Wednesday, November 21, 2018

My (not a) suicide note

TW: Suicide discussions and depression. For more information or to find a crisis centre in your country, check out: https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/
IF YOU ARE A FAMILY MEMBER OR CLOSE FRIEND, PLEASE NOTE I AM OKAY. I AM DOING WHAT I CAN TO KEEP BEING OKAY. THIS WAS WRITTEN IN A DARK TIME AND FOR A UNIVERSITY ASSIGNMENT. 

This isn’t a pretty story about how to survive suicidal thoughts. There is no secret revealed over the next few thousand words that will help reverse any negative thoughts you might be having. This is nothing more and nothing less than a look at my personal daily struggle and how I see the world, even though I do not wish to see it that way. More than anything, I wish I could give you a fix that allowed you to navigate the world without these negative thoughts, only I can’t even give that to myself.
By sharing these thoughts, and my mad ravings, what I can give myself, and hopefully you, is some comfort that we are not alone. If even one of the issues I mention resonates with you, you have my deepest sympathies and my heartfelt love. There is no shame in feeling bad. There is no need to feel like you don’t deserve help. Even if it feels like you are unable to request it, help is within reach. It’s okay not to be okay. It’s important to recognise that you don’t feel okay though. It is important to share your thoughts, even if it’s in a format like this.
It’s important to talk to someone, even someone anonymous at the other end of a crisis hotline. My loved ones still don’t know the full depth of my feelings, and I have believed that’s better for me because I don’t need to worry about them looking at me differently. That was the choice I made for so long and it helped me get through the day. Now, I am laying it on the line. I’m speaking my truth. I still don’t desire to be treated differently. I am okay and do what I can every day to ensure I stay that way. I’m sharing with the hope that it might help someone else, just one other person, feel less alone.
Writing down how you feel may or may not be the right choice for you. But whatever you need to do to survive another day, please do it. Because death may feel like the solution, trust me I know it might, but it’s not.
It never is.
Living is.
That is the only solution worth aiming for.
Whatever it takes.
My (not a) suicide note:
The only reason I’m still alive is because I don’t want to traumatise someone else.
It isn’t my family and friends I worry about either.
Or at least, it’s not only them.
It’s the strangers who will be impacted when they find my body. The first person who stumbles across my lifeless form. The paramedics and police who would be called onto the scene. The hospital workers who have to go home to their families and look their loved ones in the eyes after seeing the horrors of self-inflicted death. The funeral home workers who have to piece together the broken pieces before returning me to my family.
And it would have to be a stranger that found me. I couldn’t do the final act at home. To wait for my family to find me.
So where does that leave me? Relying on the kindness of strangers and the constitution of their stomachs.
Each time I think of ending my life, this is enough to stop me. The horrors it would cause to those unassuming people. The ones who woke up that morning ready to face a new day and live their lives as best they can. It is those faceless, nameless, strangers who have my gratitude.
I don’t think of my family. They are not the ones to stop me. After all, they would be better off without me. That is the fundamental truth that burns deep inside of my heart. It is the knowledge that when I am gone, they will be able to pick up the pieces that allows the thoughts to fester. They will be free to move on without the anchor I’ve become—dragging them down into the depths. My life insurance will cover any debts. My illnesses and pain will no longer be a factor determining what we can and can’t do. No more late-night trips to the hospital. No more days at home avoiding the world.
My lack of interest in life will eventually be replaced by a new wife. A new mother. Someone who plays like they are supposed to. Who is able to make the house sparkle with little effort and fewer complaints. Who cooks up a storm and smiles like the mother’s on TV.
Whether that is reality or not, it is the truth that echoes through my mind and makes my death an easy choice. The right choice. It is not that they deserve to be sad; it’s that I don’t deserve to be the one to make them happy.
I have done wrong by them, simply by being me.
It would be far kinder to them for me to end it all.
Only, I can’t.
I’m a coward. Too afraid to make that final leap. Too afraid to hurt other people while saving my family. That and I don’t want to go through the process of death. It’s messy, gross, and passes the problem on to everyone else.
The numerous methods I’ve considered have all been ruled out one by one.
Train: what about the driver? My last thoughts would be focused on the driver and not my family
