Friday, 29 April 2016

You gotta have FAITH

Before this river becomes an ocean, before you throw my heart back on the floor...I've gotta have Faith. ~ George Michael

This was my friends favorite song. You can't even imagine how many hours I spent trying to get the slideshow I put together for the celebration of his life to perfectly match timing with the two songs I chose. This was the second one.

Too many hours. And not enough hours. With his family not here, someone had to step up and take care of that. He was right though.

No matter what happens in life, faith keeps us going. Yesterday, I was feeling overwhelmed. After his death, my dog got really sick. These are external influences. It's not feel sorry for Margaux time, it's just that I've had a lot to process lately. Work was really busy, I was worried about Max.

I was walking home from work, I'd been trying to suppress a panic attack all day. Usually, I come home for lunch. Yesterday I was too busy. By the time 6 pm came around, I was in full panic mode. I always walk past Saks because I love the dresses in the windows. I started throwing up. That's what happens when the panic attacks hit emergency.

I threw up four times. On the street in front of their lovely window displays. A lot of people walked past me. They looked at me. They probably could have thought I was a drug addict or something. Except I was dressed corporate and had a Kate Spade purse and had been at work all day.

I didn't know if I was going to make it home. The fourth time though, a woman came up to me. She asked if I was okay or I needed help.

At the end of the day, those 30 or 40 others who just walked past me don't matter. It's that one in a few people who make all the difference. The ones who make sure your river doesn't become an ocean that you're drowning in.

I told her I was close to home and I'd be okay.

It taught me something. We need to recognize and appreciate those really good people out there. I've been on both sides, as a sufferer and supporter. We need more of you on our side. Be kind to one another. Don't let the river become an ocean.

I have the best people behind me now: family (non-jw), friends, work, random strangers. Who have been extraordinarily kind.

People like that give me faith. :)

Sullivan out.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

The artist formerly known as PRINCE

Prince died. That sucks. He was a musical genius. He also became one of Jehovah's Witnesses so technically he's my brother. :)

This is my favorite Prince song.

I wanted to play it at my wedding but the elders said it wasn't appropriate. So many rules! I'm sure they loved having a celebrity endorsement though. They only care about the money.

Those rolling bookcarts are everywhere these days. Why not? It's the easiest, laziest way to count service time. Just stand around in the sun and wait for people to approach you while you chit chat with your partner.

Most of the time I ignore them. But if they are talking to someone, trying to convert them, I always walk up and politely warn that person that they are a dangerous cult.

The other day the guy decided to argue with me about that. He said they weren't.

Me: What about all the people you let die because you won't allow blood transfusions?

Him: No response.

Me: What about all the families you tear apart with shunning?

Him: No response.

Me: What about all those people who get shunned and try to kill themselves because they get so sad?

Him: THAT NEVER HAPPENS.

I'm on a lot of ex-jw webpages and yah, it happens ALL the time.

Me: I know for a fact it happens all the time. I'm a suicide survivor. Attempted thanks to you.

Him: Can you please leave?

Me: No. You're the one who shouldn't be allowed on the sidewalk telling lies. I'm going to stay and tell my side of the story whenever anyone comes up. The truth.

At this point my friend Jay is hiding. He doesn't want to be involved.

If there's one thing those super "brave" JWs are afraid of, it's an apostate. They packed up and left. One small victory. :)

I think I'm getting famous because today when I walked past one of their bookcarts some Jdubs I don't even know said "Hi Margaux". Note: I'm a disassociated apostate. You're not allowed to say hi to me idiot. 

Rest in peace Prince. You made a really bad choice to join this cult. I'm happy you're out.

Sullivan out.

Friday, 15 April 2016

I Dreamed a Dream

It's Friday, blog night. 

I'm kind of on a Les Mis kick at the moment. So. I dreamed a dream. I was always a dreamer. And since my dreams have all been shattered, I've become an advocate. 

For the ex-Jws of course. For people suffering from mental health issues, yes.

I am so proud to be participating in CAMH One Brave Night for Mental Health, the all-night challenge to defeat mental illness.

Y'all know I can't stay awake after 11 pm so this should be interesting.

