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The State of Giggle On

Anybody still out there? Bueller. Bueller. Anyone?

Giggle On Land

As many of you noticed, I’ve been underground for a while. I haven’t had much energy or desire to spend time in Giggle On Land. This is not because I’m depressed or worse, because I’ve stopped laughing.

I am perfectly content at present and thanks to my new props, Yodeling Pickle and Handerpants, I keep myself laughing all the time. Not to worry. The State of my Giggle is strong. How about you?

Have YOU been getting your Giggle On lately? Send me an email and let me know: christa at giggle on dot com.

House Deal and the Donuts

After months and months and months, I finally sold my home here in Wilmington, Delaware. It was an emotional and financial roller coaster ride but I am thankful to have a new sense of FREEDOM in my life and a couple bucks in my pocket.  The house deal kept me plenty busy and I am THRILLED it is over. Where do I go next? Stay tuned.

My day business (yes, I have a real job) has kept me working many late nights. My attention is now focused on the financial security of my household, my business partner and our employees. We gotta keep making the donuts, right?

CONFESSION

Another main reason I’ve been away from here so long is in part because of Jim Sims (Jim #2).

I’m having a tough time facing the phrase “Giggle On”, introduced to me by Jim #2. He was the one who inspired me to embrace the creative process. Seeing “Giggle On” reminds me that he also lost his battle with depression and died by suicide.

Just this morning as I walked back from getting my morning cuppa joe, I saw a Delaware license plate that read : “__ Sims”…swear to gawd! I busted out in tears immediately.

I dedicated a lot of time last year support for survivors of suicide and to mental health advocacy. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to do so. I am proud of Team Giggle On and our participation in the E-Racing the Blues Event benefiting the Mental Health Association of Delaware. We raised money but more importantly, raised awareness about mental illness and suicide. We did great work but where do we go from here? Where do I go from here?

Is it all a bunch of hot air?

Perhaps I have helped all I can in regard to mental health and suicide awareness. Perhaps I’ve said all I need to say. Frankly, I do not know how much my words and my story help anymore. It all seems like a bunch of hot air at present.

I told Jim Sims my story. I told him about my struggle with depression and suicidal thoughts. I told him about the intense pain and grief felt in the aftermath of  Jim Thompson‘s suicide. Telling him these stories didn’t help. Sharing didn’t prevent him from killing himself.

The sadness and regret linger after suicide. They linger for millions of us left behind wondering, “why?”

Why share?

Why keep telling the same story?

Can we really prevent suicide?

I don’t know. I just don’t know anymore.

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Comments

  1. Christa, everyone has moments of doubt. Jim’s suicide was obviously a huge setback for you, among other things I’m not even remotely qualified to comment on.

    I don’t know the answers to your questions, but I do know that YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE. Maybe you’ll save a life you never even knew about. Maybe you already have.

    Just because it’s the same story doesn’t mean it’s not worth telling.

  2. I agee with JD. Plus, I can add, you make a difference to me! Thanks Christa. I know you pour out your heart and soul. You will never know what a difference you make. Your heart will lead you, just follow.

  3. Sadly, I don’t think we have the power to take away someone’s will, even if it is to eventually end their life. But, have you considered that maybe you enriched his life in some way while he was living? You do have an impact Christa – and I bet you have saved many lives with your message. The sad part is that you don’t necessarily hear about those that you have helped avoid suicide. Know that you are loved, and don’t forget it! HUGS

  4. I don’t think we can prevent suicide, not wholesale. We can however, prevent some people from taking their life.

    There’s a young male blogger I’m in touch with and he tried once last year to kill himself but someone got to him in time. Now his blog and tweets are full of his ongoing sadness and feelings that life will never get any better for him. He will try again, I’m sure of it. There’s nothing I can do to stop him if he really wants to. But as painful as it is for me, I still try. I talk with him online and via Twitter and say whatever I can to get him to change his mind.

    Maybe it won’t make a difference. Maybe it will. But I have to try! And if he still takes his own life, at least he knows that someone cared.

    Christa, while you can’t repeat your story ad nauseum (of course), you can keep the message going that you survived depression and feeling suicidal. You made it through and you’ve found a way to live a happy life.

    That message is well worth repeating.

    There is life out there. There are alternatives to “coping” with depression. We can kick it in the ass instead!

    So… maybe you just need to re-focus your message? Maybe it’s no longer just about “Giggling On”? Perhaps you need to consider how to tell your story in a way that works for you?

    Whatever you decide, I have this feeling that being a spokesperson for life, getting over depression etc won’t just go away so easily. ;)
    .-= Svasti´s last blog ..Blue moon blues =-.

    • @ JD – I was asked to speak at a NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) event next week. This is a program for students and faculty at a local college. A fellow SOS’er (Survivor of Suicide) recommended me to speak about prevention but I told her I didn’t think I was qualified to do such a thing. I did agree to go and tell my story, although, I am not a big fan of being the center of attention. Sounds odd since I have a website but I am completely OVER talking about myself. Over it.

