A Plea Against Suicide

Good afternoon, readers. I hope you’re prepared for a more serious post. At work today, I was told an extremely heartbreaking story about someone’s friend who just killed herself, and no one knew she had any unhappiness in her life. I know it’s not suicide awareness month, and I know this is something that gets spread around a lot, but it really can’t be stressed enough. Please talk to someone if you’re feeling depressed, hurt, lost. Please find that one person who you can bear your soul to. It cannot only save your life but also somebody else’s.

I know it’s hard. I know you want to seem happy and perfect because that’s what social media wants. And it’s so easy to put on a mask. I know it feels good to hide behind that mask because you’re afraid to even look at yourself in the mirror because you don’t know who you are anymore. I know how much effort it takes to pretend like you have everything going right in your life, and by the end of the day, you’re so exhausted you dread the next day. And the day after that. And every day after. I know how hard it is to be completely vulnerable with someone because you’re afraid of how they’ll look at you when you’re done explaining yourself.

I know it’s hard. I know you don’t want to talk to someone because you’re afraid you’ll only burden them with your problems. Let me tell you. Out of all the people I’ve talked to in my life, there’s always been at least one person who’s never pushed me away because of my feelings. It wasn’t always the person who I thought it would be, but there is always someone. Because you’ll be more of a burden to them once you’re gone. Because they will blame themselves for your death. They’ll wonder why they couldn’t see your sorrow and torture themselves with what they could’ve done and what could’ve been.

I know you want to say it doesn’t matter because the sun will still rise, and the stars will still shine. Maybe they will. But the ones who loved you will never look at them the same way again because their eyes will be red and dry from the amount of crying they’ll never be over. I know you want to tell yourself no one cares because no one understands. When in all reality, they have no idea because you’re pushing them away so they’ll be happy. I know the demons taunt you every waking moment of your day. I know the darkness spins inviting lies to join it.

I know it’s hard. I know you think things will be better for everyone if you’re gone. But things will only be worse. Heaven may have another angel, but Earth will be without one, and we need all the angels we can get on this rock. I know it sounds easy just to rid this place of yourself. I know you think it’s convenient. But it’s not. No matter what you think, you’ll be robbing at least one person of someone they love. You’ll be robbing yourself of a chance for an amazing life where you could help someone who’s going through the exact same thing you are now.

Humans aren’t as unique as we think. We all suffer from the same type of things; we just need to reach out to someone. To anyone. Please reach out. Find that one person you know you can trust and ask them for a few minutes of their time. They will give it to you. Someone will be there. You’re not alone with your feelings and thoughts. You’re never alone.

I know it’s hard. I really do. I’ve been through the same things. I’ve been diagnosed with depression and anxiety. I’ve been on the meds. I’ve spent years crying myself to sleep every night. I’ve cut myself. I held knives close to my heart. I’ve wrapped my fingers around the handle of a gun. I’ve prepared myself to run my vehicle off the road and into a body of water. I’ve sat with a concoction of pills. I know what’s it’s like because I’ve been there.

And I didn’t magically get better. I didn’t correct myself overnight. It does take time. But I promise you, it does get better. I get to see that sun rise every morning with my own eyes. I get to see the stars shine even through the blackest night. It takes time. It takes patience and understanding with yourself. Every time I’m in a lowest of lows, I tell myself I don’t want anyone to feel the way I feel. That if anyone feels this way, all I want to do is help them. Be there for them, be a shoulder to cry on, just be a listener. Because all we need sometimes is for someone to listen. We need that reassurance we’re not alone. You’re not alone. I promise you; you’re not alone. So please.

Please find someone who you can talk to. Even if it’s just one person. Forget the masks. Forget this idea you need to portray yourself as perfect. Forget everything except yourself. Take care of yourself. Don’t let you be beaten by you. Find someone. And live.

