Because sometimes the view from halfway down isn’t the same…

Stones,

This very topic fills me with so much anxiety to discuss but it threatens to rip me at my very seams if I don’t. I can only tell you know what I know.

Included in this blog post is the link to a segment of the 15th episode of the 6th season of the American adult animated web television series “BoJack Horseman”.I highly recommend it. If you can get past the very superficial focus that half the characters are animals and the other half are humans and you don’t try to compare it every other “raunchy” adult cartoon then I promise you won’t be disappointed. I could go on and on about how amazing it but I know I’d drop spoilers. But I digress.

Without going into too many particulars, this poem entitled “The View From Halfway Down” talks about the topic of suicide from a very interesting perspective. The character jumped from a bridge and goes from acceptance to terror and regret. Even if you don’t give the show a chance I do recommend at least listening to the poem. It was nominated for a Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program which is quite impressive considering some of the content.

My point, I think, is I wonder if people who have failed suicide attempts share the same sentiments. It’s kind of a final decision if everything goes as planned. How many times do you get to replay the final scene? Rehearsal is one thing but actually replaying the final scene over and over until you get it right is, well morbid. Most would like to believe that one suicide attempt is enough. Sometimes it takes a few to get the point across. Sometimes you get well and the moment passes for good, and other times the curtain closes in finality.

I think I’m somewhere in the middle. I’ve had multiple suicide attempts. Most were passive, kind of like swallowing a handful of pills just to see what would happen in my teenage years. Nothing ever came from it. My half attempt that was documented was when I took 10 Ativan to ease a panic attack and that did not go well. Misinformation kills. I thought that benzodiazepines and alcohol was the only way to kill you, but apparently they can relax your chest to the point where you aren’t breathing. My first documented suicide attempt was on August 24, 2014. That date is branded into my brain because this was when I learned how overdosing really worked. The thing with overdosing on medication is that it’s not always instantaneous like in the movies. So once the intense wave emotion led to the act passes and you think you failed once again but overdoses do have consequences especially on the body.

My second documented suicide attempt was on Lithium which is an old school medication with nasty side effects. When used properly blood tests are still needed. This was my view from halfway down. As I stated before overdosing isn’t instant and there will be side effects, some very noticeable some not so much. Lithium was very noticeable. It wasn’t immediate but it definitely hit me like a ton of bricks. For someone suffering who suffered from suicidal thoughts for most of my life, it was a very terrifying and inconvenient time to realize that there was a huge possibility that I didn’t want to die. Not saying that I don’t sometimes still want to end but that experience definitely makes me reevaluate going through with it again. Well, that’s one of the things.

What most people don’t understand about being suicidal until you’ve been suicidal is that no one besides yourself should be the reason you are here. I’ve had people tell me time and time again that I should be here because of this person and that person and think of all the people I would hurt.

First of all, can you imagine how messed up in the head someone has to be to believe that by ceasing to exist that they would be easing the pain of others? I mean someone who genuinely believes this. Now imagine how crappy of a human being you have to be to guilt-trip them into thinking that your needs and wants supersede theirs. Just for anyone who wants to claim selfishness.

Second of all, and most important, it is impossible and extremely unhealthy to make someone else your reason for living. It’s not healthy to tie your reason for existing to another person because no one should have that weight on their shoulders. No one should have to live with that shotgun to their head, feeling like if they make the wrong move then the person they are bound to be liable to call it quits. No one should have to live like that. It’s not fair to anyone involved.

Suicide isn’t a perfect solution. To many, it’s not a solution at all except by definition. People say that things will get better but that’s no guarantee either. When I got back to my dark and twisty place, I think from a very logical standpoint of there’s always a chance I’ll get it wrong. The odds that I’ll end up a vegetable for the rest of my life is pretty strong. In addition to that, there is always a chance that halfway through I’ll change my mind but what if by that point it’s too late and I’ve done too much damage. The last thing I want to do is the struggle in vain. Gasping for air that’s just not there, panicked in alone.

I don’t know, that’s just me and I can only tell you what I know.

I hope I have offered you guys a think piece. Let me know what you think in the comment below.

Until next we meet,

S.Hollisway

Because sometimes moms matter…

Stones,

For anyone that is a mother, have you ever been told it’s not about you anymore? Have you been told that it’s all about the baby or the children come first? That your time is over?

Well, let me be the first (or second) to tell you that that is a big steaming pile of crap.

Hear me out!

If you think about it, a child’s first connection is with her mother. They help form their view of the world. So how can you expect them to take care of a child when they aren’t taking care of themselves. You can’t pour from an empty cup. I know I use that saying a lot because it’s true. I have a lot of experience draining myself for the sake of other people.

