Tag Archives: dark humor

The Monsters in Our Minds

I have heard there is a scholarly debate around whether “subconscious” is a legitimate or even helpful term.

I thought I’d peek at this from the viewpoint of an enthusiastic layperson, as pretty much a thought exercise. This sort of thing is fascinating to me, how the mind works, how my mind works, how to better understand and make friends with it. I’m curious what all of you think as well.

What started this was a terrible series of waking dreams and hallucinations I had for a few months last year. I was writing it up to be a three-part article but realized it was outside the scope of what I’m trying to do here, so I’m going to make it a short story instead.  I feel that by writing it out, I take power away from it.  Plus it’s just objectively scary, and I think it could make a good story.

Anyway, these visions stemmed from my own mind, from my own fears and loathing, a creature made real from my subconscious.  It was from that dark, repressed place in the back of our minds where things we haven’t dealt with lurk and wait to leap.

It is part of me, yes, but not consciously, something behind that. Something I can’t control until it’s addressed.

“The unconscious contains all sorts of significant and disturbing material which we need to keep out of awareness because they are too threatening to acknowledge fully.”

https://www.simplypsychology.org/unconscious-mind.html

So I found that the term “subconscious” was being reframed in some circles. That the idea of a separate part of our minds that could hide dark or even dangerous thoughts was essentially the equivalent of “the devil made me do it” and needed to be removed as a concept.  I don’t generally defend Freud, but I bristled at this right away.

 

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“You question me?  I am beside myself!”

 

Many years ago there was a fairly heated debate in one of the bipolar groups I was in, regarding how we refer to ourselves – “I have bipolar disorder” vs. “I am bipolar.”

Although I wrote this off as nit-picky, I do think they each made interesting points.

The pros and cons came down to this; “I have bipolar disorder” indicated that it was not who we are. We are standing next to it, maybe even holding its hand, but it is only part of who we are and does not define us.  But those opposed to it felt it was being held at arms distance, that it showed a degree of shame, as in, that’s not really me, it’s this thing I won’t hold.  This is dangerous, it was said, because it allows for “the devil made me do it.”

“I am bipolar” says I own this, it is part of me and I’m not ashamed.  It is not arm’s length from me, it is part of my being. But those opposed to it felt it was making it too front and center, that it was made to be a defining trait that could become a crutch.

Honestly, I have no dog in that semantic race.  I see the points on all sides, but I think it is a waste of our time.  It seems like an excuse to not deal with bigger issues like, how do I get this creature out before it engulfs me, for example.

But I think that conscience vs. subconscious is valid to look at.  It got me thinking about where our dark thoughts live, and how we disavow them.

This thing I saw even in the daytime, was a clear manifestation of my inner doubts and loathing, feelings of worthlessness and burden. I created it and gave it flesh.  I figured it was those feelings and fears lurking in the box in the back of my rational mind that had been ignored for too long and burst out and had to be destroyed by, in my case, a ritual that involved my husband, incense, a symbol of success (my book) and screaming “Fuck you!  I’m not worthless!” until my throat hurt.  But everyone is different.

The debate around the subconscious, or the Id, as I understand it, involves the arms-length argument.  If I keep my demons a separate part of my mind, I have no control over what happened, in any real way.  In any way that I could stop.

The devil made me do it.

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My subconscious, generally speaking.

I never felt that creature wasn’t part of me, I know perfectly well what it was.  But I also don’t feel good about owning it.  It was so horrible and so present that I was afraid I had lost my mind for good.  I was afraid that it was the beginning of watching myself slip slowly into absolute insanity from which there was no coming back.  I was starting to think that this “thing” would literally kill me.

 

It could not physically do so, but could I die basically of fright?  And if I did, would it essentially be deniable suicide?

But if I embrace it, if I stop referring to my demons as my subconscious, if I remove that word and concept, would that be healthier?  Or would it hurt me more, would it make it too present in which case it could stroll back in faster?  And can that even be done, the way the brain is wired?  We can’t keep all of our thoughts in the fore of our minds, it’s simply not possible, I don’t think.

I don’t have answers to any of these questions, as I said, this is really just a thought exercise.

So many thoughts are bubbling up, so many feelings are being addressed, but so few answers. I will, of course, run all this by my therapist, and I might write another article once we talk about it.  But in the meantime, I want to see what you think about it.  I’ve seen that some of my followers on this blog have initials after their names, I’m always excited to hear professional insight.

