Parenting with Mental Illness: Andolina (Major Depressive Disorder)

Meet Andolina-on bettysbattleground.com

Parenting with Mental Illness, a feature interview series on bettysbattleground.comI am honored to introduce Andolina as this month’s Parenting with Mental Illness interviewee. She’s a beautiful young mother who lives with Major Depressive Disorder and moderate anxiety. She also lost her father to suicide. I can only imagine what that kind of loss is like, and I thank her for her sharing her story here on Betty’s Battleground. It breaks my heart to hear about yet another woman whose birthday has been ruined possibly forever–this time by a tragic loss.

A person recently left a very interesting comment on my blog post about forgiving our loved ones who commit suicide. She (I’m actually not sure of the person’s gender, but am using “she” for the sake of clarity) noted that she had lost her spouse to suicide several years back. Then she asked me to re-write my post to exclude the term “commit suicide.” She informed me that there is now a movement to have people say “died by suicide” rather than “commit suicide,” due to negative connotations associated with the word commit, and the idea that suicide is an act for which the victim is not culpable.

I’m familiar with these kinds of language movements. There’s one also in place around the word “addict,” for which I’ve had several losing battles with editors on the titles and language within certain of my articles. My problem here is that I’m not sure I agree. I don’t agree that the word commit is inherently negative, nor do I agree that people who attempt suicide have no volition whatsoever. They’re ill, usually, but if we say they have no power, that can be dangerous to people struggling with suicidal ideations. Is our commitment stronger to the living, or the deceased? I do believe we should respect and honor those who lost their lives to suicide. I do believe in awareness. I don’t know how I stand on the language. Will you leave your thoughts in the comments?

And now, Andolina:

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Healing Words: An Author’s Search For Trauma Recovery Through Writing

Brandi Kennedy talks about how writing and mindfulness has helped her recover from chronic abuse on bettysbattleground.com

A guest writer series about the ways we heal-on bettysbattleground.comHey readers, I apologize for missing my Wednesday post this week, but I’d like to call your attention to the article I was busy working on instead.

When I was pregnant and on methadone, I was caught in the Front Range Flood. Well, not caught in it per se, I was just outside of it, but my clinic closed and I couldn’t get to the one that was designated to courtesy dose us. You can read more about it in the article, but it is truly horrifying how unprepared many methadone facilities are for ensuring continuity of care. Unprepared is not even the right word; there are actually plenty of protocols in place, as I learned while researching this piece, but many programs and hospitals choose to turn patients away. It’s unfair, and unconscionable. Imagine going through the worst disaster of your life, and also being in intense opiate withdrawal? You can read it here.

Let’s also remember that while all of this has been going on, massive flooding has been destroying parts of Southeast Asia. More than 1,000 people have died, far higher than the death toll from Harvey.They deserve our care and attention too.

I’m glad that my blog is equipped to have outbound links open in separate windows, because I also don’t want you to miss this guest post from Author Brandi Kennedy. She’s a fiction writer and a poet besides a blogger, and it shows in the beauty of her narration, but the subject is deeply troubling. Despite my own traumatic experiences, I never cease to be shocked by the capacity for pain and cruelty this world holds. I’m glad the assignment I’m writing this weekend focuses on human kindness instead, but for now..let’s read Brandi’s story of recovery through writing and mindfulness.

Author Brandi KennedyRead about Brandi Kennedy's healing through writing on bettysbattleground.com was a survivor before she knew she was a warrior. Through her love of reading, she found temporary escape from the abuse that was an ever-present part of her childhood; through writing, she’s found healing and renewed life. These days, Brandi is a romance novelist and mental health and lifestyle blogger who spends her moments writing her way toward her dreams. Through self-expression, the courage to share honestly, and the desire to weave words into the very magic she once used as escape, Brandi is learning to embrace life as an Undaunted Woman – and hoping to welcome others along on the ride. Read her full bio here.

 

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Why You Should Forgive Your Friends And Heroes Who Commit Suicide

Get insight into suicide from someone who's been there-on bettysbattleground.com

Suicide recently came into the public consciousness because of the death by hanging of Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington. Whenever I hear about someone dying from hanging, I think about this kindhearted, sweet as hell, alcoholic teenage gutter punk I knew who hanged himself. The last time I saw him, I was in a van going to the Oregon Country Fair. I saw him walking outside on the side of the road. We lived in Seattle so this wasn’t expected. I considered asking the driver to stop so I could say hi to my friend, but then I figured–and I remember this thought so clearly–“Oh well, it’s okay, I’ll see him again.” I didn’t.

We never know when we will lose the people we love. Whether by suicide or something else, our lives are these tenuous, crazy things that can be shattered without a moment’s notice. We need to better appreciate the people in our lives, but we also need to forgive those who leave us on purpose. I’ve written this post to help you understand why you should let go of the anger you feel at your loved one who committed suicide, even though that anger is totally justified.

On a side note, I’ve survived nine heroin overdoses, some of which were intentional–so I do know a little bit about what I’m writing in today’s post. Isn’t that fucked up? Life is a tenuous place but for some reason I’ve persisted. Maybe one day I will know why…anyway, I wrote about it for Vice, and it was published yesterday-check it out. I’ll write something more here on that in a week or so.

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