Taking Writing to New Heights

I love to write. I like writing about things I have actual knowledge about, things I’ve done or gone through. My last few blog posts have been really heavy. And although writing is a release for me, it can get demanding of my time, just like any other thing I undertake. Sometimes my mind goes into overload. I think about putting my fibromyalgia book together, writing on my side project book, and how although I have enough content right now for a successful poetry book, it has been neglected.

I’ve gotten a chance to do so much since my year began. I’ve celebrated a year as a blogger, gained great exposure writing for BIZCATALYST360, decided I drop Vocal.media, improved my editing skills considerably, and most of all, witnessed words come to life as part of the cast of two plays with Mor-Shy Productions. My new venture, tentatively titled New Heights, has taken over my life. The ideas and words have flowed beautifully for the last few months. Plus, I still have a few ideas where my first two books are concerned.

Even though I’m busy, I can feel myself trying to become complacent. I believe the first step to avoiding a pitfall is recognizing it. I’ve had a few setbacks with my health including a hamstring injury, but I’m trying to remain productive. Some days I write non-stop for 8 hours, some days I write for a few hours with breaks in between, and others I don’t write at all. My problems come when I take several days to rest my mind and two days turn into a week of no work.

I can’t be afraid of taking a break from slugging it out in the trenches of my mind. With Chronic Fatigue, I need a full day or two to get out of my thoughts and just breath. My novel, “New Heights”, which I started in July, is almost seven chapters in. I don’t know how long it’s supposed to take to write your first novel but I think I’m either excelling or right on schedule.

This post is my way of venting. It’s ok for us all, even writers, to vent once in a while. It loosens the grip our overly active minds have on us. When people come to me with problems or they’ve been hurt by a significant other, I suggest that they get a journal. Writing things down, believe it or not, can get the issues out of your head and/or heart, and onto paper where, for me, I’m able to see them clearer and may even find a solution quicker.

You never know. Try it and see if it works for you. I know I feel a lot better and my heart is a bit lighter since writing this post. I feel like I can exhale. In fact, I did. I hope you do too. Thanks for being part of my therapy just by reading my thoughts. My hope is that my words positively touches someone and impacts their life. As I put my thoughts out there for the world to see, my goal is to move people. If I can change one person’s path, then I have succeeded.

Be blessed everybody‚̧.

Much love,

Val

#vfurrmstheblogger #val #valeriefurrcollins #mypoeticlifebook #mypoeticlifebookwordpress #valeriemariecollins

(I do not own copywrites to photo used)

For Anthony: Part 2 of Suicide Prevention Week

Part two

As I watched my cousin, Anthony Noland, go live last week on Facebook talking about his experience with mental illness and suicide, I couldn’t help but remember what I went through. He wanted to share his experiences so others would know they’re not alone and that there are options other than suicide. His bravery inspired me to be brave enough to share what I went through as well. So here goes.

Following my first suicide attempt, I didn’t go to therapy. I didn’t want to talk about it. My marriage continued to crumble and I felt like it was my fault. I thought I was nothing, unworthy, not enough. I gave all I had to save my marriage and ended up empty.So, I continued to medicate my pain. But eventually, y’all, I was just done! Done trying, done crying, done begging, done giving, done being me, just DONE. One day, I woke up ready to die. I was in so much pain emotionally, physically, and spiritually but when I prayed, I felt as if God had abandoned me.

From my perspective, when you’re in that state of mind when life has driven you to that point, you are not being selfish, crazy, unreliable, or trying to hurt anyone. Actually, you rationalize how loved ones will be better off without you.

In my mind, I told myself, my mom or oldest sister would raise my kids because I named them in my living will and insurance policy. My then-husband would be free of me. I will be honest with you, I thought my mom wouldn’t have to worry about me anymore. Because I had no real connections, (at the time) to any of my siblings, I felt they’d be better off without me too.

So, I sent my two babies outside to play, locked the door, closed off the kitchen, put towels under all the doors, turned the gas on and sat there crying and breathing it in. I could feel myself getting dizzy. Then, my baby girl knocked on the door. I still remember what God put in her mouth to say, “Mommy, I need you”. I had to go to my baby. Her words saved my life! Again, I never told anyone until years later.

