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suicidal thoughts-for no actual reason


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i used to think everything was ok with me untill i started having bad thoughts mainly to the point where i thought someone would hurt my family i always still think there is something there even when you tell yourself out loud if you have to, that there is not i dont really hear voices or see things its just like i'm arguing with my brain, its telling me something is there or its coming just run and i know full well there isnt. i suffer from depression and suicidle thoughts it still puzzles me now how suicide can be an option? carnt believe i found this website which really does help, no one judging you or forcing pills down your neck if you ever wanted to talk i'm here i just want people to understand....

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The thing why I'm really sad now is that everyone thinks that I'm fine now, the pills solved all. The truth is that I felt really suicidal in the last few days-for no reason. The memories of my psychotic episodes still haunt me, I'm still afraid of the creatures of my mind even if I can't see them anymore. They are with me and they fill me with foreign feelings which I've never met before. These feelings are so strong that I think I will lose control. It's like being afraid of murdered-by myself. I want to live but these feelings don't act like they were mine, they act like some dangerous drug. I can't discribe this and I'm sure it sounds stupid.

Hello rubies,

I'm someone who has also experienced psychosis (although I prefer other names for that experience) and I think I can understand some of what you are saying.

Medication is something that some people find to be very helpful, but you're right -- it doesn't always take all the difficulties away. Meantime, the people around us may be feeling better because that's what they most want -- for us to feel better. But we can still sometimes feel very alone because we feel they can't entirely understand everything we wish they could understand, and what we struggle to understand ourselves. I often felt my own family did not and could not understand even though we loved each other.

However, there are some people who can understand. Usually, they're people who have had experiences that share some similarities with our own. The formal name for such people is "Peers". I consider them to be an essential component on any support team.

In the Psychosis and Schizophrenia topic here, there are accounts written by other people who have also experienced psychosis. Everyone's experience is a little bit different but some of us have spoken quite candidly about what we experienced and why we think we did. It can be tremendously reassuring to know that other people have felt these things. It helps to normalize and humanize our own experiences. I would encourage you to read through those accounts. Don't worry if they're different from your own experience but do find comfort in knowing that other people have gone through similar experiences and we have come through them. We might be a bit different as a result but we're still people who live our lives. Knowing this might help a bit with your feelings of isolation and sadness.

If you feel comfortable doing so, feel free to share some of your own experiences. It's possible that someone else might be able to help you understand or share some tips on how they coped with something similar.

~ Namaste

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Hello rubies,

I'm so glad to know that you're feeling even a little bit better. It really does make a difference being able to talk to someone who you feel might be able to understand or at least, won't judge you because you've had experiences they can't understand.

I'm very sorry to hear that you lost your friend. I've got a feeling she probably didn't think you were weak, it's more likely that she felt inadequate and didn't know what to say or do to help you. You may find that in time, your friendship comes back together again. Sometimes, what makes a big difference in that regard is being able to find peer support because then, you're getting your need to be heard and understood met somewhere and you're less likely to need the same from your friends and family. That can help ease tension in your relationships with them.

I've found a great deal of support through online forums like this one. It helped me tremendously to be able to talk with other people -- most of them are very kind. Before I go today, I'll send you a private message with the names of some other forums. That way, if you ever feel like you need to talk to someone, you'll have the choice of a few different places to go. (Sometimes this place can be very quiet. That's nice, if you like quiet but not so nice if you feel you need to talk to someone right away.)

I've got really hard days now. I'm feeling like a puppet which is controlled by someone who wants to hurt me. I've got thoughts in my mind which aren't mine. I'm really afraid that I will lose control. This has to be stopped but I don't know how. I'm so very very frightened.

Do you feel comfortable talking a bit more about these feelings. For example, have you felt this way before or have you felt this same person has wanted to hurt you before? Do you know this person? Do they belong to your outer world or your inner world?

In terms of the thoughts, do you feel comfortable sharing what they are? How do you feel about the thoughts?

If you'd like, we can ask a moderator to move this thread to the Schizophrenia and Pyschosis area, if you'd feel more comfortable there. Or, we can have the conversation here. Whatever works for you.

