A Rock Feels No Pain

In despero , obscurum ; In Diligo , Lux lucis. (In despair, darkness; In Love, Light). -Me

One section down, one to go

Well, I did indeed finish the first section of the training, 40 something hours of study, and at the end a “test that is given to masters candidates in the area of suicide screening and intervention, which on average, 13% pass”.

I passed, thank you very much- but then, I’m not doing generalized psych courses at the same time, and the test is given to everyone, not just those focused only in this area and probably not after an intensive round of lecture/study in one very small area. However, I can at least say I’m as qualified (academically, not yet practically, that’s next) as the screener at most emergency psychiatric hospitals, if they even have one.

Next up, the clinical training and evaluations, and training in the nuts-n-bolts of how we’re going to do things like find local referring agencies, or consultation support, work scheduling, etc.

Otherwise, my time has been filled with work, and bathroom renovations, and kids, bathroom renovations, and family, bathroom renovations, and church and bathroom renovations.

Did I mention that I’ve had to renovate a bathroom? Yeah, our shower control valve decided to become less-than-watertight, which is a royal pain- because living in the dark behind the wall, as they like to do, we didn’t *know* it was leaking, until enough time and water had passed to rot through the subfloor, drip onto the sheetrock of the ceiling below, and then work through *that*, too-

Which means, open the wall, to get at the plumbing, and since I’m doing that, may as well replace the tile that we’ve never liked; and since I’m doing that, we may as well replace the (extremely shallow, like 8″ water-depth) tub that we’ve always hated, and since we’re doing *that*, and I have to replace sections of the subfloor, may as well re-tile the whole floor, and since we’re doing *that*, we never liked the vanity and sink, either, cheap-o builder’s grade crud…

Yeah, I figure I’ll be done about 2020, lol- or maybe 2021, or maybe not. ughhh.

Here’s hoping they get the clinical training scheduled fast, so I have a nice, quiet, intellectual activity to offset the messy, noisy, grunt-work of remodeling!



Filed under: suicide, , , ,


I know I’ve been lax at commenting, and posting- but I’ve been extremely focused on the training that you all made possible, and so I promise that while I’m not being good with comments, I *am* reading…

Tonight, I received an email, that basically challenges those of us that are in training, to commit to finishing by Nov. 21st, for a “soft-launch” of the system on December 1st.

Well… I also saw on a flickr-contact’s site, references to NaNoWriMo, which is a challenge that occurs in November, to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.

I got to thinking, and remembering the November of 2005, when I took *that* challenge, and finished it. I had been hesitant to make a commitment to finish the *whole* training in basically two weeks more… but…

If I can write a book in a month, can’t I commit to such a positive attempt at helping someone out?

I did so. And here’s my acknowledgment of that commitment to those who made it possible:

I’ll be ready, come 12/1. I’m going to make you proud!

Filed under: Uncategorized, , , ,


I can’t begin to tell you how moved I am, and amazed, and in awe of everyone of you, that read, clicked and cared-


In less than 24 hours, your outpouring of generosity in Prayers, Thoughts, Emails- and money- have raised MORE than I need, to get the certificate to work with IMALIVE…

I truly am so touched, I have tears of joy & gratitude pouring down my face- I don’t even know what more to say…



Filed under: suicide, , , ,

Help Needed

Dear Family and Friends;

I hope you’re well, and having a nice fall, getting ready for winter and some snow & skiing and such, whatever you may be planning!

I’m going to be right upfront here and now: This is a begging letter. No getting around that, really. But, I do assure you, I’m begging for an important, serious reason.

The reason is suicide.

Many people die every year, every day, because they feel the problems they face are not solvable, that there is no help for them, and that nobody cares. Well, that isn’t true. There is help and people who care, and I’m involved in a project that is attempting to get that message across, in places that it needs to be, so we can over-rule that “nobody cares” thinking.

There are hot lines, and crisis centers, and doctors and churches, and such, and that’s all good. But what there isn’t, at least not so far, is an online central point, with trained and available contacts for anyone who may need that help.

There are plans afoot, through the Kristen Brooks Hope Center, to change that. If you’re not familiar with it (many aren’t!), Kristen Brooks committed suicide, and her husband Reese, founded the center and put together the first nationwide phone line, 1-800-SUICIDE, in her memory and honor. Now, the Center is planning the first online version of this service, which will be staffed by volunteers around the globe, to be a resource for anyone that needs it.

Which is the reason I call this a begging letter: I have thought long and hard, and talked it over with friends and family, and have come to the decision that this is something I think I can be good at, and would like to offer to people that are struggling. But, in order to do this, there is requisite training and certification I have to have, first.

I’m in need of raising $250.00 for this training. I would dearly love to just write a check, but can’t do that, at this time. So, I’m asking for your help. If you click the link in this letter, you’ll be taken to my personal IMALIVE page, which has been setup to receive donations from people, on behalf of a volunteer.

If you can, I’m asking for your support in this, in whatever amount you can do, no matter how much or little. I’m hoping that in this way, I can help make a difference to someone, and we’ll have a few less kids wandering around wondering what happened to Mom or Dad, or husbands and wives thinking, “if only”, and we don’t need Mom and Dad wishing they had another chance with their child.

The second part of my request is simply for your prayers, in whatever way you do that, for anyone and everyone that is struggling with this, that they can find the help they need, and the peace they deserve, without resorting to dying to achieve it.