For the next twenty years, I was fine. But on the 25th of January, 2018. yes, one year ago, I attempted to take my life. Why? Well, several things led to my actions. First, I attempted to wean myself off my depression medication without doctors orders. Then health-wise, I almost died twice; my dating life had been awful; bad family issues lingered; my boyfriend broke up with me in a text, and I lost meaningful friendships.

I felt like my whole world had been stripped from me. So, that evening, I wrote a letter to certain people and tried to pour half a ninety-day supply of morphine pills down my throat. I’m not sure how my son picked up on what I had planned, but he caught me and he and my mom wrestled the pills from me.

Afterward, I felt ashamed because my oldest brother died of an accidental overdose eight years before. You would think, how could I do that to my mom and family? But I thought it through. I rationalized leaving my loved ones in better care so that my mind would accept my decision to die. In reality, nothing makes dying at your own hands ok.

Really, all you see at the time is your hurt and pain. In your mind, it is greater than any force big or small. You don’t even see God in your situation. If by the Lord’s grace, you fail to kill yourself, you may do like I did and not tell anyone what you did or what you’re going through. That’s where most of us go wrong!

I didn’t think anyone would understand. But now I know that someone on the outside looking in can often give you better insight than those in your daily life. We need to remove the stigma surrounding mental illness and therapy so that those suffering can feel comfortable about getting the help they need. NO ONE should be made to feel crazy because they need help or medication to treat mental health issues.

Depression can be treated by medications that will return balance to the chemical in your brain that can cause it, called serotonin. Don’t wait until you are completely out of options when early treatment can possibly save your life. Take it from me, whether it be a friend, family member, therapist, or hotline, talk to someone. Get your problems off your chest so you can let go and get back to living your life. Writing also helps me. I use to journal a lot but now I blog.

And finally, none of us should ever hesitate to call the suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or if you’re anything like me, and rather text, use #BeThe1To to chat confidentially. Therapy works. Speak up. Speak out. Just never remain silent and don’t ever feel ashamed.

Much love,

#vfurrmstheblogger

#mypoeticlifebook #wordpress #valeriefurrcollins #mypoeticlife

For Anthony-Part One Suicide Prevention

(This is a two-part post)

September is National Suicide Prevention Month. For those of us who have attempted suicide, this month can be difficult. Let’s face it, suicide is just a hard subject to talk about. Why? Because it may bring back the hurt, pain, and feelings of depression that brought you to that point in the first place. Plus, in our communities, the subject is taboo. Because we don’t talk about it, suicide is now affecting our children. Sadly, children as young as nine-years-old get to the point where they feel there is no other answer than taking their precious, young lives due to being bullied in school.

Depression is an evil demon. It takes over every aspect of your life. It steals from you. I didn’t realize it then, but my depression started during my sheltered childhood. During my early adult life, it disappeared. But it came back full force right before I got married and has been with me ever since. It changes you. I transformed from the fun-loving, joking, kind, making people laugh person to being a short-tempered, unhappy, and sad version of myself. But I tried my best to remain optimistic. Soon my circumstances caused me to become manic. My depression was so severe I was on several medications. The pills never really helped, but I kept taking them.

My partner’s infidelity, being hundreds of miles from home, having no family or friends to lean on, all compounded my feelings of worthlessness and low self-esteem. I didn’t dare tell anyone back home the hell I was living. I thought I deserved it. I really believed because I was constantly cheated on that I was not enough for him or any man. So, I made sure to go to every doctor’s appointment so I wouldn’t run out of narcotics. Midrin was a red capsule used to treat migraines. It never worked unless I took too many which was often. I abused every narcotic I got my hands on trying to numb the emotional, mental, and physical pain.

The first time I tried to take my life, I was drained, emotionless, and exhausted. I had no strength left to fight. I waited until my spouse was about an hour away from getting off work and I put my babies down for a nap and kissed them goodbye. I came downstairs and threw about 20 Midrin down my throat. I remember them not wanting to go down all at once, so I had to spit them out and swallow a couple at a time. I laid down and felt the fading effect quickly. When I woke up in the middle of the night, I was disappointed to still be alive. I never told my then-husband or family until years later.

(To be continued)