How Did She Do It? – Coping & Moving Forward

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Do you remember when I first told you about Holls?

https://feejohnson.wordpress.com/2013/04/10/have-i-ever-told-you-about-holls-2/#comments

Holls was my best friend when I was fifteen years old. Her real name was Holly, but everyone that she had considered to be a friend had called her Holls.

It’s been sixteen years since I had last seen Holls. She had a very infectious nature. She would make you laugh whenever she did something silly, whether it was intentional or not. And she could help you to see the most deepest meanings in the smallest things that you wouldn’t even consider looking deeper at as a teenager. Holls had a way about her that could make you laugh and cry at the same time. You would’nt know if you started laughing so hard that you were crying because of something funny she had said or did, or if you had started off crying because of a trick she may have played on you that scared you so badly that you ended up laughing at yourself in the end. That’s what Holly did. She made you feel special in every moment you spent with her…until the end.

Both of us had suffered from depression. We met while we were so called “troubled kids” during our group therapy meetings. We were child abuse survivors. The group therapy meetings taught us how to cope and heal from our past child abuse. Holls also had what is called Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). At the time, I didn’t know what that was. I think that I used to get BPD confused with Bi-Polar disorder or Multiple Personality Disorder. Either way, I was wrong. Borderline Personality Disorder is classified as a mental illness that is followed by an an intense unstable personality and emotional disruptive patterns which causes instability in relationships, impulsivity, self image, and can cause one to self harm and make threats about committing suicide. A person suffering from BPD may even commit suicide, whether they were reaching out for help by admitting suicidal ideation, or not.

Now that I’ve learned more about mental illness and mental health, I’ve become more aware of the importance of discussing these issues. I speak out because families, friends, and loved ones of those who suffer from mental illnesses tend to not know how to help the ones that they love. I speak out to educate and provide hope for them and those who are suffering.

Since writing my novel HerI’ve been able to speak out to raise awareness about child abuse, mental health, mental illness, and promote prevention. Raising awareness about child abuse, mental health, mental illness, and promoting prevention is positive! These may not be LIGHT subjects and some people may see them as taboo and something to censor. But when you have examples of successful survivors and thrivers with incredible stories of hope, love and inspiration that does help others, it IS POSITIVE. This is how we end the stigma! Speaking out is something that I will continue to do until it is no longer possible. And I hope that others will continue to speak out long after that time.

Often times, I’ve been asked, “How did she do it?” as in “How did Holly commit suicide?” If you’re someone who has lost someone that you love or care about to suicide, have you ever been asked this question? If so, how did it make you feel?

Honestly, I can tell you, that no matter who asks me this, I’ve always been taken aback. First, when my mother asked after I had found out, I was shocked. Then, when mutual friends of Holls’ and mine asked, and I didn’t really know if I should say that I even knew at the time how or why, just that it happened. When the therapists asked when they were trying to help, I felt confused as to why they would even ask that particular question. Even now, I’m still shocked when people that I meet in my campaign to raise awareness and promote prevention ask that specific question, “How did she do it?”. From radio hosts to other professionals who have asked, I am still taken aback each time someone has the audacity to ask.

To me, it is not offensive. I have considered several reasons why anyone would ask. One: out of curiosity. Two: genuine care and concern because people may think that “talking about the details” can be greatly therapeutic. Three: for reasons of their own that has nothing to do with me or Holly which could be entertainment or shock value, etc. I’m sure that there are other reasons, but these are the ones that I tend to wonder about when I am asked how did Holly commit suicide.

Every time I’m asked how did she commit suicide, I answer the same: She suffered with depression and BPD and she lost her battle with her mental illness. That is the best answer that I can give that will help people to understand why and how something like this could happen. It can happen to any of us who suffer from depression and who do not have the right support from our families, friends, and loved ones; the people who truly matter to us. The best thing that we can do is educate ourselves about these issues, do not ignore them, do not pretend that they do not exist, and do not try censor anyone who wants to speak out about their own experiences or others. This is the only way that we will end the stigma of mental illness!

#nostigma #nocensor #Speaktruth

Safety First Is Murphy’s Law Blogtalkradio show Featuring Author Felicia Johnson

Safety First Is Murphy’s Law Blogtalkradio show Featuring Author Felicia Johnson

Tracey Murphy of Safety 1st is Murphy’s Law – “Tonight’s show on Safety 1st is Murphy’s Law at 5pm pst 8pm est, will be powerful in many ways, our special guest Fee Johnson is speaking out about the importance of understanding borderline personality disorder BPD. Through her own experience of losing her best friend to mental illness and working through her own grief and onto recovery, gaining a degree in psychology, working on her masters with the goal of a phd specializing in personality disorders. Her inspirational passion will capture your attention as she takes you through her book ‘Her’, sharing her the passion to bring awareness and educate others about the depths and dynamics of BPD.”

Tune in tonight at 8pm EST to the show here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/missingandexploited/2013/10/15/safety-first-is-murphys-law#.UlxA99DV4IE.facebook

Find us at: www.facebook.com/Safety1stisMurphysLaw

or

www.voices-amplified.com

Her: The Novel Book Trailer Teaser #1

Now available on pre-sale! Reserve your signed copy today!

Search on Facebook: Felicia Johnson Author Page

http://8thstreetpublishing.com/book_store/her

In many ways, Kristen Elliott is a normal, seventeen-year-old girl. Kristen loves her family. She works hard academically, and tries to please her mother. She takes on the additional responsibility of caring for her twin siblings, Nick and Alison. She idealizes her best friend, Lexus, who not only seems to lead the perfect life, but also catches the attention of John, the boy Kristen secretly loves. However, as is the case with many teenagers, Kristen feels frustrated, isolated, and confused.