Meantime, I'm going to see if I can gather up some information that might help you find some ways of coping with your current difficulties. As a suggestion, you might want to share some of that same information with your parents. Sometimes, it's easier to talk about your own experiences by comparing them to other people's experiences. Then, you can say, "Sometimes I felt like that too," or "I didn't have the same experience that person had". As an alternative, if you have a therapist you talk to, you could always share that information with them too.

Okay. I'm going to leave off there for now but I will be back. I will leave you with a song that a very kind man gave to me once when I was feeling terribly frightened.

~ Namaste

Music of the Hour: Big Calm

Edited by spiritual_emergency
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Hello again rubies. Here's just a bit of information that you might find helpful. I don't want to throw too much at you until I get to know you better and therefore, might better understand the kind of information and support you will find most helpful.

The following is some standard advice I tend to share with people who are reaching for recovery. It talks a little bit about some of what we've already spoken of.

Support Teams are comprised of people you find helpful and should include: Professionals; Family and Friends; Peers, and; Mentors. Each member of your team can address unique needs.

  • Professionals provide medical and psychotherapeutic care and may include psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, social workers, therapists, general practioners, nurses, nutritionists, massage therapists, etc.

  • Family and Friends provide connection, meaning, purpose and are often in a unique position to provide vital feedback. For example, if you are taking a new medication your family will be very much aware if it is working for you. Or if you are beginning to slip into a depressive, manic or psychotic episode, they may well become aware of it before you do.

  • Peers are especially important because, in my experience, they can often provide the best forms of emotional support and understanding -- they have been there; they have walked in your shoes; they know what it's like. Many people look to their family and friends to offer peer support but these people may lack the insight that shared experience can offer. They can also be so intimately involved and deeply impacted by your experience that they lack the ability to provide impartial support and may, in fact, require their own support team. The latter will be especially true for those who are in a position of primary caretaker.

  • Mentors serve in a unique capacity because these are the people who inspire you to reach for your best. Mentors can be drawn from any other area of your support team (i.e. a family member can be a mentor) but more likely, they will be drawn from the larger world around you. It's not necessary that any chosen mentors also carry a diagnosis of any kind of mental illness; rather, they simply need to have been another human being who faced some enormous challenges and either overcame them or turned them to his/her advantage. If your support team does not have at least a few mentors on it, your team is lacking. One point worth emphasizing is that Mentors must be self-chosen. It's also worth noting that they needn't be alive; some of my mentors have included Helen Keller, Viktor Frankl and my own mother -- all of whom are dead.

Support Toolboxes are made up of things you (and members of your Support Team) recognize as beneficial and helpful. Support toolboxes can be quite unique because what we find helpful on an individual basis may vary considerably. They may include things such as education, exercise, medication, meditation, music, nutritional therapies, spiritual practices, personal journalling, etc.

A strong Support Team and a well-equipped Support Toolbox greatly increases the odds that if you're floundering in any capacity, you'll be able to find the person or thing that is most going to help take you forward. So, choose your team wisely and outfit your toolbox with care.

In your case, you already have some of those pieces in place. For example, you are obviously working with professionals in some capacity and you have also identified at least one thing that you find helpful. It can be liberating to allow our understanding of treatment to encompass anything that helps us. This can be especially important in terms of learning coping skills and strategies to help ourselves during difficult times. If it helps, it goes in your toolbox and there it remains for you to pull out at some future time should you need it again.

Meantime, here's something from my own toolbox that you may find helpful during times you are feeling frightened and alone.

- Think of someone you love or think of someone who loves you. If you can't think of anyone like that right at this moment, imagine someone like that -- someone who loves you absolutely.

- Think about that love and the feeling of warmth that comes with it. Feel that warmth in your heart. Imagine it being a sphere that begins to grow out of your heart and enveloping your whole body.

- Picture yourself inside that circle of love. Let yourself feel safe and loved there. Love is a protective force.

- Next, imagine a square being drawn around the circle. You want the square to be a comfortable distance from the circle -- not so close that it feels tight and constricting and not so far away that it seems distant.