Whatever the subconscious is called, however it’s conceptualized, I hope that I have calmed it down for the foreseeable future.  The thing that crawled up my bed, the thing I saw in the daytime, the thing that hated me with fire and wanted me dead, scared the hell out of me.  I would very much appreciate never seeing it again.

 

Death, Taboo, and Moving On

Some of my funniest stories don’t necessarily begin that way, and they may not end that way.

Gallows Humor – Explained

I explain gallows humor in that article so I won’t go over it again here, but in a nutshell, it’s finding something unendingly hilarious in otherwise horrible circumstances, things where there really shouldn’t be any humor at all.  It’s a survival technique, generally.

For example, this story begins…

So we went to pick up my dad’s ashes.

My sister, brother, uncle, and aunt went to the funeral home to pick up my dad’s ashes.

Everyone grieves differently, sometimes from moment to moment.  My sister was not in a good place at this point, and I was in full disassociation mode.

Full disclosure – I loathe the funeral industry.  I have nothing but contempt for the business that takes advantage of people while they are in the darkest place of their lives to sell them caskets that cost thousands of dollars that they may have to take out a loan to afford.  There is no reason and no excuse beyond predatory capitalism.

It is with that frame of mind that I walked in and immediately my mind went sproing.  It looked like Barbara Cartland barfed on Laura Ashley, accompanied by the dulcet tones of music that made Yanni sound edgy.

The overstuffed furniture and pillows, the pink and green throw rugs and flower patterned curtains with puffy valances, which looked like a Jiffy Pop dome covered in 1950s wallpaper.

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Pictured – Comfort, apparently.

Already, I was stifling giggles.  It was just so very aggressively absurd.

When we were called into the salesman’s office, my sister and I sat at the desk and everyone else crowded around us.  My husband sat next to me, which ended up being a very good thing.

Before we started choosing the headstone, when the salesman began to speak, I started to lose any semblance of control.  He spoke in this near-whisper, so-very-sincere it practically oozed concern, the kind of voice one practices with a tape recorder to make sure it is just the right mixture of concern and sincerity.  It caused me physical pain trying to keep it together.  Then he poked the proverbial needle into my composure balloon.

He said the word “cremains.”

I had never heard that word before, and it was without question, the funniest thing I had heard ever.  Then he said it again.  And again, with that soothing voice right out of central casting, surrounded by tiny roses that I swear were mocking me, pointing at me with their thorny rose arms chanting “Haha!  You’re trapped!”

My eyes started to fill with tears.  I reached for Chris with my left hand, while my right hand snatched about seven tissues which I  shoved against my face and just, lost it.  I shook with laughter, my whole body lurching up and down and a sound I can only describe as the squeeeeeaaak a straw makes if you pull it slowly out of a plastic lid.  Luckily, everyone interpreted this as weeping, except for Chris who has met me.

In the end, we did what we needed to do, and the salesman handed my dad’s “cremains” to us.  Nothing about that was funny.

All of this is taboo. We have so many around death, but they are things we should be talking about because I know that they can eat at a person, the guilt behind it.

My dad had prostate cancer.  The doctors didn’t catch it until it was far too late.  He lived the best he could during his final years, but ultimately spent the last six months of his life in a hospice.

During this time, Chris and I drove to see him every day.  We left San Francisco for Fremont, about an hour and a half drive, at 4:30 during rush hour.  We did this every day for months.

After a while, I found myself grousing about this obligation. It became an inconvenience, we had to leave work early, traffic is a nightmare, and so on.  Dad did not ask us to do that, it was what I wanted.  But after a while, it became a burden.

When I caught myself thinking that, frowning as we headed to the car, my heart sunk.  How many times did he drop everything to be there for me? How many sacrifices did he make to see me grow up?  I felt terrible.

I got the call from my sister.  We went to the hospice to say goodbye and have an impromptu wake, and I saw my dad lying there, no longer my dad but looked like him. We shared our memories and cried with the staff (dad was a charmer, everyone there loved him) and we went our separate ways to grieve.

The next day, at 4:30, a thought entered my head.  I don’t have to go to Fremont.  We don’t have to make the hour-long drive during rush hour.  We don’t have to do that anymore.

And when I caught myself thinking that, my heart sank.

I was relieved.

I was not relived my dad was gone, that I would never see him again.  I was relieved that my life could slowly return to normal.  That I could finish my work day, come home at a reasonable hour, have a relaxing evening with Chris, plan for Saturday.

I wasn’t relieved that my dad was dead, I was happy that I was alive.

He was in terrible pain, bedridden, couldn’t eat, couldn’t do anything he loved.  He didn’t want to live that way, not even in a hospice with its own very good dog.

taboo 4
This is Max.

He was an active person, he belonged to so many clubs, this was not life for him.  He was just waiting.  I know this for a fact.

Shortly before he died, dad asked me if I would interpret a dream for him.  He had never done something like that before, a WWII veteran, he wasn’t touchy-feely.  He started to speak very quietly.

“I am in an elevator, but it goes all sorts of ways, up and down, sideways.  The doors open but I don’t get out.  I want to get out, but it’s not the right floor.  So it gets to the top floor, the doors open, and there is such a light in the room.  I want to get out, but I’m scared.  What do you think it means?”

His voice started to tremble slightly at the end, and when he asked the question, he lowered his head, looked over his glasses with raised, fearful eyebrows.  He knew exactly what it meant, but he wanted to hear it.

“Why don’t you want to get out?  That room sounds nice.”

“I’m scared.  I don’t know what will happen.”

“If it feels warm and nice, maybe that’s a good place for you.  A safe place.”

He stared at me for a moment, and then nodded and turned his head.

A few days later he was gone.

He had checked in with each of us.  He wanted to know that we would all be ok, and he wanted us to know that he valued what we are. My brother was an electronic wizard, my sister was levelheaded and dependable, I was the touchy-feely arty person who interprets dreams.

I loved him, I didn’t want him to leave.  But he was in terrible pain, and he wanted to go.  I know that for a fact.  The elevator dream was not exactly ambiguous.

It’s not bad to want one’s life back.  He would not have been happy if we had stopped enjoying the life that we have.

In the end, my dad valued my strangely wired brain.  I believe completely that he would have been as disgusted by the funeral home as I was, and I would have caught his eye, pointed to the plug-in air fresheners that smell of chemical roses, and he would be giggling as much as I.

So please, be as kind and gentle with yourself as you are with your loved one.  Call on whatever it is that gives you comfort, however you cope.  You do not disrespect them by living a good life, you honor their memory.

My dad found his peace finally in his Christian faith.

My uncle asked him what he wanted to pray about.  He replied in an uncharacteristically quiet voice.

“Give me the grace to die.”

 

 

Happy Anniversary Nightmares & Laughter!

It’s been three years ago this month since I started this blog, and I’m feeling reflective.

It’s my first, and I have been slow to get moving, but I’m starting to get my groove. I have shared great times – my first book – horrible times when I could barely write – the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings – and simple daydreams.

And an article about goats because goats are funny.

Goats are Funny. They just are.

I started N&L to speak to, advocate for, and comfort people like me, people with mental illness, addiction, trauma issues, or a combination of those.  It’s been my hope that my voice could reflect both the struggles and pain we face, but also the joy and silliness and dark humor that keeps us alive.

So, Nightmares & Laughter.

I have shared snippets of my life and pictures of my home and pieces of my history that I thought hard about before I hit Publish. I think it’s helpful to see the writer in their natural habitat, make them a human, a human adult who has a stunning amount of children’s toys.

This anniversary also marks three years since I’ve been unemployed.  I have been using this time to live some dreams;  finish my book, start a second one, work on photography and painting and basically mess around in my studio, write this blog, panic about money, live the life of an artist, the life I’ve always wanted.

Now it’s three years later.  I’ve covered a lot of ground, and sometimes I think I’ve nothing left to say and stare at the screen whimpering (every writer just nodded), but I always find something.  I write what is interesting to me and I hope it’s interesting to you as well.

To those following N&L, I want to say thank you so much, I will continue to write articles that you will enjoy getting an alert for, articles without sentences like this tortured mess.

Soon I will get a job, but I will keep writing and making art.  And someday, someday I will get paid to do it. Someone will find this blog and say, “hey, let’s give her all of the money!”

That will happen any day now.  Any day.

 

anniversary 2.png

When Gallows Humor Triggers

One of my first articles was an attempt to explain Gallows Humor

Now, I know this is not everyone’s cup of tea, I acknowledge this and have seen people respond poorly to it before but, well…

Let’s set this up.  A friend posted a picture on Facebook that was unpleasant.  I responded as I do, a comment that was so over the top, so fantastically inappropriate, it did not occur to me that someone would take it seriously.

Someone took it seriously.

Now, I don’t know this person, nor does she know me.  Rather than give me the benefit of the doubt and ask what I meant, I was attacked with burning poison darts right out of the gate.

Shocking no one, there was no discussion to be had.

This woman decided I was evil incarnate (seriously, she called me evil) and in a block of text ripped apart my character, motives, and worth as a person.  I suggested that might just be a bad idea, with a reminder that she had no idea if I was in a serious depression and if that might be the last straw to cause me to take the 15-minute stroll to the Golden Gate Bridge.

A laughing face reaction and a “Poke” were my replies.  Did you know that Facebook still has a “Poke” thing?  Neither did I.

gallows misfire 1
Neat!  Now please tell me I can still throw snowballs.

She made a fine point that she was 70.  She’s 20 years older than me, and therefore I have no voice?  Something like that. She was sputtering by that time.

My point is simply this, you don’t know what’s in a person’s heart.  You cannot read their mind.  If an offhanded comment hits you the wrong way and your response is to go on a spittle-spewing, hate-filled, character destroying attack, maybe it’s time to go ahead and glance at oneself in the mirror.  Maybe a response that is juuuuuust a tad over the top is trying to tell you to look inside, instead of ascribing hideous motives to someone you know nothing about.

This brings me to triggered.  Like so many other things that started off with good intentions, this has become a means for some to behave as our not-at-all-irrational 70-year-old did.  To expect the world to cater to their specific issue or pain, for the world to be sensitive to them or they’ll be hell to pay.  Something there seems kind of incongruous to me.

The likelihood that I would have been in a depression is good, the way the world is, a recent death in the family, I well could have been unable to handle such an attack.  What if I had taken that walk? Why am I not afforded the same consideration she demands?

Well, because she was triggered.  Because I hit something deep inside her and she lashed out.  I get that intellectually, but it doesn’t excuse it.

Now, I was not in a depression, and I just found the exchange surreal and annoying.  I tried to explain my joke, explain gallows humor, but that just made her angrier.

Triggered is being misused.  It is not meant to be cover for potentially dangerous behavior.

It was meant to be a tool for healing oneself.  Someone says something, it hits a button, I get triggered.  OK, I get to a safe place, and I try to examine why that statement hit me so hard.  What should I be looking at?  What should I work on, speak to gently, and try to heal?

What is the triggering trying to tell me, about me?

What I said was from the way that I cope, the way I survive, I was not setting out to hurt anyone.  Her comment, on the other hand, was intended to hurt me, was intentionally vicious.  There was simply no discussing it.  I am evil, and she is the victim.

Oh, it’s not real easy right now to give the benefit of the doubt, I get that.  Nerves are frayed, tempers on edge, and patience is wearing real thin.

But this is all the more reason to practice kindness whenever you can. Smile at someone in passing now and then, say something nice to someone, anything at all.  Tell your best friend you are going to bake brownies for them and wrap them up with a Hello Kitty plushy.  Hypothetically.

But try, really hard, to keep that hair-trigger venom in your pocket.

I hope this woman is able to see and address these unknown issues, I really do.  But they are not my issues, and my voice is not going to be silent on the chance that something I say will hit someone the wrong way.  My humor is my humor, my voice is my voice.

OK, I love the show Family Guy (and The Orville is the only Star Trek on TV right now, and if someone can get this to Seth McFarlane tell him he has a group of geeks who will forever be grateful for that show.)  Anyway, Family Guy sets out to offend just about everybody at one point or another.  For the most part, I think it’s hilarious, but there was one little throw-away that got to me.

It’s one of the cut-aways he does.  Margo Kidder comes to dinner and then is depicted as going “crazy” screaming and gibbering, flailing her arms around and leaping out the window.

For those who don’t know, Margo Kidder was bipolar.  She was homeless for a time, lost everything, and died very young.  I am also bipolar, so this hit me hard.  I actually had to turn the channel to regroup.  I was angry, how dare he make fun of her!  How dare he make light of mental illness!  Fuck that guy!

After I calmed down it occurred to me, I think “Prom Night Dumpster Baby” is hilarious.  I expect that song hits some people very badly.  I think it’s damn funny.

So how is my pain greater than someone who had a miscarriage, or stillbirth?  I cannot imagine a worse pain, I cannot imagine being in that position and seeing cartoon babies swinging around their umbilical cords like canes as they dance.  To their eyes and hearts, that must be unspeakable.

But I thought it was hilarious.

Not because I have no sympathy for them, I have a dear friend who lost her little baby.  It just struck me as funny.  But I totally understand someone else hating it.

As I hated the Margo Kidder bit.  I hated that with every fiber of my being.

But do I think Seth McFarlane is a heartless asshole?  Actually, I have no idea, he might be.  But I know that that bit hurt because it is specific to me and my pain.  But my pain is not worth more than people offended by any other of the thousand inappropriate bits in Family Guy.

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“It’s like that time I put on my fanciest hat and took my crate for a ride.”

The point is, I don’t know.  I don’t know if he’s doing these things to be hurtful or if he’s just super juvenile and dark like me.  I don’t know his intention or his heart, all I do know is that he’s smokin’ hot…sorry, trailed off there.

gallows misfire 4
Neil deGrasse Tyson and Seth McFarlane.  There is still hope for the world.

Taking it back to the woman in question, she intended to hurt me.  She was attacking based on no information and was not interested in getting it.  She didn’t listen when I tried to explain it, she didn’t have an ounce of compassion when I told her I well could be suicidal, all that mattered was that she was offended and hurt and seemingly thrilled to have someone to unload on.  My husband and I refer to that as sitting on the edge of your chair in cat-like readiness hoping to be offended.  Offended as a drug, as a shield, the opportunity to be better than, more righteous than, more adult, (I’ll give her that one, I am shockingly immature.)

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Halloween decorations, or as I call them, decorations.  <adult!>

If I can offer a takeaway, it would be this.  If you are offended by something, if you are “triggered,” please use it as an opportunity to look inward and see why.  Maybe you can sit with it, embrace it, speak to it softly, and try to heal it.

Come back after you calm down and ask if you can talk about it.  Maybe you get rejected, maybe not.  But you tried to be heard.

I know one way you will not be heard, and that’s when you call someone you don’t know evil.  That’s likely to shut down any consideration for you.

One last thing, in all of the interwebs someone reading this must know Seth McFarlane.  Just sayin’.

 

 

Exciting News!

I am over the moon to announce the release of my autobiography, Life Songs – Discussions with an Angry Child.

It’s a unique collection of poetry I had written from 11 to 25, poems about my mental illness before I knew what it was, addiction, abuse, fantasy, and rage.  I spoke to each poem from the perspective of these 50 years that I somehow managed to survive.  I know!  I am as surprised as anyone!

It is painful, funny, surreal, unflinchingly honest, and quite literally my life’s work.  It means the world to me.

When you click the link below, you can read the entire Forward for free in the preview, which will give you my detailed explanation of what brought this about and how to get the most from the journey.  You are a participant, sitting next to me.  Just don’t eat all my salsa.  I hate that.

 

Life Songs – Discussions with an Angry Child

 

Sue_Life Song (2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Requiem for a Cat Lady – The Legacies We Leave

Betty was my elderly cousin, second cousin…my mother’s cousin, on her father’s…cousin it is!

She died many years ago.  She was not married, (she was married once, the gentleman tried to strangle her with a phone cord, which was sort of a deal breaker) and she had no children so my brother, sister and I went to her place to clean it out.

It’s uncomfortable, going through another’s belongings.  Pulling things out of drawers or nooks or jewelry boxes, all the places people tuck their treasures – letters, diaries, jewelry, things passed to them from a cherished friend or family member.  That memento from a trip of a lifetime, something that reminded them of an amazing time they had someplace magical.  Betty had all of these things among her socks and hairpins, but there was one clear majority of knickknack.

Betty had an astounding number of cat things.

I don’t mean things for actual cats; she did not have one, and didn’t as long as I’d known her.  No, I mean things with cats on them, decorative plates, clothing, pictures.  And dozens upon dozens of cat figurines.  Cats made of glass, ceramic, wood, china, plastic, pretty much any material that can be manufactured or harvested, there was a cat made of that item.