I’ll be staying awake all night on May 13 to inspire hope for the one in five people who experience mental illness in their lifetime. This is my way of inspiring hope for people with mental illness. As you know, I've been on both sides of this challenge, as a sufferer and supporter. Two weeks ago I lost one of my friends to this battle.

I want to help, but to do that, I need your help.

Please help me reach my fundraising goal by visiting my personal page and donating any amount, however small. I appreciate whatever you can give – it all adds up and helps those living with mental illness! Making a tax-deductible donation online is quick and easy.

I greatly appreciate your support and will keep you posted on my progress. We all post a selfie at sunrise so if I make it, it will be thanks to you.

It's weird but I still miss my mother. She was never very good at being a mother but she was what I got dealt in life. I watched the movie with her. "There are dreams that cannot be, and there are storms we cannot weather. I had a dream my life would be so different from this hell I'm living."

My life is definitely not hell. But I've been there and back. This weekend, I help organize a memorial for my friend who didn't see a way out of the darkness. 

If you can find it in your heart to donate to this very good cause, I would really appreciate it. 

Margaux out. (yes, that's my name)

http://give.camh.ca/site/TR/OBN/OneBraveNight?px=1079129&pg=personal&fr_id=1070

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Sunday mornings are not always easy

"Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for awhile." - The Princess Bride

I'm not even really sure what I want to say today. But it's Sunday morning so here we go. Yesterday was Donia's birthday. She's been gone five months and I'm still crying this morning. She was one of the best friends I have ever had, ever will have. My ex-boyfriend is practically living at my apartment while we try to make sense of his good friends death last week. Death sucks. Unfortunately as we age, this is part of life. 

Wouldn't it be great if we could go back to being young, no real responsibilities. When work didn't dominate our lives, when we thought we were immortal. Turn back time to the good old days. 

Donia is definitely somewhere special now. She's one of the best people I've ever known. I hope you had a lovely birthday, my darling. True friendship is hard to come by. It's kind of funny, but the first JW I bumped into since disassociating myself the other week from the religion was Celine. 

Celine, Heather, Monique and I were like those girls from Sex and the City. Only we were JWs so we didn't have sex. And we weren't allowed to watch SATC. But we were friends since we were little kids. Inseparable. All bridesmaids in each other's weddings. Except Celine, she never got married. I don't think she really knows how to love - herself or anyone else. 

I saw her on the street a couple of days ago. She did that thing that they all do, look you straight in the face so you know they saw you, then avert their eyes and walk quicker past you. Like they might catch your non-believer disease. There's only one picture I keep up in my apartment from my JW past. It's of the four of us. Two of us got out. And now we get shunned on the street by the people who were supposed to love us. 



It was real. It was good. But it wasn't real good. 

This is what real friendship looks like:


Today will not be the last day I cry for Donia. Or George. I know one thing though. I will love the fuck out of everyone I have left. Be kind to one another. The days are long but the years are short. 

Sullivan out.

Sunday, 3 April 2016

RIP

Word to the wise: even if Les Mis is one of your favorite books, don't watch the movie on a Sunday if you've had a bad week. Every song just makes you cry.

I would like to thank everyone who has been so kind and supportive to me and my friend Jay after hearing about the passing of our friend a few days ago. My ex used to say if I wanted to make this blog better I could just tell the truth. No sugar coating or waxing poetic.

So this isn't a feel good blog. Sometimes, life just sucks. In some ways, I'm almost envious of my friend. He was in pain, he wanted this life to be over and now it is for him. I've actually heard of three suicides this week, there must be some kind of energy shift in the universe.

I was talking to another friend today who, like me, like my friend, has attempted to kill himself. When I told him about my friend, he was like "good for him". He and I both woke up in hospital rooms in paper diapers hooked up to an IV and our first thought was "Fuck. I'm failing at life and I can't even get this death thing done right."

He and I are both happy with our lives now. But the work it takes to get there? It's hard. It's exhausting. It takes years. And you still live with the sadness. As you know, I decided to disfellowship myself from the Jehovah's Witnesses. I've tried over and over through the past three years. Someone always cried or begged me not to and I would just take it back. Every time.

This time, I got the same messages. Please reconsider. Please be sure that this is really what you want. I had to be more direct. Why do they even want me to stay? I'm a huge apostate. I walk up to people on the street talking to them and warn them it's a dangerous cult and they should keep walking. I've called our their elders as selfish, perverted cowards and bullies. I've told them my husband, also an elder, was abusive. We were together over ten years. He remarried one of my supposed friends in about 5 minutes after he divorced me.