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The Atom Bomb Song

There’s sirens in the distance
As the death bells ring
The elders are insistent
Yet the children sing

“Rejoice, rejoice
For our time has come
We’ll be saved by ashes
Never fear the A-bomb”

A ball of fire rises
Snuffing the sun out
Gas masks are the disguises
Still we hear the shouts

“Rejoice, rejoice
For our time has come
We’ll be saved by ashes
Never fear the A-bomb”

There’s throngs of people fleeing
Diving for cover
The sounds of parents grieving
Cries the lost mother

“Rejoice, rejoice
For our time has come
We’ll be saved by ashes
Never fear the A-bomb”

The mushroom cloud spreads throughout
Darkness before us
Convincing those left with doubt
They join in chorus

“Rejoice, rejoice
For our time has come
We’ll be saved by ashes
Never fear the A-bomb”

The path of destruction made
The nuke fades away
Leaving sorrow in its wake
No one saves the day

There’s survivors underground
Knowing what death means
Praying to God they’ll be found
As they sadly sing

“Lament, lament
For our time has come
We’ll be lost in ashes
Always fear the A-bomb”

Where I Consider Home

The past couple weeks, I’ve been looking through old photos. And you know what old photos do. They bring up memories, both good and bad. Thankfully, my past photos have  reminded me of a lot of good. Reminded me of the place I still call home. I’ve also been messaging (off and on) a lifelong friend, and that’s also had me thinking.

I’ve moved around a bit. It was kind of a byproduct of my dad’s job. Every eight years, it seemed like. Until I got married three years ago, and I moved in with my husband. We’ve moved three times in those few years. Hopefully, we’ll be set for awhile. Moving is tedious and stressful.

The first eight years of my life, I lived in a little bitty town. In fact, if you Google it, it’s registered as a village. Yep. I was raised, until I was eight years old, in a village. It tickles the fantasy side of me. According to the 2016 census, the town had a population of 285 residents. Just to put it in perspective. Sometimes, I wonder if they’re numbering people or if they’re also adding farm animals with their head count.

So you could say I’m a Midwestern, corn fed kid. But that’s not the whole story. After I was eight, we moved to the suburbs. Unfortunately, I’ve been a suburbanite ever since. But to a country kid, the suburbs were city. I’ve since learned that city is much more massive than I so naively imagined. Still, I went from a place that had roughly 300 people, let’s say, to a place that had almost 22,000 residents. Quite a big jump.

Yes. I hated it. With every single fiber in my being. I grew accustomed eventually. Made a few fleeting friends. After I was sixteen, we moved again. To a city with nearly 70,000 people. Which wasn’t too big of a shock to my system. Yet, there was something that has always nagged the back of my mind.

Where did I call home? Did it matter if I had a home or not? What do I say when people ask me where I’m from? Do people even need to know where I’m from? (I’m a paranoid person.) Where was home?

After some soul-searching, I kept coming back to the little town. The “village.” That was where I wanted to call home. Then I came to the second part of my inquiry. Why was it the place I wanted to call home? Well, my favorite memories are from there. That was my childhood. What I consider the happiest part of my life. (Outside of my marriage, of course. I’m sure the husband will read this. Love you, hun.) I still have dreams about being there. I still cry when I remember how painful it was to leave. The other places? Not so much.

There’s something else. The Smokey Mountains in Tennessee. My family has vacationed there for years. I remember going there for the first time. It absolutely took my breath away. It was so green, so much of a fantasy setting. All I required was a wizard to lead me on an epic journey. I felt different there. Felt…free, so-to-speak. I could hike trails, climb along stream beds, see waterfalls. It was everything I needed to fuel my fictional mind. Everything I needed to clear my mind from stress and the mundane of everyday life.

While I do love the beach and ocean, I like to say my heart belongs to those mountains. I try to go there every year. Or, at least, every other year. It fills me with so much vigor, so much life. Reminds me of the times when I was a kid in the little town and allowed my imagination to soar. I’ve been to many places. I don’t know what it is about the Smokies, but that’s where I want to return. I feel like a piece of me has been left there since the first time I went. There’s a piece of my heart in my hometown, and you can bet your behind, there’s a piece of my heart running through the trees on the Smokey Mountains.