Thank you, and all my Love-


**Editing this to remove the link, as your incredible generosity has already surpassed!! the goal- and thank you so very much, all of you, for your prayers, and your wonderful giving**

Filed under: suicide, , , ,

Black Things Suck- Big Time!

I have found it interesting, in the last few months, that I’m much more drawn, in my personal life, to the area of suicide awareness & depression, than I ever considered before.

I know, I have had my own struggles- if you’ve read here much, you’re aware of much of that, already. I recently finished the first part of training for the IamAlive program, an online-support type system that is being setup, similar to the 1-800-suicide lines, to work as a volunteer in supporting people with immediate needs. I’ve found myself, via phone, email & text, trying to offer what I can, to more than a few people that seem to find me fairly easy to talk to, about their own struggles.

I wonder, lately- is it that I’ve grown more empathetic? Is is that I’ve always had this inside me, this need to help if I can? Or, is this an outgrowth of my own depression, and the comfortable place I’m in (at the moment, praise God)?

I dunno… but, I know that I’m drawn to this in a way that feels right, so I’m going to go ahead and do the next part of the training, when I can afford it.

However, in the meantime, on a related note- one of my dear blogger friends, is struggling, and having just returned to blogging under prodding, could use a little support, a little help- so, go give a read and some love, willya?


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PostSecret # 3

If you have been reading this blog for long, or if you’ve gone back and read the past, you may have noticed that the PostSecret project has a rather special spot in my heart. I wrote in a couple places about this- for sure here:. For those who may not know, PostSecret is a community art project that a man named Frank Warren started. He’s invited people to send him, anonymously, postcards with a secret on them; he then posts some to the PostSecret website; puts some in traveling exhibitions; and puts still others in books.

Anyway… I had enjoyed the website, and knew of the book, and remembered on that bright(dark) hot(freezing) day in 2006, that on the website a person had written to thank Frank, for the 1-800-suicide reference that occurred in the book. On that day, I was so messed up in my head, I didn’t remember the number; but I did remember that it was there and when I made my way to a bookstore, just to look at the book, there it was.

I called that number, that day- and never really said a word. The woman that answered was pleasant, but I couldn’t speak. I do know that I babbled something about needing to go, and called Lynn; from there, I worked along the paths of trying to get my head right, which I sortof kindof maybe think I may have made a little progress toward in the last three years. (3 years, 2 months, 3 weeks, and some odd-hours, if you’re counting, but who’s counting?)

But, I never forgot the fact that Frank Warren had a friend, who committed suicide, and however many years later, he opted to include this number in his book, and on the website; perhaps so some screwed up nut would be able to make use of it?

That memory stayed with me- to the point that when I read that Frank would be visiting a college near my work, one night, I made my plans and made my way to see him. I took a moment then, to meet and thank him, directly, as best I could, for saving my life even though he didn’t know he had.

Later, Frank was speaking in New York, at a big Barnes and Noble bookstore there. I took the opportunity then, too, to head down and hear him speak. This time, Lynn came with me, and when Frank had signed my copies of the new books, she looked at him, and said something about thank you and he’d saved my life, and that she’s grateful for his project, his books, and his whatever. I didn’t hear it all, as I’d gotten a bit emotional during the presentation when people can choose to stand, and share a secret right then and there; and let me tell you, some powerful things can happen, in a roomful of strangers.

So, why is this all in my head?

Because (yes, you got it!) tonight, I went once again to a PostSecret event. This one with my eldest son, who had obtained tickets at his university, and since I was going to be picking him up to come home for the weekend- well, he knows I love PostSecret, that I have the four books currently released in a place of honor on a shelf within easy reach, that I’d been to a couple prior events, that I love perusing the secrets each Sunday on line, so he thought he should see if I wanted to go again.

I did.

We did.

Wow. Again wow. I didn’t speak to Frank this time, I didn’t feel a need to, for I’d expressed my gratitude to him and Hopeline (the 1800 number foundation) before. But, as I listened to him speak, and listened to the brave people that shared a secret or a thought with us, I think I recognized why I felt that I needed to be there once again.

It’s to remember. To remember, in gratitude and with joy and with tears and laughter, to remember that I am not alone, nor are you. We share this journey together, in our common humanity, seeking and trying and stumbling and falling, together we connect with people all over the world. Separately, yet somehow still together, we seek God, we seek Love, we seek a partner, friend, lover, family; we have different secrets, different perspectives, different lives- but, if we choose to, we can reach out in whatever way, and find that we’re not rocks; we’re not islands; and that it’s okay to feel pain, and even to cry once in a while.

So, as we left the school, my boy-that-is-now-a-senior-and-I’m-around-to-see-it, as we left and drove home, we sang at the top of our lungs, together. Badly, I’m sure, but with enthusiasm and silliness and pounding the beat on the dash and the wheel, laughing and dumb jokes, and talking about what we’d heard together, I thought of this.

This time, Frank and PostSecret and umpteen hundred university students taught me to remember this:

We are only as alone as we choose to be.

Go visit Frank and PostSecret sometime. I know you’re as welcome there as I am, and the 270,607,242 others that are sharing on our way.

Filed under: depression, emotions, frank warren, learning, life, postsecret, , , , , ,

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