Car accident: what if I didn’t die? Or if I caused an injury to someone else? How could I live with myself then?
Bridge over concrete: I can’t help but imagine the clean-up. Those poor council workers who’d have to mop up crimson stains from the road.
Bridge over water: who knows where my body might go. What if some kid finds it in weeks to come, bloated and grey, while they’re playing with their friends? That sort of thing leaves a mark on a person; a blight in their mind that allows the darkness to spread beyond me.
Gun: they’re so much harder to get a hold of in Australia. In my lucid times, I am an advocate for gun control for this very reason. If I’d have had access to a firearm in my darkest moments, I would already be gone. It is the easiest and most effective method. Then again, think of the mess.
Sleeping tablets . . .
Now this one . . . this one could work.
It seems peaceful. Easy. A few too many painkillers and I might float away on a cloud, slipping into a deep sleep and never waking again. But what if I got the dosage wrong? What if it didn’t kill me but instead destroyed my liver or kidneys. Instead of death, I might face a lifetime of debilitating pain and illness.
And so I wake each morning dreaming of the day I will die but unwilling to make that final leap.
For now.
It’s hard to be suicidal when you’re afraid of death.
When the consequences are more powerful than the motivation.
Whenever I consider how easy it would be to be out of agony. Away from the constant hum of worry that runs like an undercurrent in my mind and the pain that invades my body, I have a tiny voice that stops me. The voice that recognises the falsity in the beliefs that my family would be okay without me. That reminds me I am the only me in existence and maybe that’s worth something.
Maybe not to me, but to someone.  
The voice that tells me when I’m gone, it will be over. I do not believe in anything after this life. If there is a god, suicide is apparently a one-way ticket to the bad ending.
Perhaps in the face of the horrors of hell, life after death makes sense. My life has been a series of bad endings. Why would my afterlife be any different?
The thing is, it’s not that I actually want to be dead; I just want to not exist.
To sleep an endless, dreamless, sleep.
To not be in pain.
To not cause pain.
To not fail.
To not feel like a failure.
Success in academia came easily to me. Success in life is much harder to grab hold of. There is one reason for this. One blinding notion that I can’t escape, no matter how hard I try.
The fact is: I am an imposter.
True or not, I feel I am not responsible for a single one of my successes. Each one was achieved because the subject was easy. Or perhaps the teacher took pity on me. Life stepped up and handed me something I was undeserving of every time.
But my failures . . .
Now they were my fault.
Every. Single. One.
Every time I didn’t follow through on a promise.
Every time I cancelled plans.
Every single time I made the smallest error.
It. Was. My. Fault.
These failures are the reason I am an imposter.
I put on graduate clothes but knew in my heart I didn’t earn that mortarboard and gown. Sure, I turned up and did the work. Sometimes I even studied for the exams. But that wasn’t enough. I don’t believe I am an expert on any of the things I have learned. My utter lack of confidence tells me I am not good enough to make any of the decisions I need to make. That every day I spend at work is another day I am a fake.
A phony.
A pretender.
Even now, with years more experience and looking back on my degree—I feel like a fraud. What right do I have to claim knowledge that was so easily gained? Other people struggled. They studied. They earned their degree.
The mark of failure is a badge of honour.
One I don’t want.
One that would kill me to receive.
One that I envy.
One that I have earned in the one thing I most wanted to do.
Writing is usually easy for me. Characters dance behind my eyes, stamping their toes and shaking their heads while they wait for attention.
Syntax, prose, grammar.
These are now the language I speak.
I can tell a story with characters so real to me they are like my friends.
They have become my friends as over time I have alienated almost everyone I loved.
In their worlds—with them as my guide—I am safe. They understand me. They don’t judge me as stuck up when I sit in a corner and hide from the world rather than talking to people I don’t know.
I am God.
I am their God.
They don’t see the hard exterior and abrasive sarcasm as reasons to avoid me like so many in my real life seem to. They see the heart inside of me. Right into the person I strive to be. They talk to me and reassure me.
I am their creator.
And I failed them.
I failed them with every book launch that wasn’t a resounding success.
I failed them again with every cover that wasn’t true to the story.
With every blurb that wasn’t snappy enough.
I failed them with adverbs and filters and grammar that wasn’t strong enough to make them sparkle on the page.
Yet, they forgive me.
They forgive me, and I want to die.
They should be my legacy the same way I should be theirs.
