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(trigger warnings for mentions of depression, suicide, and self-harming)

Netbug, you made a wonderful post about Robin Williams and depression and I wanted to respond to it, but I ended up kind of rambling, so I'm making a DW entry out of it. But you get credit for inspiring this post :)

Anyway, I was thinking about what Netbug said and it took me back to my high school years, when I was severely depressed; I actually had a contract I made with myself that said I was going to kill myself when I turned 18 because I hated myself so much and just couldn't imagine carrying on with this pain into my adult life. I was suffering and I needed help.

And I told my parents two times during this time. Technically three, as the first time I told them I was suicidal was in 8th grade when my brother caught me with an arm red with bite marks. And they did nothing.

Oh sure, they made sure to keep an extra eye on me, always asking how I'm feeling and if I was having 'those thoughts' again and about how they would pray for me. But after a while they think everything was fine with me, that I had managed to 'snap out of it' and let the status quo resume...until I broke down again. This happen my sophomore year (when I confessed to cutting myself) and my senior year (when I broke down crying during lunch). And each time it was the same 'we'll pray and keep an eye on you' solution. It wasn't until Mother's Day of 2012, when I lashed out at one of my cousins, that they finally took me to my aunt's therapist. And said therapist was the one who finally told my parents to take me a psychiatrist who diagnosed me with clinical depression and gave me anti-depressants. But the pills alone weren't enough, as it took one more breakdown for me to finally see a therapist regularly.

My brother once asked me why I needed other people to walk me through these things (my university's counselors were the ones who helped me find an affordable therapist) and the answer is that was how I grew up. After all, if I really needed professional help, surely my parents would have given it to me after I confessed to being suicidal three times?

But my parents didn't understand. Sure, my aunts and uncles may struggle with it because my grandparents were abusive, but me? Their happy-go-lucky, bubbly daughter? I don't think they understood that depression is more than just a mood that results for trauma. Heck, they still don't understand it. Last week, with my sister starting high school, my own four years were brought up and I didn't sugar-coat it that just how I felt during that time. And they get so offended by it, asking me if they 'were really such bad parents that I lead such a miserable life'.

I love my parents and they are wonderful, but they don't get that depression can be chemical, an imbalance in the brain they have no control over. Our family has a history of mental illnesses and I happened to win the genetic lottery that dictates my brain to be that way. The way I felt beneath my false smiles, the way I can still feel, had absolutely nothing to do with them.

The only thing they are responsible for is how they responded it to it.

So, yes, if you are suffering, please, speak up and don't continue to hurt. But everyone else has a responsibility as well, one to listen to the voice, to understand and not silence them. Because after a while, we will see that our words grant us no relief, so we will just quit talking.

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We had a blackout on Saturday when all four of my little cousins were over. It happen just as my mom was going to put Frozen on for them to watch. And then their parents came over, like, ten minutes later at around seven, so the kids weren't scared. In fact, they thought it was so cool once we brought out the candles and flashlights. One of my cousins had her birthday earlier in July and still had glow sticks left over, so we got those out for the kids. The younger two had fun making bracelets and necklaces with them, while the older two loved throwing them in the pool and diving after them, under our watchful eyes and flashlights of course! And Lily was happy because us being out on the patio meant that she could night-swimming as well. 

Then my sister pointed out that we never got around to making s'mores on Fourth of July and the fire pit was right there, so we got all the s'more making stuff out for some fun. Surprisingly, the fire felt nice. Or maybe it wasn't so surprising, since it has been monsoon season over here. There's a reason why Arizonian's always point out that we have a dry heat, because humid heat is horrible!

Then the kids went home and Dad and I agreed to stay the night to take care of Lily-dog and Sophie-cat. Poor Momma has been experiencing bad hot-flashes ever since she finished her chemo, something about her hormones or medication making her have heat flashes. There was no way she could stay the night in the house and it was expected that the power wouldn't be back on till five in the morning. Sis and her went home with one of our cousins and then Dad and I retired to the patio where it was slightly cooler. I had a flashlight and a book handy while Dad went to fold up the patio umbrellas. I hear the 'clank-clank-clank' of the crank and once it clears, the power came back on! I burst out laughing, asking dad what he did to make the power come back on.

Of course, whatever they did to fix the power must have been a temporary fix, as the we had another blackout tonight. It wasn't for as long, just an hour and a half or so, but it happen around the time my sister was getting ready for bed, since tomorrow is her first day of high school and she has to be at school really early for band.

...Allow me a moment to try to get use to the fact that my baby sister is starting high school 0_0

This brings up the point about dry heat vs humid heat; tonight wasn't humid at all, so I took Lily and a flashlight out and went around the block to see how our neighbors were faring. I'm a desert kid through and through; some where complaining that it was hot out, but to me it was wonderful. And Lily was happy too, since she got to see some of the neighbor dogs. She actually doing really well around new dogs, as she doesn't bark or try to bite them, just smell them quietly. I wish she would act the same way with new people, as she gets all hyper and jumpy when she's around them >_<

Also, I got around to finally making this pie yesterday. I had most of the ingredients but kept procrastinating on it because 1) we didn't have cocoa powder and 2) my enthusiasm for making the recipe deflated after Mom reminded me that she can't have anything soy. But I had already bought most of the stuff and the expiration date for the tofu was coming up, so I got off my butt, got the cocoa powder, and finally made her.

The funny thing is that the cocoa powder was a bigger obstacle then I thought. Storytime: when Acara was, oh, nine or so, she wanted something sweet to eat, but there wasn't anything like that in the house. Then I remembered the container of cocoa powder on the baking shelf and figured, hey, that's probably pretty good. It might be a bit bitter, but I love dark chocolate so I figured I could bare it. So I got the biggest spoon I could find and filled it with cocoa powder.

If you never tasted cocoa powder before, DON'T DO IT! You know the cinnammon challenge? My reaction was just like that as I tried not to spit the nasty stuff everywhere. So I kind of have had a bad association with cocoa powder since then and the fact that I couldn't easily find it in the store made me just want to make the recipe without it more.

Childish, I know, but the worst part was that, as I was making the pie, I though that maybe I had overreacted that day. After all, everything in moderation and all that, so maybe just a small sample would taste better? There was a light dusting of it on the teaspoon I used, so I wiped some of it on my finger and licked it. AND IT TURNED OUT I WAS STILL HORRIBLY WRONG!

...You know that scene in Avatar the Last Airbender where Sokka licks the gunk they find inside that one rock cave in the desert? And how he says he did it because he's so naturally curous? Yeah, I am just like that. Remind me to tell you guys the story of when I touched a cactus for a dollar sometime.

Still, the pie came out wonderful! I'll have to see if it will last till Bro comes home this weekend; at least with him I know he'll appreciate it!

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