What is the story related to mental health, suicide, and/or resilience that you’d like to share?

I spent most of my childhood and the first half of my adulthood struggling with anxiety and depression. After moving to South Dakota and starting a new life as a rancher, I discovered I could be happy!

 

Eliza wrote a song to tell her story:

“I Made It Home” by Eliza Blue

It feels like exile when I get this low
When I’m so far gone, there’s nowhere else to go
And the weather’s changing fast
The fog is rolling in
Oh, my city of the sea
I will leave you for the middle of, the middle of the country

But if I’m singing this song to you, you know I made it through, you know I made it through, you know I made it back

And it’s almost dawn now, so it’s as dark as it’s gonna get
I made it this far, and I haven’t given up yet
And I’m singing this song for you so you know I made it through
You know I made it through
You know I made it home

I got my daddy’s eyes
I got my mama’s hands
I got a worried mind
I got his angry glance
But that’s not all I am
That’s just how I began
And I’m beginning to see there’s a place for me

I’ve lived through drought
I’ve lived through fire
And I’m ready now to start to flower
Yeah, I’ve lived through drought
I’ve lived through fire
And this field is ready to burst into flower

Oh, I’m singing this song for you
You know I made it through
You know I made it through
You know I made it back

Yeah, I’m singing this song for you so you know I made it through
You know I made it through
You know I made it home
I made it home
I made it home

What resources have helped you to address this challenge?

More stability, work grounded in the seasons, and more time spent outdoors. More time with animals and less with humans (turns out I’m a big introvert, and city life was really stressful for my nervous system). Meditation and a lot of work learning how to use positive self-talk to replace many of the negative thought patterns I didn’t even realize I had. Learning that some of my “problems” were a result of neurodivergence and are actually my superpowers.

Based on your experience, how can we work to build resilience in ourselves, our loved ones, and in our communities to better face life’s challenges?

Teach people to trust and cultivate their inner knowing. Provide safe and loving spaces of self-discovery where difference is celebrated.

 

What is one thing related to mental health, suicide, or resilience that you wish everyone could understand?

You can learn to be more resilient!