C. JoyBell C. Conclave

In lieu of my vanishing FB Page, as promised, I have put up a FB Group in its place. Together, we can rebuild what has been lost. 18,900 organically grown followers lost overnight; but we can grow that to an even greater number! You and me together! Please go look up C. JoyBell C. Conclave in FB Groups and rejoin our home! Then invite your friends and share the posts that matter. Interact, make friends, share, bring people home with you. Please get the word out! And thank you. ❤


This Is Why You Can't Find Me on Facebook Anymore

     On Tuesday morning, I received a casual notification on Facebook, there it was amongst the normal notifications (comment alerts, friend requests, somebody liked my photo, etc.) But it was the equivalent of finding a decapitated human head in the grocery aisle on a seemingly normal afternoon: "Your page, "C. JoyBell C. - Writer, has been unpublished". Oh my god. I read it again to make sure I wasn't hallucinating. But it still said the same thing the second time I read it, and the third time, and the fourth time, and the fifth time... then I realised that my worst nightmare was actually materializing in front of my eyes and I began to panic. I sent in an appeal to FB so they'd reconsider what they'd done and take a look back into it. Then I stormed chat rooms and help sections of every blog, everywhere, in hopes of finding a magical cure for this black plague that had found its way at my doorstep!


     I have since tried every quack doctor's recommendation, as well as all of my friends' recommendations, as well as all of Facebook's half assed recommendations, to get my page back. Afterall, I have been there for TEN YEARS, replying to messages daily, FOR A DECADE NOW, building a digital structure where people can freely read what I have to say and receive food for their souls and guidance in real time, FOR A DECADE ALREADY. And I never paid for an add. All 18,900 followers were organically collected. And I know that's not a lot, but, it's a lot when it is entirely built from word-of-mouth.


     Countless souls have told me, through my page, that being there daily had literally saved their lives. Countless souls, countless people. All the time. Now it's gone. It's gone as casually as a nicely poisoned cup of coffee in the morning and you drop dead unexpectedly. The vilest sort of evil.
     The question on everyone's minds has been, "Why? What did you do to deserve it?" Well, the answer to that seems to be the last message I saw sent to me through my page: a message from a guy seeking advice on publishing his own book. I had already replied to him with words of encouragement, but I could no longer reply to him acting like Google. Hey, when I was starting out writing and publishing my own books, I would spend up to eight hours a day on Google, just researching HOW to do what I needed to do. I didn't ask for anyone to sit down and tell me what to do. I researched it. Because other people have lives, that's why. But it's not even that I didn't want to help this person; it's just that it was not physically possible to do so. I don't just have "a life", I have a very occupied life, wherein I have many things to do! I have so many emails to answer! Many of them are critical, I NEED to answer them! So I stopped replying to this person and then he started sending messages asking "where is the real C. JoyBell C." then a few days later-- BAM -- my page has evaporated into thin air! The only direction that Facebook is now pointing me into, is the direction of "WE DO NOT ALLOW IMPOSTOR PAGES ON FACEBOOK." So apparently I am suspect of being an impostor of myself. Great. Now FB wants to give me impostor syndrome just in time for World Mental Health Awareness Day! And right after my provocative post regarding depression, too!


     Ten years and it took one guy accusing me of not being me, who apparently reported me to "the authorities" and all my work is gone, my connections are gone, I can't even let the 18,900 people know what's going on, what happened... are you guys looking for me right now, wondering why you can't message my anymore? Wondering where I've gone? I HAVE NOT ABANDONED YOU! And I AM SO, SO SORRY! I am still in shock, to be honest with you. It hasn't quite sunk in yet, that this has actually really happened!
     I plan to wait a few more days for the results of the appeal I put in, but if the results are negative, I am going to restart our community, over again, in the form of a FACEBOOK GROUP. I believe a group will be healthier for everyone involved. Healthier for myself (I don't need to feel pressure for the count of followers to climb higher, I don't need to feel inadequate for not being given "the verified blue checkmark" beside my name, and etc.); a FB Group would be a round table, a gathering place, people feel they have been invited to dinner rather than been invited to be a spectator. And I believe this feeling of hearth an warmness will greatly reduce the likelihood of people fucking around with me and my work in the future! Hopefully. Dammit, hopefully!
     Dear wonderfuls, we have been through so much over the past TEN YEARS, please do not let go of me now! I really need you right now, as this event has really shaken me more than I know what to do with. I can only hope that this turn of events is something that we, together, will be able to turn into a curb that leads to a better path going forward. Better for C. JoyBell C., better for me as a person, and better for each one of you! Together, our journey moves forward. Hold my hands.