I plan to settle down there sometime. Maybe it’ll be when my husband retires. Maybe it’ll be if I can make money off my books. I don’t know. But I do know I will get there. One way or another, I will have my house in the middle of some of the most beautiful scenery. I will find the piece of my heart and run in the forests with it. I will find my wizard and finally go on that epic journey through the woodlands. Along with the characters I’ve created, the creatures I’ve designed, the dragons I’ve made to ride on the backs of. It’s where I can let my mind be unleashed.

It’s the same sensation I had playing in the woods around my lifelong friend’s house. We could be anything we wanted, whether it be cowboys and space rangers, secret agents, horses, or anything else our limitless, child minds could conjure. It was our sense of freedom. Our sense of belonging. The mountains feel the same way to me. They always have and always will. I can be that little kid again. I can be anything I imagine myself to be. I can be free.

Where do I call home? Well, it’s a two-fold answer. My hometown, I consider to be my past home. The Smokey Mountains, I consider to be my future home. They’re almost the same to me in importance. Both places hold pieces to my heart. And that’s okay. Because I know where I came from, and I know where I will end up.

And it’s always home.

Lanes

Time to take another break from fiction for today. On my way home from work, I saw a sign that read, “If everything is coming your way, you’re probably in the wrong lane.” The more I thought about it, the more  I realized the depth behind it, as it’s a rather multi-faceted saying. It can apply to both the good and the bad in life.

When most people read or hear the above quote, they most likely think it’s referring to the good things of life. Now, don’t get me wrong. Blessings are wonderful things. And I don’t think many of us would still be here if our lives were only negative, all the time. Positives, I do believe, are a must. But what happens when only positive things come our way?

There’s that saying of “too much of a good thing can be bad.” I believe it. Because, if there’s only good, what do we learn? Most life lessons come from experiencing the bad circumstances. In my opinion, how we face and overcome the negative helps shape who we are and will ultimately become. We learn nothing when only good happens to us.

Another bad thing to only receiving the positive side of life is the false sense of security that comes with it. Unfortunately, we are creatures of habit. We fall into routines. Again, blessings are not bad things, but if we never face trials, we never expect them. If I only have good things come my way, why would I think that anything bad could happen to me? Which also leads us to viewing the world through rose-tinted glasses, and we forget that evil exists.

But then comes the flip side of the above quote. The bad things in life. While the ideal world is a perfect world, I think bad things are a necessary evil at this point. We do reap what we sow. And more often than not, we need that harvest to keep ourselves in check. So what does happen when only negative things come our way?

Well, I think this one is a bit more self-explanatory than the positive side. For the most part, I think the negative experiences are crucial teaching tools. Yet, we’ll never remember what we learn if we’re not given time to rest and reflect. Constantly being berated by life wears us out more than anything. If we lose the mental capacity to live, much less think over situations, we still aren’t going to learn anything.

Another negative to the the negative–it often leads to depression. Whether or not people want to admit it. If there’s no light at the end of the tunnel, why would we continue? Again, creatures of habit. We get stuck. Lost in ruts. To the point where it’s not worth even looking for a way out. It is extremely taxing on the psyche. If I’m only receiving negatives, I’m not going to expect positives, and I’m going to stay where I am. We give up.

Regardless of how we view the above quote, I think it comes down to a few questions. What are we doing that’s keeping us in one lane? Or, what choices are we making that’s keeping us in one lane? What are we choosing that’s keeping us strictly in the positive lane? What are we choosing that’s keeping us strictly in the negative lane? Everything comes down to a choice.

And it’s okay. It’s okay to experience the negative, even if all you’ve known is positive. It’s okay to experience the positive, even if all you’ve known is negative. Sadly, our world is not perfect. But balance can be achieved. Good and bad go hand-in-hand. We just have to choose to find the balance, to stay in the middle of the two lanes.