      You, JD, are so blessed with a great sense of humor and the ability to write, edit and present your material to the masses. That is a gift. I hope you keep doing what you’re doing. We need YOU!

      @ Connie – I am thankful I made a difference for you Connie. You are right. My heart should lead here. Yes. But my heart feels very confused. Time seems to heal mostly everything so I guess I will listen to the tick-tock and have faith. I have plenty of that! :-)

      @ Lg Marge – Sure Mags. I’m sure I made him laugh. We had fun. We talked a lot. We poured our hearts out to each other. He told me he loved me and when he said that I thought “Are you crazy? You barely know me”. And yet, he knew parts of me I wasn’t able to share at that time.

      To lose one man by suicide was hard enough but to lose the second one, man, I just can’t put it into words. I am not smart enough, not wise enough to find the no words. It’s like guilt squared. Damn it to hell, WTF did he do this? Tomorrow is ALWAYS another day. Damn it. And here I am wrapped up in this stuff when you’ve had lots going on in your life and I’ve been absent. Sorry for that my friend. So sorry.

      @ Svasti – You’ve got the biggest heart. I am glad to hear someone got to that blogger friend of yours in time last year. Funny, my head tells me we cannot help people hell bend on wacking themselves and yet I want to know who this man is….I wonder if I can help. Is this ego on my part or compassion? Who knows. Lordy Lord.

      I stopped and read this a few times. “Maybe you just need to re-focus your message?” and asked myself, “How”. How do I do that? Do I want to do that? Or, will I chose to quit and walk away. I started this site with great hope, much enthusiasm and a big desire to help. My personal giggle is intact but I am ashamed that now I want to do what I’ve encouraged others NOT to do…Give Up. I don’t want to give up on life at all but maybe it is time to pack it in here.

      Thanks you guys. I appreciate the love, feedback and support. Now, someone tell me a joke, show me a new funny prop or send me a photo of you making a silly face. Will ya? Bueller. Bueller….you know the line. *giggle*

  5. Christa, Congratulations on being asked to speak at NAMI, that is quite an honor. Just letting people know about your website is alot. I have spent hours reading and following trails which has somehow helped me understand my depression and anxiety or whatever I have or had.

  6. Christa, life does go on, yet, for my dear sister who’s dentist husband committed suicide, there is that lingering sorrow that rises to the surface. A memory is triggered or the sadness comes up about what he is missing at holidays and landmark events in her children’s lives. She has a new husband and a new life yet these are the feelings that come up for her.

    You are doing a good work as you encourage us all to focus on the joy and laughter, not linger in an unhealthy way in the sadness, sorrow, and depression. Depression according to Dr Dean Allen is created from that which remains buried. The antidote is expression. My feeling is we express it with the intent to clear it out of our body and mind. Then refocus on the giggle and joy of living the best that we can. If we have to do that a hundred times a day until it becomes easier, then that is what we do. And hopefully, eventually we regain our balance and it is easier to stay in a positive, peaceful place. It helps to have a purpose and a reason for living for some and for others it is their faith that keeps them going.

    Those are my thoughts. I send my love and compassion to anyone struggling with depression and sorrow.

  7. Aww sweetie – I know where you are coming from. You just get smacked in the face with it when you least expect it. It happens every few days. I come across a picture, hear a song, read a passage in a book….blah. It doesn’t help that my favorite colleague is married to a Jim and my assistant’s boyfriend’s last name is Sims. I feel like I hear his name on a daily basis. Maybe it’s a sign to keep remembering?

    I need to send you a photo I stumbled upon last night while cleaning my son’s room. He had been looking at a long lost photo album. I found a picture of Jim that made me cry and giggle. I don’t know if the tears will ever go away, but I hope the perspective will come in time.

    xoxox
    Sunny

  8. Wow! Lovin’ this site. What a woderful thing you have done. I don’t know you , but feel like I do. Jim Sims was a good friend of mine. I miss him all the time. He shared stories about you. (BTW, he and his son did create a mosaic together….) Well, what to say to inspire you? I am afraid I can’t. However, I will encourage you to follow your heart. Whatever you decide to do, I am sure it will be great and honorable. You seem like that sort of human being! Badda Bing! Live, Love, Laugh! Always here for you, El

    • @ Linda – Please accept my very deepest condolences about your brother-in-law. We move on, yes, but we never forget those left behind.
      The antidote to sorrow is expression. I agree and yet I’d like to run from that very concept. I appreciate the love you are sending out to all those in need. Thankfully love is bountiful in this world. We share it and it is continually replenished.

      The expression of happiness and laughter can’t be forgotten. Thank you for your kind note. Your happiness most definitely warms my heart. My love to you, always.

      @ Sunny – yes, smacked upside the head with a back whack and kick to the jaw. Shee-it. And so it is. I’d love to see the photo and hear the story that made you giggle. The tears will diminish and as months pass you will gain perspective but the pangs of love in your heart and the laughs you didn’t get to share will remain, at least, that’s my experience. I didn’t know Jim for years like you did and who in the hell knows what he thought of me in the end but… I guess…all that doesn’t matter now. We too carry on.

