Passing On The Pain – Please Don’t Say This!

A wonderful friend posted this meme on his page.  He wanted to be helpful to anyone going through suicidal thoughts, but after my comment below, private messaged me, stating he was very sorry if he had offended because of my reaction to the meme.  I told him I wasn’t upset with him.  I truly wasn’t.

Anyway, here’s my part of the thread…

“As the wife of someone who suicided, I will not share this. It’s true that he is no longer in the deep agony that he was living with, and I have been instead, but all this meme does is attempt to shame the depressed person.

There is no understanding of the hell that person is living with, and adding more shame to that person’s burden is NOT the way to help.”

Someone then asked me to explain how the sentiment expressed in the meme creates shame in the suicidal person.

Here’s my answer… (Note: I used the pronouns “he” and “she” interchangeably because this is not a male or female – or any other gender – issue.  It is a tragedy that affects far too many of us.

“I kept it short because I’ve been accused of “ranting” when I’ve tried to explain my point of view. (Not by [the original poster]!)

A suicidal person has lost all hope. She or he believes things will never get better and that she is a terrible burden to those around her. He feels a depth of shame merely for existing that the rest of us can’t understand and he likely has tried for a very long time to figure out how to make it better, but with no success.

That doesn’t mean that there aren’t any answers, only that the suicidal person’s brain can’t see them, which reinforces that suicide is the only choice that will end the pain for himself and the burden he is to others.

Every bad, sad, normal crap thing that happens is reinforcement that there is no hope, and the weight of all of that falls on her. She doesn’t want the people she loves to suffer the way she does, yet believes her existence is making their lives worse, and any minor argument or blame just reinforces that.

So when his distressed brain goes round and round and can only come up with one answer – that he and everyone he loves would be better off dead – telling him that killing himself would just pass on the pain to someone else, just adds to the cognitive dissonance. He doesn’t want to make things worse for those he loves, but he sees no other answer. Why can’t he figure out how to do the right thing? Clearly, he’s just a complete fuck up which he always knew, and they don’t realize how much better off they will be without him, even if it does hurt them for a while.

And round and round it goes.

You have to remember that this is a diseased brain, with depression contorting every thought into something we cannot understand unless we’ve been there.

I knew this intellectually before John died, but FELT it all after John killed himself, and got the emotions and thoughts directly from John himself.  (Yes, I know some people will think I imagined everything, but I didn’t.  And much of what happened was independently corroborated by people who had no idea what the information they were giving me meant.)

Some friends have heard how John immediately regretted what he had done, and how he was howling in pain – after his death – for months, and how he relayed all of that to me.  He had truly believed that I would be relieved to no longer have the burden of his alcoholism, middle of the night panic attacks, and constant physical pain.

I can still feel deep in my soul the incredible pain he was in because of the many, many experiences I had after he died.

John never wanted to do anything that would hurt me, yet he was an alcoholic, trying to overcome pain and trauma in the only way he knew how. Because of his alcoholism there were lies – more lies than I realized until I found the proof after his death – which only reinforced his shame.

If he had believed that his suicide would nearly destroy me, he wouldn’t have done it – despite how his body was failing him and he was going to die within years, if not months, anyway.

For my part, I would far rather carry this pain than have him stay alive, dying and in deep distress, every single day just because he didn’t want to hurt me by leaving the way he did.

Telling a suicidal person that killing himself is just passing on the pain only reinforces that they can’t do anything right.

*******************************************************

In memory of my beloved husband John Kelly Snyder… 20 Sept 1956 – 21 Oct 2016.

My Johnny was a true warrior, fighting demons no one else could see.  I thought he was the strongest man in the world, and perhaps he was, but tragically, the demons got the better of him.

The name of this project is in no way intended to be reflective of, or piggy back off, Wounded Warriors which serves those military personnel wounded after September 11, 20o1.  Like too many others, John was a warrior long before then.

Fair winds and following seas, Husband.

**************************************

We now have a group on Facebook to help find resources, support and ideas for getting The Grief Warrior Project off the ground.  You can find us there at https://www.facebook.com/groups/thewarriorproject/

Follow us on Twitter!  @WarriorProjME.

Help support The Grief Warrior Project by making purchases from Heritage Collectibles, Books & Maps.  All profits (after expenses) go to helping us help others.  You can find Heritage Collectibles at  https://heritagecollectiblesmaine.com, on Facebook (both a group and a page) and on Twitter (HeritageGifts).

Beginning September 23, 2019, you will be able to call in for grief support from Linda Snyder, M.S.  The fee is $40 per phone hour (50 minutes), payable in advance via PayPal (use LSnyder@regroupbiz.com as the Pay To email address) with times available as follows:

Mondays – Fridays, 4:00 am and 5:00 am EST
Wednesdays, 3:00 pm, 4:00 pm, 5:00 pm and 6:00 pm EST
Fridays & Saturdays, 9:00 pm and 10:00 pm EST.

Just go to https://regroupbusinesssolutions.fullslate.com/ where you can sign up!  (It’s a bit confusing because there’s loads of writing to wade through, but if you go to the bottom left hand corner where it says “Online Scheduling” and click on the link that says “Grief Support Services”, it will take you to the calendar where you can choose an appointment time and sign up.

Talk to you soon!

**************************************

Despite decades of disbelief, I have come to realize that our loved ones are able to communicate with us through the life/death barrier.  My Johnny has proved this in ways that I can’t attribute to my own mind making things up… there have been complex coincidences and synchronicities, extraordinary happenings, and messages through others who could not possibly have any knowledge of the information they’ve passed on.  Truly mind-blowing stuff.  I don’t have a clue what I believe about life after death, but I know my husband loved me with everything he had, and that he still does.  Our wedding vows were “to death and beyond” and that has proved true for both of us.

I can’t tell you how it all works, or how you can get through to your own loved one, but if you’re interested, I can tell you of my experiences and my thoughts on this.