I remember when I had my son. I was already diagnosed with mental health issues and couldn’t take my medication for 9 months. I was depressed I was suicidal and for most of my pregnancy, I was alone. I was barely coping or keeping it together. I got into a situation with CPS and I couldn’t be with my baby for 11 days. Everyone expected me to be a robot until this situation was over. I wasn’t allowed to go through postpartum or go see a doctor’s determination on what meds I could safely breastfeed on. No one cared. My son became more important.

That’s not to say that he wasn’t important. Of course, he was important. He was and still is the most important person in my life. But how could I be trusted to take care of my son when I didn’t have the time or resources to take care of myself. People are so quick to pick the flower and forget about the roots. Here are some quick statistics for you:

Did you know…

Approximately 70% to 80% will experience, at a minimum, the ‘baby blues’. Many of these women will experience the more severe condition of postpartum depression or a related condition.

The reported rate of clinical postpartum depression among new mothers is between 10% to 20%.

One recent study found that 1 in 7 women may experience PPD in the year after giving birth. With approximately 4 million live births occurring each year in the United States, this equates to almost 600,000 postpartum depression diagnoses.

https://www.postpartumdepression.org/resources/statistics/

I do encourage you to finish the article in its entirety because it does include a lot of helpful information. I also want to inform you that this article was written early in 2019 so can you imagine how those numbers have grown? I can say from personal experience that the mental health field isn’t competent or compassionate towards women. Not all of them mind you, but I’ve encountered enough of them. One time I had a doctor suggest taking Lithium because there was a 1 in 5 chance my firstborn child would be stillborn or serious birth defects. A 20 percent chance was okay with him.

I say all of that to say this. Of course children matter but mama’s matter too. There is no more or less here because I feel as though they are equal. We worry so much about our children, but we need to make sure their moms are okay too.

Until Next we meet,

S.Hollisway

Scarred and Faceless

Because sometimes if it walks like a duck…

Stones,

Life in the United States at this time is distressing. Every time you turn on the News on log on to the internet there is something sickening going on. The issue we face now is that the line has clearly been drawn in the sand. There is no straddling the fence, you have to pick aside. Whichever side you choose, there is something that needs to be discussed.

Breonna Taylor

I honestly still don’t understand how this is controversial. I know there are typically grey areas in all things but this everything is perfectly clear. She was murdered. She was murdered in cold blood and due to incompetence. It’s sad, infuriating, exasperating, sickening, and almost confusing as to why her murders have not been jailed yet. Had Brett Hankison, Jon Mattingly, and Myles Cosgrove “accidentally” killed a white woman, the police coverage would have been extensive. Let’s be honest, had Breonna Taylor or her boyfriend Kenneth Walker been white, this situation would not have happened in the first place. Did I happen to mention that the people they were supposedly looking for in the first place were in custody? Yeah, nothing about this case makes sense.

I’m not a prosecutor though so it’s not my job to render a decision on who is guilty or not. I am but a lowly spectator watching the madness unfold. However, I do believe that we can no longer depend on the police to protect us. They have shown us time and time again that blue only protects the blue. And before anyone tries to defend #NotAllCops think for a second. If there are “good cops” then they would stop at nothing to discard the bad cops. But we all know from the George Floyd situation that that is not the case. People don’t like to make waves, the bystander effect exist, and mob mentality is a huge problem.

We need to keep the focus on getting her justice. We shouldn’t let the fire die down because as we can see once news coverage dies down everything is swept under the rug. Derek Chauvin wasn’t indicted with the murder of George Floyd. Kenneth Walker was freed but now that coverage has died down, nothing became of it. He got indicted for tax evasion before the murder of a human being. This cannot continue. We have to let our government know that we will not be silent. That we will let our voices be heard.

My Call to Action…

Keep the conversation going. Do not stop until real progress is made outside of the media. Make people care. Make people listen. Dismantle the system. Starting with Breonna Taylor.

Call 502.595.2300 and ask (demand) that they arrest the cops, Brett Hankison, Jonathan Mattingly, and Miles Cosgrove, who killed Breonna Taylor.

Until Next We Meet,

S.Hollisway

Scarred and Faceless

Because sometimes “No” is necessary…

Stones,

“No” is a full sentence. Use it.”

-Amy Landino

I have a confession to make: I am a people pleaser.

It has been lessened as I grew older but the tendency is still there. This wonderful tendency results in me putting myself into some very interesting situations.

This makes saying “No” very difficult for me. I always feel like my “No’s” warrant an explanation. But in reality, they don’t. None do.

“No” does not require validation and your reasons are your own. In fact, “No” is essential to mental health.