- Next, imagine a protector being placed into each corner of the square. These protectors can be people you know, they can be people you imagine, they can even be mythological creatures. The important thing is they exist solely to protect you. Imagine them all turned outward, facing out of the square so they can see if anything is coming that might be frightening. You may want to imagine these figures as being especially fierce and powerful. If you want, you can even gift them with special tools -- a fire breathing dragon or a sword-wielding gargoyle.

- Now, allow yourself to feel safe and protected within the circle of love surrounded by the square of protection.

~ Namaste

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Guest ASchwartz

Hi Rubies,

Its good that you are finding support here. That's what we are about. Some of the people here have been through the kinds of things you are talking about and they have a lot to offer. We are here for you.


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The first thing I'd like to address rubies, is your most recent comment:

I'm frightened now, because I'm feeling like I felt when I was slipping into my first episode. I completely trusted in the medications and thought that they will stop the process if it ever starts again. I thought that I can never feel like this while I'm on them.

I think this is important information to share with some of the people on your support team -- maybe your parents and one of your professional caregivers.

There's two reasons for this: The first is that parents are people who love us and a hug is a good toolbox tool.

The second is that medications can sometimes stop working for people and might need to be adjusted in some way. Sometimes all that's needed is just a slight increase during a time of high stress and then, you titrate back down to your former dose when the stressful situation has passed. Sometimes people might also find it useful to make use of anti-anxiety agents for a short period of time. Of course, if you can increase your coping skills you might find that makes a big difference too.

Do you think you could comfortably talk to your parents and caregivers, just to let them know that you're not feeling 100%?

~ Namaste

Edited by spiritual_emergency
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I'd like to talk about some of your other experiences now rubies. Before I do that I'm going to explain that something I found most helpful for understanding my own experiences was Jungian psychology. Understanding what my experience was about helped me to move forward in my own recovery. I think it might be helpful for you because like me, you seem to have some "characters" in your experience. I also had some "characters" in my experience.

Within the Jungian model of the psyche there are five major parts: The Persona, The Ego, The Shadow, The Anima/Animus and the Self. The part that most of know the most about is the Ego.

A bit of a story...

If you drive through the residential areas of any city you'll probably notice that most people try to keep their houses and yards looking really good. They'll paint their homes in attractive colors, plants flowers and bushes, maybe stick a pink flamingo in the front ... that sort of thing. You could say that they want to give other people a good impression of what their house is all about.

Meantime, because you live in a home yourself you probably know that on the inside, houses might not look as good as they do on the outside. For example, the basement and the garage might be filled with all sorts of items that really need to be sorted through and cleaned up.

Houses are like an Ego. They are a physical structure that we live in that seperates us from the rest of the world "out there". They also have an outer layer that is like a Persona -- the part that the rest of the world sees when they drive past our homes. Then, there's a Shadow layer, and that's like all the stuff in the garage and basement. Some of this stuff is probably pure junk and should be thrown away, but some of it probably deserves to be dusted off and brought into the main living quarters because it's actually quite beautiful or useful.

Now, think of that house with its beautiful front yard and all of its rooms and all of that stuff in the basement and garage. Now, think of a tornado coming through...

Psychosis is like a tornado and sometimes, you can hear it coming. This is very frightening because you don't know what's going to happen but you fear destruction. Then, the tornado comes and maybe, it's not so bad. Maybe it only busted up a few windows, brought down some trees in the yard and tore some shutters off. Or maybe it was a bit worse and the whole east side of the house has been torn away. It might have been even worse yet and now, the entire house is in pieces and the flamingo from the front yard is smashed up against the old jukebox from the basement. It's possible that we're not even around to see that because the tornado picked us up and deposited us in some strange new world... like Dorothy leaving Kansas.

Whatever the case may be, all the prettiness of that front facade is gone. Now, if anyone drives by, what they'll see is a mess that needs to be cleaned up, sorted through, re-ordered and rebuilt.