      @ Elbesure – I am thrilled to hear Jim and his son created a mosaic. On my last trip I brought him three blue graphic design tiles made by an artist in the UK. I bought them many years ago for a project I never started. I knew Jim would appreciate them and delivered them to him in the fall of 2008. He was delighted to receive the gift. I don’t know if I should be scared or honored that he shared stories of me with you. I do pray I helped in a small, small way, made him laugh and helped him enjoy some of the magic life had to offer. I pray to my Lord I didn’t hurt him or add to his burden. And if I did, may God forgive my soul. Seems we both drank from the honesty cup as we spoke to one another. I was very honest with him during our last face-to-face chat.

      I will carry on with my silliness, my Bada Bing nature and my complete sense of irreverence. That is me. And oh, did I mention I have a pickle that yodels? Swear. Swear I do and it IS one of the funniest things I’ve ever owned.

      God Bless plastic pickles. God Bless silliness. God Bless new friends, old friends, friends gone before me and friends I’ve yet to meet.

  9. Christa–I also believe that the worth of a life is not measured by its beginning (hey–I’m the product of date rape!) or its ending–or its length for that matter. Sounds like these guys (and I’m including the young son of my friends who just killed himself) packed a lot of living in… and they were BELOVED. BELOVED and they LOVED. That counts. That counts. <3 Michele

    • @ Michele - thanks! Life is measured by the love we share.

      I realize now, and perhaps I’ve said it before, the ONLY person I can prevent from taking their own lives is me.

      My main charity now is simply: me. It may sound selfish to some but to me the greatest act of self love is learning to respect our own needs, learning to respect ourselves.

      If a person is hell-bent on leaving this world by suicide and they’ve made up their mind not to accept help, there seems to be little we can do to change their minds.

      I also admit I was relieved that NAMI talk (National Alliance on Mental Illness in Delaware) was rescheduled to March. I agreed to speak, in part, to help my friend Patti. I was asked to talk about prevention and my experience as both a survivor and someone who also contemplated suicide. I spent most of Sunday, the 7th of February, working on my content and ended the evening in tears. I do not want to tell my story anymore. I am tired of dredging up all the pain and emotion surrounding my past emotional state and the deaths of the Two Jims. I’m done.

      Screw you suicide. Bite me Miss Depression and for the last time: PISS OFF. I’ve shed enough tears…

      As much as I may already have defined myself by these traumatic events (and we all have them) with this site, I refuse to walk another step in life with any kind of suicide and depression chip on my shoulder. I am not a victim and hell, I’m not even a “survivor”. I’m just Christa. Simple. Silly. Sassy. That’s all.

      The Two Jims ended it all for reasons I may never fully understand. I don’t need to understand. I NEED to move on.

      I want to thank everyone who has supported me here at Giggle On. Please accept my decision to move beyond grief, depression and suicidal themes (ok, I hear some of you breathing a sigh of relief and I’m RIGHT with you).

      I am not sure where I go from here but I am sure with some time, I will figure it out. Until then, I’ll be laughing, smiling and grabbing life by the…well, you know.

      Giggle On ya’ll! Giggle AWN!

  10. Hi Christa,

    I have spent five mins on your site as I search for ideas for a seated laughter yoga session and I just want to say what strength of character you must have. I am passing your website on to a friend of mine who is setting up a support group in our area (North Lanarkshire, Scotland). Your website has incredible reach. I am impressed by the quality and therefore time you have put into. You obviously want to make a difference and you are. Everyone that knows you must be so proud. Most of all, you should be so proud!

    • @ Connie – Thanks girl. :-)

      @ Laura – Thank you for your email. I appreciate your support and the kind words.

      I believe in the power of laughter. Even though many tears were shed losing two men to suicide, I will always remember their senses of humor and how they made me laugh. As Jim Sims would say…Giggle AWN (with a Texan type twang)

      If you are interested in ideas for seated laughter yoga, I encourage you to visit my mentor’s site, Carmela Carlyle. http://www.carmelacarlyle.com

      I assisted her last summer and took some videos of her teaching classes, specifically, there is a clip of her leading a session with elders in an assisted living facility. You may find the video useful. In case you have not seen it, visit here:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-YI4h25K0Gc&feature=player_embedded or see my Laughter Yoga page.

      Many Ho Ho’s and Ha Ha’s to you and your Laughter Yoga mates in the UK/Scotland!

  11. I’m a new visitor to this site. I am grateful for your openness and honesty. I have been coping with depression since the late 90′s, and I have lived with the pain of depression and the thoughts of reliving that pain through suicide. I believe that sharing can save someone from suicide. Me! The more I share, the less pain I have. The less I share, the more the pressure builds up. I don’t know if I can save anyone else, but I do know I can save myself.

    • @ Fran – thanks for stopping by my site and for your kind words of support. Keep talking & keep sharing. What things do you do to cope with your depression – what tips might you share with us?

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