Tag Archives: Suicide

Are you fighting Depression?

Are you fighting Depression?  If so, you may want to check out a website I have subscribed to.  It is StoriedMind.com

This is a recent story that I just had to share……


Mind Over Pit Bull and Depression
2011-11-29 02:36:05-05

After a family-rich Thanksgiving week, I was hard at work Sunday morning writing a post on the placebo effect when my wife and I decided to take a refreshing walk with our two dogs. We didn’t know it, but we were on our way this foggy morning to a head-to-head confrontation with a stray pit bull.
When it was over and I’d had time to catch my breath, I was deeply thankful, in the spirit of the season, for the mind’s ability to shift so suddenly in the face of danger. All its energy and focus instantly take on the demands of one intense moment. There’s no room for depressive moods and thinking. They disappear.

Close Encounters

This was not the first of our meetings with fierce dogs. Not long ago, Cathy had been walking alone with our Australian Shepherd, Casey, and our young but enormous pup, Wilkie, a tall and lean facsimile of a Portuguese Water Dog (he was rescued so his pedigree is unknown).
All of a sudden, two pit bulls raced out for the attack. Luckily, a group of boys nearby came to the rescue and pulled the dogs off. Cathy and our guys were badly shaken but otherwise unhurt.
A couple of months before that, I found myself making “Go Home” noises to a neighbor’s handsome gray and white pit bull who was on the loose in our yard. Instead of following my commands, she charged. My Plan A in such cases, as I had always imagined it, involved grabbing dog by jowl mid-leap, wrestling beast to ground and throttling it into submission.
She was not dumb enough to give me that chance. Instead, she raced around me in a close circle, darting in from time to time to try for a bite of my lower leg. Plan A was useless. Plan B turned out to be a two-by-four propping up a young cypress. By swinging that in a circle, I was able to chase her off at the cost of only two little tooth marks on my left shin.
This time we were not so lucky.


Like most aggressive dogs, the tawny pit bull came from behind as we were happily marching along. Suddenly, we were scrambling to pull three snarling dogs apart. Once again, Plan A seemed useless (it usually is), and we were frantically grabbing at animals who were determined to keep up the furious snapping-teeth combat.
We could no sooner pull them apart than they rammed back together. If we held onto one dog, the pit bull attacked the other. Cathy was screaming as our guys took their hits. Luckily, she had just learned a trick on calming an overly feisty pet. It was like Plan A.
Grab dog by sides of head, pull sideways onto ground and sit on the pup until it calms down. The problem is that this tactic is only intended to work when training your own dog, who wants to please you even if it does go off the deep end from time to time.
But here was at least a possibility when everything else was failing.
In the midst of combat, eyes on three fast moving dogs, she managed to fall backwards onto the attacker to pin him down.
I pulled our dogs away from the pit bull but had to let go of the leashes to help Cathy. Wilkie, no fighter, fled as fast as his long, bounding stride could take him. Cathy screamed for him to come back, afraid he’d be lost or run over. I thought he had the right idea – to get as far away as possible, but there wasn’t any time to talk.
We had to shift places so Cathy could take Casey out of there. Aussies don’t walk away from fights like this. They take guarding their flock and family with deadly seriousness. So instead of running, he was determined to stay in the ring. However, he would follow Cathy if I had the pit bull under control.
She carefully got up while I kept my hands on the pit bull’s head and rolled in to take her place. Then I was lying on top of the animal, pressing his head down, while she took Casey and walked as quickly as her wearying legs could take her.

The Teflon Fighter

After a while, I thought they were far enough away and the pit bull still enough that I could relax my grip and stand up. Wrong move. The dog was off again and soon caught up with Cathy.
More mad scramble, snarling fight, but this time Cathy moved quickly to get on top of him while he was lunging at our Aussie. I was totally winded and could only walk slowly in their direction, picking up a small rock on the way. It was the only thing I saw that I could use as a weapon.
Once there, in tiring desperation I tried to stun and hobble the pit bull by pounding on his thick skull and smacking the joints of his forelegs. But this dog is bred for survival and is both heavy-boned and pain resistant. The small rock was useless.
Cathy and I swapped places again, and once more I had the menace pinned to the ground. This time I wasn’t letting go. Cathy set off with Casey for the second time to find Wilkie, who was waiting for us far down the road. I looked down at the pit bull, whose face was about a foot from mine, and tried one more trick to get him to run off in the other direction.
While holding the dog’s head with one hand, I used the other to pull from the tangle of my pocket a little sprayer filled with vinegar solution, a poor-man’s pepper spray. It works to keep Wilkie from getting too aggressive, but it’s pretty harmless for combat like this. As much as I pumped the irritant into his eyes and nose, the pit bull did nothing more than lick his lips and blink for an instant.
There I was, lying on top of a fierce animal by the side of the road, no cars in site, yelling Help, Help at a few tightly shut houses and lots of empty land. I had one thought in my mind:
Now what?


