The Day Before

*Trigger warning: this post discusses suicide. Please read with this in mind.*

I wrote about “A Million Little Things” when it premiered and thanks to the 1/24/19 episode, it gets another blog post.

This episode discusses the day before John, the main character, completes suicide. His death baffles everyone around him. In the episode, he gets into an argument with one of his friends, Gary and promises his wife, Delilah, that they will have a long-needed talk.

John was freaked out about finances. The walls were closing in on him financially. He told his assistant, Ashley, to take the night off.

I’ll stop there with the spoilers, in case you want to catch up on the episode.

“Call Me Blind/But I Didn’t See it Coming”- P.O.D.

August 31, 2015, was my day before. I went to work at the job I loved- a mental health associate at a mental health facility. I worked on a unit for kids with autism and other developmental disabilities. I was days away from filing for divorce – Matthew and I were barely on speaking terms. Jake had been a bit quieter than usual, but I thought maybe he was just in a depressive episode.

Many people who knew about us have asked if I saw any signs, but I didn’t. I could see many things just by looking into Jake’s eyes. This wasn’t one of them. If I had even thought of him taking his own life, I would have done anything to stop it. It beats the hell out of losing him.

Jake and I texted like usual until he went to bed. He worked third shift and didn’t go to sleep before about 9 am. We made plans to hang out in a few days when our schedules would match up- I didn’t know then that those plans would never go through. I meant to text him later that day, but I got busy after work.

Early the next morning, September 1, 2015, I sent him a picture of Tails. He had blue ink all over him from Cameron picking him up the night before after a pen bled all over his hands. His very last text to me read: “Poor Tails”. He was still awake after not being able to sleep the night before. I had texted him on my way to work.

That was it.

Jake died later that day.

The Worst Phone Call

I’ll never forget the pain in Josh’s voice when he told me about Jake’s death. It is one of the worst phone calls I’ve ever had.

The aftermath of losing someone to suicide is.. shattering. It’s one of the few words I have been able to find to accurately describe how Jake’s loss affected me. This kind of loss will make you question a lot of things– I questioned who my friends really were, my strength and of course, my marriage.

Living without Jake has been difficult- but I am here, living the life he made me strong enough to live and having finished the work he started in 2013. I hope so much that he is proud of me, from wherever his caring spirit is.

There is a post about the day after, and you can find it here

Today’s PSA: If you love someone, tell them. You may lose that chance. The regret is hard to live with.

Pics courtesy of Pinterest

Resources:

AFSP

Getting Out of A Bad Day Slump

Bad days happen to all of us. They can creep up on us or hit us like BAM! A bad day ahead. I don’t like having bad days, but they happen more than I like to admit sometimes. I deal with chronic pain from RA and migraines, which can be a bit depressing.

I also have anxiety and depression, both managed without medication. Like many others, I do have insecurities and other not-so-great thoughts that come into my mind and cause my days to not be so positive.

I was once told by someone that she didn’t want to be around me because she “didn’t want to be around my negativity for five minutes”… wait, what? I understand that I was in a deep state of grief at that point (late December 2015) but things weren’t that horrible.

This was a shocker to Matthew and my friends because for the most part, I try to stay positive, even when it’s hard. As Matthew said, “you light up the room when you walk in.” I had to sit and think that one out- it really upset me.

I realized that she was going through her own grief and anger towards me and the rest of the world. I eventually let that one go, and it’s on the list of reasons we aren’t friends anymore. I don’t think we have spoken since that conversation.

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Tap Into What You Love and Need

I have some tips for getting out of the slump of a bad day or even a series of bad days.

  • Create something. This can be food, playing an instrument or something artistic. Keeping your hands busy can take your mind off what is bothering you, even for a while. It can also lift the sadness by reminding you what you are capable of.
  • Try learning something new, even if it is something small. Want to learn how to sew a new pattern? This could be a good time.
  • Take a walk. Getting outside can clear your mind, fresh air also helps. If the weather isn’t cooperating, then try walking inside a mall or other indoor track. Other kinds of exercise, like yoga, pilates or cardio can help with releasing endorphins- these help you feel good.
  • Play with your hair, makeup or clothes- trying a new hairstyle, look or outfit can help boost your confidence a bit.
  • Call a family member and/or friend. Even if you talk for just a few minutes, human contact can be good. If you haven’t talked to anyone in a day or two, it can be nicer than you think it may be to hear another person’s voice.
  • Cuddle up with a pet or borrow someone else’s pet. Pets are great with helping with hard feelings. We got Tails intending to help Julian bond with something because he was having problems bonding with us. They are best friends, and Miss Purr joined us in 2016. If I’m having a rough day, I like cuddling with her. Our pets are soft and comforting. Most of the time, they like helping us feel better.
  • Do simple self-care. I’m not talking bubble baths and face masks- I mean simply taking a shower, brushing your teeth and putting on clothes. This can be difficult if you have been depressed and in bed for multiple days, so take the time to get this one task done, even if it takes all day to do so.
  • Read quotes, affirmations and/or books to bring yourself a bit of positivity. This can help your mind frame a bit.