Video of the Hour: Dorothy's Not in Kansas Anymore

Edited by spiritual_emergency
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I think it would be useful to talk a bit more about the Persona, the Ego and the Shadow -- specifically, about how they are created.

I'll return to that analogy about our homes. Imagine that someone has given you a gift... a chair. Let's imagine that it's made out of recycled pop tabs. Where are you going to put the chair? If you think it's really beautiful you might put it in the livingroom or out on the front porch. If you think it's hideous, you'll stuff it in the basement or the garage. We do the same sort of thing with our life experiences including all the thoughts we have about them.

For example, let's say you draw a beautiful picture for your art class and you get a very high mark on it. You might take that beautiful picture and stick it on the fridge at home with a magnet so everyone can see what a beautiful job you did... unless you live in a family of scientists who think you wasted your time and talents dabbling in art when you should be finishing your math homework. If you live in that kind of family, you probably won't put your picture up on the fridge. Instead, you'll stick it away somewhere because even though your proud of it, whenever you look at it you get this kind of ashamed feeling.

This is how we create our Persona and our Shadow. If we receive approval or praise for something, we'll probably put that life experience in our Persona. But if we didn't receive approval or praise, we'll probably hide that life experience in our Shadow. We will do this irregardless of whether or not the life experience was good (positive) or bad (negative). For example, if you are a member of a gang you might be praised by the other gang members for robbing a store or beating someone up. If that's the case, you put that prize up front although you might put some of your thoughts about your actions in your Shadow because deep down, you might feel that you actually did something bad, even though others say it's good.

You have shared a little bit of your own Shadow with us in this space...

During my second psychotic episode I was so isolated from the real world that I didn't feed my hamster and he died. She was happy on a high level then and stopped torturing me, but you can imagine how I felt then-I fell even deeper into my world. The thought that I was responsible for the death of a living being was unbearable.-and still hard to treat. (This is one of my most intimate stories which I've never told before to anyone)

You felt terrible because your hamster died and you blamed yourself. So you put that bad feeling in your Shadow and you only brought it out in a place where you feel like maybe you could talk about it.

If someone here says something that reminds you of those bad feelings you had, you will take that piece of yourself and quickly stuff it back into your Shadow where no one can see it. You'll put your feelings about the experience in the Shadow too. Then, they'll sit there and fester because they haven't been taken care of. And they'll send up little messages once in a while to remind you that you haven't taken care of them. These little messages can be like thoughts or voices. ... You're not a good person. You deserve to be hurt... People don't like you... You deserve to die.

How do we make this stop? How do we make it go away? We have to take care of the things that are in our Shadow. The things that are hurting and need some attention. We can't do it by beating ourselves up because that only drives the experience deeper into the Shadow. Instead, we have to take it out of the Shadow, take it out of our basement and bring it up to the light of day where we can see it, where we can get to know it, where we can begin to understand it. This is what the tornado of psychosis does. It brings everything dark up to the surface where we can't pretend it isn't there anymore.

Then, we have to get comfortable with the things we believe we have done wrong. We have to accept that even if we're good people, we make mistakes. We have to find a way to forgive ourselves. We have to find a way to come to terms with the things other people have said or done that hurt us and got stuck in the Shadow because of the pain of those events.

According to Jungian thought the Shadow, when personified, (as in dreams and psychosis too, I think) will always be the same gender as the individual. That means that your Shadow, in a personified form would be a female.

I'm going to leave off there, rubies. I would like to remind you to be kind to yourself. Be gentle to yourself. I hope that these little stories and examples might have given you a different way of thinking about your experience so that it becomes a little less frightening. If you do feel frightened, go to your Tool Box and your Support Team. Find something that helps you to feel better. And if that woman shows up again... maybe try sending a little bit of that love in your heart her way. She might just be in pain and is trying to tell you that she needs some love coming her way too.

~ Namaste

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Hello rubies. There's a few different things I'd like to talk about today, maybe starting with this statement...

I'm ashamed from that I can't trust myself and that I'm this much aware of losing control. I know I have to improve my coping skills.