Posted in Grief, Suicide | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

One of the Most Dangerous Memes I’ve Seen

The meme and comments below came from a Facebook group that’s supposedly for enlightened people.  The meme itself made me want to scream.  Some of the comments were completely ignorant.

XXXXXXXX  This is on point. People seem to forget you’re not supposed to be happy all the time. Life is hard. Figure out what makes it worth it.

AAAAAAAA Well, life is supposed to be fun, and easy!
If it’s hard, it’s because we’re doing something that makes it so, and then we have to find our way to how it becomes easy instead.

XXXXXXXXX It’s not supposed to be fun and easy. Not as an adult anyway. Life is fundamentally difficult.

BBBBBBBB Life is not a game. When you are that depressed the brain does or goes to places that it takes something to snap out of it.

XXXXXXXXXX Or you surrender to the emotions because it’s part of the human experience and like everything else, it’ll pass.

Linda Snyder This is such horse shit. It’s not the way people with major depression who are living with suicidal thoughts think.

XXXXXXXXXXX Linda Snyder maybe that’s their problem. 🤷🏻‍♀️

CCCCCCC   XXXXXXXX When you get to this point you cannot control how you think or feel anymore. At all. If you could, it wouldn’t be severe depression. That’s how mental illness works. It’s like somethjg takes you over, and it almost feels like you have emotions that don’t even belong to you. Severe depression, when it is at this level, has a pretty heavy layer of delusion. By the time you get to the suicide part, it is bordering on psychosis, and in my opinion, it’s already there. Other wise, they wouldn’t be considering dying in the first place, since that’s obviously not even close to rational or a normal thing to be thinking or doing.

DDDDDDDDD You cannot surrender to those emotions… They are not normal emotions. They are far past that. Nothing is real at that point. Surrendering to them, would be following through with the suicide.

EEEEEEEEE  “Maybe that’s their problem.” This is the entirety of the conversation, and unfortunately it’s everyone’s problem once it affects or touches your life in some prevalent way. I’m so grateful you have not had to experience true major depression or the loss of someone close to you due to them dying by suicide. That said, empathy is a tool that we all need in our tool belt in order to be able to find peace and make real connections. I hope you one day can understand how much pain someone must be in to want it all to end. Someone in a suicidal state does not want to die, they simply want pain to end. It isn’t about surrendering or giving up, it’s about feeling too burdensome to others. May you never endure this pain or loss, but find the ability to see how others may struggle with it and acknowledge their problem and their

FFFFFFFF I feel this was likely written by somebody who has never experienced clinical depression or suicidal thoughts. It’s way more than just “feeling sad” or having “minor problems” in your life. You can’t just talk or think

GGGGGGGG  FFFFFF – Agrees lost a friend to suicide 2 yrs ago !

FFFFFFFF I’m sorry for your loss, Nettie. It seems more and more people are taking their lives in recent years and it is tragic.

HHHHHHHH Depressed person’s response, “Mario is not real life. When you beat the game the game ends. What if you played a harder video game where it was impossible to beat the first level and the game just sucked? Would you give up? What if everyone else loved the game, but you hated the game? Would you keep trying?” See this is exactly why the Mario analogy sucks.

IIIIIIIII  comparing a life altering decision to a computer game is truly beyond comprehension.. and to try to stop another from leaving this plane when it may be a necessity is NOT the right of any human being… sometimes we simply need a rest from our life in order to come back (reincarnate) and continue working on our lives… who has any right to judge another’s path ?????? NO ONE.

JJJJJJJJ    Wtf? Just 8 weeks ago a family member of the tender age of 19 took their life. This is not valid at all!!!!!

KKKKKKKKK Normally if you are at the point you are seriously considering suicide, “things are hard sometimes but they will get better, ” is not going to suffice. You are so depressed at that point, you can hardly bare to be awake. This is a really dumb meme. Doesn’t make any sense at all.

LLLLLLLLL  Beautiful explanations, examples:)

MMMMMMM  Most folks who are truly suicidal suddenly seem happy, alive and never mention a word about killing themself..then..bam..

NNNNNNNN Just need to have some mushrooms

OOOOOOOOO It is the reason I am an Attitudinal Therapist. Breaching fears with rational… brings us back and beyond

Linda Snyder Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States and the incidence is growing. Telling people that they just have to think “better” only makes matters worse, because they now have that failure to add to their extreme depression, trauma and sense of terrible shame.

*******************************************************

In memory of my beloved husband John Kelly Snyder… 20 Sept 1956 – 21 Oct 2016.

My Johnny was a true warrior, fighting demons no one else could see.  I thought he was the strongest man in the world, and perhaps he was, but tragically, the demons got the better of him.

The name of this project is in no way intended to be reflective of, or piggy back off, Wounded Warriors which serves those military personnel wounded after September 11, 20o1.  Like too many others, John was a warrior long before then.

Fair winds and following seas, Husband.

**************************************

We now have a group on Facebook to help find resources, support and ideas for getting The Grief Warrior Project off the ground.  You can find us there at https://www.facebook.com/groups/thewarriorproject/

Follow us on Twitter!  @WarriorProjME.

Help support The Grief Warrior Project by making purchases from Heritage Collectibles, Books & Maps.  All profits (after expenses) go to helping us help others.  You can find Heritage Collectibles at  https://heritagecollectiblesmaine.com, on Facebook (both a group and a page) and on Twitter (HeritageGifts).

Beginning September 23, 2019, you will be able to call in for grief support from Linda Snyder, M.S.  The fee is $40 per phone hour (50 minutes), payable in advance via PayPal (use LSnyder@regroupbiz.com as the Pay To email address) with times available as follows:

Mondays – Fridays, 4:00 am and 5:00 am EST
Wednesdays, 3:00 pm, 4:00 pm, 5:00 pm and 6:00 pm EST
Fridays & Saturdays, 9:00 pm and 10:00 pm EST.

Just go to https://regroupbusinesssolutions.fullslate.com/ where you can sign up!  (It’s a bit confusing because there’s loads of writing to wade through, but if you go to the bottom left hand corner where it says “Online Scheduling” and click on the link that says “Grief Support Services”, it will take you to the calendar where you can choose an appointment time and sign up.

