You can see from my last post that my job had finally come to an end…the “happy place” was over officially on March 24, 2010. There were multiple reasons for staying at this job as I have stated before, but obviously the stress was entirely too much for me. If you ever felt a “black cloud” inside you would understand what I mean – you know, that darkness that is lurking like a sickness waiting to knock you off your feet. A silent evil that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up…..wow-I am so happy to be out of that negative energy. As a survivor trying to heal from my grief-it’s the worse place to have been with no support and the constant negative pull. But it’s over now and it’s time to move forward!
Over the next couple of months I tried to work on my health problems and was still not giving in to the anxiety idea. The anniversary of Amber’s death was nearing, as well as Mother’s day and that always brings added emotions. As I recall nothing special happened for those days and I am always so crazed with not having a burial place to visit. It is difficult to spend the day trying to ignore (like you could) all the emotions, but I find myself doing that more often now. It’s always in my mind, but when alone it feels pointless to do anything, but just try to pretend it’s another day or it hurts too much. It’s hard to believe it’s been 2 years since she left us…..
Chuck and I started planning for another suicide awareness/prevention walk in Huntington and moved the venue to Pullman Square, which is in the downtown area. We were hoping to get more people involved and bring more attention to the cause. Planning went on for months…busy, busy times.
It was odd not going into a “normal” job each week, but it was encouraging that I did not have to deal with confrontations daily and I started to relax a bit with my new life. Of course I had all the normal feelings of “not pulling my weight”, although I put them on myself-my husband was glad I had left the “happy place”.
While I was sitting in a waiting room for a Dr’s visit I found myself doodling in my sudoku book. I was writing lots of words that I found hopeful...hope, faith, inspire, love, etc. And I started thinking about how difficult it was to find remembrance items for suicide. I next started drawing jewelry with words on them-I drew a pocketbook, earrings, necklaces, etc….and before me I see the “Messages of Hope”. I knew all this meant something and I was very excited about what may lie ahead. When I returned from the Dr’s office I went immediately to Chuck and told him that we needed to start this company and make these messages, etc. I showed him the pictures and he agreed. The company was named “Messages For Hope, LLC” and there were many ups and downs with this initial phase of our new venture. I began making bracelets, necklaces, watches, and earrings and I found the creative side again and enjoyed this very much. I had little time to create as the walk neared.
In August, 2010 we participated in the Cabell County Health Fair and set up a table to provide information on suicide prevention and talked to many survivors that day. I was continually meeting survivors-everywhere I went. There was not anywhere I went that I didn’t meet someone who needed to talk. I commented on this many times to Chuck and thought it odd, but inspiring, as I became aware of how many people in my town were suffering the loss of a loved one by suicide. They all had similar stories about the stigmas and lack of resources available. I felt like I had a sign on my head that read “if you are grieving please see me”. There were times when I thought I must be crazy, but it never failed. I believed that God had been working through me for awhile and I was beginning to see where this was all going---I thought. Everywhere I met someone we would stand in tears as they poured their heart out to me-sometimes I would think that I wasn’t made to hear of so much pain associated with death. But yet, there it would be again-at Lowe’s, at K-Mart, at the Mall, at Kohl’s, Kroger’s, etc. It seemed almost impossible that EVERY time I left the house this happened, but it sure did. I was beginning to accept the idea that I could help people who were grieving and along the way I met many who were contemplating suicide themselves. I was doing lots of research on all these things when I was home. I had a lot to learn about recovery, intervention, and prevention.
As Chuck and I prepared for the walk in September 2010 we were faced with the task once again of setting up a “memory table” at the walk. I decided to get some new frames for Amber’s pictures for the table and off to Kmart we went. As we stood looking at the frames there was a sudden realization of not having any new pictures for the frames. We both stood silently and cried…..we have learned that you never know when these moments will hit.
The anxiety had gotten much worse as the walk neared and I called the Doctor and told him that I would start on medicine. He prescribed Klonopin and although I did not want to take this med, I did, and it only took a couple of days to notice a difference. I wasn’t sure what I thought was going to happen-maybe I would feel loopy, or sleepy, or just depressed---WRONG on all accounts. I could not tell I was taking anything, except I felt different. I was calmer and more focused and I could get lots more work done! It was so much easier to organize my thoughts and I was able to accomplish so much more! When the walk came in September I did my first ever speech……I was not nervous-in all the chaos of the walk preparations that morning I was as cool as a cucumber-amazing! The walk was spectacular and it was a wonderful day spent with the survivors of suicide loss and supporters. There were many great things about the walk this year-location, participation, and support. I hope you enjoy the photos……