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Kevin Breel on TEDxKids

I wept watching this. “Embracing your light does not mean ignoring the dark.” “I’m going through hell / I am too, and that’s okay.” Show our weaknesses. Dark is not taboo.

Please share widely.

Kevin Breel on TEDxYouth on what will stop more suicides



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For Carl

my new private balcony

my new private balcony


A new era has begun in my life, with a move from the place I moved into 2 months ago, to a place that is … well, it’s a little piece of heaven, with a fellow recovery woman.

It’s on a river. The sound of the river permeates the entire property and house. My room is on the 2nd floor, with my own private balcony. The house has several skylights, wood floors and trim throughout.

The property has several gardening areas for vegetables and flowers, grassy nooks with chairs, fruit trees, and a gazebo on the river. There is also a workshop and an art studio.

Both my roommate and I feel that this is a place that wants to be a vessel for healing. It wants to provide a safe, affordable and soul-nourishing haven for people who need it, in order to do our work, the work of the soul and spirit. The rent is super cheap, and the location is a few minutes walking to down town. We want to host healing circles and various healing modalities here.

My arrival here happened suddenly, removing me from the danger inherent in living alone. I had been isolating and not eating, in and out of various states of dissociation and paralyzation. A friend of mine asked me why i was remaining in this harmful situation. I realized I had not made it real in my mind that it was a harmful situation. I was still holding on, trying to convince myself that it wasn’t happening, that really, I was fine; I was just thinking I wasn’t. When the landlords there gave notice they were returning to the Valley, this new place emerged. After my friend asked me why I was staying, I checked out moving earlier, and was given the green light. I moved the next day.

The previous roommate here was a beautiful, bright, gay man who was the keeper of the space and property, loved gardening, home repairs and landscaping. He also lived with OCD and Bipolar Disorder. He chose to leave this world by suicide last month. As he had promised to his friends, he waited until he was happy for several months before leaving. He sorted his things and arranged for them to be dispersed, cleaned the house, made soup for the woman who is now my rooommate. Everyone knew that his leaving was imminent, and when he was all set up to facilitate his departure, he emailed my roommate, who was out of town at the time. It took him two consecutive attempts to leave.

His body was found in his room. He died a happy, loving and giving spirit; at peace in his surroundings and with his friends in this life. His passing has brought me here, and so I write this as an offering of gratitude and appreciation. I feel his presence, and that he is a kindred spirit. I regret that I did not get to know him while he was still here.

For Carl. For all your journeys, sorrows, joys, achievements, struggles, and losses. And for all the great love you gave to this world. May you be in peace in the afterlife. May your spirit soar on, always and forever free.

beside my pillow, the sound of the river surrounding.

beside my pillow, the sound of the river surrounding. words and cards by a fellow aca member. amethyst heart stone from fellow coda member, crystal from dear friend in my previous city up North. I am not alone on this journey.

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what’s your book cover

I’ve been having book covers and titles coming to me. What, if anything, I ever end up doing with them, it seems like part of my therapy to express them. What is your book cover?



“The greatest burden a child must bear is the unlived life of the parents.”  – Carl Jung

as we were hugging goodnight last night, my mom said, “Well, another one’s over.” it was one of the saddest things anyone has ever said to me. my heart still feels heavy. i feel a lifetime (or two) of sadness.

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the hippy man (in my dreams)

i’ve been remembering more of my dreams than usual lately.

there’ve been a lot of dreams about being chased — hunted for the kill in some gruesome way.

last night though, I dreamt of my ex-husband. i dreamt that we were at my wedding, though i couldn’t seem to remember who i was getting married to now, and i found myself alone a lot.

Ex was there, though his hair was long, and in ringlettes, his face softer somehow, his clothing non-descript. sitting down on a blanket to say hello, i felt closeness with him and held him for a moment. He seemed to reciprocate the feeling, but remained a little bit removed.

I could feel myself wanting to fall in love with him again. (Yup, that’s me — “Removed? I love you!”)

In the course of the event we were at (oh, yeah, it was my wedding to this unknown groom of mine), I was hanging out with the women and it became apparent that one of them was seeing Ex; but I wasn’t really sure until Ex posted a picture of himself arm in arm with another woman. I knew in my heart that he wasn’t in love with her, but I still felt sadness.