I lost the only man I will ever really love because it took me too long to do this. Yes, it's been seven years and I'm still in love with Adam. Can you say single forever?

This time the elders respected my wishes and made the announcement on Tuesday. I got the email from Walter on Wednesday. He sounded sad and I felt bad for him. He is definitely one of the good ones. I'm sorry to let him down. I'm not sorry I made that decision though.

I might always live with the nightmares. Wake up every morning with panic attacks. At least I'm free. It's actually harder than I thought, killing the JW aspect of my life. It was such a huge part of me for so long. I've found some little bit of peace with this step. I don't know if I'm really helping anyone with this blog. And obviously I can't save my friends, even if I know what they are going through. All we can really do is try our best. I don't know what happens when we die, but I'm hoping George is in a better place. Rest in peace, my friend. I'll get there someday.

Sullivan out.

Friday, 1 April 2016

Where the Light Is

"Gravity has taken better men than me. Just keep me where the light is." - John Mayer

One of my friends has been going through a hard time. I tried my best to help. A lot of us did. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough. He decided to take his own life.

I got the phone call at work. My first reaction was NO. It can't be true. My second reaction was just to start crying. Which I did all night, this morning and that's not over yet.

The whole reason I had decided to be so open on this blog was to raise awareness. Most of my life has been completely embarrassing. And putting it out there definitely does not benefit me in any way. But if I could help anyone - ex-JW, someone living with mental health issues - that's what I wanted to do.

Bell does a "Let's Talk" day every year to raise awareness for mental health issues. This is not a one day a year issue. It's great that they do that. And it's great that a lot of you out there support the charities that support these people. My people.

If you really want to help though, it takes more than writing a check. Or showing up at a fundraiser. It takes all of us to educate ourselves, to be alert to the warning signs, to make those one on one connections with the ones who suffer. Listen, be there for them, help them get the help they need.

This old school mentality has got to go and make room for awareness and acceptance. Some of the comments I've received in the past day just reinforced that for me. "He was so selfish." "Was he on drugs?"

I realize that drug and alcohol abuse can be factors in the equation sometimes, but not always. Sometimes people just get dealt a bad hand in life and they get very sad.

As far as the selfish comments go, yes, maybe it is selfish, but try looking at it from the other perspective. I've been through it. I've tried to kill myself. I wasn't trying to hurt anyone. I didn't send out angry messages or write a letter blaming anyone. Sometimes, we are pushed beyond our capacity for pain. When that happens, we can end up in a place where we never wanted to go. A dark place. Where there's no light at the end of the tunnel. Where the hurt is so bad, all we want is for it to stop. Where as much as we genuinely love the people in our life, we don't care anymore that they will cry tomorrow. It just needs to be over. For us.

I've been so lucky. The second time I became suicidal, I didn't just take four bottles of pills and go to bed. I asked for help and I had a network that rallied around me. A workplace that supported me. Aunts and Uncles to go home to, who took care of me until I was no longer a threat to myself. A $200/hour therapist who first cut his fees in half and then just treated me for free.

Not everyone is that lucky. Although my friend had loving friends, he obviously didn't have the support he needed. Over the past couple of weeks, he kept telling me how much he valued our friendship. He wasn't angry, he was just sad. He kept telling me how much he looked up to me, how strong he thought I was for getting through my challenges in life. How proud he was of me.

I've been where he was and I still misread the signs. I thought he was saying those things because I was inspiring him to get better. Now, I think it was because he didn't feel like he would ever get there.

All I'm asking of all of you out there is please, please be alert. 1 in 4 Canadians have suffered or are suffering from depression. Watch for the signs. Be patient and kind. Pick up the phone when they call even if you're rolling your eyes and thinking you don't want to listen to this story again. You just might save a life.

He called me on Wednesday. I was volunteering at a charity event all day. I didn't pick up, I thought, I'll just call him back later. Later was too late.

We all struggle with the back and forth between the light and the darkness. When you're in the light, shine it on others. That way, when you're in the dark, there will be someone around to show you the way back out.

Sullivan out.