Journeyman's Row
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Part of the journey... Conclusion

Posted on April 24, 2019 at 1:05 AM

Before I begin, I would like to dedicate this blog to Ms. Wheelchair Pennsylvania 2019: Danielle DeAngelis. Hearing your story for the first time, at this year's local NAMI Conference, and being able to connect with you one-on-one there as well were exceptionally inspiring. Your grace and courage touched my heart. I hope I shared with you the best of mine. Remember; whenever you take off your crown you will always have your halo.


Bless. Your. Heart.



"God, it seems like a thousand years ago that I fought my way back from suicide twice, became an advocate, realized I still believed in love. I know I probably don't deserve any miracles, but I was really hoping to find you while I'm still here."

(adapted from Robert Downey Jr., Avengers: Endgame trailer #2)


[With the following background movie trailer music: Really Slow Motion & Giant Apes - Imminence]



Since I ended the last blog entry with a lot of honesty about what my mental health is like right now, I wanted to begin this conclusion in poetic fashion to set the tone. Optimism and pessimism aside, at the end of the day mental health is what it is to deal with. We are all human and deserve a chance to find genuine happiness in our lives. There was one detail about my progress with treatment I intentionally withheld until now. It is something that can happen and may be challenging, but unexpected to deal with.


Setbacks can occur at any time during the progress of treatment. Between late February into early March (psychiatry) and just recently in mid-April (case management), I encountered setbacks of my own. Certain medications might not work for you. Not everyone may start or be on the same page. Sometimes people on your treatment team move on before you feel ready to continue forward. Do not despair. Even though when my case manager moved on a couple weeks ago I took it pretty hard, to be honest. We were so like-minded it was unreal (she was awesome).


Do not give up.


Life will throw you a curve ball when you least expect it. You will make mistakes when you may be least prepared not to. I often experience intrusive (anxiety) thoughts that something bad will happen to my parents before I move out. Or to my relatives, friends, and others I care about. People have shamed me for speaking my mind (this gets old quickly) even though I always work towards a positive point of view. Your life could turn upside down and tie itself in a knot, or it might already feel that way for you right now. One thing will never change. You still own this moment. You still have a chance and the choice to take control of your life at any time.



So, I remind myself, I can do this. I can choose life. I should choose it. I am meant to be here. I own this moment, same as any of you can, too. I can live my life and advocate for people like me.” Jim Irion, Things I've Learned from Advocating For Mental Health (10-11-2018).


Living with mental illness is possible just as advocating for awareness is too.” Jim Irion, Facing Discrimination While Advocating (11-1-2018).


You can even stare feeling-ready-to-die in the face for over five to six years, as I have... and still have what it takes to live your life. You can do this. You are possible.



The world has changed. None of us can go back. All we can do is our best. And sometimes the best that we can do is to start over.” -Hayley Atwell, Peggy Carter (Avengers: Endgame trailer #2).



I will do everything I can to take my voice to higher levels. As each week, month, and year passes by, I find out about people of all ages and backgrounds who unfortunately lose all hope and give up their fight to survive. Just how many people whether in your own community, province, state, or of notoriety? Too many. Way too many for it not to hurt me with every single one...


"I have seen all these people die.

We lost, all of us. We lost friends. We lost family. We lost part of ourselves. For some of us this is the fight of our lives."

(adapted from the Avengers: Endgame film trailers).



Enough. Is. Enough. Stigma has to stop. Bullying needs to end. Hate needs to be erased. All hate. Not just along racial or political lines. Suicides need to be prevented. Not for my sake. Not for my future. For their sakes. Forgive them all. Those who have gone before us deserve better. If we love them, then for their sake take a look in the mirror. Or go outside. Take a good look at the ground and the sky. Promise them you will not let their suffering and sacrifice be for nothing.


Stigma against suicide attempt survivors needs to stop. We are not a danger to anyone. True suicide victims and attempt survivors just want genuine happiness in their lives like most everyone else. Research has proven we can be some of the most unbelievably selfless and deeply caring people you may ever meet or know. We carry the burden of knowledge that l;fe matters. Why haven't I moved on?


"People keep telling survivors to move on. Some do, but not me.

Even if there’s a small chance, I owe this to every moment of silence to try."

(adapted from the Avengers: Endgame film trailers).



Whatever it takes.” -Robert Downey Jr. (my hero!), Tony Stark (Avengers: Endgame trailer #2).



No matter who you are. No matter what your situation was, is, or will be. No matter where you live. No matter when you read this message. Why? "It matters how you are treated. Part of the journey is the beginning. You own this moment. It is never too late. You can do this." Jim Irion, Mental Health Advocate, surv;ving warr;or, NAMI member & trained "In Our Own Voice" Presenter.


And for all of the suicide attempt survivors out there trying their hardest - every - single - day - and giving their lives all they've got... This is for You.


"Our very courage invites challenge. Challenge incites fear. Fear breeds stigma. We are not hopeless because we've tried to give up.

Any day can be an endgame for us.

Yet here we are.

With nothing but our hearts, our courage, and still al;ve.

So stay and l;ve.

The world is chang;ng.

They need surv;vors.

Before my time comes, you have one promise to keep. If we can't prevent suic;de, be damned sure you'll f;nish what I've started.


Whatever.

;t.

Takes."

(adapted from the Avengers: Endgame film trailers).




#BeHereTomorrow and every day after that.” Kevin Hines.

Kevin & Margaret Hines Foundation





Let me be the inspiration that runs through your ve;ns.” J;m Ir;on.

Categories: Mental Health & Awareness, Inspirational, Fictional Characters

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