(Warning:  This may be a trigger for anyone who has experienced sexual assault or addiction.  If you are a survivor and do read this, I pray you find strength and comfort in these words)

At first it feels

like you are going to die

you can’t escape

no matter how hard you try

The nightmare has found you

you cannot wake

You can’t seem to run

Oh please . . . “For God’s sake

You were fooled by his kindness

then taken by surprise

How did you not recognize

the devil in his eyes

It is too late for that now

he has you pinned

This must be a lesson

for that forbidden sin

He forces his way in

and you drift away

Above the city of dreams

the lights turn grey

His presence will linger

long after he is gone

You will still be scrubbing

at the break of dawn

You did not die

now you wish you had

This is the beginning

of where things go bad

His lies will haunt you

you will bury them deep

but they surface again

when you sleep

Alcohol will become

your greatest friend

The line will be crossed

into addiction you descend

You won’t recognize the face

looking back at you

Your eyes are now hollow

your bones poking through

Pour another drink

chalk another line

The mask you wear

says you are fine

As hard as you try

you can’t fool yourself

Even through the poison

demons laugh from the shelf

Every bottom is different

for some it means death

You knocked on that door

when you found meth

This is where you lost control

and pleaded with God

“Show me a fucking reason!

You coward! You fraud!”

You couldn’t see it then

as you lay on that cold floor

But he was listening to you

ready to give you much more

His grace began to appear

as his angels held you tight

Didn’t you know

You never left his sight

This is where you surrendered

the moment you chose to live

Death would have robbed you

of the gifts he had to give

Your reason surfaced later

in the form of a son

a beautiful undeserved gift

began to mend what had been done

He continues to teach you

far more than you can teach him

He gives you courage to strive harder

on days that seem dim

This is where you stand tall

and tell the truth

Break free from those chains

be a voice for our youth

~ Jess

Split Second

What does it feel like to lose a loved one to suicide?  It feels like your entire world has just been ripped apart by a tsunami.  It crashes through without warning and sweeps away everything that you once knew, it rearranges the very foundation under your feet, it takes people with it, it tears apart homes and it leaves you with far more questions than answers.  You find yourself grasping at anything within reach, something solid enough to hang on to and pray your own weight doesn’t become too much of a burden.  When the tide recedes as if nothing happened, you are left standing, or laying right where it left you.  You don’t understand how the birds can possibly be singing again, how the sun can dare to shine or how life can even begin to return to any sort of normalcy.  But it does.  Though you are certain the world stopped spinning on its axis in that split second everything changed, it continues to turn even as you are left looking for pieces and fragments of anything it may have left behind.  It changes everything.

Many people that I know are walking through the loss of a loved one to suicide right now and my heart aches for them.  Sometimes there just aren’t words for moments like that nor are they necessary.  Do not be afraid to reach out to those left behind after a loss, they don’t need or expect you to have all of the answers either.  Just let them know you are there, to sit with them in silence, to help them sort through the debris, to fix them a meal and remind them to eat, to embrace them when they cry and/or when they get angry, throw rocks with them.  I have a dear friend who lost his partner a few years ago and the thing that stood out to him the most from that night was the officer who embraced him and helped him through all of the additional stress that followed.  We all need people like that.

If you or someone you know needs help, please call:

1-800-273-TALK (8255)


Run For Lisa King

Run For Lisa King

Please follow this beautiful soul.  While you and I have been fretting over simple things like getting the gas knozzle to self retain while filling our tanks, spending too much time on our hair and makeup, sleeping, bitching, watching mindless television, grocery shopping, etc… Phil has been running in memory of his dear mother Lisa King.  He has already traveled 4,000 miles across the United States to raise awareness for suicide prevention.  

Phil, thank you for all that you do.  Shine on… you are such an inspiration!

Journey to the White House

If you would have told me twelve to thirteen years ago that I would one day be sitting in the White House talking openly to a room full of people about my lived experience, while being live streamed to an even greater audience across the globe, I would have suggested that you get a PET scan as soon as possible.

This truly was one of the most surreal experiences of my life.  Thank you American Foundation for Suicide Prevention for trusting me with this incredible opportunity and thank you to all of the courageous souls who continue to speak up despite the stigmas that still surround mental health and suicide.  It is time we start treating our mental health just as importantly as we do our physical health.

If you or someone you know needs help please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at:

1-800-273-TALK (8255)