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If you want to read more about bad days, being kind to yourself and other similar topics, please go to these posts:

5 Ways to Conquer Self-Kindness

5 Rules for Mental Strength

The Not-So-Good Days

Song Lyric Saturday with Katy Perry

Katy Perry is an interesting singer. I didn’t like her at first, like some other singers I have discussed on Song Lyric Saturday. I thought she was a little too peppy and over the top. Over time, her music has changed a little and so has my opinion of her. As we all know, I’m a huge Swiftie, so when things weren’t that great between her and Taylor, I was on Taylor’s side all the way.

I’m 35, but give me some space here.

I loved the collab with Kanye in “E.T.” and that was almost my pick, but the lyrics I wanted to use weren’t exactly blog-friendly.

Instead, I give you some lyrics from “Wide Awake” to ponder.

“Thunder rumbling

Castles crumbling

I am trying to hold on

God knows that I tried

Seeing the bright side

But I’m not blind anymore

I’m wide awake”

There comes a time in which things fall completely apart, and you just can’t deny it anymore. You want to keep holding on because you’re scared to move on, scared of what might be coming next. It just becomes too exhausting to try to keep holding on. However, you wake up and realize no matter what might be coming next, you have to let go. It’s time.

I was in that place once with my marriage. It’s not a good spot- I tried everything I could but yet nothing worked. My days were dark except for work and my kids. I eventually woke up and realized it was time to leave. I just couldn’t do it anymore- but I was scared. How would I do things alone with three kids?

Over time, I stopped caring. I just wanted out. I never did find all this out, because Jake died a week before I met with my lawyer to file. Therapy helped me decide to stay in my marriage- only because my husband decided to change his ways. It’s a decision that I am glad I made.

Picture courtesy of Pinterest

Song Lyric Saturday with Michelle Branch

Michelle Branch was big for a while on her own, went country for a while with The Wreckers and disappeared. I was disappointed- I loved her music. I even liked the music she made with The Wreckers. She’s now on her second marriage and just had a second baby, a boy. Congrats to Michelle and her husband. (She has a daughter, Owen, from her first marriage.)

This was another hard choice for me, but I chose “All You Wanted”. It was one of her first singles and I loved the video. Michelle has a great voice, and I would love to see her make a comeback. I know that would be difficult these days- once you leave the music scene, that’s pretty much it.

“If you want to

I can save you

I can take you away from here

So lonely inside

So busy out there

All you wanted was somebody who cared”

This song stayed on repeat once I bought the CD (yes, the CD, this was the time before downloads became huge). I thought that trying to save someone was a romantic thing because it is something you just do. I don’t think that anymore- because you can’t save everyone that you come across.

I learned this professionally- as an addiction counselor, I worked with opiate addicts. I lost a few on my caseload due to overdose, other medical issues and one in a car wreck. The overdoses were much harder to deal with- but my supervisor (a complete saint, if you ask me) told me more than once, “Wrae, you can’t save them all. You did the best you could to help.” Looking back, Mark was absolutely right. Many doctors, nurses and other medical professionals probably feel the same in some situations.

In a personal sense, sometimes people, myself, included, bury the things that hurt the most. I have to work on this and remind myself to reach out if I need to talk, or if someone has hurt me, to let them know. Everyone wants someone who cares and deserves just that.

Picture courtesy of pinterest

Song Lyric Saturday with Blink-182

I’ve listened to Blink-182 since pretty much forever. I love drums and Travis Barker is #3 on my list behind Mick Fleetwood and Taylor Hawkins, both of who I have gushed about in previous posts. Travis, however, just happens to be cute while drumming. I saw one of those little 3 inch dolls on Instagram a few days ago and now it’s on my Christmas/birthday list.

I read Travis’ book, “Can I Say” a couple of years ago (because I like reading the memoirs of rock stars) and it was wild. He’s been through a lot- I said “wow” more than once. I don’t know how his arms still function because he goes so hard on the drums, he plays with so much passion. His son, Landon, is getting into the music scene. Is anyone surprised? I’m not.

Okay..enough about Travis, because I could go on about him all day.

Blink-182

I picked the song “I Miss You” for this week.

“Hello there the angel from my nightmare

The shadow in the background of the morgue

The unsuspecting victim

Of darkness in the valley

We can live like Jack and Sally if we want

Where you can always find me

And we’ll have Halloween on Christmas

In the night we’ll wish this never ends

We’ll wish this never ends”

It’s a bit dark, but basically, it’s about a man being in a very dark time in his life but he knows that the woman in his life loves him- she wants to love him through it. She’s in the background of the dark spots in his life, trying to bring him into the light.

They try to make things look good and wish the good times would come back and never go away. (Confession: I had to look up the lyrics for the Jack and Sally part because I didn’t quite get it but once I did, it made a lot of sense. Thanks, Google.)

These guys are so talented and I’d love to see them in their Las Vegas residency.