Missing Christopher

Powerful, moving, beautifully written & so important! This book is magnificent. You must read “Missing Christopher” by Jayne Newling. A true masterpiece. An easy read for it’s wonderful writing, a difficult read as it’s so deeply personal & so many of the themes I know & associate with.

 

I have just finished Missing Christopher and I have been rocked to my core. This is an incredible piece of writing that captures the heart and invites you intimately into the world of the Newling family and their pain. Jayne Newling is an exceptional writer and I can’t recommend this book more highly.

missing christopher

Jayne has bared all in this book. It’s so raw and real. I was crying from just a page in and felt the sting in my throat so many times as I choked back tears. Who am I to cry as I read this story when this woman and her family have been through so much. She details so well the characteristics of the people around them, the feeling of the places they lived, the emotions she endured and the suffering they felt. You are with her on every step of the journey and flipping each page to see how she could carry on. It’s an incredibly detailed trip into the world of grief and pain. I admire her courage and strength to write this and share it with the world. I thank her for being so open and know that her words will help others.

I really enjoyed the quotes dotted throughout the book and the way she shares the inspirations that once encouraged her son. The story sometimes jumps around and I like how it replicates the mind in this troubled stage and you can follow her thoughts at these challenging times. You really are taken into the world of depression, suffering, pain, grief and struggle. I felt exhausted but also educated by this book. For anyone who knows someone or themselves is suffering with mood disorders, I recommend this book. I have now passed it on to a 17 year old friend with clinical depression and I know the words will be of great solace to him.

To my friend Nic, the youngest son of Jayne Newling, wow, your journey is amazing & I’m thankful to know you and your goodness! I met Nic on the Trek to Machu Picchu with Black Dog Institute in 2012. Nic had incredible insight into mood disorders and worked for Bite Back with Black Dog Institute. I saw his amazing intuition and kind heart as he supported others on our trip through some tough times. His wisdom and fun loving spirit made him the perfect companion for the good times and the bad. I knew some of his story but nothing like what I read in Missing Christopher. I knew he was a wonderful person and I knew he’d been on a journey but not to such a great extent! I have such a great respect for him and a deep sorrow for the pain the family has endured. No-one should have to go through that. I know that Nic will succeed in his new path of speaking as he shares his story and Christopher’s to so many around Australia.

Nic Newling - Peru Challenge 2013 for Black Dog Institute- Sponsor Thank you T shirt
Nic Newling – Peru Challenge 2012 for Black Dog Institute- Sponsor Thank you T shirt

Nic Newling - Peru Challenge 2013 for Black Dog Institute- Sponsor T shirt

The afterword in this book is written by Professor Gordon Parker AO, founder of the #BlackDogInstitute. His help with the family at the most critical times and the continued support over the years is amazing. His insight and knowledge of mood disorders is above and beyond and I think his work in instigating an organistion such as Black Dog Institute is exemplary.

I have had my own battles with depression. I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress in April 2005. By July 2005, I had slipped into a deep depression and was diagnosed with clinical depression. Despite having loving family and friends, a caring and dedicated doctor, a wonderful school counsellor, supportive school teachers and staff and an appointed psychologist, my mind took over and depression consumed me. I was on anti-depressants and had regular counsellor, doctor and psychologist appointments. I understand the darkness and the depths that depression can take you. For me, it was circumstantial and the family history of it may have been the tipping point. Ultimately, it was the support, the love and the will in me to get through that saw me clear. The Black Dog of depression has re-visited me twice but funnily enough I am thankful for hitting my lowest low in 2005 as I now recognise the signs early enough to seek help.

YAY___Just_got_my_official_Black_Dog_Institute_supporter_pack_____So_excited_to_be_raising_money_for_this_amazing_org.__The_Black_Dog_Institute_is_a_not_for_profit_organisation_dedicated_to_improving_the_lives_of_people_affected_by_mood_disorders_thr

We are all unique individuals and will all travel a different path. I cannot say that my depression was anything like what Christopher experienced. We come from different situations, different triggers and who knows what could, would have been. But I do understand that mental health is important, that mood disorders should be understood by the wider community and that people who are suffering should be treated with kindness, respect, love and care.

I feel passionately about the issue of suicide and mood disorders and value the work of Black Dog Institute. I’m happy to share my story, just as Jayne has shared their story and the pain she endured, so that others may not suffer in the same way.

In October 2015, I will travel to Bhutan to Trek for Happiness! I will be personally raising $3500 for the work of Black Dog Institute. I wish to support those living with mood disorders and to break the stigma that surrounds mental health. Each year, Black Dog Institute aims to advance the understanding, diagnosis and management of depression and Bipolar Disorder and improve the lives of those affected by these mood disorders. Please help me in my cause by donating through my page.

