I really need to talk about stereotypes because I’ve been truthfully thinking about them a lot lately. Like, blondes are more fun or women are worse drivers than men or men should not cry. I think a lot of us surpass stereotypes especially when it comes to things that define us. Stereotypes are just convenient for us as a society to pigeonhole people to what we think they are or should be like.

For instance, would you have expected me, and author and educated woman, to ever have an intervention which then led her to rehab? I don’t not fit this stereotypical alcoholic character. I grew up in a great home, I am well educated, I never went to jail or had a problem with the law, and I never let it interrupt my daily activities such as work. But I am an alcoholic and that was hard for me to believe because I did not fit the stereotype which at the end of the day, was not conducive to me in my recovery from alcoholism. Of course, part of it was me being in denial that I did have a problem and that I needed to stop, but I wasn’t sold that I was an alcoholic because I didn’t fit the bill from what Society in the media portrays alcoholics and addicts as.

The most relevant stereotype to me that I would like to write about today is the one that peeves me the absolute most: the character of those who complete suicide. Movies and the media usually display those who commit suicide as people who wear black, harm themselves, are anti-social, or follow some kind of goth lifestyle. I have had the opportunity to meet many other families who have lost a loved one to suicide and I can tell you that the majority of these beloved ones who passed did not fit this stereotype. It is offensive and hurtful to not only the family of those who have lost someone to suicide, but to also the memory of the bereaved. I always felt like I had to explain myself to others in order to honor my brother’s memory after I told a stranger that he completed suicide because I knew that they most likely automatically categorized him as the stereotype of those who complete suicide.

I try to put myself in that stranger’s shoes and to see their perspective. I know it is not intentional because the stereotypes have been instilled in our brains, but is it easier for them to jump to these conclusions because then they don’t have to ask questions? So they can avoid what they think to be hurting you by asking about your lost loved one?

These negative stereotypes that we as a society have placed on those who are either addicts or alcoholics or depressed or bipolar or have completed suicide are absolutely outrageous and unacceptable to those who suffer from those terrible diseases and circumstances. So let’s not try to pigeonhole people and to get to know someone’s story. A lot of times we don’t take the time to do so because we think that it’s too intrusive or bold or that we may offend someone. But I think it’s better than placing stereotypes upon people. Don’t you?

An Unexpected Outcome

Hello all..

I know I have been taking a break from speaking and writing in order to persue my college degree. However, I have missed you all dearly and find myself yearning to do what God has always called me to do: share my story.

Many of you know my story and the story of my brother, Austin, and his suicide. I pushed down my grief and despair because I didn’t want to feel or truly acknowledge it. I preferred to live through ignorance.

Through the years of writing and speaking about grief and suicide, I slowly drifted away to concentrate on school. Along with this, I found myself drifting away from my grief; my soul became disconnected from my mind. Unfortunately, I was unable to cope, for the first time in many, many years. Therefore, it led me to turning away from God and towards a bottle.

I drank daily to relieve my guilt, to silence my soul, and to be ignorant to my past. I was entirely miserable. I no longer had a purpose in life and lost sight of my mission to help others who are grieving. This was a selfish lifestyle and a lifestyle that I created for myself, which I knew was not the one God wanted for me. I allowed the devil to consume me, slowly but surely, to where I didn’t see God in my surroundings anymore. I enabled myself through pity and establishing myself as some kind of martyr, to justify my addiction.

I used to speak to hundreds of people who were also living a life full of grief, telling them that we are survivors. Empowering them through my story and experience to then being empowered by their strength. Survivors of suicide are so immensely resilient and I did not see that never ending strength in me any more.

I am ashamed yet inspired, because of my going astray of the life God created for me to help others. I am inspired in that I now have more of my story to share in addition to my grief.

I am currently 4 months sober and am in the AA fellowship. I could have not done this without God and His will. But most importantly, what keeps me sober daily, is the hope of returning to my passion of inspiring you all and honoring my brother.

What Do I Live For Now?

After a loved one passes, you feel stuck. Whether you are stuck in the moment, period, or what can seem like a lifetime and feel hopeless as  if nothing is going to progress or change. It is hard to take that one step forward in fear that you are eventually going to take two steps back. It is easy for us to accept this and to settle by living in this mode: it is comfortable. It is easier than fighting to move forward and to fight through the heart ache. But why do we do this? How can we survivors push forward to get us of this rut?

I can now shamelessly admit that I was in a rut for two years after the suicide of my brother. I was content with living this way and had little desire to push forward with my life. I was living a life that not only would my parents would be ashamed of, but I was ashamed of deep inside of me. But I was okay with being content and living a life that was shame worthy, because it was simply easier.

How do you move on with your life without letting go of your loved one? I grew a backbone and told myself that I cannot go on this way. I had to go through the pain and suffering and be submissive to it until I was so incredibly sick and tired of it. I had to learn on my own by making mistakes and burning myself until I told myself not to accept this mediocracy and to get out of this rut.

My mom always told me, “Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.” I found this to be beyond incredibly true and I took it to heart. I was the only inflicting pain on myself. I was allowing myself to live this shameless and painstaking lifestyle that I knew was so below me. Unfortunately, sometimes we can only learn and move forward by recognizing our mistakes. I had to toughen up and tell myself that I deserve better and most importantly I want better for me, and so do my loved ones. My brother did not want me to live this way and I knew that he was disappointed in me.

We are the survivors that inspire the hopeless to rediscover hope. We show them that it is possible and very much so doable. If you cannot rediscover hope for yourself, do it for those around you. Give it a try, you may surprise yourself.



