Learn the signs of suicidal thoughts & get help before it’s too late

Last year my brother-in-law killed himself. I had just seen him the night before & I had no idea that he was that severely depressed. I knew he was upset because the day before he & my sister’s house had burned down. (I wrote about that in detail here: https://medium.com/@elizcollins/anatomy-of-a-suicide-688b4452d624)

All of their friends were pitching in with clothing, food, money, and offers for a place to stay, and my sister seemed to be handling things well.

When I first saw him that night, I hugged him. We didn’t normally hug, but I felt it was the only way to…


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Photo by Noah Silliman on Unsplash

Tips for being content and happy with your life, no matter what

This isn’t an article about using vibrations to attract wealth & happiness, it’s not about doing one special thing that will make all your dreams come true. Most of the time, there isn’t one thing that will make everything in your life the way you want it. People who sell books want you to believe there is because they want you to buy a book about it.

So, what can you do so when you’re old & gray you’ll look back on your life & think “I’ve had a good life”? …


Maybe we all need to dial it back a notch.

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Photo by Yeo Khee on Unsplash

I’m very passionate about certain things. Animal abuse and neglect, child abuse and neglect, being a doer rather than whining, having empathy, being kind but not a doormat, having courtesy, tact, and some class. I also have strong feelings about my political beliefs. I have a few values that I won’t compromise on when I choose a political candidate.

But lately, I’ve tried to be more objective, stepping back and analyzing things first. When I jump into discussions with strong emotions, I feel my blood pressure go up as I hear or read things. When I take time to think…


You Might Save a Life

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Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

I’ve struggled with depression since my early 20’s. At my worst, I was diagnosed with major clinical depression. I’ve tried to kill myself several times. Over the years I’ve tried a lot of different things to deal with it — some were helpful and others not so much. One thing I’ve learned was how important it was to confide in the right person. Having a good person to talk to can be the difference between staying alive and getting better, or dying.

Many people have no idea that what they say or don’t say can have a big impact on…


Tragedy can teach us some good things if we let it

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Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash

There aren’t many good things about suicide. The pain for those left behind is excruciating. We wonder if we missed something, we wonder how long they’ve been thinking about it. We wish that we knew so we could have talked to them about it. When you’ve lived with someone for over half of your life, it’s all the more difficult to understand. Why didn’t they tell you how desperate they were? Why did they leave you? Why were they so unhappy that this seemed like the best solution? Why didn’t we see what was happening? …


How to stick to your fitness goals

What I’ve learned from 35 years of exercise

Do you like lifting a cocktail more than a barbell? Do you look at your laptop rather than a Fitbit? I get it, truly. I can spend hours on my laptop, especially when I’m in a coffee shop. But if I want to stay healthy enough to keep doing it, I know I need to do other things.

I’ve been exercising off and on since I was a teenager, and at this point, I truly enjoy doing it. I have a friend who is planning to start exercising for the first time in her life. I’m sharing what I’ve learned…


Never really happy?

Stop focusing on what you lack, start focusing on what you have

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Photo by Elijah O’Donnell on Unsplash

Years ago, I listened to a Louise Hay book on tape by about lack. Her theory was that if all you think about is what you don’t have, you’ll create more of that in your life. I’ve heard about The Law of Attraction and it seems like this is similar, but without the details about being on certain vibration levels, etc.. Basically it said that we make decisions, say things, and act according to our beliefs.

Do you think you’ll be happy when you finally get a certain thing — love, a new job, a house, a new car? …


My Sister’s Entire Life Changed In 3 Days

Today is my sister’s birthday. We’re going to dinner with some of her friends. We haven’t gotten together on her birthday since we were in our twenties, normally she either ignores it or does something with her husband. But one week ago, he shot himself in the head. Two days before that their house burned to the ground. In 2 days, my sister lost her home, all of her belongings, her car, and her husband of 34 years.

If these things happened to someone else, it may not be surprising. Some people’s lives are such a train wreck that it…


Or who you can be.

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Eugenia Maximova on Unsplash

When I look back at my life so far and what I wish I could change, I often wish I’d grown up in an environment where encouragement happened more than criticism. I’ve seen so many stories where successful people thank their mothers or some other person for encouraging and helping them to follow their passions. I think of how different my life might have been if I’d had someone like that.

We all learn who we are and who we can be by observing & listening to the people around us. We take in what they tell us, and then…


The 5-year question that makes me feel good about my life, even when it’s crappy

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Photo by Charisse Kenion on Unsplash

At some point in my life, I started a new ritual at the end of every year. I’d write a list of the things that I had done that year, things that I thought were good, and tuck it in with my Christmas decorations. The next year when I got them out, I’d be reminded of what I’d done the year before, and I would reflect on what I’d done in the current year.

Sometimes they would be milestones like “graduated college” or “moved to a new city”; other times they would be smaller, like “found a kitten.” These things…

Elizabeth Collins

Health, psychology, current events, politics, cats, tech… Suicide prevention & mental health are extra important to me. Stereotypes fall when we talk openly.

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