In other ways, Kristen is not like other kids her age. She knows something is wrong with her. Kristen feels like an utter failure. She is unable to please her abrasive mother, and scared to confront Jack, her abusive stepfather. She is also unable to protect Nick from Jack, making her fell all the more helpless. Adding to her problems, she knows she will never be as beautiful as her best friend Lexus. Kristen finds solace in self-injury, and the company of Mr. Sharp, her imaginary friend who encourages her feelings of self-loathing.

After a failed suicide attempt, Kristen is placed in the Bent Creek mental hospital, where she is diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. While in the hospital, she meets a group of peers suffering with their own mental illnesses, and a compassionate staff of doctors and counselors. From there, Kristen begins her journey to survival. She discovers the circumstances that brought her to this breaking point, struggles to understand her mental illness, and fights to be a survivor against her own worst enemy: her self-blame.

Kristen’s tale of endurance illustrates the complex illness of Borderline Personality Disorder. Readers — including those suffering from BPD and their friends and family — can glean insight into the illness from Kristen’s humanity. Her story is an example of how, if we try to push the past away, we are either doomed to repeat it or let it haunt us to our graves.

*Song used in the trailer is called Hope. It is by the band LENNY.

Have I Ever Told You About Holls?

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Have I Ever Told You About Holls?

Holls was my best friend. Fifteen years ago, today, April 10, my best friend, Holls, committed suicide. A week later, I received a letter from her. It was a goodbye. It was the last goodbye I’d ever get from Holls.
It’s been fifteen years since I’ve last seen Holls. It still feels like yesterday since we laughed and shared our good times together. One of the good times we had shared, was when we used to call each other on the telephone every day and say what we were feeling. Holls and I never held back. We’d wait for the other person to respond sympathetically. Then, we’d say, “Okay, I will call you later.” It was that simple with her. Holls didn’t make a big deal out of nothing. But she wasn’t the type of person to make you feel like your feelings or concerns weren’t important. She was a humanitarian, and had a loving attitude when it came to being a true friend.
I wish that Holls had given herself a chance to grow up. She would have seen that the pain she had felt when she was a child, in the hard life that she had lived, wouldn’t last forever. Although it was hard for us growing up, there was a chance for us to become healthy, strong, and happy people. I wish that she was here so that I could give her a hug. As I would hug Holls, I’d say, “See? We made it. We’re okay. And we are still the ‘bestest’ of friends!”
Holls and I used to hate it when adults would say to us, “Why are you depressed? You’re just a kid. What problems do you have? When you grow up, you’ll see. It gets a lot worse. It’s easy for children.”
Little did they know what we had suffered.
I learned, after Holls’ death, that she had Borderline Personality Disorder. I didn’t know what BPD was until I did research on it. It was confusing to me at the time. So, I began to study mental health, depression, and personality disorders. I wrote journals about my memories of Holls, our friendship, and what it was like growing up. Before I realized, the journal turned into a novel of great memories.
I’ve been writing since I was a little girl. I wrote my first novel when I was only six years old. Years after Holls’ death, I had an idea to write a story about a girl who suffered from depression and BPD, but then somehow survived all that she had been through. So, I started on a story, with Holls in mind. Although, the story is not about Holls, I wanted to write something that I could dedicate to her. I wasn’t sure where I was going with this story, but I started writing as I did with all of the stories I had written. I wrote the first outline of what the story would be about and the main characters, but I didn’t quite have an ending for it.
When I did finally write the original version of Her, the main character had a different ending than the version that is being published now. I won’t give away the ending, but I will say that I feel like Holls would be proud of the ending that you, as the reader, will read today. If Holls had given herself a chance to be a survivor, I think she would say that this new ending is the ending that she could have had.
Therefore, I dedicate this story called Her, her story, to Holls. Her is not Holls’ story, but she did provide hope and inspiration.
Please be sure to like my author’s page on Facebook to read more about my debut novel called Her. It is the story inspired by Holls. Click here.
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*Holly’s nickname was Holls.

Her: The Novel – Depression – BPD

Her: The Novel - Depression - BPD

Her: The novel by Felicia Johnson

In many ways, Kristen Elliott is a normal, seventeen-year-old girl. Kristen loves her family. She works hard academically, and tries to please her mother. She takes on the additional responsibility of caring for her twin siblings, Nick and Alison. She idealizes her best friend, Lexus, who not only seems to lead the perfect life, but also catches the attention of John, the boy Kristen secretly loves. However, as is the case with many teenagers, Kristen feels frustrated, isolated, and confused.

In other ways, Kristen is not like other kids her age. She knows something is wrong with her. Kristen feels like an utter failure. She is unable to please her abrasive mother, and scared to confront Jack, her abusive stepfather. She is also unable to protect Nick from Jack, making her fell all the more helpless. Adding to her problems, she knows she will never be as beautiful as her best friend Lexus. Kristen finds solace in self-injury, and the company of Mr. Sharp, her imaginary friend who encourages her feelings of self-loathing.

After a failed suicide attempt, Kristen is placed in the Bent Creek mental hospital, where she is diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. While in the hospital, she meets a group of peers suffering with their own mental illnesses, and a compassionate staff of doctors and counselors. From there, Kristen begins her journey to survival. She discovers the circumstances that brought her to this breaking point, struggles to understand her mental illness, and fights to be a survivor against her own worst enemy: her self-blame.

Kristen’s tale of endurance illustrates the complex illness of Borderline Personality Disorder. Readers – including those suffering from BPD and their friends and family – can glean insight into the illness from Kristen’s humanity. Her story is an example of how, if we try to push the past away, we are either doomed to repeat it or let it haunt us to our graves.