Copy-Cat Suicide

Here is a really tough question but I challenge you to really think about it:

Is it better to give all of the brutal and horrific suicide details in a book or movie to raise awareness of how real and honestly painful suicide can be or, rather, is it just best to exclude those details in fear that one may copy that fatal action?

I have found myself going back and forth on this question when I was recently faced with it when trying to decide what is more appropriate for a self-help book. When trying rationalizing them, I think about what is best for someone who is in a suicidal state of mind. A suicidal person is very fragile, unpredictable, and most of the time- we cant even identify someone who is suicidal by just observing or looking at them!

On one side, decrribing all the horrific and graphic details of the act of suicide, may scare one away from the action due to the fear of pain or suffering. This is my true hope, that it does scare a suicidal person from doing the act. Part of me also thinks that by knowing the realness of the act, they may truly realize the permanency of it as well. I want them to fully understand the actually of the consequences of this action that death is permanent and it is not just something you can undo once you regret it.

In opposition, it would pain myself if a reader gathered ideas from the book on how to commit this action. For many reasons, copy-cat suicides are more often then we think. Some of them are prompted due to the “praise” or “recognition” previously people received after their death by suicide because they want to experience that and feel missed and treasured.  But unfortunately, the drastic measures for this feeling is painstaking and heartbreaking to hear.

I did make my decision after taking 24 hours to digest the options and made my decision of what to do: keeping the details with the known risk or exempting them for safe measures?


What would you do? What is your opinion on this matter? It is unfortunately too complex to only have one answer.

Coming into the New Year of Grief

There are many new goals or resolutions that people set coming into the New Year; weight loss, career goals, or goals within relationships. But what is your grief goal?

I know it sounds ridiculous, like “why the heck do I need a goal for grieving?” Like it is a good thing to associate a goal with. But like all areas of our lives, grief deserves attention and goals too.

These goals can be made positive and uplifting, rather than depressing and heavy. These goals are meant to allow you to grow and to grow with your new relationship with your passed loved one. I know this is a weird concept of a relationship with someone- because they are gone from this earth. But you can still maintain a relationship with them.

In order to maintain this relationship in a healthy way, create a goal that can exemplify your weaknesses in this relationship. For instance, my goal is to think healthy and happy thoughts of my brother throughout the day and to talk about him more, because I have let my shyness and shame get in the way of my relationship with him and even others. I need to not be ashamed of my brother’s death and be able to speak of it, as a painful yet important, part of my life.

In these upcoming days, think of your goals, and what can assist in your grieving. It can be as simple as sending up a prayer every day or a daily reminder of your loved one by just looking at a picture of them.

It is easy for us to fall into a pattern of forgetfulness by forgetting our loved ones- and it is not our fault. We get caught up in our lives and careers to where we get worn down and grief gets pushed aside. Be selfish in the way that you put your grief first.

Here is to another blessed and amazing year. Thank you all for all the love. xox


Suicide VS Society

For those of you who have experienced a loss by suicide or have known someone who has attempted suicide, aren’t you tired of hearing that they are crazy? Or insane? Or depressed?

I know that there are many cases of suicide where there was a existing diagnosis of depression or insanity, but not everyone who attempts/completes suicide is crazy.

We, as humans, have pain. Its inevitable. We are bound to be hurt from a heartbreak, loss ,or divorce. Life is not black and white, theres such much gray, that humans usually live in.

We all react to pain in different ways. Some cry until there are no more tears left and others sit in silence until their ready to break it. Does this make one stronger than the other? Is holding in pain versus expressing it a model of what is considered strong or weak? This stigma that we have about pain is not okay. We are all unique and individual human beings who express pain in their own way: there is no right or wrong way to express pain, but there are more effective ways.

That being said, suicide does not make someone crazy. Some people cannot relate to the amount of pain and anguish one can go throw after a tragedy, therefore they just go call them crazy or unstable. Hopelessness also does not make them weak, it makes them human. Of course, I would never say that self harm or suicide is an effective way to deal with pain, but it does not make them crazy. We all lose hope at some point. Hope would not exist if it was always there, it would just be life. You have to lose hope in order to regain it or possess it.

By categorizing suicide under the “crazy” umbrella of mental illness, it gives a stereotype for those who are in unbearable pain. Not everyone who is suicidal is diagnosed as depressed or bipolar, sometimes people just have bad days where there is no end in sight and they handle it in the worst way possible by attempting to harm themselves. Not everyone who is suicidal slits their wrists and wears black clothing to school or work every day, the way that the media and society makes us think happens.

There are premeditated and impulsive suicides. Studies show that most most suicides are in fact impulsive and not premeditated. This means that people are not thinking before their actions. They are not thinking about loved ones they are leaving behind and the pain they will cause them, but they are buried in pain and cannot get out. If all suicidal people were crazy or depressed, they would be getting treated for their pain. Most suicidal people are not diagnosed with any mental illnesses. If suicidal people were crazy, then call us all crazy because we all have our own kinds of pain.

Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional. You can get through suffering without ending your life. Our society is impulsive like these suicides. We speak without thinking when we label people are crazy. We call healthy people “retards” when they are acting silly or call something “gay” when we disapprove of it. There is so much insensitivity and hypocrisy with what is and what is not acceptable in this society. Calling someone “crazy” or “mentally ill” for being in excruciating pain and heartache, now to me, that is crazy. That is just being human. Our society is impulsive like these suicides and numbed by the pain.