The other residual feeling from this dream is that I have connected with the Spirit of Ex, and we still love each other. I’m not saying here that I want to get back together. It’s like our business in the flesh is really done, but it is nice to have closure with his higher self. I miss that higher self — the person I saw when we were dating and fell in love. I think when we date, we show each other our higher selves.

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step four: the authentic voice that called

(my post step four introduction is the context for this series of posts.)

my dorm room–another false start of balance and serenity. another false ending to the chaos. january 2011.

(undated #1)

It does not agree with me to push myself so hard. The challenge of this term is quite extreme for me. I hit a wall of exhaustion today, and had to take the night off — from studying, from work, and basically the world. I watched TV all night. I didn’t respond to my husband texting me. I just needed to escape.

I am not motivated to learn when there is this much workload and the tests are not straight forward and the scores do not reflect my learning.



statistics, final exam formula sheet.

(undated #2)

The notion that I need to own my space and my time — I responded by feeling frustrated and unsupported.

I feel blind-sided by life — smacked in the face and rolled around in the mud, holding on to the rope of my soul, enduring.

There are times when a person needs to take responsibility for the experience they are having by changing their approach and managing themselves better, and these are the majority of times; and there are times when taking responsibility means recognizing situations and people that are unhealthy, and simply exiting from them.

(undated #3 — to my now-ex husband)

I’m drawn to you for the essence of you — the way you smile at me, your sunny demeanor. I’m drawn to and compelled by your spirituality, your compassion and caring for the world, and your capacity to produce and make things happen.

I’m afraid that if I don’t want to be around the whole pot-smoking, beer-drinking crowd, I won’t want to be around you, and our friends won’t mix.

the part to remember, give thanks for, and grieve, understand and accept its demise. i remember that feeling. i remember it all, in all of life’s glory. all of life’s glory.

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step four introduction

I have been working on Step Four since November.

My one-sentence description of Step Four is:

A list of all the things that keep me from feeling good in the world, the core beliefs that have created them, the responses that have fortified those core beliefs, and the effect they have had on my connection with others, myself and the Universe.

CoDA’s workbook has a series of questions for each step that I worked through, which took me the majority of the time between November and now. Some of the questions evoked immense confusion and illuminated some of the deepest pain in me.

Having worked through those, a few at each meeting with my Sponsor, I then began a collection of photos, letters and journal writings that served as tangible examples of my core beliefs in action. I called this collection, “How I Betrayed Myself.” It also includes examples of aspects of me and my life that give me a sense of pride and well-being, as this is an important part of Step Four. The word ‘inventory’ implies and includes accomplishments and positive aspects, as much as the challenges we face.

I have shared this collection with my Sponsor. It has left me in a place of honoring the last year of my life before I broke — the inner voice that I was not able to respond to. Everything that brought me to that point — the responses and core beliefs I developed in childhood and how they played themselves out in my adult life. I am grieving the abandonment I created for my authentic self by not listening to her. I betrayed myself and fortified the experience of abandonment for her.

At my last meeting with my sponsor, I managed to regress myself to the feeling I had before I finally drove to the liquor store and share it with my sponsor. I grieved that I was too ashamed to ask for help. Too ashamed that I felt that way again, after everything I’d tried. I had failed again, and it felt like I’d exhausted all my friends and places to go. That has to be one of the worst feelings in the world. The difference for me now, is that now, I would know how to reach out for help by phoning the crisis line or a recovery friend, or taking myself to the hospital.

As the last part of my step 4, I’m going to post some writings from the pages of the notebook that I wrote everything I needed to write down in, during the last 6 months before my suicide attempt. Interspersed with to-do lists, and leadership notes and brainstorms on community leadership projects are random and in-congruent pages about the end of my marriage, and how my heart was really feeling — the voice I didn’t honour. So I am going to honour it here, and share it with you, in a series of posts.

The pages of this notebook are a tangible example of the sense of disparity between the two sides of me (see identity confusion / unstable sense of self). I’m wanting to validate for myself the degree and extremity of this disparity by this blogging process.

spring 2011 — texted to my husband at the time, and the representative of the leadership award. no one could tell me to walk away. no one could tell me i needed help. that has to change.

Here is a snapshot of what I looked like last year, in the last month before i put an end to it all … If anyone you know starts to look like this on any kind of regular basis, please remember me, and recognize the face of someone who may need your help. This is not a person who needs to keep thinking positively, keep faking it ’till they make it, or keep doing anything they are doing.

Thank you for reading, to all you deep and rich human beings out there. Luv Underground.