But I failed them.
And this is why I want to be gone.
I am a wasted potential. Breathing air that someone else could use to do great things.
I do not do great things.
In high school, I asked a friend what I had done to make them hate me. They told me my biggest mistake was breathing.
I believed them then. 
Most days now, I still do.
I don’t want to die, but I don’t deserve the life I’ve been given. I’ve squandered it. Made mistakes. Hurt people—sometime even on purpose.
I’ve been selfish. Evil.
Human.
I have tried to right wrongs. To fight for what’s right. To support those who are downtrodden and hurting.
But somehow that’s not enough.
Nothing ever will be.
Not for me.
Not for the anxiety that strangles around my heart and holds blinkers to my head, denying me the view of my family and their pride. Hiding the good things in layers of pain and nerves and shattering self-consciousness.
Even this piece . . .
It’s a failure.
It was supposed to be a story I wrote for a specific purpose. It was going to be prose about a fictional person.
Set in a fictional world.
A story with a happy ending.
Or maybe a tragic one.
But a story nonetheless.
It was supposed to not be self-indulgent. Yet, all I’ve done is indulged the self. Blurted out truths that have been buried within for years.
Or have I?
How is it possible to know truth from fiction?
Is it possible to judge from the outside which version is real? Is it the smiling person who appears aloof and confident, or the crying child sobbing against the floor because she knows no matter what she does, she will never be enough.
Maybe neither is true.
Maybe they both are.
How can anyone tell?
Is it possible to know?
Everyone hides something inside. They bury secrets beneath lies, coating everything in a layer of paint that suggests they are okay.
Sometimes, they are not okay.
That’s the reality.
The face of suicidal thoughts isn’t necessarily the one who complains all the time. It’s the person who keeps those complaints inside.
It isn’t always the person who was hurt. Sometimes it’s the one who does the hurting.
Sometimes the face of suicide is a smile so wide it masks every sign that they could ever feel pain. It’s the person who says “I’m fine” whenever they’re asked how things are going.
The truth is the face of suicide could be sitting beside you and you might never know.
It could be anyone.
It could be you.
To stop suicide, people say that life is worth living. They hold up examples of love and acceptance and all the things that are good in the world.
Those examples are meaningless to someone who wants to die.
Mostly because those are the reasons they want to die.
Because they are poisonous.
Useless.  
In death, they believe, they will stop their poison infecting everything else.
That is the belief that the darkness fosters.
Better off.
Happier.
Maybe that isn’t the truth, but it’s their truth.
It’s my truth.
People left behind blame themselves. “What could I have done to see?”
“What should I have done better?”
Sometimes, the answer is nothing.
Sometimes, it’s everything.
But often, the answer is just to listen. Not to the words that are being said, but to the silences in between. To the beat of their heart as they try to quell the beast of anxiety.
To the damage inflicted on their soul that makes an almost silent noise because they control it with death.
That’s what suicide would be for me—damage control.
A way to slay the beast before it could hurt anyone else.
And I am the beast.
With artificial happiness flooding my brain, I can see the fallacies in this logic. I can see that the life I have is better than the life of many others, and yet they can find happiness.
Knowing the reasons I should be happy isn’t always enough though.
It adds to the belief that I have wasted what was given to me.
It is not that I want a different life. More money or a bigger car. None of that would ever be enough to quell that beast of “not good enough.” Not even a few million dollars could drown out that cry.
It is possible that one day I will be able to hold hands with my anxiety. To make friends with it and use it for its intended purpose—keeping me safe from actual threats. Like a guard dog that has turned though, or the guns that are so prevalent in the world, the thing that was supposed to keep me safe has taken me prisoner. It will probably be the death of me. 
Maybe one day, I will lose my battle to anxiety and depression.
On that day, I will be called a coward.
Selfish.
I will be hated and blamed for taking my own life.
And it’s not fair.
No one blames a cancer patient for succumbing to the disease. They were a fighter. Bravely battling every day for their survival. That they lost their fight is a tragedy.
That I did will be a mistake.
Stupid.
An error in judgement.
As in life, my death would be a disappointment.
Proof that I have failed.
Perhaps that failure is the one that will save me.
Perhaps, it will be the one that condemns me.
Perhaps that the thing that scares me most of all. In a life where I’ve strived for success, I will be remembered most for my final failure.
Or maybe it’s that I won’t be remembered at all.


