29 comments on “Silence echoes…

  1. i was in tears before I even finished the first paragraph. I too have major depression, along with several anxiety disorders, and (as of recently) bipolar disorder. I was diagnosed at fourteen and I have felt judged and ridiculed ever since. I have met face to face with people who said that I should just kill myself. I’ve had people belittle me whenever they found out that I cut myself. I’ve been told that I was making it all up and that none of my disorders were real. I’ve been fired for having a major panic attack at work. I understand the looks, the judgement, and the ignorance of it all.

    I’ve had friends leave me and family alienate me. I’ve been looked down upon. I’ve been questioned about my scars, and I lie about how I got them. For years I have had to constantly lie so that people will accept me.

    I too think about suicide every day. Every morning when I’m looking at the pills in my hand, I just think about how I could take the entire bottles. I think about how no one would miss me. I think about how worthless and useless I am. My heart aches as I swallow them.

    When I was sixteen I made a pact to kill myself on my eighteen birthday. Here I am at twenty-one and all I can think about is how I broke that pact. Every time I get drunk, I say that I should be dead. The party sort of stops after that.

    I am also an atheist. Like most atheists, I really have nothing against organized religion as long as it is not harming anyone. I am a woman of science. I prefer facts to faith. I keep it a secret, more secret then my mental conditions, because saying the “A” word just brings on a whole other wave of judgement. I’ve studied religion in college and I’ve read plenty of religious texts. People assume that I know nothing about it and that is why I am an atheist. The amusing part is when I know more about their beliefs than they do.

    I am a teacher at a church daycare. I incorporate bible stories into my lessons, however I always focus on what the story is trying to teach. It is often times strange walking into the church without an ounce of belief in Christianity. I love the children. I am there for them. The other teachers will put them down for crying or even yell at them for getting upset. I see the slow destruction these teachers are doing to them. I take them aside and tell them that it is okay to cry. It is okay to feel sad or angry. I hug them and kiss their foreheads because I know exactly what it feels like when someone yells at you for showing emotion. I can only hope that I am making a difference in their lives.

    I want you to know that this post really moved me. I feel stronger somehow. I do not know how to explain it, but there is always comfort in knowing that you’re not alone. Thank you, for writing this, because you have reminded me that I am not the only one out there.

  2. I wish you nothing but love and peace, Joshua. Thank you for opening your world, and for trusting us with your thoughts. This will stay with me for a very long time, you have shaken me from both blinkered and complacent mindset.

  3. I feel compelled to comment on your blog, but I’m not sure what to say about the intensity and fullness of your writings. It is so powerful how you write. It’s like you write in a way to share your thoughts, but also validate thoughts and feelings within yourself. I also have PTSD but from different kind of work related trauma. I also blog. It’s interesting to see how blogging seems to help us both, yet yours is so different than mine. But as long as we both get something from it, it’s a positive thing. Being self aware is good with PTSD so keep up the hard work! Your a very interesting person!

  4. I found myself reading this at 1 am, feeling so helpless. I am at an utter loss for words right now, so I will simply thank you for the education and wish you the best. May your future be brighter than your past.

  5. Your words have shaken me to my core. I had to pause and breathe throughout my reading. You have powerfully reinforced for me all of the changes I am making in my life. I don’t want to waste a single minute, I won’t be silent any more, and I will take a stand for that which I believe.

    Your bravery is infinite.

    The following sentence, my favorite, is lighting a fire in me:
    “It amounts to the creative miscarriage of the next generation of innovation and enlightenment still germinating in the womb of our minds.”

    You are my hero.

    Thank you

  6. I’m a long way from central Florida but your description is vivid, so compelling, that I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to listen to you. You’ve given me wonderful perspective on the trivial glitches in my life – thank you.

  7. This a brilliantly written and very moving story of your remarkable life. Thank you for writing this and for sharing it with us all. Keep writing and doing so much excellent work in support of the causes that you believe in.

  8. A very powerful and beautifully written story. I can’t fully express my happiness in your realization (and that of others when they come to it) that YOU are the driving force within yourself that pushes you to move forward and not give up. It is all too often attributed to the strength of some unknowable force which cheapens the true grit that is human resolve.

    I’m no veteran. I haven’t seen the horrific tragedies with which war so permanently scars those who are unfortunate enough to have seen. I have, however, watched friends come back forever changed – at least for as long as it took for two of them to succumb to these thoughts and scars from which they sought (and, unfortunately for those of us who remain, found) refuge. I miss them terribly, and only wish I could have been able to understand their pain and anguish and help them cope.

    *choking down the lump in my throat*

    Your bravery in sharing this very personal side of you is more than appreciated.

    Thank you, Joshua.

    Thank you for allowing those of us who have only been able to see from the outside a tiny glimpse inside and maybe some further understanding of the pain those we loved may have felt.

    Thank you for choosing to live.

    Thank you for allowing yourself to give YOU the credit for making that choice, and

    Thank you for opening yourself up so publicly in a way that can help others realize this as well – and who knows – help them save themselves.

  9. An amazing story and well told,sir. I have no qualms speaking for your Twitter buds when I say we eagerly anticipate seeing your face and reading your words each day. We may never meet you face to face, but you make a DIFFERENCE in people’s lives, and I look forward to this continuing for years to come. Best, best wishes on a long and fulfilling existence that we call life. Cheers!

  10. That was just about the most astonishingly, achingly poignant, beautiful and powerful things I have ever read. And damn it, Joshua, you have bought tears to my eyes.

    Although I would like to feel that I have started to understand what you have been/are going through, I know I do not but I feel I know you better for reading it and for that, I am grateful.

    I have followed you for some time now and will continue to enjoy your wisdom and humour for a long time to come.

    I think you are a credit to yourself and to the power of mind over mind.

    I’d also like to echo all the kind words written above.

    Keep up the good work.

  11. hi joshua.
    when i read your blog last year you made reference to the 4th of july. (?) ~ about God looking out for veterans. it was a hard-hitting statement but i cannot find it since you changed your blog name.

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