Talk to you soon!

**************************************

Despite decades of disbelief, I have come to realize that our loved ones are able to communicate with us through the life/death barrier.  My Johnny has proved this in ways that I can’t attribute to my own mind making things up… there have been complex coincidences and synchronicities, extraordinary happenings, and messages through others who could not possibly have any knowledge of the information they’ve passed on.  Truly mind-blowing stuff.  I don’t have a clue what I believe about life after death, but I know my husband loved me with everything he had, and that he still does.  Our wedding vows were “to death and beyond” and that has proved true for both of us.

I can’t tell you how it all works, or how you can get through to your own loved one, but if you’re interested, I can tell you of my experiences and my thoughts on this.

Posted in Coping Skills & Resiliency, Grief, Suicide | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

I’m Different Now

I don’t really agree with this.  For me, it’s not really about recovering the “me” that was lost.  That person is gone forever, with only parts of who I was left.

You’re different afterwards. You just aren’t the same anymore. Your day to day life is different, your future is different. Even your memories are different because they are seen through a different lens… not the lens of sharing with someone who is continuing to live, grow and change.

It has taken me two and a half years to accept that this is my life now.  Just as I’ve had to accept being in my 60s with all the differences and changes that are thrust upon us at being this age – with many of those changes ones I actively dislike… I’m not as nimble physically or intellectually as I once was, and I hate it.  There are wrinkles… my gawd, my hands look old!  And pain, worry, stress, grief… they’ve taken the looks I had when I was younger.  Looks I didn’t appreciate, when I was told I was beautiful.  So much is different now.

But I can’t continue railing against something I can’t change.  I am older.  That’s the way it is.

And John is gone.  I hate that, too.  But I can’t change that either.

I’m not sure I have or ever will recover the “me” that went away with him.  I’m different now.

Some might say I’m better than I was.  I’m more thoughtful.  I think I listen better.  I am not as ready to take on every injustice in the world.  (Is that better?  I don’t know.)  I am more tolerant. (Again, is that better?  I just don’t know.)

I isolate more but appreciate friendships more.  I cuddle my dogs more.  I worry about other people more, but instead of wanting to “fix” their hurts and pains, I just want to care about them because I don’t have the confidence I once had that I can make it all better.

I’m different now.

*******************************************************

In memory of my beloved husband John Kelly Snyder… 20 Sept 1956 – 21 Oct 2016.

My Johnny was a true warrior, fighting demons no one else could see.  I thought he was the strongest man in the world, and perhaps he was, but tragically, the demons got the better of him.

The name of this project is in no way intended to be reflective of, or piggy back off, Wounded Warriors which serves those military personnel wounded after September 11, 20o1.  Like too many others, John was a warrior long before then.

Fair winds and following seas, Husband.

**************************************

We now have a group on Facebook to help find resources, support and ideas for getting The Grief Warrior Project off the ground.  You can find us there at https://www.facebook.com/groups/thewarriorproject/

Follow us on Twitter!  @WarriorProjME.

Help support The Grief Warrior Project by making purchases from Heritage Collectibles, Books & Maps.  All profits (after expenses) go to helping us help others.  You can find Heritage Collectibles at  https://heritagecollectiblesmaine.com, on Facebook (both a group and a page) and on Twitter (HeritageGifts).

Beginning September 23, 2019, you will be able to call in for grief support from Linda Snyder, M.S.  The fee is $40 per phone hour (50 minutes), payable in advance via PayPal (use LSnyder@regroupbiz.com as the Pay To email address) with times available as follows:

Mondays – Fridays, 4:00 am and 5:00 am EST
Wednesdays, 3:00 pm, 4:00 pm, 5:00 pm and 6:00 pm EST
Fridays & Saturdays, 9:00 pm and 10:00 pm EST.

Just go to https://regroupbusinesssolutions.fullslate.com/ where you can sign up!  (It’s a bit confusing because there’s loads of writing to wade through, but if you go to the bottom left hand corner where it says “Online Scheduling” and click on the link that says “Grief Support Services”, it will take you to the calendar where you can choose an appointment time and sign up.

Talk to you soon!

**************************************

Despite decades of disbelief, I have come to realize that our loved ones are able to communicate with us through the life/death barrier.  My Johnny has proved this in ways that I can’t attribute to my own mind making things up… there have been complex coincidences and synchronicities, extraordinary happenings, and messages through others who could not possibly have any knowledge of the information they’ve passed on.  Truly mind-blowing stuff.  I don’t have a clue what I believe about life after death, but I know my husband loved me with everything he had, and that he still does.  Our wedding vows were “to death and beyond” and that has proved true for both of us.

I can’t tell you how it all works, or how you can get through to your own loved one, but if you’re interested, I can tell you of my experiences and my thoughts on this.

Posted in Coping Skills & Resiliency, Grief, Suicide | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Bacon Bits

Slowly, I’m beginning to make changes at home. A few minutes ago I threw out three of those little jars of bacon bits that John used to love so much on his salads and baked potatoes.

He died almost two and a half years ago, and those jars have been in the refrigerator (two weren’t opened) since before then.

I didn’t cry, and I didn’t do it with a grim, determined sense of purpose.  I just kind of said out loud, “Well, Johnny, even if you came back, these are just too old to eat”.

And he’s probably shaking his head at me for waiting so long.

*******************************************************

In memory of my beloved husband John Kelly Snyder… 20 Sept 1956 – 21 Oct 2016.

My Johnny was a true warrior, fighting demons no one else could see.  I thought he was the strongest man in the world, and perhaps he was, but tragically, the demons got the better of him.

The name of this project is in no way intended to be reflective of, or piggy back off, Wounded Warriors which serves those military personnel wounded after September 11, 20o1.  Like too many others, John was a warrior long before then.

Fair winds and following seas, Husband.

**************************************

We now have a group on Facebook to help find resources, support and ideas for getting The Grief Warrior Project off the ground.  You can find us there at https://www.facebook.com/groups/thewarriorproject/

Follow us on Twitter!  @WarriorProjME.