Thursday, October 27, 2016

Re-release and coming soon!

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Clay Jacob's has undergone a make-over! With brand-new covers, and the release of the third book in the series, there is loads to celebrate!

As a member of a secret organization intent on neutralizing the threat nonhumans pose, Clay Jacobs should have recognized Evie Meyers’s true nature earlier. He should have destroyed her before she could flee.

Two years later, the memory of her holds him captive and assaults him nightly. To bring an end to his torment, Clay must find her. When he does, will he kill the woman he can't forget or run with the woman he can't let go?

18+ for language and content.


Book 1 Besieged by Rain (Free until 31st)
Amazon Universal: myBook.to/SORBBR


Book 2 Among the Debris (Free until 31st)
Amazon Universal: myBook.to/SORATD


Book 3 Court the Fire (99c preorder)
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MQ3ZOAN/
Amazon Universal: myBook.to/SORCTF

Friday, September 16, 2016

Unintentional Anthology Release




9 INTERNATIONAL AUTHORS
9 FRIENDS-TO-LOVERS TALES

Eva King - Michelle Irwin - A.L. Simpson - Aria Peyton - Megan Lowe
Ashlea Rhodes - Becca L'Amour - Louisa Masters - Gaeille Vanderspek


Unintentional: International Edition



Fall in love with Unintentional: International Edition, a collection of nine friends-to-lovers HEA stories by nine amazing international authors. Happy ever afters really do come true.




All Buy Links





YOU NEVER KNOW - Aria Peyton


When Miranda comes home engaged from a cruise, it doesn't take long for her bestie, Scott, to realise he feels something more for her. Will he get a chance to tell her or is he too late?



SEALED WITH A LOVING KISS - Ashlea Rhodes 


Letters of hope and love help Alex through his darkest days and bring him closer to Heather, and a friendship and love that could last a lifetime.


TAKE A SHOT - Michelle Irwin 


Holly thinks Logan is cute and sweet, much like a little brother. When the opportunity of a lifetime presents itself, will he take a shot to convince her he's no longer the kid she's looked out for since high school?


MIXED SIGNALS - A.L. Simpson 


Best friends turn to each other in good times and bad. Can Piper help Dalton through tragedy or has their friendship been shattered?


JUST LIKE ALWAYS - Megan Lowe


When your best friend needs support, there's no hesitation in being there for her. It's also the perfect opportunity to let her know exactly how good things could be.


LOST WITHOUT YOU- Becca L'Amour


When your one chance at love leaves you torn in two, only memories remain. Can Anastasia and Jason's friendship and new-found love be repaired to what it once was?


TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF ONLINE DATING - Louisa Masters 


Samantha turns to online dating to meet a man who'll make her heart beat faster, but it's her best friend —and friend with benefits—Levi who's there for her when dates go bad. Has her friendship with Levi become more than she thought?


CLAIMED AND BRANDED - Gaeille Vanderspek


Heart sore from watching her best friend tangled up in endless scandals with no-good women, Vicki Edwards decides to move to New York and start over. But Jared is determined to make her stay, and he's not afraid to play dirty.


FROM THE START - Eva King 


Two old friends reunite under dramatic circumstances. Will the prison walls tear them apart or will they make their relationship stronger?















Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Phase is LIVE and only 99c

Phase (Phoebe Reede: The Untold Story) 

Following on from the Declan Reede: The Untold Story series, comes this standalone spin-off series following Phoebe, who is all grown up. 

Living in the shadow of a legend has its drawbacks.

Every aspect of Phoebe Reede’s life has been defined by her father. Caught halfway between being a teen and an adult, she yearns to break free from the weight of expectations surrounding the Reede name. 

