Borderline Personality Disorder, Autism, Developmental Disabilities, Bi-Polar, Depression, suicide, Major Depressive Disorder, Multiple Sclerosis, trangendered LGBTQ, Schizophrenia, Diabetes, Anxiety, Bulimia, addictions…

Dog lovers, a desire to help society, resilience, coffee obsession, early risers, strength, debating, motivated athletes, insulting each other, supporting each other…

Professors, paramedics, artists, dog groomers, teachers, construction workers, hair-stylists, bankers, social workers, researchers, nurses, professional violinists, doctors, writers, crossing-guards, entrepreneurs…

This strange breed is my family. 

My family has had our ups and downs, our twists and turns, our loss and gains. We’ve been blessed with passion, motivation, empathy, and love. We’ve been cursed with disability, brain impairments, medical problems, divorce, and death. Throughout everything our family has gone through we have somehow stuck together…

My sister (Riley) and I have 14 grandparents *pause for dramatic gasp* throughout receiving the blessing of 14 grandparents we have been through a lot of divorce. However, we never managed to lose anyone. I have 4 grandfathers and 4 grandmothers that I am blessed to have in my family, but their blood doesn’t run in my veins. However, (on my fathers side) I am closer with them, than I am with the 1 grandfather that does have my blood.

Today is suicide prevention day, and instead of sharing my story about HOW I survived my suicide attempts…I’m going to share the motivation of WHY I survived. 

Situation: I started my intensive mental health treatment at 13 years old. Instead of going to the cottage with my family, I had to stay home to see my psychiatrist. I was just starting treatment and I was already losing small parts of my adolescent life.

Family Blessing: To my surprise she drove 3 hours back to pick me up and take me there on the same night equalling to 12 hours of driving.

Situation: I was in the hospital too often to go to a regular high school therefore I was taken out of public school and put into an alternative GED program.

Family Blessing: My Grandpa came down from Kirkland Lake in northern Ontario and lived with me just to drive me to this alternative school everyday. I came home every night to warm, freshly baked bread, and dinner on the table from my Grandma.

Situation: I was engaged, in rehab, and miserable. I left rehab early to take care of my fiance who claimed to have cancer. The engagement broke off a week later.

Family Blessing: My sister flew home from Vancouver where she was getting her masters degree in gerontology to take care of my broken heart. She lost a year of schooling, money, and a nice apartment to come back to Ontario and take care me.

Situation: I was literally running around town having a psychotic attack, crying with no shoes, and bleeding feet.

Family Blessing: Nicole found me and took me into her house. I fell on the floor and curled into the fetal position as she held me until I was taken to the hospital.

Situation: I was crying on the bathroom floor after I lost my job.

Family Blessing: My dog, Riot came and laid next to me, licking away my tears.

Situation: I had recently had to get stitches from a self-harm injury. It was hurting to the point my whole body was aching.

Family Blessing: My girlfriend Monika, bathed me with baby wipes, made me dinner, watched my favourite comedy TV series (Bob’s Burgers), cleaned the apartment, and cuddled me to sleep.

• For the record my family doesn’t exclusively include people who have my blood. The Robertson’s who I’ve known for 19 years are my family, Liz and Eli are my family, Cathy from the hospital is my family, and my girlfriend Monika is my family.

When people walk into our home they usually turn right around in fear and confusion. But the ones who stay, the ones who open their eyes to this circus and to the zoo, experience a love that cannot be found anywhere else. A kind of love created by misery and misfortune while consisting of unconditional love, protection, and support.

**In memory of an old goat**

We lost a soldier to suicide in our family who will always be remembered and always be unconditionally loved. 

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