Helping teens see that they are not alone with depression and educating on the awareness & prevention of suicide – if you are having suicidal thoughts, call the Riverside County Suicide Helpline 951-686-HELP or the National Suicide Lifeline 800-273-TALK
We’ve all heard the expression, “to give your heart away”, but is this really a good idea? I know we all believe in the Cinderella story, wishing to find our Prince Charming, who will seek us out and save us from the wicked stepmother, but we also know this is not realistic. However, we are taught at a young age that it is okay for us to “give our heart away” to the person whom we fall in love. Sometimes this scenario works out and sometimes it doesn’t.
Scientifically speaking, the heart and brain cannot survive without the other. If the brain dies the heart dies and if the heart dies the brain dies. Unfortunately, some of us only think with our hearts, while ignoring our brain. We might feel something isn’t right, but our hearts tell us differently; subsequently a broken heart can be detrimental to our health, causing heart disease, high blood pressure, illnesses, stress, anxiety, and depression, to name a few. This warning is even in the Bible, Proverbs 4:23 – “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”
My point is, that it is our responsibility to ourselves, to love who we are enough to only allow those who are worthy of our love, into our hearts and our lives. Too many times we are lonely and settle with a person who is not worthy of our love and the end result is a broken heart. We are all deserving of love, the right love; however, this comes with patience and understanding for who we are and our needs.
True love does exist, so don’t give up on it, but self-love is forever.
The Jewels’ Angels Foundation wants to wish everyone a safe and prosperous New Year, filled with healing and new promises for a better year.
We also would like to remind you that today is your last day to make a donation to our foundation for your 2020 tax return tax deduction. The Jewels’ Angels Foundation is a non-profit 501 (c)(3), so your donation is 100% tax deductible.
Next year we will continue to raise money to fund our newest project – Jewels’ Angels Ranch, as well as participating in (if COVID-19 lifts) suicide awareness & prevention walks with American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, specialized motivational speaking events, community outreach programs, and working with legislation to implement certain bills and programs into our educational system.
Wow! This has definitely been a challenging year. The Jewels’ Angels Foundation would like to wish you and your family a holiday filled with peace and love, as well as remembering to be patient with yourself, kind to others, and show compassion to both yourself and to others. During challenging times, our character is tested, but we will remain strong as long as we keep our faith.
“My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness. This is why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
This year, our Santa’s Angels’ Fundraiser, donated holiday gifts to the Operation Safe House in Riverside, CA. We are so blessed to have this organization to help find a safe place for runaway teens. They provide shelter for transitional living, food, a safe place to sleep, and support for teens between the ages of 10 – 22 years old. It’s a wonderful program and we were honored to donate to them this year. The counselors there were so nice and grateful for our contribution.
This year’s donors:
Renuance Cosmetic Surgery Center in Murrieta (they also contributed towards Laura’s House)
The Harris Family
The Jensen Family
The Jewels’ Angels Foundation, Inc.
Mountain Mike’s Pizza in Corona
We couldn’t have made this fundraiser possible without our wonderful donors…a shout out to them and their amazing hearts!
I’m not a psychologist, therapist, or a doctor, but I am a person who has lost someone to suicide. Actually, I have lost two people I deeply loved to suicide.
Suicide has become a four-letter word to me. Almost four years ago, I lost my fourteen-year-old daughter to suicide on November 26, 2016. Although it feels like yesterday, I still live daily with the details of that day in my mind. Gradually, you feel yourself healing a little and you start to do some of the activities you used to enjoy.
The sadness is always there in the back of your memory, but you push forward. Eventually you decide to trust life just a little because you have been through so much and deserve to start living your life again.
Then you meet that special person. The one who brings the light back into your world of darkness. You can feel a happiness growing inside of you, flourishing and making you feel alive again, when before you had felt dead.
He has a special charism and charm about him. His smile is contagious, making you laugh at his stupid jokes. You can’t stop smiling and you have to admit that you are quite smitten with him. Realizing that you have so much in common, you find an instant connection with him, wanting to spend more and more time with him.
Have you ever met that one person who everyone always seems to like, because they reach out to you, talking to you when you may have been hesitant to approach them? That person who can talk to anyone – everyone is his friend. You know that he was obviously one of the popular kids in high school, hanging out with the most sought out students?
He makes you feel special, he makes you like yourself again, he makes you forgive those who have wronged you, because he makes you a better person. You actually like who you are because you have a new sense of peace. You want to smile at strangers, as you walk by them because you are genuinely happy.
But then that one day the sunshine hides behind the cloud, as the cloud becomes dark. A darkness evolves, suffocating the light that once surrounded you. You’re confused because you didn’t see this darkness, it wasn’t there one day and then it suddenly appeared.