Her desire for freedom sends her overseas on her first solo journey. There, she finds herself having an unexpected adventure with an unlikely person. 

How can she learn who she wants to be and what is nothing more than a phase?

For a limited time it's only 99c or FREE to read in KU


Teasers




 


Excerpt 

AFTER I’D TURNED off to follow the route Beau had indicated, I found myself on a road that twisted and bent to the curves of the hill we were climbing. When I hit the corners, I couldn’t help myself, I leant into them and upped the throttle. Beau’s bodyweight was a little bit of an adjustment, but I could easily correct for it—especially when he seemed to understand the physics and leant into the corners with me.
We practically floated up the mountain, springing nimbly from one corner to the next with barely any time upright in between. I pushed the bike faster and faster, without ever letting myself forget that it was a second-hand beast, and I was still testing its boundaries. I may have been an adrenaline junkie, but I wasn’t stupid and wouldn’t do anything too reckless. The engine and suspension were in fine form though, if I did say so myself.
I’d slowed down considerably by the time we reached the top of the hill then pulled over to the side of the road and took my helmet off.
Beau followed suit and tugged his helmet off too.
“So where to?”
Beau grabbed both our helmets and twisted to secure them to the sissy bars. The movement caused his thighs to brush along my arse. Once he had the helmets secured, he leant around me to grab the handlebars. Normally, I would have lost my shit at someone else taking over control, but he was the one who knew where to go. Plus the feel of his chest pressed against my back, and his chin resting on my shoulder stole my breath. It may have been my imagination, but his arms seemed to squeeze a little tighter than necessary as he guided the bike around.
Before long, he’d brought us to a stop near a grassy area that overlooked the city of Sacramento.
For a moment, I rested my feet on the ground and just stared at the view, unwilling to get off the bike just yet. The lights stained the night sky with reds and whites. The moment was so magical—so surreal.
“Wow,” I murmured. “Spectacular.”
“Yeah, ya are.” Beau’s voice murmured near my ear.
My stomach clenched at his words, tightening into a ball that sent spikes of desire shooting downward. I wasn’t sure whether he intended me to hear them though. In fact, he’d uttered them so quietly that I doubted he had, so I chose to ignore them.
He cleared his throat and spoke a little louder as he climbed off the bike. “I gotta admit, I ain’t met many people can handle a bike like you. ’Specially with the extra weight; but you, darlin’, you were flawless.”
Climbing off the bike and following him toward the end of the car park, I blushed at his words. I’d heard similar things before, but they were usually followed by, “but I guess that’s to be expected, with who your father is,” as if my every achievement had been manufactured by him.
When I glanced back up at him, he was staring at me as if he didn’t believe I could be real. Our gazes locked, and time froze. It was like my mind had taken a snapshot of the moment and continued to play it long after reality had passed.
After a moment, we both looked away.

GET YOUR COPY TODAY

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Declan Reede is LIVE and only 99c!!

The boxed set is now LIVE!

Declan Reede's series might be complete, but the spin-off is just about to begin. To celebrate, Declan has a new shiny boxed set, including BONUS CONTENT that isn't available anywhere else. 

You can get your hands on this foul-mouthed (sexy) bad boy racer today!The set contains: RONE-nominated novella Decide; novels Decline, Deceive, Decipher, Declare; and the brand new, exclusive novella, Decode.  

All for just 99 cents!

This set won't be at this price for long, so race to it now! 

Universal Link
Amazon US / Amazon UK / Amazon AU / iTunes / Nook / Kobo


Tell your friends about the sale by using the "share" button below. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Unintentional Cover Reveal

 Titles: Unintentional: North American Edition & International Edition
Genre: Friends-to-Lovers Contemporary Romance
Cover Designer: RMGraphx
Publisher: Hot Tree Publishing
* * *
Unintentional: North American Edition

Their eyes had met a thousand times, their smiles always easy and honest. All it takes is that one moment for everything to change. When their eyes are opened, no longer does "just friends" seem good enough.