The What turned out to be a pair of headlights about a quarter mile away moving in my direction. I disengaged one arm and waved as much as I could from my prone position while making sure I wasn’t losing control of the dog.
As the car, a big SUV, got closer I yelled HELP! PLEASE! over and over. The SUV rolled past as I waved and yelled desperately, but then to my relief it slowed to a stop. A window rolled down, a shadowy head inside the vehicle turned back toward me. I heard a man’s voice quietly asking, as though there might be some doubt:
“Do you need help?”
In a few minutes I had let the dog go, clambered into the back seat with a ten-year old boy, slammed the door and pantingly explained what had happened. As I was talking to Jason, the husband, his wife, Debbie, at the wheel, suddenly exclaimed: He’s going after them!
And so he was. The pit bull had one thing in mind: to catch our dogs and finish the fight. Anything else, like Cathy or me, was simply an obstacle in his path.
The husband urged his wife to take off in pursuit. It would take this speeding bullet dog just a couple of minutes to catch up to Cathy yet again, even though she had gotten about half a mile down the road. Debbie revved the SUV.
We caught up as the pit bull was closing fast, about 100 feet from Cathy. She had turned and was staring in shock at this new assault by the determined attacker. Head him off, yelled Jason. Get the car between them!
Debbie lurched the vehicle to a halt between the pit bull and Cathy. We flung open the door on the side opposite the dog, pulled everyone on board and slammed it shut before the pit bull could get around the SUV.
As Debbie pulled away, she paused, worried about hitting the pit bull, who had now turned his attention to the moving wheels and shiny chrome bumpers. But Jason and I urged her onward. At that point, I could have cared less about hitting the animal.


After turning a corner and heading toward our house, Debbie checked the rear-view mirror. “He’s following us! He’s not giving up!” But the SUV finally left him behind, and we got safely to our house in a couple of minutes. Effusive thanks to Debbie, Jason and their boy.
Once inside, we checked the dogs for damage. Incredibly, there were no bloody wounds, though our shepherd was exhausted. He took up his place by the front door (Aussies always guard the perimeter) and settled in for a long rest.
I was shaken but otherwise fine. It was Cathy who had been bitten on the ankle when she first tried to step in between the dogs. She’d intercepted a nasty chomp aimed across her path. So, we were off to the emergency room, but the wound, though it caused painful swelling for a few hours, was not a deep one. Next day, she could walk on it with no problem.

Looking Back

What does all this have to with the power of the mind to heal depression?
John McManamy said about one of his videos that it was a play on the Zen koan: When attacked by a mountain lion, eat a bowl of strawberries. (John chose peanut butter.) I guess that means when things are obviously beyond your control, don’t sweat it. My wife and I, however, are among the UnZen and believe there are some disadvantages in the strawberry strategy.
It had been the brain’s fight-or-flight response rather than meditative calm that took over during our run-in with the pit bull. While that may seem obvious, the response did more than help us get through a struggle. It shut off everything else that might distract body and mind from the immediate crisis.
Depressed mood? Gone.
Negative thoughts? Not one.
Poor self-esteem? What’s that?
Indifference? No way.
Irritability? Isolation from your partner? Lack of mental focus?
All the symptoms disappear. At those times, the mind has one focus and is totally immersed in the actions needed for that moment.
In a way, it’s the flip side of mindfulness. Attention is a pure fire in the moment and moves your thoughts and body as fast as possible to act in the face of physical threat.
The same thing happens to me during other deeply engaging experiences – being in the creative “flow” when I’m working well or really connecting with people or physically pushing my limits in hard labor or exercise.
If only we could summon that power of attention and energy in the midst of depression, we’d have the best antidepressant of all – the mind’s own resources for healing.

Storied Mind – Recover Life from Depression

Read online


I hope you enjoyed reading this article.  It is an amazing story, and really gives us something to think about.  Not saying that we have control over Depression, but apparently our mind does.

Have an awesome day!

Priscilla, Cliff’s Mom  😉


Meet Zach….

Meet Zach……

You are not alone. If you are in crisis…..get help! Call 1-800-273 TALK (1-800-273-8255) Go online at http://SuicidePreventionLifeLine.org or Chat online at http://CrisisChat.org

God Bless!

Priscilla, Cliff’s Mom 😉

Unique Like You

I stumbled across an amazing video this morning. The message is clear! You are all Unique! Unique Like You….watch it!

Be sure to go and check out http://UniqueLikeYou.org It is a great site! And, you can participate in spreading the word!

Just please remember that you are special….just how you are!

And you are LOVED! If you don’t believe me, just ask me! I LOVE you!

Have a blessed day and enjoy Thanksgiving!

Priscilla, Cliff’s Mom My son, Cliff

P.S. I will be doing a Thanksgiving Day call….come join us if you would like @ http://BlogTalkRadio.com/cliffsstory OR, just click on the link to the left and it will take you there! 😉

Out of the Darkness Overnight

I am committing right now, that CliffStory.com will be attending its first fundraising event on June 9-10, 2012 at the “Out of the Darkness Overnight” 18 mile walk. How many of you will join me? Take a look at this video……

I have never walked 18 miles in my life, but in the memory of my son, and all of the other sons, daughters, moms, dads, aunts, uncles and cousins out there…..I will walk for YOU!