Help support The Grief Warrior Project by making purchases from Heritage Collectibles, Books & Maps.  All profits (after expenses) go to helping us help others.  You can find Heritage Collectibles at  https://heritagecollectiblesmaine.com, on Facebook (both a group and a page) and on Twitter (HeritageGifts).

Beginning September 23, 2019, you will be able to call in for grief support from Linda Snyder, M.S.  The fee is $40 per phone hour (50 minutes), payable in advance via PayPal (use LSnyder@regroupbiz.com as the Pay To email address) with times available as follows:

Mondays – Fridays, 4:00 am and 5:00 am EST
Wednesdays, 3:00 pm, 4:00 pm, 5:00 pm and 6:00 pm EST
Fridays & Saturdays, 9:00 pm and 10:00 pm EST.

Just go to https://regroupbusinesssolutions.fullslate.com/ where you can sign up!  (It’s a bit confusing because there’s loads of writing to wade through, but if you go to the bottom left hand corner where it says “Online Scheduling” and click on the link that says “Grief Support Services”, it will take you to the calendar where you can choose an appointment time and sign up.

Talk to you soon!

**************************************

Despite decades of disbelief, I have come to realize that our loved ones are able to communicate with us through the life/death barrier.  My Johnny has proved this in ways that I can’t attribute to my own mind making things up… there have been complex coincidences and synchronicities, extraordinary happenings, and messages through others who could not possibly have any knowledge of the information they’ve passed on.  Truly mind-blowing stuff.  I don’t have a clue what I believe about life after death, but I know my husband loved me with everything he had, and that he still does.  Our wedding vows were “to death and beyond” and that has proved true for both of us.

I can’t tell you how it all works, or how you can get through to your own loved one, but if you’re interested, I can tell you of my experiences and my thoughts on this.

Posted in Coping Skills & Resiliency, Suicide | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Courage


Yes, courage. Not the courage that it takes to get up every morning and keep moving despite the pain.

But the courage to stop wishing to return to a life that will never again be.

Tough shit, this. But since there’s no way to go back, and living in a holding pattern is no life, I will dig down deep and hold tightly to that courage that seemed to have been lost, and I will use it to embrace the future.

The Finns call it sisu. A perseverance against all odds, a strong will and determination… guts, but a whole lot more.

For those facing devastating times – and some of you who I love dearly are – you have helped me in ways you may not realize. I hope I can do the same for you.

*******************************************************

In memory of my beloved husband John Kelly Snyder… 20 Sept 1956 – 21 Oct 2016.

My Johnny was a true warrior, fighting demons no one else could see.  I thought he was the strongest man in the world, and perhaps he was, but tragically, the demons got the better of him.

The name of this project is in no way intended to be reflective of, or piggy back off, Wounded Warriors which serves those military personnel wounded after September 11, 20o1.  Like too many others, John was a warrior long before then.

Fair winds and following seas, Husband.

**************************************

We now have a group on Facebook to help find resources, support and ideas for getting The Grief Warrior Project off the ground.  You can find us there at https://www.facebook.com/groups/thewarriorproject/

Follow us on Twitter!  @WarriorProjME.

Help support The Grief Warrior Project by making purchases from Heritage Collectibles, Books & Maps.  All profits (after expenses) go to helping us help others.  You can find Heritage Collectibles at  https://heritagecollectiblesmaine.com, on Facebook (both a group and a page) and on Twitter (HeritageGifts).

Beginning September 23, 2019, you will be able to call in for grief support from Linda Snyder, M.S.  The fee is $40 per phone hour (50 minutes), payable in advance via PayPal (use LSnyder@regroupbiz.com as the Pay To email address) with times available as follows:

Mondays – Fridays, 4:00 am and 5:00 am EST
Wednesdays, 3:00 pm, 4:00 pm, 5:00 pm and 6:00 pm EST
Fridays & Saturdays, 9:00 pm and 10:00 pm EST.

Just go to https://regroupbusinesssolutions.fullslate.com/ where you can sign up!  (It’s a bit confusing because there’s loads of writing to wade through, but if you go to the bottom left hand corner where it says “Online Scheduling” and click on the link that says “Grief Support Services”, it will take you to the calendar where you can choose an appointment time and sign up.

Talk to you soon!

**************************************

Despite decades of disbelief, I have come to realize that our loved ones are able to communicate with us through the life/death barrier.  My Johnny has proved this in ways that I can’t attribute to my own mind making things up… there have been complex coincidences and synchronicities, extraordinary happenings, and messages through others who could not possibly have any knowledge of the information they’ve passed on.  Truly mind-blowing stuff.  I don’t have a clue what I believe about life after death, but I know my husband loved me with everything he had, and that he still does.  Our wedding vows were “to death and beyond” and that has proved true for both of us.

I can’t tell you how it all works, or how you can get through to your own loved one, but if you’re interested, I can tell you of my experiences and my thoughts on this.

Posted in Grief, Loneliness, Suicide | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Accepting That Grief Is Now Part of Me

Just got a message from someone who had connected with me a few months ago because of a person close to her who had suicided. The grief had hit her all over again, but her friends and family members seemed freaked out by her continued sorrow.

She asked if I planned to restart my suicide support group, which I had stopped running after closing the shop because I no longer had a meeting space. I started to respond that I’d been really busy and hadn’t had time… but while that’s true, that’s not the real reason.

The waves of pain and sadness had been hitting pretty often again in the past couple of months. I haven’t done any blogging on the topic, and haven’t done any volunteering for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. And I haven’t wanted to start the group up again.

Unless you’ve lived through it, you cannot imagine how the suicide of someone you love just cuts through your skin and into every muscle of your body, all the way down into each and every one of your cells. It is a grief like no other.

Everyone deals with loss differently, and the loss from a suicide is no different in that respect. Some people use drugs (legal and/or illegal) and alcohol to cope. Others throw themselves into ill-advised relationships. Many (probably a majority) will isolate, trying to get through the brain fog and anxiety and despair alone.

