#12 – Teen Suicide: JUST DON’T. Be braver, be bigger than you ever thought you could be…you got this.

So, with the rash of teen suicides at my kid’s public school here in the SFV, we’re all freakin’ out. Yes, suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem, but when you’re in the throws of a depressive episode or a vast situational depression due to outside forces seemingly attacking you from every angle, it can falsely present itself the only way out from the chronic pain. Here’s the thing–first, if you off yourself you ruin so many other lives it’s criminal. Second–you rob yourself from being able to rise above the plethora of shit you might currently be swimming in, and actually help others out of their own shitstorm from your vast experiences. Yes, that’s right. Altruism, as in helping people worse off than you? That simple act of extending yourself to someone struggling is a suicide and depression cure on many levels in and of itself so look into it.

Not saying that chemical brain imbalance type depression (VS. Situational Depression) has a total cure, probably doesn’t, but it’s MORE than treatable and you can go on and live an OUTSTANDING LIFE OF SERVICE FOR OTHERS even if you’re bipolar or suffer anxiety and or panic disorder or such, yep–as in prior troublemakers make the best cops? Or the best drug counselors where once junkies themselves? We learn from the trailblazers that came before us.

Take me. At one time, for a long time that was, I lived my life as if a gun was pointed to my head 24-7, ‘on the ledge’ so to speak, for a person who seemingly has it all…and I’ve recovered, but aren’t we always in recovery from something? And that’s life and that’s what makes us vast and interesting and deep and the rock for someone else. Thanks to family, friends, my own education and evolution in expanding my mind and knowledge, I’ve risen above my own little life and have extended myself here, being present and ready to help others and of service, it’s the best medicine, and oh yeah, I take my medicine. I study mental health, I’m a writer, an actor, and a creative, and we have the highest rate of depression and anxiety and hell, I just got my little AA is in this field at 40 something and I wont ever judge your plight. So there. Go do something great, it’s never too late.

I realize if you only go around once (unless you’re a Hari Krishna, then you reincarnate into a rock or a tree or someone famous), don’t you want this ride to be the fucking best damn coaster you ever fuckin’ rode? I do. Now. And it’s the farthest thing from your mind when you’re in the trenches of the darkness, or the chaotic mind of chronic anxiety and panic, and that’s when you MUST reach out to other’s who can do something to alleviate your pain.

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(I would go to, and have, each and everyone of these great human beings for mental support when I’m down and out, but I’ve weeded many others out along the way…find your people)

Here’s the big news on THAT undertaking, so listen up: choose your audience wisely. Going to an asshole who unwisely spits out wrote comments in hopes of comforting you such as, “everyone gets the blues” and “being a teenager is hard, its called teen angst” or “you just need to get another job, or study harder, and or exercise…a lot” or “what the hell you bitching about, don’t you know there’s kids starving in third world countries,” can only make you feel more disconnected and isolated, even ashamed you are suffering to the depth you are. Stay away from these vapid ‘do-gooders’ for they know not what they speak. Seek out the people such as a sensitive and receptive family member or friend, myself even (yes you can write to me here in the comment section, but only real inquiries, if you’re a troll I’ll tell you to take a massive shit and fall back in it then rot in hell cause this is a serious matter) and online support in the form of suicide prevention sites and resource counselors at schools for help and I know that sounds kinda easy and maybe even boring, but it works.

Here’s my final thought. Social Media for teens…no bueno. That’s right. I have a huge hunch with the recent data coming out, the rise in teen suicide and suicidal thinking (ideation, rumination), that social media is a huge culprit. For one, Instagram and the like,  is set up to make people’s lives look so overboard-goddamn fabulous and exciting—hot n’ sexy when it’s the biggest damn scam in the world it’s laughable. It’s called editing folks. The amount of carefully edited pictures and posts you see of others lives you so obsessively stalk, is nothing more than picking up a dumb tabloid magazine with a slew of dirt-bag editors paid to make you feel little and ugly and fuck–boring, in comparison to the person they are paid to inflate. So boring and insignificant in fact, you will hopefully experience just enough personal lack to go out and buy these trash mags over and over—keep coming back to that social media account to torture yourself with the carefully edited lies, just to prove yourself right, they are better than you AND that’s the total intention! But you do know,  nothing could be more false, right? It’s an illusion put together with a string of shots and written, then re-written a thousand times ‘post text’ just to top off the over-edited shot. And you know this, course you do, you’re not as stupid as you look…kidding, I have no idea what you look like cause you, like me, put way too many filters on insta-pix. But deep down you know it’s all bullshit. You do. However, and this is like, science, our brain’s are hard wired for comparison. It’s true…just like the fact most writers can’t spell for shit, like me. Comparison is death, not inspiration. Comparison kills creativity, it can lower you emotional IQ, so don’t be stupid and compare yourself to the carefully edited lies of others. Got it? Good. BUT, as in However, looking to others you admire and getting inspired is great if it makes you get off your ass, stop feeling sorry for yourself, and go out and be the best version of yourself you possibly can. Your own self, not someone else’s version of themselves, see?