Think about it. How many times have we spread ourselves paper-thin for fear of using “No” that we couldn’t take on any more? How many times have we been taken advantage of or sacrificed our sanity for the sake of doing more for others that we don’t have the time for ourselves?

You can not pour from an empty cup!

You can not give what you don’t have.

I like to remind myself of this before I put myself in these situations. I like to think that it will make saying “No” easier. Sometimes it does, sometimes I lose the battle. I tend to think in extremes, like black and white thinking. I think that “No” is for extreme cases but the little things matter too.

My recent encounter when I should have used the word “No” early on was on a date that I had. Nothing illegal happened but I definitely should have said no earlier. It was awkward and uncomfortable and I shouldn’t have sacrificed my comfort for his feelings.

You don’t have to spent emotionally or physically to use your “No”. The little “No’s” help build up the confidence for situations that require the big “No”. Then there are no people taking advantage of you and no way to be hurt.

Well, that’s the theory. In a perfect world that’s how pain would end. People wouldn’t be afraid to be vulnerable because when someone would step on a boundary a quick “No” would either end a relationship or the relationship would blossom into a healthy tree of respect. What an easy life that would be.

Until next we meet,

S. Hollisway

Scarred and Faceless

The video I got the quote from. Check out the other 34 tips. This video is not sponsored in any way, shape, or form. I am not affiliated with her in anyway, just a fan.

Because sometimes all lives don’t matter…

I feel like I will get so much backlash for this and quite frankly I don’t care.

The latest world events have weighed so heavily on me. I feel like I’ve built up so much outrage that I haven’t been able to articulate and if I don’t now then it’ll spill out of the seams.

Black lives matter. All lives won’t matter until Black lives matter because black lives ARE apart of all lives. Anyone who ignores this fact is racist and fall victim to their implicit biases. It’s not a matter of opinion anymore. It was never a matter of opinion. It was a truth distorted by the loud, strategic oppressor. 

Some people, however, specifically non-people of color, specifically white people, try to discredit this fact because the narrative that is unfolding doesn’t suit their liking. Even while writing this I know that people will claim that I am being racist or biased or that I have my agenda because that narrative suits them best. I am not racist by any stretch of the imagination. I would almost consider myself “racially biased”.

Let’s think about it, shall we?

The definition of the word biased would be, “a particular tendency, trend, inclination, feeling, or opinion, especially one that is preconceived or unreasoned” or “unreasonably hostile feelings or opinions about a social group; prejudice” (dictionary.com).

The operative word in the definition being any derivates of the word “unreasonable”. History and a distinct and predictable pattern of perfidy would make being biased an impossibility. People of color are painstakingly aware of the influence that people in power have. Even more so, they are aware of the power that they wield and we all know that with great power comes great responsibility.

Read the next part carefully.

I am not condemning all white people.

Let me say that again for the people in the back.

I am not condemning all white people.

I am condemning the WHITE PRIVILEGE.

What I am saying is that white people aren’t doing enough to dismantle the systemic oppression that is racism. For all those ignoramuses, yes IGNORAMUSES, that suggests that racism ceased with President Obama or popular black athletes and performers, you are welcome to leave now!

I will not waste valuable brain cells explaining to you the reality of living in white America as a black person when you are clearly the #KarenofEverything.

For those who act as if racism and implicit and external don’t biases exist, I am thoroughly confused. You under that plot of X-men and Zootopia perfectly, but are too dense to see the parallel to life? I find this very highly unlikely.

I have to wonder where the disconnect is. Is it because pro-white means anti-black and people of color so vice versa is the assumption? Is it because the media has helped color your perception of black and other people of color? Is it that you do not experience the very oppression that you are so dismissive of?

Is it the way we protest?

Well, we tried peaceful sit-ins and that didn’t work. We tried Nat Turner’s was and that wasn’t to your liking. Martin Luther King Jr, Malcolm X, Colin Kaepernick, nothing seems to suit you. Maybe it’s the protesting that the real issue.

Whatever the reason, it’s not enough. We are no longer accepting your excuses. We drew the lines firmly in the sand with our bloodshed in the name of being an “American”. Before the oh so familiar idiotic phrase “If you don’t like it, go back where you from” leave your diluted racist little fingertips let me offer a history lesson. The Oppressor captured and brought our ancestors here, emphasis on the word “brought”. No one kept a receipt. We aren’t going anywhere. Your homework is to look up Black Wall Street because our utopia burned down too.

We are now united. Do you want to find out what we can do standing together as one?