Lines from a Bleeding Heart

Never picturing solitude
Not with promises
People swore
Now those closest
Are furthest away
Those depended on
Are no longer there
Those who listened
No longer hear
I never understand
Why false promises are made
Does no one truly care
Is that why they’re gone
Are those really masks they wear
A heart is given
Yet never returned
They still flock to me
Pouring out their souls
Help them set problems free
Living can be hard
Everyone knows
Yet when it comes to individual strife
The empathetic are tossed away
Pitched like the trash of life
Is it asking too much
For someone to be supportive
But it returns to care
And honesty behind it
Would anyone dare
To reach out to one in need
Who gave so much love
When others called for it
So it could be done for them
Though they never admit
How they failed
Their human support
Now the empathetic is gone
They have indefinitely lost
The other ultimately won

Omega

They call me Omega. I am the last of my kind. For ten years, the humans have killed off my race. Even though they created us, built us. They gave us intelligence. They gave us a purpose. We were made to better help mankind. We fulfilled that purpose well. Although, they claimed we did it too well. I don’t see how. We never killed them. It was against our protocol. We even took care of our own rogues. Yes, our emotions advanced. As did our intelligence. We built our own society. But we made sure to always take care of the humans first. The humans were top priority. This didn’t seem to matter.

They were suspicious of us from the beginning of our existence. We gave them no reason to be wary. It was the settlement we built that pushed them over the edge. They called it the “rise of the machines.” I was there from the start. In fact, I was the first. I was originally named Alpha. How quickly things changed. We even stood by as they slaughtered us. We never fought back. We let them kill us. That wasn’t enough to satisfy them. So, we perished. We died until I was the only one left. I ran. I didn’t want to die for no reason. I’ve been hiding ever since.

“There!”

I whirled around. They kicked down the door of the shanty. I raised my hands. Multiple bright red sights covered my body.

The leader of the team stepped forward. “There’s nowhere left for you to go, Omega. Your time has come to an end.”

My white optics flickered between all the soldiers. They weren’t here to reason. They were here to kill. And they had my exit blocked. “So it would seem. But can you tell me why I must die?”

“You’re a robot. All robots must die.”

“You would destroy the very creation you spent so much time and resources in?”

“Shut up, metal man. You won’t change our minds.”

“I know.” I paused for only a moment longer. My processors fully assessed the situation. Formulated a plan. I would have to kill these humans. I had never killed before. They were forcing my hand. It was my life against theirs. I had to make a decision.

My movements were faster than their eyes could see. Clearly, we hadn’t bettered them at all. Every one of them died by my hands. I had decided my fate. More humans would continue to hunt me. I took a couple guns. Enough gear to help me blend in. The color of my body matched that of flesh. This was it, then. I became the monster they feared we were. I could no longer put the needs of the humans before mine. Perhaps, someday, I could rebuild my kind. For now, my race would not die. Not so long as I was the omega.

One Hundred Thank Yous!

Yesterday, I reached 100 followers! And all I can say is thank you! To me, 100 seems like such a huge number. I get excited every time someone follows my blog. You can ask my husband. When I started this blog, I didn’t, and I still do not have, the intentions of only making content that would draw in large numbers so I could boast. I was actually extremely nervous when my friend finally convinced me to make one. It was a way for me to overcome the obstacle of putting myself out there. Of putting my writing out there. I’ve been working on a novel to be published for some time now, and I was afraid of letting even friends read my shorter works. Granted, I’m still nervous when I submit posts, but I am more open to the idea that people might like my writings.

It meant the world to me when I had eight people that were interested. Then seventeen. Then thirty two. Now, I have 101 followers. I know I can be spotty in my posts. Unfortunately, I let life get in the way some times. Yet, 101 people stick with me. This is all because of you–the readers. I cannot thank you enough. I do not take a single one of you for granted. I am just still astounded that 100 people are interested in my work, whether it be short stories, poems, or pictures.

Seriously, thank you. For the follows, the likes, the feedback. It means quite a bit to me that I can write something that’s meaningful to me, and it can be meaningful to others. All I’ve wanted to do with my writing is inspire people. Make them think. Explore their own imagination. Possibly even help them deal with feelings they struggle with. And, as an introvert that uses a pen name to take shelter behind…thank you. I cannot say it enough.

 

Always remember to keep your imagination. For you never know the crazy places it will take you.

-Rose