I worked. And worked and worked, at one point doing a full-time job plus overtime, as well as two part-time jobs while also trying to keep our antiques and used books business going. I did that because that’s what I do… I work. I always have, and I always will.

And I know… many of you tried to tell me to slow down, that I wasn’t doing myself any favors. You were all right of course, but I wasn’t ready to face the reality of John’s death under such horrendously sad circumstances. I needed a buffer. And work was part of it.

Yet, I was falling apart, every minute of every day. I was a mess… thinking, although not consciously, that if I could put enough time between October 21st, 2016 and whatever day I was in, that at some point I’d be able to deal with it all better.

It’s not like I wasn’t thinking about him constantly. I was blogging and journaling…volumes and volumes of writing. And crying, screaming sobs that would threaten to tear me apart. But I couldn’t stop moving. I’d have these occasional flashes that I could pull myself together, and I’d be okay for a few minutes or hours…sometimes even a day or two. But then it all came back, as painful as ever.

Until one day it became clear that I had to make a major change, or there wouldn’t be anything left of me to change. As I said, I was a mess.

Sadly, John’s death was compounded by others… his dog Buddy, who died shortly after John did; the death of one of my best friends from high school; the husband of a close friend; the brother of another friend I love dearly, and then my own father.

In the midst of this, some wonderful things have happened: I now have a grandson and the kids are moving home to Maine this summer; I’ve reconnected with some friends from long ago and made new friends; I’ve developed closer relationships with a few very special people such as my sister, a cousin and some others; and I’m about to climb out of the financial hole that John’s death threw me into (and is yet another reason I was working so hard before).

Have I stopped crying over the tragedy of John’s emotional and physical pain that was so much worse than I realized, and the loss of a husband I loved more than I can describe? No… and who knows if I ever will.

However, I’m not wading through mud with every step now. I’m able to accept that I will carry this grief forever, that it is a part of me now, a part of who I am, just like being in my 60s – I don’t like being this age with its attendant pains and wrinkles and loss of mental sharpness, but there’s nothing I can do other than make the best of things, and to live – LIVE – the 20 or 30 years I have left.

So this afternoon while doing office work for a local therapist who’s away at a conference, I turned on the music. K D Lang (Hallelujah), K D Lang & Roy Orbison (Crying), The Bodeans (I’m In Trouble Again), Neko Case (Buckets of Rain), Whitney Houston (I Will Always Love You), Jimmy Durante (I’ll Be Seeing You), Playing for Change (The Redemption Song), Cheryl Wheeler (Essence). Kasey Chambers (If I Had a Pony)…

And I cried and I felt alive. And it felt good.

*******************************************************

In memory of my beloved husband John Kelly Snyder… 20 Sept 1956 – 21 Oct 2016.

My Johnny was a true warrior, fighting demons no one else could see.  I thought he was the strongest man in the world, and perhaps he was, but tragically, the demons got the better of him.

The name of this project is in no way intended to be reflective of, or piggy back off, Wounded Warriors which serves those military personnel wounded after September 11, 20o1.  Like too many others, John was a warrior long before then.

Fair winds and following seas, Husband.

**************************************

We now have a group on Facebook to help find resources, support and ideas for getting The Grief Warrior Project off the ground.  You can find us there at https://www.facebook.com/groups/thewarriorproject/

Follow us on Twitter!  @WarriorProjME.

Help support The Grief Warrior Project by making purchases from Heritage Collectibles, Books & Maps.  All profits (after expenses) go to helping us help others.  You can find Heritage Collectibles at  https://heritagecollectiblesmaine.com, on Facebook (both a group and a page) and on Twitter (HeritageGifts).

Beginning September 23, 2019, you will be able to call in for grief support from Linda Snyder, M.S.  The fee is $40 per phone hour (50 minutes), payable in advance via PayPal (use LSnyder@regroupbiz.com as the Pay To email address) with times available as follows:

Mondays – Fridays, 4:00 am and 5:00 am EST
Wednesdays, 3:00 pm, 4:00 pm, 5:00 pm and 6:00 pm EST
Fridays & Saturdays, 9:00 pm and 10:00 pm EST.

Just go to https://regroupbusinesssolutions.fullslate.com/ where you can sign up!  (It’s a bit confusing because there’s loads of writing to wade through, but if you go to the bottom left hand corner where it says “Online Scheduling” and click on the link that says “Grief Support Services”, it will take you to the calendar where you can choose an appointment time and sign up.

Talk to you soon!

**************************************

Despite decades of disbelief, I have come to realize that our loved ones are able to communicate with us through the life/death barrier.  My Johnny has proved this in ways that I can’t attribute to my own mind making things up… there have been complex coincidences and synchronicities, extraordinary happenings, and messages through others who could not possibly have any knowledge of the information they’ve passed on.  Truly mind-blowing stuff.  I don’t have a clue what I believe about life after death, but I know my husband loved me with everything he had, and that he still does.  Our wedding vows were “to death and beyond” and that has proved true for both of us.

I can’t tell you how it all works, or how you can get through to your own loved one, but if you’re interested, I can tell you of my experiences and my thoughts on this.

Posted in Suicide | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Oh No….

Again, a suicide. I only slightly know one of the family members but it is so similar to what I lived through two years ago, that all of the gamut of emotions came flooding back…. fear, hope, terror, more hope, and then… the horrific reality, that will stay with me for the rest of my days.

My heart goes out to everyone who loved the individual who this afternoon also chose this method of dealing with his pain…

For me, the worst of it was – is – the recognition of how much emotional and physical pain, shame, despair and lack of hope my husband lived with, which he wasn’t able to talk about. I knew there was something terribly wrong – it wasn’t just the amount of alcohol he was drinking, to try to deal with all that pain – and I was doing everything I could think of to fix whatever problems he was dealing with. But I had no idea how bad it was.

And for that, I will forever scream my sorrow to the universe, and to my husband.

