being.

Depression has allowed me to do these things to you. I never meant to hurt you. Family history runs deep within the vile rivers of disparity and self-loathing. I greatly apologize for those times I lacked the emotional and psychological ability to stop forced hate upon you. I want to blame my family history for my own past.

Rightfully so, these thoughts and actions are learned at a young age and I do not believe I would have naturally turned out this way if it weren’t for everything I have witnessed since birth.

Anger, depression, addiction, lust, and selfishness: the list continues. I have always known anger. I have always seen physical anger. These learned actions and reactions have caused me to harm you in ways I would never harm another living being. I cannot even kill a cockroach without crying inside.

My dearest Body, you did not deserve any of those things. I have taught you to stay still while I transcended into deep meditation. I taught you to stretch and run. I nurtured you with medication to heal you even when my brain maliciously told me not to. You are so incredible. I don’t tell you this often enough, but I spend long moments just staring at you up close. I love the rivets in your skin and the olive hue it gives off under its paleness. I am learning to love your eye color and your toes. I am learning how to give you what you need when you need it instead of selfishly taking and keeping from you.

With all of that being said, there is nothing I would want to change about you. Your lips are beautiful. Do not listen when I tell you they’re too thin. Your nose is perfect. Do not listen when I tell you it’s too big. Your vagina is magnificent. Do not listen when I tell you it’s not. Your nails are exactly as they should be. Do not listen when I tell you they’re too brittle.

The only things I wish to change are of my spirit. I am bitter and angry, yet hopeful and happy. I’m sorry that my mind is a bit confused, Body. I’m so grateful for you! For you have not betrayed me once. It is I who has betrayed you.

Yet, you inspire me by continuing to carry me forward!

You give me so much hope!

Thank you, Body.

Submitted by Ashley Godwin

It takes ten times as long to put yourself back together as it does to fall apart.

I Done It – Again

Pain medications are both a blessing and a curse. I take morphine and Percocet on a daily basis to treat my chronic pain. My body has grown tolerant to very high levels of medications in every shape and form. I take my prescribed dose at The prescribed time every single day.

But sometimes life happens and I end up taking them later than normal. Sometimes I take them earlier than I am supposed to. And sometimes, like today, I take more than what I should. Either my pain level is totally unbearable or I am utterly exhausted and I just need to sleep.

Which is what happened tonight. Insomnia is a major issue for me and sleep is not something that comes natural. I have not slept without the aid of some sort of chemical combination in many years and I hate that.

So I took some extra medications tonight with the hope that I would go to bed and fall asleep right away. I crawled into bed next to my husband and he cuddled into me from behind. I closed my eyes and started some deep breathing to help me relax and wind down but then my head started to feel funny. It was an instant headache. And then my stomach began to burn.

My heart sank. I wasn’t going to get a good night’s sleep. I knew right away that this was going to be a miserable night.

It’s now 2am. My ears are ringing. My entire head hurts in ways I can’t describe and I’ve thrown up 3 times and I know it’s not the end of it. I really screwed up tonight. Taking extra medication is one thing but I really went overboard tonight and now I’m suffering because of it.

It’s my own damn fault.

Faaawwwwkkk.

Battling Guilt Over Suicide Prevention

National Suicide Prevention Month is observed each September and survivors often see social media plastered with the simple message that suicide can be prevented. As a survivor, this upsets me.

Short posts and memes say that by showing someone you care or by picking up a phone you can or may save a life. Notice the words “can” and “may” in those sentences?  I feel that many people miss those words, if they are even included. Those words are crucial to the message because saving a life is NOT always the outcome.

Without the words “can” or “may,” anyone reading these messages who have never experienced the horror of having a loved one die by suicide can easily think that a person who has had this type of tragedy must not have loved enough or cared enough or have ever had those conversations with the person who had ended their life. Even worse, an individual who has lost a loved one to suicide may read those statements and be overwhelmed by guilt thinking that there was something more they could have done!

We know better, and hindsight is a huge struggle for survivors. As if we don’t already second-guess everything we said or did, over and over, while reliving the days leading up to the death of our loved one …

My best friend died from suicide. She struggled for many years with an eating disorder, self injury, mental illness and addiction. I tried to encourage her on a daily basis. I found counseling for her and offered suggestions for various treatments. I sought help for myself so I could better help her. Not only were we friends joined at the hip, but we were also roommates sharing the same apartment. She was the first face I saw when I woke up in the morning and she was usually there when I went to bed at night. We spent many sleepless nights talking for hours on end. She sat at the foot of my bed for comfort while I went through some of the darkest days of my own life, and I did the same for her. What more could I have possibly done to show her that I cared?

I have experienced a lot of guilt surrounding Ashley’s death. Then I see all these social media posts, blog entries, and pamphlets stating that suicide is preventable. I don’t think people realize how damaging it is and the huge burden of guilt that it creates for us survivors in saying things like this. I really think that instead of coming out and saying that it is preventable, all of these prevention and awareness campaigns should add the words “can” be prevented or “may” be prevented.

Just sayin.

The Addict in Me

It’s eating me alive. The constant thoughts, intruding my mind, 24 hours a day. I’m staring across the table at my husband as he drinks his morning coffee, watching his lips move as he tells me about an incident that took place at work the previous day, but I don’t hear the details. I see him but all I hear are the voices taunting me. You would feel so good …. no one has to know …. Wipe you nose free from residue and no one would ever suspect. 

So good. It could be so good.