I would love to have as many of you as possible join me in this walk! We must bring more awareness to Suicide and reach out to those suffering!

I have committed to raise a minimum of $2500, so I must begin asap!

If you are interested in joining with me either by walking, or perhaps donating….please send me an email to [email protected]

God Bless You!

Priscilla, Cliff’s Mom

My son Cliff~

International Survivor of Suicide Loss-Did you attend?

Yesterday was “International Survivor of Suicide Loss Day”, did you attend a conference near you? Did you watch it online?

As I mentioned in my previous post, I was working, but managed to attend the majority of the conference. I am so glad that I did.

I know that many of you suffer silently, as I did as well for over 6 years. I did start blogging at about the 4 year mark, but never attended anything that would help me with my grief, nor did I read anything.

After attending my first Survivor of Suicide loss group meeting last week, and then followed up with this conference, I am now very ready to read and be a part of whatever I can get my hands on.

When you are around those who share a similar situation as your own, it really does help. I know I had people when my son first passed that tried to get me to go to something similar, but I was not ready.

And, if you are like I was, this online conference is perfect for you to get an idea of how you might feel at a live meeting. At first, I did not want to talk. I was so emotional, and I do not like to appear weak or be out of control. I am not after pity, nor do I want people to feel sorry for me. Perhaps that is why I suffered in silence for as long as I did. Just know that attending a group meeting such as this can be very healthy. It will let you know that what you are currently feeling, whether it be guilt, anger, etc. you are not alone! I think knowing that it is a normal thing grants comfort. At least I hope it will for you.

So, here is the link to the conference that I attended yesterday:


You can also watch the 2010 conference if you would like. I think I am going to go back and watch again as I did miss some parts of it, and also watch the 2010 conference. Every person gives you a different perspective, and I am now seeking this comfort myself.

I desire to help as many as I can, so I need to understand how differently everybody grieves.

I will be hosting a live call on Thanksgiving morning at 8am pst. If you would like to listen in, or perhaps even call in, here is the link for that call, I look forward to connecting with you!

Have a blessed week, and hopefully with each others help, we can get through this next week without too much pain!

Priscilla, Cliff’s Mom                                               My son Cliff~                       

13th Annual International Survivors of Suicide Day

Saturday, November 19th is the 13th Annual
International Survivors of Suicide Day.

There are many conferences being held around the world at the same time, and there will be an interactive online chat available after the event.

If there is not a conference being held near you, there will be an online conference you can join as well.

Go here: http://www.afsp.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.viewPage&page_id=FEE7D778-CF08-CB44-DA1285B6BBCF366E to get all of the details.

I plan on attending even though I do have to work on Saturday. And if I miss any part of it, there will be a replay available.

So, lets support eachother as we grieve our loss!

God Bless You!

Priscilla, Cliff’s Mom

Substance Abuse in Youth with Bipolar Disorder

I am attending a webinar tomorrow on “Substance Abuse in Youth with Bipolar Disorder”; courtesy of http://www.thebalancedmind.org/ . This will be the first time I have attended a webinar like this, but I will let you know if I get any nuggets of information that may help us all in both “Mental Illness Awareness”, and “Suicide Prevention”.

Have a blessed day!

Priscilla 😉

Survivor of Suicide Loss

I attended my very first Survivor of Suicide Loss meeting last night. My son died on May 25, 2005 over six years ago and I have never been to a meeting and never spoke with a counselor, etc.

I was so proud of many of the people there last night, because many of them had lost a loved one within the past couple of months, or less than a year ago.

I shed tears last night, and we all shared our feelings, and honestly I thought I wasn’t going to speak at all last night. I really don’t like it when I am feeling weak. But I soon felt comfortable to speak up and it felt good.

My message to you today is this…..reach out for help if you need it. Don’t be like me and suffer alone….go be with others who are going through the same feelings as you. It really will help!

If you are interested in how you might find a meeting near you, go to American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

It may be hard at first, but you will begin to feel comfortable as everyone starts to share. Really not sure why this helps so much, but I assure you it will! Oh, and if you don’t want to talk, you don’t have to. It may take you going a few times before you feel like sharing. Thats okay! It will still help you to be there.

Have a blessed day, and please share this information with everyone you know!

We never know who may be suffering silently!

Also, I am doing a Blog Talk Radio Show on Thanksgiving morning so we can all get together and remember our loved ones. The holidays are very tough! 😉

Here is the link: BlogTalkRadio.com/cliffsstory

Priscilla, Cliff’s Mom 😉

Thanksgiving Day 2011 Call with Cliff’s Mom

Thanksgiving Day 2011 call with Cliff’s Mom has been scheduled.  Click Here!

Please come join us Thanksgiving morning, PST @ 8:00 am.  Depending on where you are, it may be afternoon for you, but I am trying to start your day off right!

I know how hard it is on holidays…..we miss our loved ones every day, but it just seems to hit us harder on holidays.

So, please share this post with all of your friends….you never know who may benefit from this call.

God Bless~

Priscilla, Cliff’s Mom

Meet Maggie……Ribbons of Hope

Take a minute to watch this video…..

Your are not alone, and you can get help!


Priscilla, Cliff’s Mom