Never stop saying their names. John Kelly Snyder. 09/20/1956 – 10/21/2016.

For anyone who is grieving a loss or who has thoughts of suicide, please please I beg of you, talk to someone. You can always talk to me, even if we don’t know each other.

If you can’t talk, I can come sit with you.

*******************************************************

In memory of my beloved husband John Kelly Snyder… 20 Sept 1956 – 21 Oct 2016.

My Johnny was a true warrior, fighting demons no one else could see.  I thought he was the strongest man in the world, and perhaps he was, but tragically, the demons got the better of him.

The name of this project is in no way intended to be reflective of, or piggy back off, Wounded Warriors which serves those military personnel wounded after September 11, 20o1.  Like too many others, John was a warrior long before then.

Fair winds and following seas, Husband.

**************************************

We now have a group on Facebook to help find resources, support and ideas for getting The Grief Warrior Project off the ground.  You can find us there at https://www.facebook.com/groups/thewarriorproject/

Follow us on Twitter!  @WarriorProjME.

Help support The Grief Warrior Project by making purchases from Heritage Collectibles, Books & Maps.  All profits (after expenses) go to helping us help others.  You can find Heritage Collectibles at  https://heritagecollectiblesmaine.com, on Facebook (both a group and a page) and on Twitter (HeritageGifts).

Beginning September 23, 2019, you will be able to call in for grief support from Linda Snyder, M.S.  The fee is $40 per phone hour (50 minutes), payable in advance via PayPal (use LSnyder@regroupbiz.com as the Pay To email address) with times available as follows:

Mondays – Fridays, 4:00 am and 5:00 am EST
Wednesdays, 3:00 pm, 4:00 pm, 5:00 pm and 6:00 pm EST
Fridays & Saturdays, 9:00 pm and 10:00 pm EST.

Just go to https://regroupbusinesssolutions.fullslate.com/ where you can sign up!  (It’s a bit confusing because there’s loads of writing to wade through, but if you go to the bottom left hand corner where it says “Online Scheduling” and click on the link that says “Grief Support Services”, it will take you to the calendar where you can choose an appointment time and sign up.

Talk to you soon!

**************************************

Despite decades of disbelief, I have come to realize that our loved ones are able to communicate with us through the life/death barrier.  My Johnny has proved this in ways that I can’t attribute to my own mind making things up… there have been complex coincidences and synchronicities, extraordinary happenings, and messages through others who could not possibly have any knowledge of the information they’ve passed on.  Truly mind-blowing stuff.  I don’t have a clue what I believe about life after death, but I know my husband loved me with everything he had, and that he still does.  Our wedding vows were “to death and beyond” and that has proved true for both of us.

I can’t tell you how it all works, or how you can get through to your own loved one, but if you’re interested, I can tell you of my experiences and my thoughts on this.

.

Posted in Suicide | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Outraged

 

Earlier this morning I noticed that someone had posted on a flea market group I run on Facebook that she had a psychiatrist who was recommending she get additional supports.  She stated she was a single mother without a lot of money and wanted to know what might be out there.

I messaged her to let her know that under the guidelines of that group, the post would have to be removed.  I also let her know that I’d worked in the mental health field for decades, and suggested some options.

She messaged back, thanking me, saying that she had heard privately from several people on that group who had been cruel, telling her to just take more meds and other shitty things.

I was – I am – outraged.

For now, this is what I’ve done (aside from writing this blog, and posting it).  The following was posted on the aforementioned Facebook group:

“As the administrator of this group, and as a human being, I am outraged by how one of our members was treated.

She posted looking for support services for mental health issues. The post itself did not belong on this group, but that’s not the point.

What has me outraged is that she’s received a bunch of messages from people hassling her about her mental health comments, and just being mean.

IF YOU ARE ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE, YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF.

I will not go on a rant here (although I really feel like it), but will give a warning right now: if I find out who from this group pulled such a stupid asshole stunt, you will be blocked immediately. No questions asked, no chance to plead your immature, bullying case.

Got it?”

Damn, this makes me mad.

*******************************************************

In memory of my beloved husband John Kelly Snyder… 20 Sept 1956 – 21 Oct 2016.

My Johnny was a true warrior, fighting demons no one else could see.  I thought he was the strongest man in the world, and perhaps he was, but tragically, the demons got the better of him.

The name of this project is in no way intended to be reflective of, or piggy back off, Wounded Warriors which serves those military personnel wounded after September 11, 20o1.  Like too many others, John was a warrior long before then.

Fair winds and following seas, Husband.

**************************************

We now have a group on Facebook to help find resources, support and ideas for getting The Grief Warrior Project off the ground.  You can find us there at https://www.facebook.com/groups/thewarriorproject/

Follow us on Twitter!  @WarriorProjME.

Help support The Grief Warrior Project by making purchases from Heritage Collectibles, Books & Maps.  All profits (after expenses) go to helping us help others.  You can find Heritage Collectibles at  https://heritagecollectiblesmaine.com, on Facebook (both a group and a page) and on Twitter (HeritageGifts).

Beginning September 23, 2019, you will be able to call in for grief support from Linda Snyder, M.S.  The fee is $40 per phone hour (50 minutes), payable in advance via PayPal (use LSnyder@regroupbiz.com as the Pay To email address) with times available as follows:

Mondays – Fridays, 4:00 am and 5:00 am EST
Wednesdays, 3:00 pm, 4:00 pm, 5:00 pm and 6:00 pm EST
Fridays & Saturdays, 9:00 pm and 10:00 pm EST.

Just go to https://regroupbusinesssolutions.fullslate.com/ where you can sign up!  (It’s a bit confusing because there’s loads of writing to wade through, but if you go to the bottom left hand corner where it says “Online Scheduling” and click on the link that says “Grief Support Services”, it will take you to the calendar where you can choose an appointment time and sign up.

Talk to you soon!