There is a contradiction in your statement that I wanted to draw your attention to. You'd said that you can't trust yourself but in the next breath, you noted your degree of awareness. That demonstrates self-knowledge. So, you see, you are learning about yourself and you are learning how to listen to and trust yourself once more.

I haven't spoken to anyone who hasn't found these kinds of life experiences to be immensely challenging. Most of them have been adults but some of them have been younger people, like yourself. All of them have to go through a process of rebuilding a relationship with themselves and learning to trust themselves again. It takes time but it sounds like you are getting there.

I've got an example of the other things in my Shadow: Three years ago I've been part of a car accident in which an old lady died. I only broke my sacrum but I had to lay in bed for four weeks. This four week wasn't enough to sort things out but when I started to go to school again I just built a wall around my thoughts about the accident. During my first episode this wall just falled apart and all the pictures and sounds came out to haunt me. From that time I've got difficulties with travelling even by public transport not just by car. Just after the accident I had got thoughts about that I should've died instead of the old lady but I thought I sorted that one out. Perhaps still not and it can be a possible reason for my thoughts about suicide.

Something I often recommend to people who are reaching for their own recovery is to make use of a timeline that captures significant events in their own life. If I've understood correctly, yours would look a bit like this:

Age 11:
Teacher recommended psychiatric treatment as based on his/her assessment that you "
acted strange-looking into nothing, not moving, reading plenty of books

Age 13:
You made your first suicide attempt.

Age 14:
You were in a car accident in which you were seriously injured and someone else died, an old lady. You felt guilty about that woman's death and wondered if you should have died instead of her.

Age 15:
You had your first psychotic episode. It was during this episode that your hamster died.

Age 16:
You had a second psychotic episode and made another suicide attempt. You made a third attempt in the hospital.

Age 17:
You came here because you were feeling the need to talk to other people about some of these things.

Obviously, there would have been much more to your life. Somewhere in there you probably ate ice-cream and laughed with your family but somewhere in there you also lost a significant friendship that was very important to you.

Most of the people I've spoken with over the years report an event or series of events that occurred prior to their first episode of psychosis. I describe my own experience as having been triggered by "multiple losses as accompanied by trauma". Like you, I lost some friends and also like you, some people died and I felt terribly guilty about that. Those events were what prompted my own walls to come crashing to the ground -- that was my tornado.

Unfortunately, what often happens when people are diagnosed with a mental illness is that everyone forgets about those traumatic life experiences that happened before that. Instead, the focus shifts to your chemistry. Perhaps that's what this thought of yours comes from: 'You are just a few kilograms of chemicals, you are nothing but chemistry'.

We are always going to have a neurochemical response to life experiences, including those that are most challenging to us as human beings. Appropriate treatment includes addressing those life experiences and not just treating us as if we were no more than a bag of chemicals.

Meantime, I think it might be helpful to talk about something else, rubies, because it's a theme that has come up several times in this discussion...

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Then Almitra spoke, saying, "We would ask now of Death."

And he said:

You would know the secret of death.

But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life?

The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day cannot unveil the mystery of light.

If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life.

For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.

In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond;

And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring.

Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.

Your fear of death is but the trembling of the shepherd when he stands before the king whose hand is to be laid upon him in honour.

Is the sheered not joyful beneath his trembling, that he shall wear the mark of the king?

Yet is he not more mindful of his trembling?

For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?

And what is to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God enencumbered?

Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.

And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.

And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.

Source: Kahil Gibran - The Prophet

There are two kinds of death; one of them is a physical death and the other is a psychological kind of death. I'm going to pull in a few examples of psychological kinds of death because this seems to be a common theme in psychotic experiences, perhaps, as a result of them.

During this episode I couldn't find 'me'

- rubies

"I died, Gallagher. The "me" of me-ness died."

- Tess

That wasn't just a bunch of stuff that got destroyed. That was ME!"

- Jack, Fight Club

I have lost my self. What is my name? I have no name.

- Mary, Making Sense of Madness

All of the above are examples of people telling those around them, "I have lost my sense of self-identity". It is another way of saying, "I have lost my ego." If we return to our example of the house and the tornado, we know the ego is still there but it's broken and in pieces and somehow, we have to put it all back together again. This is a task of patience.

