Monday, August 11, 2014

Today we lost a star #RobinWilliams but how many stars do we lose that are not recognized?   Suicide is painful to all they leave behind like a fresh wound opened again. Almost two  year since we lost my bother Matt Roberts to such a fate and yet if feels like yesterday.  RIP to all those lost to suicide and may  all the families of those how have lost loved ones to suicide.   It never seem to get easier,   Time doesn't seam to heal those wounds.   My hear aches for his family. Most of all his children.  It is a loss no one should ever have to face.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Be in the Present.

Over the weekend, my family and I went to a beautiful wedding in Holiday Valley, New York.  The bride (Katie) is my husbands cousin.  We are sitting in Church and the priest says "be in the present, be present in the presence" that thought alone got my brain working.  How simple, be in the moment, to really live life in the little moments that happen daily.  What a treasure to give.

So much of my time is spent making sure that I get things done to enjoy thing in the future, but there are so many moments I feel I have missed because I am always so worried about the next thing.  I might have missed the moment that my oldest son grabbed my youngest sons hand and gave him a hug.  

So here's to living in the present and being present in the moment.  

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Finish Line

Here is the poster I created for the film "Finish Line". It was a cool project to do.  I wish Liz Ferro and the Girls With Sole team so much luck in the Cleveland Film Featival!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Suicide and the life worth living...

Suicide is a very personal topic for me.  My baby brother Matthew, tragically took his own life last year after a long battle with depression.  Matthew was brilliant; he was a scholar and a very loyal friend to many who knew him best.  He was on many levels a very successful person who contributed to making the world better with his work in Environmental Engineering and helping people close to him.

There was also many spells of darkness that clouded his life.  When we were younger my brother cut himself and burned his arms with cigarettes.  He once got really mad about something and went out on the front porch and cut off all his hair with a pair of scissors.  There was an incident when he was a senior in high school where he "fell asleep" at the wheel of his car when he learned that the girl he had a big crush on, was dating his best friend.

Why am I telling anyone anything about the problems that he had?  I want to make sure that anyone who reads this understands, in life everyone goes through hard times. Everyone has bad days, but when it comes to making the choice to live or to end your life often times we don't see life that way. 

My brother tried, most of my family had no idea that he had been seeing a counselor for over a year at the time of his death.  Most of my family did not know that he had a mental breakdown at work three months before he died and that he had been on sabbatical to try and figure out what he wanted to do with his life.  Closer to his death no one knew that his girlfriend called the cops the Sunday before he died to report him as a suicide risk.  The week he died only his roommates, and my mother knew that his counselor had him arrested and put under observation for 72 hours because the counselor  thought my brother was suicidal.  The Friday when he got out, most of us would never have left him alone for a minute, much less let him get in his truck and drive so far off the road it took the tow truck 3 hours to get it back to a road.  And when my mother reported him missing on Friday night, she didn't tell anyone in the family what was going on with him until the police found his body on Saturday evening.  NO ONE knew except my mother and the roommates. 

Let me be clear on this, my brother didn’t want anyone to know, he instructed that no one say anything according to them, which we all believe to be true.  The problem is that those who knew didn’t do enough, and many times in these cases, they don’t want to ever think that it is possible for someone that they love to do something like this.  Many times even if they do know they try to “protect” the person going through the tough time, by keeping the secret.  Many times there are no warning signs at all because many brilliant successful people hide the darkness of their inner minds.

My brother was all of these things, he hid the darkness from most of us, we though he had overcome it in his youth.  We didn’t know, and we wouldn’t have known, but there were signs, he isolated himself from my father, he didn’t call me back when we had our second baby.  He lost interest in family.  His roommates knew more, but again, were it just talk or were his condition darker than he let them believe.  The people who didn’t tell also knew he was seeing a counselor  and trying to find a way to get past things.  As long as he was going, why tell anyone, he was taking care of it right?

The events leading up to his death are as tragic as the outcome.  I truly believe that if we had known more we could have helped him? Is there power in numbers right?  In the end maybe he would have done the same thing, but no one had the chance to try.  Suicide is 100% preventable, if you know what someone is dealing with.

I think the worst part of all of this a year later, is that we all in our own way saw him isolating himself, but we didn't think enough of it to ask him about it.  Those who knew didn't advocate for him to tell anyone else and they didn’t get him the help he needed when they had a chance.  At the point where his counselor  had him taken in for a mandatory evaluation, which is the time to tell the secret, spill the beans, advocate for the person  It is not about egos, or making someone feel like they are less of a person for struggling with something as serious as depression.  It is about finding a way to get them through it surrounded by ALL the people that care about them.  No more secrets, no shame, no blame. 

There is no shame in getting help, my brother tried for a year; he struggled with it for a lot longer than most of those closest to him knew.  He felt ashamed, like he failed, like he would let everyone down if they knew.  This is the problem with those in his shoes.  The reason they don’t want to continue is because they no longer feel that anything that they do holds value, or is meaningful.  I can’t personally imagine what that must feel like.  I can’t imagine how he felt, from the inside looking out into a world that he felt no connection with.  The internal battle he fought alone, and he lost.

Our tragic loss of Matthew has ended.  We can't do anything about it now, but if what I say makes one person understand and either reaches out to someone about how they are feeling, or someone recognizes a person who is losing a battle with depression or suicidal for any reason, I hope I HOPE that they read this and understand that depression is real, and no matter how you feel today, tomorrow could be better, and the next day and the next.

Never give up, never lose hope, talk to anyone that will listen, call someone, call anyone.  Find a way to get through it.  Your life is a gift that you have the ability to make into anything you want.  Be an advocate for something, help someone else going through the same things as you.  Most importantly don't hide your darkness.  Find those who can help you find the light.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

The things you cannot change.

There was a time when I use to have a hard time with this saying because I didn't understand how true it was.  This statement is probably the best thing ANYONE in life can follow.

In my personal world, I have learned that people are going to say, do and repeat until some people believe what they say.  There is nothing you can do about it.  No matter how much you want to.

The only thing I can change is the way that I react to it.  You cannot stop anything or anyone from doing anything.  Today I am reminded that life is what you make of it.  Your choice is to fall to the madness or rise above it.

I choose to rise, and remember that today as in every day before and everyday to follow, you can only be the best person you can be, and let karma, God, take care of the rest.