Are you having thoughts of suicide?

Recently, I attended a seminar through my work place. I work for a Government organisation and they are always wanting us to ‘brush up’ on one procedure or another so imagine my shock when I discovered the seminar was about suicide awareness.

It is a shock to be sitting with a couple of dozen other people, several who you know well, and are confronted with a subject that is close to your heart. As soon as I realised what would be discussed, I welled up. The presenter, used to watching people’s actions and looking for ‘signs’, did not miss my instant reaction to her words. We were presented with video recreations of potential warnings … and all of them slapped me across the face and made my heart pound quicker. I watched as the mother on-screen missed her son’s call for help. Just like I did in real life. Is it any wonder I couldn’t speak, could hardly hold the tears back, was unable to stop the trembling?

The presenter announced a break and everyone left the room, except me. I was not able to speak aloud, so I whispered the fact that I had lost a son to suicide. Of course, she had already guessed that by my reaction. She thanked me for letting her know and told me I was free to leave the seminar, if I wanted to. I didn’t need to think about it.

I wanted to stay!

But I needed her to know why I would not be able to participate in active feedback within the seminar. She understood that I was struggling and asking me to speak would be my undoing. So, the seminar continued and I sat frozen faced and trembling in the middle of lots of people, but I felt as if I were struggling through a major upset … totally alone.

By the time the seminar was finished I was considered to be a qualified Care Assistant for the workplace. In truth, I spent most of the time focused inwards dealing with my own demons. Yes, I would be able to recognise (now) if someone was suicidal. And, yes, I would be able to ask the all important question, “Are you having thoughts of suicide?”. And, yes, I would be able to look after that person until help was at hand. I never needed the seminar for any of that. I’ve spent over five years learning the facts about suicide myself. But now I have a certificate to confirm it.

The reason I’m writing this post is because I thought I was doing OK. I thought I had moved passed the tears, but those few hours proved I am not doing as great as I thought and have not moved on from losing my son. I guess there will always be moments in my life that will bring the past slamming back into full focus. I suppose I’m better equipped for those moments now but it doesn’t mean they will be any easier to deal with.

Game Review: Uncharted 3

I’ve played the Playstation since they were first invented. I currently own PS1 and about 100 games, PS2 and about 200 games and PS3 and about 30 games (and counting). A couple of decades ago, we owned a Nintendo as well.

Most people give me a strange look when I say I play PS3 (or whatever console I might be using at the time). Few of them say it, but most of them think to themselves “she’s too old”. Well, I’m not too old and I never will be. I love playing games. Especially gory, blood-thirsty ones such as Resident Evil (Resident Evil 2 and 3 for PS1 are still my favourites). Yet I’ll also play war games, kids games, puzzle games, shooter games, whatever I can get my hands on except sports (hate them with a passion).

Every now and again I’ll write a review for the latest game I’ve completed. Today, I want to write about Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception.

I received this game for Christmas and was excited as I own and have completed the first two games. And thoroughly enjoyed them both I might add.

Briefly, the plot follows Drake and Sully (and a few friends) as they travel the world trying to solve a puzzle concerning a lost ancient city and the treasures they believe they will find there. Of course, the baddies in the story also know of this lost city and want something other than the treasures for themselves, but it takes Drake and Sully a long time to work this out and death and unnecessary risks are not out of the question when you want something bad enough.

This is an adventure story which kept my attention and had me coming back for more. I highly recommend it.

The storyline for this game is superb. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that it felt like an interactive movie … with me controlling events, to a certain degree. The graphics are amazing. The game itself is addictive. There are four levels of play – super easy, easy, normal and hard. There are puzzles that were easy to solve and some that I found impossible to solve, however the game seems to know you’re having problems and will offer hints after a certain amount of time or after several failed attempts. I was thankful for that at times and ignored the hint prompt if I didn’t want help.

Image Source: Wikipedia

A General Reading for 2012

Owly ImagesRecently, a friend did a reading for herself and posted the result on Twitter, which included a link to an image. Of course, being noisy I followed the link and found three cards that were visibly pleasing. Without hesitation, I asked if it were possible for her to do a reading for me and she was happy to oblige.

Janette from Sweet Relief Coaching did a general reading for 2012 for me.

Here is the result:

Isis – past life or childhood fears and limiting beliefs. Time to move forward, you are strong. You can ask Isis for support.

Hathor – release guilt about receiving. Ask and allow for help or gifts. Full cycle requires giving AND RECEIVING. Honour it!

Isolt – your heart is healing swiftly. Be patient and get into nature. All your loving relationships are eternal & undying.

Be sure to click on the image to view the beautiful cards that were used for the reading. They are simply divine!

Janette did the reading late on New Year’s Eve, so I’ve had almost two days to think about what the cards might be telling me. My interpretation might be totally wrong as I do not know the cards well and I have done no research to find out more about them. But I have had some experience with other cards in the past and I believe if a message is delivered and the person it is delivered to ‘hears’ and/or ‘feels’ something at that time then it’s a good idea to listen.

My immediate response, the first time I read the meanings of the three cards, was an acknowledgement that I must let go of the things from my past that are holding me back – the hurts, the grief, the uncertainty. These things are limiting my enjoyment of life and may well stop me from grasping possibilities now and in the future. Letting go doesn’t mean I’m denying or forgetting my past, it means I’m cherishing the good things and accepting the bad. It means I’m moving forward with an open heart.

Asking for help is something that I’m learning to do, without feeling as guilty. My past feelings of unworthiness have always made me feel that no one will want to know my problems, let alone help me through them. As a result, I have become a bit of a hermit. But those feelings I grasped hold of are not true! After my son passed away, people stepped forward willingly. I found it difficult to open the door and let them in but it gets easier with time. If people don’t know you need help then how can they offer help?

Also acknowledged is the fact that my relationships are strong and ever lasting. And that, without going into more details, is comforting and something I needed to hear. Deep in my heart I know this to be true, but it’s something I needed to face ‘out loud’ (if that makes sense). I know that’s a bit cryptic, but some things you cannot write about publicly.

Finally, the reading reiterates something that I have been trying to achieve in my life over recent months. My thoughts have been somewhat tangled, but I have been thinking in terms of reaching out more and living life better. Isis, Hathor and Isolt have come together at the right time and may well give me the final push I need.

2012 can be a good year. Yes, bad things will happen. They always do. But good things happen too. It’s time to look forward, and look at the positive things (accepting the bad), and feel energised and whole.

National Year of Reading Special Offer

Happy New Year! I hope all your dreams come true in the next twelve months. More importantly, I hope you are happy, healthy and stay safe.

2012 is the National Year of Reading. It’s a year to encourage people to read more or simply to learn to read better.

With this in mind, I am offering ebooks for download at the grand price of nothing! That’s right, they are free for the taking, but you must use the coupon codes listed below at the check out. And you must do this before 31 January 2012, as that’s when the offer expires.

First up, is the Speculative Realms anthology:

Promotional price: Absolutely Free!
Coupon Code: YR74C
Expires: January 31, 2012

Secondly, is the Hope anthology:

Promotional price: Again, Absolutely Free!
Coupon Code: HJ58A
Expires: January 31, 2012

All you have to do is follow the link to the respective pages at Smashwords, click on “Add to Cart”, type in the coupon code above and download the version that suits you best. Then, add the file to your ereader and start reading.

And finaly, there is The Land of Miu, which is always free but I felt compelled to ensure you knew that. For this ebook there is no coupon code, just go to “The Land of Miu” Smashword’s page and download the version you want.

Happy reading and Happy New Year!