For the first few years after my experience my primary task was sorting through all the mess that the tornado left in its wake. It required picking up each piece, turning it over and over in my hands, looking around and underneath it, critically examining each fragment and asking myself, "Does this belong to who I am now?" For the longest time, I thought I had to throw everything away, I thought it was all junk. But slowly I came to understand that only some parts should be thrown away, some parts should be placed carefully on the shelf of my Life, some parts should be allowed to come out and shine in the daylight, and some parts should be let go.

Death is an ending but often, what it signifies is not a physical death but the ending of something. What that something is will vary for each person. It might mean that a dream has died, or a way of living, or a collection of beliefs we hold about ourselves or the world around us. We are the ones who have to do the work of determining what should be allowed to live in our lives and what must be put respectfully to rest.

Something I had to eventually put to rest was called survivor guilt. Here's a bit of information on that...

PTSD and guilt commonly co-occur. People who have experienced traumatic events may experience something called trauma-related guilt. What is trauma-related guilt?

It refers to the unpleasant feeling of regret stemming from the belief that you could or should have done something different at the time a traumatic event occurred. For example, a military veteran may regret not going back into a combat zone to save a fallen soldier. A rape survivor may feel guilty about not fighting back at the time of the assault.

Trauma survivors may also experience a particular type of trauma-related guilt, called survivor guilt. Survivor guilt is often experienced when a person has made it through some kind of traumatic event while others have not. A person may question why he survived. He may even blame himself for surviving a traumatic event as if he did something wrong.

Traumatic Events and Guilt

The experience of trauma-related guilt does not seem to depend on the type of traumatic event experienced. Combat exposure, physical abuse, sexual abuse, and the loss of a loved one have all been found to be associated with the experience of trauma-related guilt.

Consequences of Trauma-Related Guilt

Feeling guilt after the experience of a traumatic event is serious, as it has been linked to a number of negative consequences. For example, trauma-related guilt has been found to be associated with depression, shame, social anxiety, low self-esteem, and thoughts of suicide. In addition, feeling a lot of trauma-related guilt has been connected to the development of PTSD.

Given the potential negative consequences of trauma-related guilt, it is important that any trauma-related guilt be addressed in PTSD treatment.

Source: PTSD and Guilt

There are different kinds of talk therapy that can help people work through some of their conflicting feelings about traumatic life experiences rubies. If you haven't done so already, I would encourage you to investigate some of these forms of talk therapy. There may be a social worker or counselor you can talk to in the hospital about this, and it sounds like your mom would be very supportive.

Meantime, if you don't have a chance to respond to any of this conversation until later, I will think good things for you while you are away. I hope when you come out of the hospital you will return to let us all know how you are doing and pick up the conversation where you feel comfortable doing so.

~ Namaste

Music of the Hour: Finger Eleven ~ Whatever Doesn't Kill Me

Edited by spiritual_emergency
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hi, 'how's by you?' (today) (the world as created by Rubies)

I'm a relative newbie here as to how to stay tuned into conversations.

For example i didn't even see the length contributions Tess has been contributing until i started this 'hello note.'

I'm not sure where best to begin to intervene or to contribute.

I do have a wealth of experience to share with respect and admiration towards where you are on your path.

Indeed there are a multitude of approaches as far as fascilitating authentic recovery from the confusion and distress you find yourself experiencing. It just so happens, thankfully for myself, and thousands worldwide, i tripped across a strangly titled biographical book perhaps 20 years ago, that introduced me to a modality that I've been avidly studying and applying to myself and all those i might interact with. The title was 'to love is to be happy' I discovered 'Option' on further investigation I discovered who BNK refers to as Luke, and all the pieces that fascilitated the creation of The Option Institute........more to follow, anyways like to hear what sense you're making of things presently. (aim to be patient with yourself, God isn't through with you yet, you are here for a reason......and, give yourself a chance at this university we call life) The quality of beliefs we hold, underpin the quality of experience we have hugs

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