I Really, Really Want To Talk To You About Depression

     I recently had a depressive suicidal episode, during which time, I reached out to my IG followers. It lasted a day and now I want to talk about it because I feel that I have reaped lessons about depression which could help other people reading this.
     I can count on my one hand the episodes of suicidal depression I have experienced in my lifetime thus far. I have always had anxiety, I remember having it as a child. I was a very serene and glowingly peaceful child, but that didn't mean that I was not living alongside anxiety. I wrote the passage: "I must be a creature, for I have two hearts: one is always broken, other is always whole" and these words of mine allude to this fact about me.  I believe that anxiety as a permanent mental condition is something that haunts people who feel and sense a lot more than what the general population of people feel and sense. If you see and understand deeply the conditions surrounding you, it is simply impossible not to develop anxiety, because there are so many people hurting in this world, there is so much uncertainty in our existence, in our futures, so on and so forth. Anxiety is something I lived with even back when I was too short to ride the gigantic swinging contraption at the county fair back in Florida. I was serene, I was constantly peaceful, but then there would be this sinking feeling in my stomach, it would make me throw up.


     But anxiety does not always lead to depression, in my life. It rarely does, and like I said, I can count on one hand the suicidal episodes I have had in my life. The most startling thing about this, is that, they were all during significantly different times in my life that are so unrelated to each other. I had one of these when I was in Florence, Italy. The beautiful Florence in Italy! I was having the time of my life, I was free, I was loaded, I had a luggage dedicated just for me to carry around my shoes! I had expensive perfume, my hair was down to my waist... I was at an all-time high! And then-- BOOM! I wanted to die! A stranger who was staying in the same hotel as myself noticed this and asked if I was okay, and sat there while I cried, she talked me into believing in staying alive (thank you, stranger!)
     Another time I had one of these was when I was thirteen years old and everything just hurt all over. I prayed to the Angel of Death to take me in my sleep. Instead, as I slept, a beautiful Angel came to me on top of a cathedral tower and gave me a gift in a wooden box.
     I've had these when I was supposedly in a steady marriage with a man who took care of my every whim. I saw no hope for life and the inside of me was an "open empty". The kind of horrible open empty that echoes back to you when you say something in the dark.


     I have had suicidal bouts of depression at times so unique in themselves and so different and set apart one from another, which drives home the realization that what we feel on the inside is not always brought about by what is going on around us, on the outside. Sure, there is a trigger point at which we break, but that tipping point is only the top of the iceberg. The rest of the iceberg is a collection of battle scars and artillery we have taken into our wars. We fight for a long, long time. We demand for our right to exist, for our right to be loved, for our right to wake up the next morning. Then one day we ask ourselves, "Is my right to exist worth fighting for? Isn't it simply a waste of everyone else's time?" And then "it" happens. We err on the side of not being around anymore, of no longer existing. In our minds, we give up that right. People can ask, "What started it", but that's just not the question to ask. It starts months ago, years ago. It's a war, it's a world war. It's a war between your inner nations.


     Something very significant which I have learned from this most recent experience, which I hope psychotherapists will take serious notice of, is that depression is at its worst when your outer world appears to be at its most peaceful. Read that again. And again. You see a person walking into a room with a sad face, a depressed look, tired skin... the depression is at the surface. Compare that to a person who walks into the room serene, glowing, joyful-- that kind of depression has sunken so deep inside that it can no longer be detected at the surface level! That's the deep level whereat illustrious personalities we so love and admire suddenly take their own lives to the shock of every one of us! They are filming a cooking show one minute, and peacefully committing suicide in their trailer the next minute. They are joyfully slipping from this life into the afterlife! No crying episodes, no outbursts... the depression has sunken into a level so deep in the middle of the chest, that it is no longer expressible, no longer detectable. This is the part where you need to get scared.
     I work with people who are depressed, suicidal, anxious, addicted to drugs, and etc. I know when to get scared. And because I am self-aware, I knew that I needed to get scared at this point. The signs were showing (at least to me), I was becoming more and more comfortable in my own skin but at the same time I was having more and more sinking feelings in my stomach. I couldn't even look at my own cat because I felt like I wasn't good enough for him. "My cat is too good for me, he needs someone so much better than me who can give him so much more than I can." And this was not just a passing feeling nor a passing thought; it was so real that I actually considered hiding from him when I'd see him! That's when I caught myself and said to myself, "Hey, this is not normal."