Until next we meet,

S.Hollisway

Pick up Scarred and Faceless

Because sometimes you are the toxic one…

Stones,

Day 3046 of the Covid19 quarantine: I bought a stuffy. Her name is Elle. She is my only friend.

No seriously though, I hope everyone is being safe, social distancing, masks and all that. I am considered essential so yeah, no break for me. Which is fine because when I’m working thousands of ideas run through my mind.

Some call it ADD, I call it inspiration.

So people can suck. People can be cruel and evil and just plain mean. Hurt people hurt people, this we know. Toxic people are detrimental to the health of those around them.

What happens when that person is you?

Now lower the pitchforks and torches and hear me out.

I am not suggesting that everyone who is toxic is malicious. I’m simply stating that everyone deals with traumas in their own ways. Everyone has been through things and has suffered because let’s be honest, life sucks. Although everyone’s pain is valid, the way we react to trauma can be problematic. It’s not logical to hurt someone because you are hurting. Most people don’t plan on. The issue comes to play when people act as if their pain is bigger and more traumatic or matters more than another person.

We as people don’t get to quantify trauma. It’s not possible and it’s unfair. We also don’t get to mentally and emotionally bleed everywhere. That is misplaced aggression and anger and is also unacceptable. There needs to be a balance between the validation of feelings and respect for others. No trauma trumps any others because we are all different and the same trauma could impact everyone differently.

So my call to action is…

Reevaluate your relationships. Reevaluate your positions in the lives of others. If you find that you are the toxic one, be aware of that. Make a conscious effort to get help to change it.

There was a person in my life that I miss very much. We ended horribly because of me and my actions. I may never get to repair said relationship because of my past traumas that leaked into unaccountability. That’s on me for not healing.

Being aware of you crap and fixing your cap are two very different things.

Until Next We Meet,

S.Hollisway

Scarred and Faceless Here

Because sometimes trust is shattered…

Stones,

Good evening as I am writing this after 10:30. Writing is a struggle. Like I love it and it’s my passion but it is not easy. Sometimes I wonder if I even measure up to “actual writers” because I mostly do editorial pieces and I don’t have a super-strong following. But this is my beginning and while building up my consistency, I know that these are the hoops that I have to go through to earn an established writing career and it’ll be well worth it when my words are used to heal people.

But I digress…

The topic of the week is trust. It is such a delegate fragile thing that we take for granted. When flourished it as mighty as an Oak. When broken it’s strong enough to destroy an entire city and the neighboring town. Trust can be salvaged but it will never be the same. It’s like a mirror that has been broken. It can be pieced back together but you can still see the cracks in the reflections.

I’m sure all this information has been regurgitated on one platform or another. Here is something that I’ve been contemplating, how many cracks are enough cracks? When do all the second chances stop? When is the breaking point?

I know I have written previous posts similar but this one has me truly perplexed. When you’ve noticed an established pattern that appears to have no end in sight, what makes you stay? What makes you think that trust can ever be repaired, especially when all the attempts are one-sided?

I speak from a place of pain and experience.

I’ve been in situations where I was giving too many undeserving chances. For the sake of transparency, most of my relationships were like that. Abusive, manipulative, unfulfilling, and one-sided. A good part of my marriage was like that. I often ask myself why I stayed so long.

Misery loves company but suffering doesn’t make you a martyr.

At some point you have to see that a mirror with too many cracks is pointless. It’s impossible to see through it, or a future for that matter.

I say all that to say this…

How many cracks before a mirror is rendered useless? I urge you to take stock of how many useless mirrors you have.

Until Next We Meet,

S.Hollisway

Purchase Scarred and Faceless

My new logo!

Because sometimes chasing dreams and motherhood don’t mix…

Stones,

First of all, I got a new logo that included in the post. Let me know what you think. I think it came out fantastic. It makes me really happy and proud as an author.

But back to this weeks epiphany.

So for those of you who don’t know, I gave birth to a little monster by the name of Oscar. I have talked about him in previous posts more notably my first Odes post here. He is one a very large part of why I am still alive today. I love him with every breath in me. As much as I love him, motherhood is absolutely terrifying.

No seriously, there should be some sort of test because I’m positive that I would have failed. I can honestly say that I have NO idea what I’m doing. I love my little monster and I would do anything for him so he’ll have a better life. But as far as a plan, yeah I’m kind of clueless. My basic strategy is to give him a childhood that he doesn’t have to heal from. That is basically my sole purpose in life.

The only issue with being a parent and especially a mother is that people expect mothering to be your only goal and sole purpose in life. I’m not sad to admit, that it’s not mine.

I have other dreams.

I have other goals.

There are a lot of things I want to do and achieve.

It’s not selfish of me to want to be more than a mother as long as I’m not neglecting my child.