**************************************

Despite decades of disbelief, I have come to realize that our loved ones are able to communicate with us through the life/death barrier.  My Johnny has proved this in ways that I can’t attribute to my own mind making things up… there have been complex coincidences and synchronicities, extraordinary happenings, and messages through others who could not possibly have any knowledge of the information they’ve passed on.  Truly mind-blowing stuff.  I don’t have a clue what I believe about life after death, but I know my husband loved me with everything he had, and that he still does.  Our wedding vows were “to death and beyond” and that has proved true for both of us.

I can’t tell you how it all works, or how you can get through to your own loved one, but if you’re interested, I can tell you of my experiences and my thoughts on this.

Posted in anxiety | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

My Responses to a Simplistic Blog on Anxiety Reduction…

A Mindfulness Expert Reveals 10 Ways to Calm Down When Anxiety Strikes

I recently read a blog (the URL above) that basically says take a deep breath and your anxiety will go bye-bye.

Yuh… not happening.

Those of us – including my late husband – who live with anxiety are well aware that it takes more than willing it away. Anxiety takes over every cell in your body, and even though you KNOW there’s nothing to be in fever-pitch anxiety mode about, the chaos feels unmanageable, like it’s totally in control of your mind and your body.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with the strategies suggested.  But they are very simplistic, and telling the anxious person to just follow these tips will only add to his or her stress, who will then blame herself for not doing them right.

The strategies suggested are as follows:

1) First, slow down.

When anxiety hits, everything speeds up. Our thoughts race, our heart pounds and our breathing increases. This can make it difficult to think rationally. Consciously try to move a little slower and slow down your breathing.

My response:  Good advice.  We do need to make a conscious effort to slow down our breathing, our movements, and choose our words carefully.

2) Come to your senses

While anxiety lives in the mind, it often comes out in the body. One of the best ways to stop getting lost in your thoughts is to come to your senses. This will help you get back to the present moment.

My response:  Do indeed pay attention to your senses, all of them.  What do you see right now? What do you feel, hear, smell, taste?  Is there one that’s standing out and ramping up your anxiety?  (For example, did you smell alcohol on someone’s breath, or did you hear a voice that reminded you of an abusive person from your past or present life?)

Develop an anxiety toolbox that contains a variety of such things as hard candies (sour ones are great), chewing gum, stress or fidget toys, coloring, a vanilla candle, and small slips of paper with affirmations you’ve chosen.  Find one item from that toolbox – a simple basket or plastic container would work, or you can purchase something with all sorts of little drawers – and concentrate on it.  Feel the hardness of the candy, taste its sourness and the sensation of it getting smaller in your mouth…

3) Be mindful of a simple task.

Life is full of simple tasks: walking, eating, showering. When we’re anxious, we tend to not really notice what we’re doing when we undertake these tasks. Flip the script on this and focus on what you’re actually doing, even if they’re usually what you’d consider boring.

My response:  If you can do something that’s the opposite of what you were doing, it may help.  For example, if you’re wandering nervously around your house, try sitting down on the floor, and touch that floor with your open palms.

If your brain is going a million miles a minute, try singing a simple song.  I like the DO RE MI song from the Sound of Music because it can be sung over and over.

4) Do a reality check

Anxiety stems from fears about events that haven’t taken place. Our minds can create scenarios that aren’t really true. Ask yourself if there is any evidence to support what you’re so fearful about. Chances are, there isn’t really truth for what your [sic] worried about.

My response:  Those with anxiety already know this.  We know our anxiety is primal and probably doesn’t make sense in the here and now.  This is not “worrying”.  It’s much, much bigger than that, unfortunately.

5) Release the critic

If anxiety wasn’t bad enough, we tend to get critical of ourselves for having anxiety. When you notice your self-critic, see if you can observe it and consciously put a stop to it.

My response: Again, it’s not that simple.  If it was, we wouldn’t have anxiety meds, therapy, stress-induced illnesses, etc.

6) Channel your anxious energy

Anxiety isn’t all bad. There is a reason we have anxiety so our ancestors can deal with threats. Sometimes it can help to use that energy and do exercise or get productive.

My response:  A certain amount of stress is indeed critical to survival.  Anxiety is NOT stress, although stress an trigger it.  However, finding a way to channel that anxiety is a positive direction to pursue.  Can you bake cookies?  Take the dogs for a long walk?  Clean the garage?  It’s a bit harder if you’re at work, or have other responsibilities.  Try to develop a short list BEFORE the anxiety hits.  

7) Lie down and look up

This is an age-old trick taught by the great eastern spiritual gurus. Lie down, look up at the sky and watch the clouds. Experience the nature of how all things naturally come and go.

My response:  If you can do this, it’s a great idea.  Feel the ground beneath you, the air around your body and the sun on your face.  Think of the vastness of the clouds and the wonder of creation and how each living creature fits.

8) Listen

This is a great mindfulness technique. Take a moment of your day and set an intention to listen. Listen to the sounds of the leaves in the wind, of birds chirping and people talking. When we pause and listen, we reconnect with the present moment.

My response:  I like this.  Plan for it. Do this daily, and at a time when you are not feeling anxious, so that it will become easier when the chaos inside is ramping up.

9) Practice 5×5

Go through your senses and name 5 things about them. In other words, 5 things you’re seeing, hearing, tasting and feeling. This can help you reconnect with what’s happening right now.

My response:  Again, another good tool, and one to practice daily.  Since it can be difficult to focus when you’re anxious, don’t allow yourself to rush through this.  If you always start with the same senses in the same order, you can learn to force yourself to start all over if you skip a step, and continue starting over until you do each step without a miss.

10) Nurture patience

Patience truly is a virtue. Whenever you feel impatient, ask yourself why. Make yourself realize that it’s distracting you from the present moment. Patience is a pathway to emotional freedom.

My response:  When I read this one, I just shook my head.  Yes, having the ability to practice patience is a great skill, and can save you all sorts of unhappiness and ill will from others.  And I love a quote I found decades ago that “Impatience is anger disguised as a virtue” because too often it has described me to a T.

Again, this is something that must be practiced when you are not in the throes of an anxiety attack.  Telling yourself to be patient or to “calm down” can be counter-productive… and it certainly doesn’t work to tell someone else that if they’re having a hard time!