Authors:
1. Amy K. McClung
2. Vanessa Morse
3. Gabbi Grey
4. S. Hartley
5. Dahlia Donovan
6. Lindsay Detwiler
7. Randi Perrin:
8. Gen Ryan
* * *
Unintentional: International Edition

Fall in love with Unintentional: International Edition, a collection of nine friends-to-lovers HEA stories by nine amazing international authors. Happy ever afters really do come true.

Authors:
1. Eva King
2. Michelle Irwin
3. A.L. Simpson
4. Aria Peyton
5. Megan Lowe
6. Ashlea Rhodes
7. Becca L'Amour
8. Louisa Masters
9. Gaeille Vanderspek 
* * *
THE TUES-DATE - Vanessa Morse
Through the years, Adam and Tara have grown to depend on each other and share a love deeper than either is willing to admit. Roommates, best friends, unmistakable soulmates... until one day, one date everything changes.

WHERE SHE BELONGS- Lindsay Detwiler

When Emeline Jackson's life plans crumble, her best friend Brent helps her rediscover herself in their hometown. She didn't come home to find love, but a lot can change in a summer.

JUST WHAT I NEED - Randi Perrin 

It started out innocent enough, one friend lending a shoulder for the other to cry on. But when Brad wakes up next to Jules the following morning, it stirs an awakening in him, and he’ll go to great lengths to prove she’s everything he needs.

CARESSA'S HOMECOMING - Gabbi Grey 

When Caressa comes home from volunteering as a nurse in Africa, she knows she will reunite with her friend Michael. What she doesn't expect is just how much he missed her and how glad he is that she's finally home.

PATIENCE - S. Hartley 

Patience is more than just a song to Madison—it's what her rocker best friend has given her for years. Finally ready to be more than friends, will Cale have any left give?

BENEFITS WITH FRIENDS - Amy K McClung 

Zoey makes the ultimate request of her best friend Rex. Though she never imagined the impact it would have on their relationship.

ALWAYS AND FOREVER - Gen Ryan

Hadley and Todd have always been there for each other, especially through their countless dead-end relationships. Will they both finally accept they are destined to be each other's always and forever?

ALL LATHERED UP - Dahlia Donovan 

Vi has known her best friend, Geoff, since childhood, though growing up meant being separated by distance and decisions. Neither realizes the impact exchanging postcards will have on their growing feelings. Could it be love?

* * *
YOU NEVER KNOW - Aria Peyton
When Miranda comes home engaged from a cruise, it doesn't take long for her bestie, Scott, to realise he feels something more for her. Will he get a chance to tell her or is he too late?

SEALED WITH A LOVING KISS - Ashlea Rhodes 

Letters of hope and love help Alex through his darkest days and bring him closer to Heather, and a friendship and love that could last a lifetime.

TAKE A SHOT - Michelle Irwin 

Holly thinks Logan is cute and sweet, much like a little brother. When the opportunity of a lifetime presents itself, will he take a shot to convince her he's no longer the kid she's looked out for since high school?

MIXED SIGNALS - A.L. Simpson 

Best friends turn to each other in good times and bad. Can Piper help Dalton through tragedy or has their friendship been shattered?

JUST LIKE ALWAYS - Megan Lowe

When your best friend needs support, there's no hesitation in being there for her. It's also the perfect opportunity to let her know exactly how good things could be.

LOST WITHOUT YOU- Becca L'Amour

When your one chance at love leaves you torn in two, only memories remain. Can Anastasia and Jason's friendship and new-found love be repaired to what it once was?

TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF ONLINE DATING - Louisa Masters 

Samantha turns to online dating to meet a man who'll make her heart beat faster, but it's her best friend —and friend with benefits—Levi who's there for her when dates go bad. Has her friendship with Levi become more than she thought?

CLAIMED AND BRANDED - Gaeille Vanderspek

Heart sore from watching her best friend tangled up in endless scandals with no-good women, Vicki Edwards decides to move to New York and start over. But Jared is determined to make her stay, and he's not afraid to play dirty.

FROM THE START - Eva King 

Two old friends reunite under dramatic circumstances. Will the prison walls tear them apart or will they make their relationship stronger?

https://www.facebook.com/hottreepromotions/?fref=ts&ref=br_tf&qsefr=1