This goes for EVERY mother. You are so much more than just a mother. Don’t let motherhood be your only credentials.

There are so many things I want to do. I am a writer. That is a passion of mine that I want to share with the world. No one should be limited because of a title.

Until next we meet,

S.Hollisway

Because sometimes pain needs to be changed…

Stones,

Never have I felt so inspired to write as I have in the last few weeks. Today I would like to tell you two very different stories.

There once was a woman, she had been through hell. She was battered, bruised, and broken. She had been wounded fatally left for dead. She didn’t have much family. She didn’t have many friends. She had been assaulted and violated in the worse way. She was an addict and tried to stay clean for her son. When no doctor or pill could end the pain, she surrendered.

But there was another woman

She had been through a lot. Her heart was worn out but she refused to let it stunt her ability to love. Her body was left for dead but she refused to die. She did have much support, but she cherished the support she did have. Although she had been hurt and violated, she guarded herself and pressed on. She was an addict in recovery and made the choice every day for her son. When no doctor or pill could end the pain, she set herself free. She didn’t need to be fixed, because she wasn’t broken. She healed herself.

I’m sure you figured by now that this is the same woman. The same story, a very abbreviated version of mine, just told from two very different perspectives. I watched a Ted Talk, that I will link it at the end of the post but it was very eye-opening. Basically, we as humans are unreliable narrators. That does not mean that what we feel and think isn’t valid. But it’s just that we can only tell the story from our perspective. When we only see something from our lens, we close ourselves off to other possibilities. The talk is amazing and I don’t do it justice so I highly recommend you check it out.

So here is my Call To Action…

Do not limit your perspective looking through your rose-colored lenses. Keep your mind open to all the possibilities. Even if you have to write out all the different possible ways other then what you are sure of. It will feel unnatural and unbearably unfair at times, but so are parts of life. Use this as a stepping stone to becoming a more multifaceted being.

Until Next We Speak

S.Hollisway

Link to Ted Talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_MQr4lHm0c

Because sometimes Odes are due (Part 2)…

Stones,

This will be my second post in a row which is great momentum to start and hopefully, I can continue it. I don’t know if any of you remember my original Odes post. I will link it here. It was all about my son who will be 4 soon and about how much I wanted to be better for him. Well it’s been quite a while since that post and I’m still not where I want to me but I am one step closer. He will always be my driving force.

I am learning, however, that I shouldn’t put that much pressure on his mere existence. It has to be my choice and my decision. But it’s always good to have people in your corner cheering you on. Oscar will always have a permanent space on my bleachers. I’m learning to accept that that’s okay. I’m learning that I have other cheerleaders and that is also okay.

My little sister is one of my biggest cheerleaders.

Kyesha

Background information, I am the oldest of 5 children and the middle of 11 I believe. My sister and I who share the same mother and father were really close when I was younger. Even though I was older she was always the protector. We kind of grew about when she became a “cool girl” which was through no real fault of her own. We had rough patches like sisters do but she was always there. She went through a lot, from having children at a young age to supporting a child who spent a year and a half confined to the hospital after having multiple surgeries, to tragically losing the father of her oldest two children. She healed and now she has 5 beautiful children and is an amazing mother.

She’s always been the “mom” sibling. Before we got a “real” adult, we go to her for advice, a reality check, and support. Even with 5 kids, she seems to have a neverending supply. I love her so much and one of the reasons I exist is to make her proud of me. She has earned a seat in the bleachers of my life.

My third cheerleader is one of my best friends in the entire world. She is a fireball.

Alissa

Background information: We met at a place where minds and bodies go to relax and heal. We bonded immediately which is rare because I don’t typically get along with females and neither does she. But we bonded as quick as Meredith and Cristina did in Shondaland. For the longest time, I never knew the benefits of having female relationships. They never seemed genuine instead full of relational aggression. She is the exception. She is wonderful in every way. She loves just like me; hard, passionate, and unconditionally. If you are lucky enough to crash into her you become overwhelmed by her “halo” for lack of a better term. She is kind, warm and supportive but will tear your throat out if need be. She will have your back in the worst times and reign a vicious reality check on you when it’s needed. The best of both worlds.

She has done her very best to keep me afloat. I want to do everything I can to make her proud and pay her back for all her kindness with spades.

These are my cheerleaders for now and I hope to see my cheer section keep growing. I love this and I love accepting support and love for those closest to me. I will no longer be held down by who I used to be. It would have been easier to write a poem but sometimes words need to be written out.

Pain didn’t change me, I changed my pain.

-Icon for Hire “Demons”

Until next we meet,

S.Hollisway