2016 Out of the Darkness Overnight Walk – San Francisco

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Over the past two years I’ve found myself on a journey that I never dreamed I would be a part of by joining an army of volunteers for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.  To be quite honest I can say that about the last five years in particular.

I have been thanking God a lot lately as I approach the anniversary of my last sobriety date.  I realize that there are risks in sharing that openly but the rewards of speaking truthfully and the freedom I have found in doing so are far greater than the criticism.  Even when I doubt myself the most, someone will unexpectedly and bravely approach me and say “me too.”

Those experiences let me know that it is worth the risk and that God has a purpose for everything no matter how shameful and painful it may be.

I will be traveling to San Francisco this May for my second Out of the Darkness Overnight Walk, I will be walking for all of the lives lost too soon, for all those who still suffer and for those left behind.  I will be walking in memory of my father, my friend Joani, for Hannah Brewton Brown’s son Samuel T Simmons, for Mindi Wheat and her son Taylor, for Sarah Hope’s sister and Professor Shepp Hope’s daughter Chappell, and all of the beautiful people I have met along the way, the list is endless.

I am asking for your help in reaching my fundraising goal for this event.  If you aren’t able to donate please do not worry.  You can help by clicking on the link and sharing it with others, my story is included on my personal fundraising page.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is full of helpful information and you will also find many ways you can get involved in this incredible movement if interested.  Together we CAN and WILL make a difference.  Love and be kind to one another.

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

1-800-273-TALK  (8255)
http://www.afsp.org
http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org

http://theovernight.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.participant&participantID=17083

Suicide Awareness & Prevention video – My Personal Journey

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Tranquil Battle

I am fighting a battle on the most tranquil ground

cautious of the mines as I lead you around

How could I ever begin to help you see

the path of destruction that lies underneath?

It is difficult to describe this faceless villain

no pathology to indict for these unwieldy feelings

Perhaps I’d find comfort if that weren’t so

These scars wouldn’t be as shameful with something to show

So I smile through the ache of another day

and fight like hell to simply stay

It isn’t that I can’t find beauty all around

I see it in little things like leaves on the ground

It shines bright in the embrace of weathered hands

that have longed for a simple touch through life’s demands

I hear it in the voice of innocent children

their spirits full of wonder and magical visions

Beauty is everywhere to be felt and to be seen

It is only on the inside that I feel so unclean

If only this villain would just let me be

I can fool everyone else, why can’t I fool me?

 

Jessica Caudle

December 2, 2015

 

Inspired by a conversation that I had with a beautiful woman that I admire very much.  It is no secret that there are many stigmas associated with mental illness.  According to the Center for Disease Control, “only 25% of people with mental health issues feel that other people are compassionate and/or sympathetic toward them.”  It is a shameful statistic when one in four people have been touched by some form of mental illness.

In an effort to re-frame the conversation, artist Robot Hugs created a comic that displays what it would be like if we discussed physical illnesses in the same way we do mental illnesses. Take a look at the graphic below.

o-ROBOT-HUGS-570

 

Slideshow from JoAnne’s Celebration of Life

Here is the updated slideshow from JoAnne’s Celebration of Life.  Karen Schloer you did such an amazing job of putting everything together, thank you so much for all you did to honor her beautiful life.  Jojo would be so touched by your kindness and generosity.

We love and miss you Brave Girl

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