Sponsor here: http://bhutantrektohappiness.gofundraise.com.au/page/LovellyEmma

emma black dog
Jumping at Sacsayhuaman in Peru in 2012 on the Peru Trek with Black Dog Institute and Inspired Adventures

Emma is trekking to Happiness with Black Dog Institute

It’s time for me to take on another challenge! This time for a cause so close to my heart, Black Dog Institute – raising awareness about mental health.From the 8th-19th October, 2015, I’ll be embarking on the Black Dog Trek to Happiness through Inspired Adventures to raise funds for Black Dog Institute.

emma black dog
In 2005 I suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) which soon led to depression. It’s hard to think back and image how low, dark and sad my days were. It’s like slipping into a black hole and not knowing any way out. I was so fortunate at the time to have the love and support of my family, access to quality health care professionals through my school and a wonderful local GP who understood mental health. The Black Dog has come back to sit with me a few other times but after gaining skills and knowledge on how to manage my depression, I know that for the future, I will be ok and I can take this path to happiness.
It’s not like this for everyone. Some people don’t understand what mental health is and when they are in that black hole, don’t see the help they can receive to find a way out of the darkness. The wonderful work of Black Dog Isntitute is helping those in need and educating our community on mental health. With their support, individuals and families can learn how to cope and live with mental health.
YAY___Just_got_my_official_Black_Dog_Institute_supporter_pack_____So_excited_to_be_raising_money_for_this_amazing_org.__The_Black_Dog_Institute_is_a_not_for_profit_organisation_dedicated_to_improving_the_lives_of_people_affected_by_mood_disorders_thr
I trekked to Machu Picchu with Black Dog Institute in 2012 with an amazing team raising more than $60,000. I met a fantastic guy on that trip, Rory Hayward who was passionate about mental health and the work of Black Dog Institute. In January 2013, Rory sadly passed away from a heart condition. In signing up for this trip, I used the motto his friends have formed “What Would Rory Do? (WWRD)”. I tribute this Trek to Happiness and my fundraising efforts to the memory of Rory.Each year, Black Dog Institute aims to advance the understanding, diagnosis and management of depression and Bipolar Disorder and improve the lives of those affected by these mood disorders. Please help me in my cause by donating through my page.

Thanks so much for your support of this wonderful organisation and yet another of my CRAZY adventures!
HAPPINESS IS KEY!

In October 2015, I will travel to Bhutan to Trek for Happiness! I will be personally raising $3500 for the work of Black Dog Institute. I wish to support those living with mood disorders and to break the stigma that surrounds mental health. Each year, Black Dog Institute aims to advance the understanding, diagnosis and management of depression and Bipolar Disorder and improve the lives of those affected by these mood disorders. Please help me in my cause by donating through my page.

Sponsor here: http://bhutantrektohappiness.gofundraise.com.au/page/LovellyEmma

A reply to “Fox News has allegedly labelled Robin Williams a coward for killing himself”

I am sharing this wonderful piece written by the talented Nai Bowen on Facebook. I couldn’t help but share these words with you all. Well it was beautifully written. and so true. I’ve lost friends to suicide, and I’ve had depression myself. It’s debilitating. For people to say it’s selfish and easy – is untrue. It’s desperately sad, it’s tragic but you cannot place these people at blame.

I shall let Nai’s words speak for themselves. If you like this, connect with her on Twitter @nomifish and check out some more!

robin williams

“Forgive me again for this indulgence. I can’t remember where I left my blog, let alone recall the password, so here will have to do again. And apologies for what is a potentially upsetting bunch of words. I hope they are not triggering. I needed to get them off my chest. We need to talk about this stuff, but please don’t read beyond the first paragraph if you think you might be upset by what I’m talking about.

Fox News has allegedly labelled Robin Williams a coward for killing himself. There are few things that get me as angry as calling cowardice on suicide (although you would be forgiven for thinking that I am equally angry about just about everything. Maybe the misspelling of the word “definitely” is a close second).

Depression is selfish. It absolutely is selfish. Of that I am in no doubt. BUT, it is not a deliberate selfishness. It is a disease which forces sufferers to doubt, loathe and berate themselves. It plummets the brain into inescapable darkness, sometimes as quickly a flicking a switch. It is like drowning in nothing.

And all the while you are drowning in that nothing, you are pushing away the people who love you, because you know that there is no rational explanation for this darkness. There are far worse things going on in the world to people far less deserving of them than you are. And people will tell you that. They will remind you if it in the misguided belief that you will realise that your life isn’t that bad. But you already know that. You’re not hating yourself on purpose. And you know that there are terrible, terrible things going on in the world. And that makes it worse.

And sometimes the darkness and the nothingness and the knowledge that you are succumbing to this awful, awful accidental selfishness becomes too much. And the only thing (NOT the easiest thing), the only thing that will end it is just to end it. To physically end it. Because ending it any other way seems impossible.

So to people like Fox News, who think a suicide victim is a coward,
I am pleased for you. I pray you never experience the depth of darkness and desperation that drives you to the point where you just can’t see the point of being here anymore. Where you feel that since life is just filling time before you die anyway, you might as well just bring that inevitable day forward.

Now imagine you have reached that day where it has finally become too hard. You don’t know what dying feels like. It’s impossible to know. Does it hurt? How long will it take? Is it as agonising as living? Someone will have to find you at some point. And you can’t live with yourself for putting then through that. But you can’t put yourself through this agonising futility any longer.

So amidst all this darkness and loathing and desperation, none of which you feel any control over whatsoever, you have to summon up from somewhere the courage to actually do it. Courage.

Maybe it’s not a conventional courage. But you have to be pretty fucking brave.”

_RUOK__Ask_a_friend__family_member_of_stranger._Being_there_for_someone_can_mean_a_world_of_diffErence.__Robin_Williams._You_ll_always_be_one_of_my__comedy_heroes._Thank_you_for_all_the_joy_you_gave___I_m_sorry_for_the_darkness_you_endured.

Great perspective and so well written.depress

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