I stayed up past 3am drawing something…
I was so inspired and moved to be creating it that I just couldn’t stop. I know some of you (but definitely not all of you) know I’ve been struggling in a manic phase. I saw my doctor just under 2 weeks ago and she completely revised my med doses because it was just getting out of hand.
The not sleeping, the racing thoughts, the random bursts of energy, the physical shaking, coupled with some pretty intense daily anxiety.
Sometimes mania serves me well and it briefly did as I joined the AFSP Board of Directors and was thrown into the fire so to speak. It’s a LOT of work. Yes it’s a volunteer job, and yes I suppose the workload is what we make it. But there’s a LOT of passion up in there (yours truly included) so we all have a drive to push forward.
So…I pretty much ignored my need for the doctor for a while. It’s not uncommon, eh? Just hope the balance returns if I just put one foot in front of the other. I say to myself, “I’ve been managing my illnesses for a long damn time, I can just hang on and it’ll get better.” But it doesn’t just get better. We need to reach out, and that takes strength. We have to be our own life saver sometimes.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention uses a life preserver as their logo, a “life saver.” Pretty poignant, right?
I actually own and LOVE this “life saver” bangle bracelet by EKDesigns (and blogged about it here, because 30% of the purchase of this or other EKDesigns life saver jewelry goes to the AFSP.) So I was very certain I wanted my cause-related art to be the life saver with my own little writer’s twist.
I drew it, like I said, into the wee hours of the night and finished my masterpiece joyfully. And then I was sort of afraid to show it around. John of course saw it the next day, and then I actually shared it with two of my fellow board members. It was like sharing a part of my soul, and they probably didn’t even know it.
I have actually realized lately that I do carry an intense fear that this passion of mine is turning people off. It’s a paranoia, and I know I said it was one I’d deal with at another time, but I guess the time is now.
I don’t want to talk and write about mental illness and suicide so much that people start to tune me out. I know perfectly well most people have no desire to talk or think about it. I know it’s not a pleasant topic. I know the words “suicide” and “mental illness” make people uncomfortable.
But damn it, if we don’t talk about it, if we aren’t “suicide aware” we will not save lives, like we absolutely can. So I wish that “suicide” wasn’t a dirty word. I wish people didn’t feel so full of shame when a suicidal thought pops into their head. I wish instead they would realize that it’s something that happens to a lot of people, quite often frankly, and at the core, those thoughts are a sign from the universe that it is time to reach out. They are a very real sign that THIS is the moment to stay strong, hold on and be the warrior I know they can be; and literally fight for their life.
So I drew this , and wanted you to see it, this piece of my heart in art.