     It's a culmination of months or weeks or years of battle scars, but the episodes usually last just a day for me (I am a lucky one, or, maybe I am just more equipped than many others, thankfully). Coming out of this one, I am alive (and thank you, thank you), and I feel like the soil of my soul has been tilled and ready for good seeds to be planted. I do not want to romanticize depression; nevertheless, I wouldn't be honest if I didn't say that I feel like when it serves its purpose, it can help you to form yourself into a more evolved person. It whacks at the dry dirt of your soul and leaves behind moistly tilled, garden-ready soil. There is a new depth, a new understanding, a renewed calm. Personally, I even go so far as to say that when I'm entering a suicidal depressive state, it is because I am just about to disrupt my state of existence with a new paradigm, I am about to tear through the fabric of spacetime and become something so much better than I ever was before; the depressive episode is a chemical result of that upcoming disruption that, on a quantum level, sends ripples all throughout the quantum plain of my existence. I really believe this. You don't have to, but I do.


     You can get so closed down inside of yourself, while fighting your inner world wars, that you get cut off! You can't feel, you can't touch... it's like your sense for life energy just shuts down. The movement of warm blood through your veins just freezes in the pangs of your struggles to grasp for, and hold onto, your right to exist. And what do these struggles look like? It looks like swearing (I keep myself alive and well through swearing), it looks like sarcasm, it looks like hitting the gym seven times a week to numb out the silence in your head (or the noise in your mind). It looks like hooking up for comfort, it looks like bursts of anger, it looks like begging to be taken seriously, to be given affection, to be seen, heard, loved. It looks like so many things for so many different people. But we all are asking for the same thing: we are all asking that you please stop and be still for once and stop trying to protect yourself, for once, for just as long a time it would take for you to recognize what's going on, and say, "Hey, do you want to sit with me right now?" Or, "I got nothing to do, wanna go for a walk?"
     But you can become so frozen from your struggles and your fights, that the suicidal depressive episode acts as a restart button, giving you a newborn chance at life (if you make it to the other side, of course). It's kinda like how the Earth has reset herself so many times before in the history of our planet, which was always "the end of the world" but simultaneously was "the beginning of a new one".


     A suicidal depressive mode is like your continents shifting poles and moving all around and the inner planet that is you just crumbles, rearranges, nothing is held together! Your mind is all over the place! But if you make it to the other side (please do), you'll have a new world with new air and a new sky and new trees and mountains and flowers. I can't promise this, but, this is what happens to me. Maybe it's what happens to you, too, if you just stop to take notice of it.
     Please don't try to remind a suicidal person of all the great things he/she has got going for them. We already know the amazing, fantastic things we've got going on in our lives. But that's the very same thing as saying to a not-so-fabulous individual: "You shouldn't be happy right now because you don't have a job, you're ugly, you're unhealthy, and you basically don't have anything going for you. Why are you still smiling?" Depression does not come about as a result of the lack of awareness of good things going on. Or good things happening. That's why Kate Spade killed herself. That's why Anthony Bourdain killed himself. These people knew what they had going for them; they didn't think they were losers. Knowing good things about yourself doesn't fix yourself on the inside.
     I want you to know that you can talk to me, because I understand. I want psychotherapists and healers to take note of this (everything I have written here), because I believe it will prove very helpful. I want to thank you all, for writing love letters to me over the years, because those are the words that knock at the walls of my mind when I cannot even hear the sound of my own existence, and they remind me (you remind me) that maybe I should stick around. I have so much love in my heart for all of you, thank you.
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