The darkness is called depression. Your special person who had been filled with the light of happiness has now been engulfed with the darkness of depression. You try to bring the light back out in him, but he can no longer see it. Glimpses of it appear every now and again, but then the light fades, until one day the light doesn’t come back on. And what you’re left with is only the darkness.
Depression is like a parasite. It feeds off you, taking all your energy and light, until you are left with nothing. You’re tired, exhausted, and weak; unable to fight back. You try to fight back, but it’s all consuming, allowing no light to come back into your world. It has taken over – it now controls you. It has won.
Depression doesn’t only effect those who are infected with it, it affects all those around them, who love them. They plead for their happiness to return…if only they could be happy again then they will be okay. But that’s not how depression works. If you lose control of it, it consumes you like a black cloud, suffocating you until you can no longer fight back, so you give up.
And when you give up, the pain you once endured, is now passed on to the next person in line. And that would be me. I lost my fiancé to suicide on September 5, 2020. It is dark again. And now almost four years later, I am having to heal from two suicides, crawling my way out of their darkness and fighting to find the light that left them; stopping the cycle. I will not pass my pain onto the next person. I know the sunshine is out there, somewhere. Where there is darkness, there is also light. Nothing stays dark forever; therefore, I will not give up on those who love me and myself.
It’s been almost four years since losing my youngest daughter to suicide. I’ve had many sleepless nights to reflect upon the “what ifs”. Since that day, I have been an avid student, wanting to learn all I can about suicide, depression, anxiety, and mental illness. I’ve researched Psychology textbooks, read different books on the subject, watched television programs, and talked to many survivors who have gone through losing a loved one to suicide. All this, to better understand it and why they do it.
I was and still am determined to find a common link to suicide. Studies have shown that sleeplessness desensitizes our brain receptors of an important hormone called serotonin. Serotonin regulates mood, learning, and memory, just to name a few. The lack of this hormone may be detrimental to someone suffering with mental illness.
Subsequently, insomnia is a symptom of hyperarousal. A person is on overdrive with their thinking process, preventing them to fall asleep and/or stay asleep. It is not a broken sleeping pattern, but simply an overactive mind.
Nightmares are another condition research has found to be associated with suicide. Insomnia is a condition where a person has a hard time sleeping, and now you add a nightmare onto it. They finally fall asleep and then nightmares take over. Not only are they suffering with negative thoughts during the day, but now when they do fall asleep, they have nightmares, making their waking hours a struggle, as well as their sleeping hours. No wonder they have a hard time sleeping, besides the fact they are now exhausted. We have all had a sleepless night here or there, but could you imagine not being able to get a good night sleep for days, weeks, or months? Without proper sleep we may feel anxious, overwhelmed, agitated, hopeless, or desperate, feeding into the suicidal ideations.
It is my belief, that knowing this bit of information may be helpful to those suffering with insomnia, as well as mental health advocates, in the hopes to finding a way to conquer insomnia. Perhaps this may be the link to help those suffering with suicidal ideations and thoughts, saving our loved ones from the destruction of completing suicide. However, it is difficult to test this theory because our test patients are no longer with us, but we will continue to strive towards a positive resolution.
Times have been tumultuous lately. Amidst the Corona Virus Pandemic, the Black Lives Matter Movement (BLM) has risen up against racial injustice towards black people stemming from George Floyd’s murder by a police officer. Racism is not a new thing. The BLM movement is not a new thing either. We know as two white women, we cannot even begin to understand what it is like being a black female in the United States. But what we can do is promise you that we will not stay silent, and we will stay open-minded to learning new information and changing anything we thought previously to be true and adapt our thinking to new instances. We will stand with you against police brutality, racial injustice, and overall unfair treatment of our black communities. We will never be able to understand, but we will continuously support you. The Jewels Angels Foundation is open to any color, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, age, or ethnicity and always will be a safe space for anyone struggling.
Congratulations to our Seniors – Class of 2020! We are so proud of you and all your accomplishments. You did it and now it is your time to shine. Your possibilities are endless, especially during these uncertain times. The world needs leadership. We need our young people to stand up to all the wrong in this world and make it right again. Whether you’re going away to college or starting in a trade school or heading out on your own journey, we believe in you. We need you. This world is in such desperate need for some peace, along with new ideas and talents.
We have had so many challenges these past four years. We’ve lost some of our young angels to deadly car accidents, murder, terminal illnesses, accidents, and suicide. We must not forget them, so as you accept your honor of graduation, don’t forget to remember those who should have been standing next to you, but left this earth much too soon. Remember them by their name and give a small prayer for the impact they’ve left in your life and in our world. They will be missed, but never forgotten.
We would also like to remember the parents and families who have raised these wonderful young people and all the sacrifices they have endured to get to this point in their journey. No matter whether they are watching you graduate from their cars with tears in their eyes or praying at your gravesite with tears streaming down their faces; just always remember how very proud of you we are, as both a community, your family, and your parents.