Dear Jenny

I cannot even say how excited I was to meet you Friday night when you came to Dayton. I’ve been looking forward to meeting you since, well since I first started reading your blog several years ago. Because honestly, everything you’ve written sounds like something I would (or have) said.

And when I thought I wasn’t going to get to meet you Friday, I was pretty much in tears. I was #128 and around #25 our friends who were driving in from Cleveland texted me to say that they were almost there. My husband and I knew we’d never get back in time if we waited, so I went and asked the post-it lady to trade in my books, but they didn’t have a copy of Let’s Pretend This Never Happened. I thought for sure that meant that I just wouldn’t get it signed, but the kindness of your fans floored me. I’m explaining that I need to exchange my copy of Furiously Happy, while trying not to cry, and they offered to let me jump the line.

Every. Single. Person.

They all stepped aside and with kindness in their eyes told me to go ahead. They all told me not to worry about it, that they understood. And I got to meet you. I got to tell you how much it meant to meet you. I would have loved to talk to you for hours, but I am so glad that I got to tell you I submitted a writing for the Furiously Happy video. It touched my heart to see that you were so moved.

But if I could have said everything I wanted to, this is what I would have said.

You write about depression and mental illness the way I hope to write about abuse and bullying. I want to bring the awareness that you have brought, create the community and support that you have created. I want to spread the hope. And I just want to tell you how much I admire you for that. When you signed my books and I told you that what you do means so much to me, that was what was behind those words.

You truly are an inspiration to me, in all that you have done, and it gives me hope that one day I can write my own book that will (hopefully) create a home for those people who have been trapped by abuse and bullying.

You make me snort and giggle while I read your writing (which makes it really hard for my husband to sleep). You are completely the type of person that I would love to have lunch with and get to know. Swap crazy stories. Shake our heads about how or husbands don’t understand our awesomeness. Play board games. Build each other up. You can never have enough of those people in your life. I love that you embrace life and live FURIOUSLY HAPPY, and do the crazy things that make you happy. I try to live that way too. I have licked a volcano, taken a sword fighting class, danced in the rain, and done tons of other stuff like that. Because I have been struggling with recovering from being severely bullied for most of my life. And some days the voices that say ‘you’re worthless’ win, and some days I dress as a queen and play flamingo croquet.

Hold onto the love of the people you have helped, and when the struggles come, we will always be there for you, even if being there means writing notes to you as you hide under your bed.

Thank you for all you do

Laura

PS- When we were kids, my dad, sister and I totally ate milk bones. The green ones tasted the best. My dad used to pack them in my lunch as a joke when I was in Elementary School and my one friend still randomly brings it up.

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Revisiting The Stigma of Suicide

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day.

Asking for help makes you strong. Go ahead, ask.

                              Asking for help makes you strong. Go ahead, ask.

 

So I am updating a post that I wrote a while ago. Since writing the post below, my husband lost a friend a friend to suicide, I know of a teen who committed suicide and another two people who attempted suicide.

Tomorrow, this post will be exactly 6 months old.

In only six months, there have been 4 lives that felt so broken, that they felt that death was their only option.

And that is so heartbreaking.

No person should ever feel that way. Ever.

I have struggled with self-worth and depression, and I still do. Especially right now. Because I’m still dealing with my issues. I still have those voices in my head telling me that I’m not good enough, telling me I’m not worth anything. And I struggle. I struggle not to believe them. I struggle to keep living my life when I feel like all I should do is give in and break down, and just hide from the world.

But I keep struggling. Because I know that struggling is better than giving up. Because I have people who love me. And when I get through this struggle, I will be me again, and the Me without the struggle, I love her.

And you may be reading this thinking that you don’t know who you are without the struggle. Don’t you want to find out? Find help. Use the info below, and get the help that you’ve always wanted. It’s hard, and it’s scarey, but it’s worth it. I know, I’ve been there. And if the struggles come back, do it again. I’ll be doing it again with you. I’m doing it right now.

And if you’re reading this thinking that you don’t have anyone who loves you, I love you. I really do. If I can help your life through my writing, I want to. Oh, Lord, I so want to. Please let me. Take my words from the screen and put them in your heart and know that I am struggling with you. I am crying, I am hurting, and I am with you. Because no one should have to be alone. Message me, leave a comment, call a hotline, but don’t be alone. Because you aren’t.

 

if you are struggling with depression or other mental illnesses and need help or encouragement, use the resources below

The Bloggess– A fellow struggler who will make you laugh

Suicide Prevention Lifeline– full of resources if you are struggling, including instant chat and help finding a therapist

Suicide Hotline- 1-800-273-8255

Boggle the Owl– one artist’s beautiful advice on depression and self-love. The art for this post came from here

The Stigma of Suicide

Written 3/11/2015

I find it so strange that at a time in someone’s life when a person needs the most love that person can be being met with the harshest of judgements.

Anyone who has ever suffered from severe depression understands. You need love. You need comfort. You need desperately to talk to someone, to reach out for help because you can’t keep fighting anymore. But you don’t, because you know.

You know the friend will be extremely uncomfortable and try and change the subject, just so they don’t have to acknowledge what is truly happening. You know you’ll lose serve your nerve to go to the ER because you don’t want to be labeled as ‘the crazy girl’. When you say how you “can’t handle it anymore” your friends laugh tiredly and say “same here”,  but you don’t dare use the word ‘suicidal’ because you can’t take another the person looking at you with confusion, pity, and fear in their eyes, as if you expect them to “fix it”.

Because when a person does say they are suicidal, they know you can’t fix it. They know how lost they are. But they are trying, desperately, maybe for the last time, to reach out and find love. They want someone who cares. Someone who will cry with them for their pain, not back away from their own fear.

But so often suicide is shameful. We are looked down upon for struggling. For being so human that this world hurts us. Even for being sick and needing help in a way that many don’t understand.

I have a friend (we will just call her J) and her brother recently tried to commit suicide. I praise God that he lived, but it struck me as odd that this is how she told me.

Me: got your message about your brother. What happened so that he ended up in the ICU?

J: He tried to kill himself. He is feeling very ashamed. I’m trying to keep it private.

I hate that at this time in his life–when he needs love and support more than ever–he is isolating himself from everyone by not letting them in by telling them the truth.

And that is because of the stigma of suicide.