Make the commitment to stop comparing yourself with the edited lies of others and you will find yourself free-er and more effective in your life than you ever thought. Put fuckin’ imaginary blinders on if you must and keep pluggin’ away at what you want, you will get there, don’t matter how long it takes…I refer to myself once again here, It’s taken me to this part of my life to become actualized, for I wasn’t ready when I was younger, and that’s just the way it is. It’s never too late is what I’m getting at, but don’t you dare ask me how fuckin’ old I am cause I will lie.

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(an edited and photo-shopped picture of me…not too much though! No one looks exactly like what they really look like in pictures anymore…sad but true)

Furthermore, just so you can roll your eyes at me one more time with my over-pontificating n’ beratement of social, well, all media in that respect (n’ I love my own social media but it’s always with a wink, n’ I’ve earned the right to show off a little before I die), It’s the lie the professional and non pro editors don’t tell you. How making lives (and in a trash mag, the lives of celebrities–some of the most miserable people btw) look better than yours via visual displays such as: pictures of vacations you (or they) probably bickered half way through, laugh-riot but in all reality kinda boring hangouts, painful Brazilian vagina and anal waxing sessions with your bitches made to look uber fun but were really gross cause you all spread hep-c to each other, concerts that kinda rule but really suck when you have diarrhea and need to vomit from the cheap food and shit beer, beach bodies melted down with Photoshop apps, and finally the dreaded accomplishments and promotions of others that make your little participation awards in life seem like scrunched up sheets (that’s if you’re a scruncher, not a folder) of skid-marked toilet paper. It’s bullshit (so many fecal references, Omg). I’ll say it again, Media is set up to appear (appear people, not the way it actually always is), WAY BETTER than anything you have goin’ on. And trust me, what you got going is pretty much parallel to all others in many ways regardless of job or age or social status, we are all just people. We suffer loses, we celebrate wins, we have mental health issues, we have physical ailments (some of us don’t have all our limbs…I do, jus’ saying), some of us are older now (not me, I’m 25-7…yeah, I’m 27), some young and don’t realize the power they have, we all got shit, we all got the power to be altruistic and change lives…even our own. Whoa.

Be kind even when you feel mean, for it could be the one thing in someone’s day that turns the bad around for them, be responsible, you have no idea your effect on others, be loving–for love is the greatest thing you can give to yourself and others in a world full of negative assholes and the easy to come by hate, and be altruistic! The word of the day! Help others in helping yourself out of your own misery.  It works. Be bigger than your own little life, be huge in helping someone else who’s drowning just as you, me, he, she or it might of been, or are. Get help! Talk to the therapists, the school counselors (they’re free for Christ sakes), and remember, please please remember, in the darkest of dark moments when all seems as bottomless as the titanic with all it’s millions in un-scavenged diamonds, even this shitty time, or situation shall pass….this too shall pass. It always does. So stick around, don’t be lame, be massive in you’re courage to live a beautiful life on whatever scale you live it on, you make more people happy than you will ever know.

Xo, Kelly

# 11 – My Husband almost died of Meningitis…from a stupid mosquito

It was probably the shittiest time for him to pick almost dying on me, us, himself–our marriage was going through a particularly rough patch, work found itself more than challenging, and my mental health had steadily been in decline for the past year and a half. Not that it was his fault, my husband I mean, how was he to know his immune system was left wide open from his chronic Prednisone use for something totally unrelated to meningitis?

I knew though. And what ensued I can only categorize as a seemingly life-changing experience for my whole family, our friends, co-workers, and our, well, how many people go through something as out of the blue traumatic as what happened to my guy and come out, well, back to normal…so to speak–cause what the fuck is normal anyway? I can’t stand most ‘normal’ people, they’re too damn crazy if you ask me. I mean, is he totally over his ordeal? Pretty much. However, when you almost die of meningitis, it kinda freaks you out for a while. But only for a while.

