Thursday, July 20, 2017

Suicide – The Lessons

I suppose that this blog post has been brewing for a few weeks now, but for some reason, I decided to wait on it.

I guess that is because I think the subject matter is painful and close to my heart.

As a person who has always leaned towards the darker side of life, I know how these suicidal thoughts begin. 

They don’t shout; They whisper. 
And for some, the whispers get louder and louder until they are the only thing heard.

There are many ways to try and silence the whispers, but they are not always apparent. Sometimes it can be a long talk with a stranger like on a hotline or a talk with an empathetic friend. Don’t let those feelings turn into a soundtrack for your life. Your life deserves to be lived aloud.

Today, we heard the news of yet another rock musician committing suicide, Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington. A few weeks prior, the legendary rock musician Chris Cornell was found in an apparent suicide.

A suicide of anyone who has affected me has always been a reminder for me to value life’s positive, even though finite, moments. A suicide of anyone is tragic, but when it is a person who has helped others overcome suicidal feelings through their art it becomes something devastating. 

This afternoon, I read something along the lines of how Chester Bennington gave voice to our feelings when we were feeling voiceless and alone.

This is undoubtedly true.

It was true for Chris Cornell.
It was true for Kurt Cobain.
It was true for Michael Hutchence.
It was true for Robin Williams.
It was true for Ian Curtis.
It was true for…

I could keep going for a long time with this list. But, I refuse to. It isn’t helpful and it’s sad.

It doesn’t ease the pain of the fact that, these beautiful people have taken their own life.

Perhaps, their absence, not the act, serves to make us rethink what makes us angry, sad, or worrisome. Those in the public eye who lose their lives to suicide are NOT “martyrs” and it would NOT be honorable to follow in their footsteps. That would be reckless, horrible, and insane.

What they did should not be praised, BUT it should always be remembered as a reminder of how pain can overcome even those who have helped others through their troubles. And, perhaps maybe even saved them from that dark hole of pain that leads to suicide.

Sometimes what we do for others we cannot do for ourselves. So, it is important to be aware of your friends. 

Be aware and active if they seem down, or unlike themselves. 
Be aware and active when they seem withdrawn or angry. 
Be aware and active if they are giving away their possessions. 
Be aware and active if they are drinking too much or doing drugs. 
Be aware and active if all contact from them ceases.

Most importantly: Love, do not hurt. No, a person battling depression does not want to hear “GET OVER IT”. You should “get over yourself” if you think that way and think that is a solution to mental illness.

And for the last time, suicide isn’t a cowardly act. It’s a desperate and desolate one.

Here are some resources for those struggling with thoughts of suicide or know someone who is:

You Rock Foundation :

National Hopeline Network 1.800.SUICIDE (784-2433)

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1.800.273.TALK (273-8255) For hearing and speech impaired with TTY equipment 1.800.799.4TTY (779-4889) EspaƱol 1.888.628.9454
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide through research, education, advocacy and to reaching out to people with mental disorders and those impacted by suicide.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Memoir Writing is not for me.

People always ask me why I don't write memoirs.

And, when people hear the college that I went to they automatically assume I have gone through the awesome memoir program there.

Also, when people hear I write, they automatically think that my writings must be about my life.

All of these assumptions are wrong.

I guess since my first pieces of writing were emotional poetry, and very shortly after rock n' roll songs, I feel that I 've told "my" stories through song and poetry.

The only sort of memoir writing I have ever done is, in fact, the entries in this blog. But, as any good writing professor will tell you, it's really not the same thing at all.

Before I write these next few sentences, I want to say this:

I do have the utmost respect for those who do write memoirs although it will never be a genre I feel comfortable writing in.

I guess since reality pains me often, I don't think I could even get through writing about myself that much to explore memoir writing. I think I wouldn't be able to be that honest with myself or with others. And, and please do not take this the wrong way memoir writers, but memoir writing seems just a little more self-absorbed than I am comfortable with.

Besides, who the hell would want to read about my life?

I'm really not that important.

I'd rather create personalities, universes, and lives than writing about my own.

I do feel lonely in my opinion since most of the people I know who write talk about their memoirs, and I'm over here like..." new character is sort of inspired by a real person in my life? Does that count?"

I don't really feel the need for fiction partners, either.
Writing has always been an extremely independent practice for me.

When I do need a beta-read I like to choose people I don't know.
I guess I'd rather near strangers ripping into my writing so I can make it better than someone I can actually be emotionally hurt by.

Thank heavens for the internet editors that fill that requirement.

So, memoir writers!
Keep writing about all of your life's happenings!

I will use them as inspiration for fictional people!


Friday, January 20, 2017


I am pretty depressed today.

I wrote this huge rant filled with vitriol and negativity but I decided not to post it.

Instead, I want you to go and love one another.
Go out and make sure that hate doesn't win.

Donate to charities you believe do good work for people who need it.
Support those fighting the good fight.
Write stories of heroes winning over the villains.
Write songs of rebellion and freedom.

Sing. Just sing.