In summary, anxiety is not simple worry that can be treated with a few quick tips.  It takes a great deal of work to manage, and much of that work must be done when the person is in a good space, so the skills learned can be more readily used when that out of control feeling takes over.  My responses here are pretty basic; getting a handle on true anxiety will take some real focus and determination.

I’d love to hear from others who have tips and ideas about what works for you… let me know because at some point, I plan to expand on this theme!

Good luck!

*******************************************************

In memory of my beloved husband John Kelly Snyder… 20 Sept 1956 – 21 Oct 2016.

My Johnny was a true warrior, fighting demons no one else could see.  I thought he was the strongest man in the world, and perhaps he was, but tragically, the demons got the better of him.

The name of this project is in no way intended to be reflective of, or piggy back off, Wounded Warriors which serves those military personnel wounded after September 11, 20o1.  Like too many others, John was a warrior long before then.

Fair winds and following seas, Husband.

**************************************

We now have a group on Facebook to help find resources, support and ideas for getting The Grief Warrior Project off the ground.  You can find us there at https://www.facebook.com/groups/thewarriorproject/

Follow us on Twitter!  @WarriorProjME.

Help support The Grief Warrior Project by making purchases from Heritage Collectibles, Books & Maps.  All profits (after expenses) go to helping us help others.  You can find Heritage Collectibles at  https://heritagecollectiblesmaine.com, on Facebook (both a group and a page) and on Twitter (HeritageGifts).

Beginning September 23, 2019, you will be able to call in for grief support from Linda Snyder, M.S.  The fee is $40 per phone hour (50 minutes), payable in advance via PayPal (use LSnyder@regroupbiz.com as the Pay To email address) with times available as follows:

Mondays – Fridays, 4:00 am and 5:00 am EST
Wednesdays, 3:00 pm, 4:00 pm, 5:00 pm and 6:00 pm EST
Fridays & Saturdays, 9:00 pm and 10:00 pm EST.

Just go to https://regroupbusinesssolutions.fullslate.com/ where you can sign up!  (It’s a bit confusing because there’s loads of writing to wade through, but if you go to the bottom left hand corner where it says “Online Scheduling” and click on the link that says “Grief Support Services”, it will take you to the calendar where you can choose an appointment time and sign up.

Talk to you soon!

**************************************

Despite decades of disbelief, I have come to realize that our loved ones are able to communicate with us through the life/death barrier.  My Johnny has proved this in ways that I can’t attribute to my own mind making things up… there have been complex coincidences and synchronicities, extraordinary happenings, and messages through others who could not possibly have any knowledge of the information they’ve passed on.  Truly mind-blowing stuff.  I don’t have a clue what I believe about life after death, but I know my husband loved me with everything he had, and that he still does.  Our wedding vows were “to death and beyond” and that has proved true for both of us.

I can’t tell you how it all works, or how you can get through to your own loved one, but if you’re interested, I can tell you of my experiences and my thoughts on this.

Posted in anxiety, Inspirational | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

I Am the Storm

Fate whispers to the warrior, “You cannot withstand the storm”.

The warrior whispers back, “I am the storm”.

My Johnny fought the battle for a very long time, but even the strongest, bravest warrior tires.  Now I am fighting the fight for him, although even through my horrible grief, my battle will never be as fierce or as painful or as never-ending as his was.

Loved you then.  Love you still.

And as our wedding words vowed, “till death and beyond”.

*******************************************************

In memory of my beloved husband John Kelly Snyder… 20 Sept 1956 – 21 Oct 2016.

My Johnny was a true warrior, fighting demons no one else could see.  I thought he was the strongest man in the world, and perhaps he was, but tragically, the demons got the better of him.

The name of this project is in no way intended to be reflective of, or piggy back off, Wounded Warriors which serves those military personnel wounded after September 11, 20o1.  Like too many others, John was a warrior long before then.

Fair winds and following seas, Husband.

**************************************

We now have a group on Facebook to help find resources, support and ideas for getting The Grief Warrior Project off the ground.  You can find us there at https://www.facebook.com/groups/thewarriorproject/

Follow us on Twitter!  @WarriorProjME.

Help support The Grief Warrior Project by making purchases from Heritage Collectibles, Books & Maps.  All profits (after expenses) go to helping us help others.  You can find Heritage Collectibles at  https://heritagecollectiblesmaine.com, on Facebook (both a group and a page) and on Twitter (HeritageGifts).

Beginning September 23, 2019, you will be able to call in for grief support from Linda Snyder, M.S.  The fee is $40 per phone hour (50 minutes), payable in advance via PayPal (use LSnyder@regroupbiz.com as the Pay To email address) with times available as follows:

Mondays – Fridays, 4:00 am and 5:00 am EST
Wednesdays, 3:00 pm, 4:00 pm, 5:00 pm and 6:00 pm EST
Fridays & Saturdays, 9:00 pm and 10:00 pm EST.

Just go to https://regroupbusinesssolutions.fullslate.com/ where you can sign up!  (It’s a bit confusing because there’s loads of writing to wade through, but if you go to the bottom left hand corner where it says “Online Scheduling” and click on the link that says “Grief Support Services”, it will take you to the calendar where you can choose an appointment time and sign up.

Talk to you soon!

**************************************

Despite decades of disbelief, I have come to realize that our loved ones are able to communicate with us through the life/death barrier.  My Johnny has proved this in ways that I can’t attribute to my own mind making things up… there have been complex coincidences and synchronicities, extraordinary happenings, and messages through others who could not possibly have any knowledge of the information they’ve passed on.  Truly mind-blowing stuff.  I don’t have a clue what I believe about life after death, but I know my husband loved me with everything he had, and that he still does.  Our wedding vows were “to death and beyond” and that has proved true for both of us.

I can’t tell you how it all works, or how you can get through to your own loved one, but if you’re interested, I can tell you of my experiences and my thoughts on this.

Posted in Grief | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment