Daily Prompt: Fragrance

Lilacs.jpg

At the back door

beside the stoop

an old lilac bush grew

Spring fragrance

Memories of Grandma

Forever remembered

Word Prompt: Dormant Seeds of a Writer

Dormant

The desire to write, like a dormant seed, waiting for me to water it with confidence and courage. For too long I would not write, I could not write. Like a seed that struggles to reach the surface, I feel the pull to put words to paper.

With each post, my confidence and courage grow. The seed splits and I feel myself stretch up and out like a plant breaking the soil to feel the sun. No longer dormant, I am free to express myself without fear.

Still tender, I will nourish my craft and protect my sensitive feelings until I can stand alone unafraid of criticism.

There is no turning back.

Why is Everything so Heavy?

Chester Bennington died by suicide yesterday, July 20. It was the birthday of his friend Chris Cornell who died by suicide two months ago.

I knew nothing about either of these men but like them, I and many others struggle with mental illness. This news weighs heavy on my heart. It reminds me that my mental health is a precarious balance between health and madness.

While taking part in a mental health outpatient program at the Oakville-Trafalgar Hospital I was assigned a counsellor to whom I reported at least once a week. Early on my counsellor mentioned something that has stayed with me over the years.

Mental illness is the only disease where your mind will try to kill you.

Betrayal usually comes from outside ourselves not from the core of our being. Not from our brain that we trust and rely on to warn us of danger, make logical decisions, and to protect our interests.

When despair and hopelessness settle in it’s our minds that whisper,

“What’s the point?”

And in a moment of unbearable pain, our mind is easy to believe.

I’m holding on
Why is everything so heavy?
Holding on
So much more than I can carry
I keep dragging around what’s bringing me down
If I just let go, I’d be set free
Holding on

Heavy by Linkin Park

After someone dies by suicide, people observe how normal the victim appeared. They seemed okay, their life was moving in a positive direction. They had plans. They were optimistic about the future.

All it takes is one low moment of desperation. A weary moment when the victim becomes tired of the burden, tired of trying so hard to hold on with no end in sight. No one can save you. It’s nobody’s fault.

Dying by suicide is not a choice. It’s a side-effect of mental illness. No one wants to die, but our minds deceive us into believing it’s the only way out. There is comfort in thinking the torment will end. There will be rest. The fight is over.

In talking to my family doctor many years ago about suicide, she said,

“Suicide is a long-term solution for a short-term problem.”

That was 18 years ago, and while she is right, my mental illness is hardly a short-term problem. It will be with me for the rest of my life.

Heavy was the last song written by Linkin Park. It speaks to Chester’s state of mind and the heaviness weighing on him. He was swimming in despair. His illness pulling him under the water. And in the end, he lost the fight and was swept away.

 

 

 

Daily Prompt: Soil or …?

405846_10151652640968688_1541967024_n

“Did you soil your pants, little man?”

No, I poop!

Daily Prompt: Edible – To Eat or Not

Death Caps.jpg

It’s quiet and cool in the woods. Sunlight filters through the leafy canopy while we tread carefully on dead leaves and pine needles. It’s peaceful here. The stillness is calming and the beauty of our surroundings warms my soul.

I feel like a child on a treasure hunt. Michael is an experienced mushroom hunter taking me out for the first time. He finds them easily and educates me on the type of mushroom and if they’re edible or not. At first, I have a hard time finding them but once I do I start to see them everywhere.

“Hey! I think I found button mushrooms!”

Those are not button mushrooms.”

“They look like button mushrooms”

They’re called death caps and if you eat them they will kill you.”

“Oh.”