The Road of Mental Illness

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What goes on in the mind of a man that kills himself along with his two children?

When faced to a question without an answer, we disregard further thought and explain it with two words, “mental illness”.

I wasn’t catching all the reporter’s words because Ian had come from our church’s summer camp and he was talking to me about something his camp leader had asked him to bring tomorrow. So, I kept on asking my husband, “What did she say?”.

Carlos replied, “I’m not paying too much attention to the report.”

I knew he was trying not to get his head wrapped around the news clip, with thoughts about the two boys who perished with their dad. As a father he just can’t understand an atrocity like this.

Mental illness is blamed more too often for everything from mass shootings to callous murders.  I’m not saying it isn’t the issue at hand, but there are preventive measures we can take to avoid these tragedies.

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Carlos lost his job last year, a job he thought he would retire from and that brought an enormous emotional baggage he had to deal with. It has been hard on him and on our family, but we’re working at it.  This man had also lost his job and was facing a tough reality in front of him.  He took the easy way out.

Just looking at my seven-year-old, I felt heavy hearted just thinking about how innocent he is and how blindly he trusts us.  Those two boys trusted their father the very same way.

I only can think about, what they asked him, if they were hungry or thirsty, or if they were asking him where their mommy was. Answers to these questions will remain unanswered to us.

When events like this happen, people have a hard time believing in anything. These events compromise humanity’s faith because there is the underlying question of, “Why did God let this happen?” “Where was God?” However, you can’t forget that as humans one of the endowments we possess is free will.

We make choices.

Today this man chose death over life.

Surpassing all the things that are categorized under mental health, we need to be vigilant of those who surround us.

This life has so many ups and downs, but one of the most beautiful things we can do for ourselves is develop creativity.  Create new things when those we have get broken.  Shifting paradigms and rewriting our lives with brand new scripts to tell a new story.  This is the message we need to deliver to those we love and those we meet.  A message of hope, so they can believe that things will get better.

It’s a difficult road to travel because sometimes people don’t want to listen to a message of hope or any kind of message.  Nonetheless, we need to keep on trying and find the courage to confront someone we think may harm themselves or those they love.

So, next time we come across a situation we may easily categorize under “mental health” issues, let’s take a moment to readdress the situation with the mentality of what can I do to help this person and offer him, or her preventive self-care not only for their own safekeeping, but also for their family.

See you around the corner, and thanks for stopping by. And remember  be kind to yourself and to others.  Kindness my dear friends can go a very long way.

 

 

Time and Time Again

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Dear readers, haven’t you ever wondered about how from time and time again we walk through the same paths during our lives.

As days, weeks, months and years pass we come back to face the same dilemmas, the same joys and the same people over and over again.  We run parallel to that and them, never being able to run to far away.

It’s as we have been stringed to the same things.  Life is indeed a mystery.

Corcovada

I’ve seen this in my life and even though it may seem a burden to an extent, it is also a blessing in many ways.  Uuuf, just take illness, that’s one I could have declined very easily if given the choice, my husband was diagnosed with cirrhosis early on in our marriage, my kids seem always to have a health issue of one sort of the other (thank God none of too much concern), and I’ve battled against Myasthenia Gravis for the past twelve years.  It ain’t easy!!!!!!!!!!!! However, it’s not that bad either, through my illness I’m always trying to strive to make my day, the best day ever.

All of us have to face the same challenges.  We all wake up in the morning not certain of anything that will happen that day.  It could be like any other day or it can be a day that will change the course of our life.  The only difference from people who face the incognito with a disease is that our self-awareness is always at high, or at least mine is.

I’ve come to accept with a grateful heart those who have chose to be close to me and have enriched my life in so many ways.  Building relationships are the toughest of all the quests in life, but it sure feels great when you get to a point where you can rest assured and safe inside those relationships.

Believing that a higher power, name it whatever you want, keeps us in balance, stringed to the things and people we need for whatever it is we need to be in our lives is the most amazing experience you or I will ever have.  I am grateful with a humble heart  for the good, for the bad, each and everything that lies in between and within my life and to be able to be living and enjoying today’s day.

Have a great day everyone, see you around the corner and thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

Our Lack of Action

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Dear readers, all of us have tried to become better persons during our lives.

We live in a society where violence is present from the cartoons are children see to the violent crimes we get to witness through social media, that make you wonder where is our world heading?

It’s easy to understand how easily our values can succumb in these scenarios.

We flip the pancake, as so to say, to accommodate our feelings in a way that our actions are justified.  Or better said “our lack of action”.  Specially when we agree with this anarchic way of life by remaining bystanders and not trying to do anything about it.

We don’t have to become Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, or Dolores Huertas to do something, the only thing that we need to do is take action in one of the simplest ways, educate ourselves first and then share what we have learned with others.  To counteract ignorance helping others see things differently.

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via morguefile

We are bombarded with hatred, criticism, bullying, and many of the vices of humanity.  It’s easier to destroy than to build  bridges of communications  on the grounds of understanding and respect. This way we are dismantling violence one step at at time.

Like Stephen Shwartz  wrote,  “hope is frail, but very hard to kill” in the lyrics of the song When You Believe.  I want to hold on to that hope to believe in humanity and the choice we have to become better persons.

We can all attempt to construct a better world for ourselves and  future generations to come, specially if we teach by practice one of the basic values of human race, RESPECT.

Just a little something to think about.

See you next time around, and thanks for stopping by.

128 Days

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It’s taken a while, but finally I’ve gotten around writing about Hurricane María.

Today it’s been 128 days since María hit Puerto Rico and the same amount of days we were out of power where I live with my family on the west coast.

In the early days after Maria the immediate future seemed dreadful and full of uncertainties. Rumors spread as lethal as an aggressive form of cancer and it was easy to fall into believing mainly because it seemed we had been sucked in by a black hole.

Our banking and communication systems were down. Nothing seemed to work properly.  Things we had taken for granted for so many years now seemed like part of another time, another life.

Being out of power is a “part of your life” kind of thing here due to the precarious state in which our power system was, so emergency power generators are part of the appliances of our households.  However, it’s a totally different thing when you see all that system on the floor, basically broken to the core.

The sensation of “now we’re in deep trouble” creeped up on me and took me to a totally different level of pure undisguised freight.

To remain with  some form of sanity,  I needed to focus on something,  that something would be the countdown for the day finally our power would be restored.

I had been putting down finishing my journal for some time.  Never found the time (which is by the way an excuse) to get it done.  You know what, suddenly I had all the time in the world.

I would devote a complete section of it to Maria.

I made a list from 1 to 26, these would be the weeks projected for our power to be restored, hence our government was saying to us.  Each week began Tuesday and ended on Wednesday, week number one ended on September 27th, an exact week from the hurricane.

Calendar

Finally, my count came to an end on week 18.

Power was restored, we are no longer forcibly off the grid.

Now it’s time to face all the questions without answers,

the trauma of thinking food was becoming scarce as I waited in a line outside a supermarket with a list scribbled on a paper thinking about my elderly parents and a six year old waiting for me at home,

the fact that the roads that give us access to the more urban part of the Island were gone,

the fact that gasoline was not available to move those generators and all the other appliances we had,

all our communication systems (land lines, cellular and internet) were also gonners,

and finally having money in the bank meant nothing because there was absolutely no access to it.

It’s time to heal and to move forward and share a thought or two about all that has happened.

But, that’s for another day.