I wanted to do something with them, something to honor her in a way.  I didn’t know what yet, but I tucked the cats into a bag and brought them home.

Finally I made this, which I call Requiem for a Cat Lady.

IMG_20180307_131848
I’m not a photographer.  Oh my no.

I wonder sometimes, what will happen to my own treasures when someone goes through them?  I’ve mentioned before about my huge collection of a certain mouthless white Kitty (still don’t want to get sued) what happens to her?  What about my diaries, and the poetry I’ve written all my life?  What about the treasures collected in my travels?

I think these concerns are very human.  The things we have are meaningful to us.  They tell a story of a life that mattered.  My life, your life, we were here and we mattered.

We also leave a legacy that does not involve things.  Our possessions can certainly be reminders, as with my cousin’s cat figurines, but really, they aren’t forever.

But this is not sad. Whatever one believes of an afterlife or lack of, once you’re gone these things are no longer your concern.  So why obsess?

What kind of legacy would you like to leave?  What would you like people to say about you?  Will they smile gently at the memories?  The funny stories will outlive us, if they are told. In reading this article, you know a few tidbits about a woman you have never met, and if you should tell someone say, the phone cord incident, the memory of this unique lady goes on!

For me, the legacy I would like is my friends and family hearing something deeply dark, absurd, inappropriate, and saying “Oh man, Sue would have found that hilarious!”

Also they must take care of my Kitty.

My beautiful mouthless white Kitty.

kitty for blog cat lady
I’ll just leave this here.

Anyone who knows me, knows that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Did You Dream Last Night?

Note: Given the climate in the United States right now I want to tell you that this article uses a short description of a dream-scape shooting.  It is not graphic and is very short.

Do you remember your dreams?  Are they vivid?  Do you write them down?

Maybe you’re one of the people who analyze them, look through books and websites about what a symbol means, what your subconscious is trying to tell you.  These can be fine things to do, up until your subconscious tells you to quit your job, buy a unicycle, and ride around town throwing turnips at people.  I might not take that one literally.

I come from the place of the mind not the supernatural, as I’ve written about before.  Your subconscious is telling you something you already know, something that is hidden for some reason, even unacknowledged.  But it’s from you and your beautiful, powerful brain.

Sometimes that brain gets pissed.

Years ago, before I got sober for the I think second time, I was lying in bed in that not really asleep sort of blacked out state, the one where you stumble to the kitchen, drink orange juice right from the carton, and in the morning wonder how the hell a carton of orange juice got in your closet, that sort of thing.  It’s not the most enlightened time for a person, is my point.

This particular night though, I had a dream that I remembered, and it was not subtle.

I was on the porch of a sort of farm style house somewhere in the desert, a place surrounded by swirling dirt and scraggly brush.Creepy Old House

Anyway, a person came out of nowhere with a rifle and was mercilessly shooting everyone in the way, until arriving at the porch.  I had hidden behind a large rocking chair, terrified and crying, waiting to die.  The shooter came up and pointed the muzzle at me.  I reached out, grabbed her wrist, and pleaded with her to not kill me.  “I’m not done yet.” I recall saying.

The shooter, coming as a surprise to no one, was me.  I told you it was not subtle.

From that moment on, I was clean and sober and never had a manic episode or a depression ever again.  The End. <credits>

That’s not how things work, of course.  But it helped, and that always matters.

So what dream are you having that you need to wake up from?  Try to search them for a clue, and when you find it, look at it with unblinking eyes.  If it is painful, try to look at them even more.  You may want to do this with a therapist.

A common defense mechanism for us is disassociation and we are good at it.  But try to stay present, try to hear what it’s saying to you, and be gentle with yourself.

Below is a link to the National Helpline.  If you decide your dreams are telling you something you don’t want to face alone, if you are finding your carton of orange juice in the closet even one time really, or for whatever reason you need help and support, please give them a try.  It’s free and confidential.

And if you feel like it’s too much, if you’re having dark thoughts and considering a way out, I’ve also included the Suicide Prevention Hotline.

It will pass and the world is better with you in it.

National Helpline

SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.

https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline

National Suicide Prevention Hotline

We can all help prevent suicide. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.

1-800-273-8255

https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/