You wanna know something really insightful though? How should I put this so I don’t sound like an ungrateful ingrate—Ok…you know how you always see those interviews of like, survivors  n’ such n’ how they’re always pontificating on the aftermath of this and that, n’ how after the said traumatic incident left them in utter appreciation for every waking moment there after? Nonsense. Things just go back to the same for the most part, you make concessions for the new way of life, n’ you know…that becomes the new normal. life just went right back to life. At this point? It’s like it never happened except for the stupid puzzles I bought him to do for brain plasticity exercises when he got home from the hospital. 3000 micro piece puzzles not even the person who designed the thing could put together. Lisa was the one who came over that day I got my guy home from the hospital, had the puzzle all spilled out on the coffee table, invalid barely able to blink let alone put two pieces together, n’ me standing over him like a dictator commanding ‘Do the puzzle! Do. The. Puzzle. Brain plasticity. It heals the brain motherfucker, do it!” I was crazed from 6 days of no sleep from the ICU of course, (I’ll get into my stint as his unforgiving hospital staff advocate later) so no, wasn’t thinking too rationally. Lisa took one look at the pieces falling off the table all piled up like ashes from my mom’s old Nova cigarette ashtray pull out thing, and scoffed. “Kelly! A 6 PIECE puzzle you fool!!! One made for 3 yr olds n’ autistic kids! What the hell?!”

“Oh…Well, I did not realize that, Lisa.” I apologized to my husband who couldn’t reply anyway thank god, for he would of gladly told me to shove every single jagged edge puzzle piece up my ass if he could—he couldn’t though, so opted for a stink eye kinda blank stare instead. In fact, he had no expression for the first week home at all, common of brain injuries even meningitis. Called ‘flat affect’. Creepy is an understatement, his nick name became ‘the walking dead’ till it subsided.

How you ask? Well, it’s kinda a long story,  but basically, he got bit by a West Nile Virus carrying mosquito somewhere by our home, the Prednisone had his immune system suppressed enough to let the pathogen take hold in the meninges of the surrounding brain tissue, and voila! Meningitis. From a mosquito bite. Motherfucker. Almost a $200,000 hospital bill later (thank god for insurance),  n’ all caused by a parasite via a simple steroid used to treat pretty much every inflammatory condition including a swollen toe. Dumb.

I guess that’s where this story begins essentially, or on the night he collapsed off the john, face first, semi paralyzed onto the hard travertine bathroom floor at 3 o’ clock in the morning. I was already up getting dressed right before, he’d woken up about 40 minutes earlier nauseated and dizzy as hell, double vision, and as he tried to walk to the bathroom to hurl, it was like watching a drunk falling down a flight of stairs. See, we thought 2 days earlier, it was just the flu…his general doctor thought so too–dude started him on Tamiflu and my guy threw that shit up instantly. We decided to wait the flu out together in bed. I’d change his soaked clothes and sheets, talk to him, watch TV, do a few errands, and hoped his mounting fever I’d kept checking would go away. But by the day of the night he ended up, well, almost dead, it was the highest it had been n’ I was set on the ER.

The scream from the toilet came furiously and it wasn’t a normal like, yell, it was a shriek of someone falling off a building. Or a toilet, face first.

I’ll never forget it, the yell—I’ve known this guy since 8th grade, and let me tell you, he ain’t ever made that sound before. I ran back in just as I was done getting dressed and letting my live-in sister know I was taking him to the ER and to console the kids in the morning–take them to school, n’ that everything would be OK.

Oh were it that easy. No. For what I saw following the scream, on the floor next to the john, was my husband of almost 18 years, half naked, face down on the tile floor, utterly lifeless, a shade of blue-green,  and covered in sweat. The scariest thing about it was, well the whole goddamn fucking thing was devastating, but his eyes in particular sent shock-waves–eyes wide open with a blank stare, but lights out, literally. I called his name, placed my hand on him, tried to get him up, help him, do anything I could to coax him to respond, but he couldn’t talk. I’ll tell you this, besides the initial scream that had no resemblance to the guy I’ve known most of my life, this was not my husband, this was a person–dying.

(To Be Continued….)

 

 

 

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